squam lake. art camp. was it just a dream? rustic cabins, roaring fires, rocking chairs, making fun art, meeting inspiring new people, walking through forests. they say *magic* happens here ... sounds great, right? but it also was an opportunity to stretch myself, little challenges along the way.
i found my inner lioness. found the courage to:
- stand alone in the middle of the dining room the first night, looking around and around not knowing where to sit, all the tables wrapped in their own conversations. first night i sat with merrilee, eileen and sarah … with whom i spent my last morning as well, photographing on the dock. i stood in the middle of the dining room several more times, each time finding a place, mustering up courage to ask “can i sit with you?” and finding warmth every time with strangers who became friends.
- trust elizabeth’s encouragement to find my “YES!” all week long and follow that. i participated fully all day long, then in the evenings retreated to my room to rest (so little sleep prior, preparing to come to squam). on the third night i ventured out and found a rock to sit on by the edge of the lake. my yes was to forgo the nightly party in the main lounge of my cabin, of which i could hear every word and creak of the furniture and floorboards. instead i sat on that rock listening to the loons (sounds like coyotes) and the lapping water, watching the clouds float by the moon. following my yes was very different than my cabin-mates' yes, and that was ok.
- bop in my seat to performer extraordinaire jonatha brooke’s opening night gig in the playhouse, not caring if anyone thought i was weird, thoroughly enjoying her expressive soul. jonatha rocks!
- tell christine mason miller all about my tendencies to want my book to be orderly, simple, straight, perfect. “should i follow that tendency or try to break out, break free?” she was kind, gentle, listened with that sincere smile of hers. why not free it up a bit, if only on one page, she replied. gave me a bit of a pep talk. i pasted in photos askew! glued bits of pretty paper all around, working on pages willy nilly. for the grande finale, i pasted on the plain cover the little tag christine gave me at the start of class, in her fun handwriting, which had gotten water spilled on it making the ink run, ASKEW, which said, “you are loved”. and i felt it.
- divulge to elizabeth, who called me about housing the week before i left, about my journey to see my aunt carol the morning of the first day of squam. she listened wholeheartedly, asked questions, was interested, on a day when she probably had a gazillion other details to wrap for the workshops. on the last morning she was crying in my arms in the dining hall, overwhelmed by the emotion of holding this space for all of us, and in the middle of all that asked me how my visit with carol went. we cried together, a perfect moment.
- listen deep down, during the opening night meditation, such a nice way to start a week of creativity. helene asked us to take a minute of silence and ask ourselves what our intention was for the week. i waited and listened, didn’t hear anything inside for a long time, thinking nothing would surface in that room full of people. then it did, totally a surprise to me. to embrace my feminine sexual energy. WHAT?! at art camp?! had a great dream that night, the message was clear: allow yourself to receive fully.
- ask if i could participate in the squam art fair held on the last night of camp. i had brought a little basket of my photo greeting cards to camp, just in case. i was welcomed to share a table with someone, if space allowed. caryn overheard the conversation and said she would squeeze me in if i couldn’t find another better spot. turned out she didn’t really have space because her gorgeous work overflowed on her table. but right next to her barb did have space and generously offered it to me. so i set myself up on a little piece of her table, selling my cards in public for the very first time.
- opened to a man. toward the end of the art fair, a man stopped by the table to chat. he was not in art camp, had been driving across the country and just happened upon this magical place rockywold-deephaven. he was a photographer from california! i was attracted to him (a first in a long time). i remembered my intention for camp and found myself fondling my heart chakra pendant while we chatted. remembered my intention. stood open and receptive. he bought a card, took my business card and said he’d send me one of his photo cards. regardless of what happens with this man, i’m feeling my readiness for a new relationship.
- chose this inspiration card in thursday's yoga class: i am willing to change. YES!
yes. magic. and freedom.