Envision gorgeous cabins perched over a lake made of glass, trails to your "classrooms" through birch and pine forests with woodland creatures peeking out. The sounds of loons echoing across the midnight water and whispering through your dreams.
Elizabeth, visionary and goddess of Squam, found the perfect location for such a rich and magical retreat. She thought of every detail, and I will be forever grateful that I could be a part of something so profound. Because there were no outside responsibilities or demands (no dishes and sweet children begging for my attention), each day would unfold in simplicity. Every meal was shared in a beautiful dining room overlooking the lake... every building overlooked the lake!
These were wonderful times for connection and an opportunity to build new friendships. After spending the last year and a half very attached to my computer for work and community, it was wonderful to meet people in real time. Although I feel grateful for this virtual revolution happening in the art and craft world, I miss looking into someone's eyes when I speak to them. I need this. We all do. The ability to communicate in the same creative and "bloggy" language, but also being face to face was delicious and satisfying. I felt like I had come home. In fact, my home/cabin at Squam was fittingly called Nirvana. Every night after the evening's event my housemates and I would gather in the the main room. Wine and chocolate would magically appear on the table. Laughter, deep discussions and truths were all shared with ease. Somehow, Elizabeth intuitively matched the twelve of us perfectly. I think she did this for each cabin! Amazing!
Some, but not all, Nirvana women at the Art Fair. photo coutesy of Laura Nelkin
We're all wearing our "Squam Glow"!
We're all wearing our "Squam Glow"!
Our Nirvana nights became the sweetest part of each day. "We are better together." Marisa, my Nirvana mate said several times. So true. Teachers and students lived and worked alongside one another, there was no division... and it seemed to be the unspoken rule to check your egos at the door. This meant that we were all spending each moment being our most authentic selves. Whether we were listening, sharing or being totally silly... we were being true to our self, not some idea of our self. When you blog, only little snippets paint the picture of your identity. At Squam, I felt like I walked around as transparent as glass. Everyone could see right through to my core. In the real world, that would be terrifying... there it felt safe, natural and right. We all gave the very best to one another day after day... from our communicating to our creating. Powerful energy seemed to radiate from everyone... so many glowing faces bounding through the woods to their next class. I'll never forget going out to look for one of my students, who hadn't yet arrived for my burlap class. Skirting over rocks and through the trees came Donna carrying her heavy sewing machine and wearing a beamy smile. "I got lost in the woods with my sewing machine! When will that ever happen again?" she exclaimed. It was a funny and magical beginning to class. I'll have more tomorrow about the amazing women that attended my workshops and all that we learned together. If you're still with me... and want a little more, there is an incredible video about the week already available, thanks to Marlene. My post title is taken from this video that seems to say it all.
The soundtrack is by Jonatha Brooke, my new hero, who sang to us throughout the weekend and whose latest cd is the only thing I've listened to for the last 48 hours! Maybe it will give you a better sense than I can with words... click right HERE... and remember another Squam happens in September and then on to next June. I'd love this to be your story, too!