Wednesday, September 30, 2009

SAW reflections

i heard about Squam Art Workshops (SAW) for the first time leading up to the inaugural gathering in september 2008. i sensed SAW would be something that i would want to be a part of in the future - the near, touchable, tastable future.

after hearing about attendees' experiences at that first SAW happening i knew for sure i wanted to be there in september 2009. i felt my heart leaning, stretching, leaping towards this. and, this reaching for me, wanting me, inviting me. yes, yes, yes.

attending art camp. in the woods. surrounded by familiar beauties - some known, some soon to be known (and, once seen - oh so familiar they were/are). all of us, turning towards the shimmering light, the brave rising and the sweetest soaring.

september SAW was on my list for 2009. it was to be. no question. it simply would be. it was the future i was living into. a passage, a healing, a baptism, a renewal and a leap.

from the time of that first knowing, through registering and to arrival: i experienced the deepest darkness before the dawn (connected to the physical death of my sister/babe, bella, and my great grief journey); i honored the new ground i was standing on (claiming my new way of being in the world and in relationship with bella - our awake and alive relationship) through baptism - getting my nose pierced; and, i listened to my heart, followed spirit's guidance and chose an adventure - leaping north, to new england, creating new life and new work.

september SAW 2009 intersected with grounding in my new geography and contained all of the elements of my journey to arriving there: passage, healing, baptism, renewal and leaping.

passage: making the journey further north and back with this radiant being and my creative neighbor, Katrina (also one of my "fire*side beauties" - more on them later...); witnessing when i was feeling overwhelmed, self-conscious, afraid, stuck and on the edge of shutting down and giving myself the space to have my whole experience - being even bigger than i've ever known myself to be; and, bravely and boldly speaking my truths.

healing: embracing a large circle of women who, by simply being, have been an important part of my healing and living journey these years. jen gray, Christine Mason Miller, Susannah, Denise, Schmoopy, dar, Kirsten, Liz, Thea, Jeanine and Elizabeth - i bow to you, you have kept me warm and inspired. along the dirt path, at the table and around many fires, i welcomed a creative community of women with whom i am continuing to journey. these are my "fire*side beauties" (many of them are listed/linked on the left side of this page): danielle marie - a rock star; ab - a blossom; Lauren - a sassy sister; Jen Lee - a pioneer; jenna - a guide; Helen - a love; Vivienne - a warrior goddess; Heather - a treasure chest; and, Katrina - a lighthouse.

baptism: claiming and naming the ritual, healing and creative arts practice i am building and the creative community i have longed for and found.

renewal: time by the bonfire, beside the lake, under the stars, in the rocking chair and underneath layers and layers and layers of blankets. a kick*ass art-in-nature class led by Christopher Frost - all day, outdoors (my true, true home). refreshing my writing practice in a class led by the delicious Jen Lee. and, "Breathing Space."

leaping: a vow to cultivate play, vitality and being big and a request for my creative community's support in this.

i am - soaring on...


Jennifer/The Word Cellar said...

Your story is unfolding. I'm so glad to be a small part of it and to have you as part of mine.

viviennemcmaster said...

i truly loved your reflections on s.a.w, learning about your healing journey and connection with your sister.

feeling so blessed to have met you!

Helen said...

That's just beautiful.

Cheering you on all the way, Gem....


pen* said...

gem, it sounds like SAW was every bit the magic you expected and needed, and more.
how wonderful to be able to marinate in such beauty, understanding and acceptance.
may those feelings stay with you always.

Anonymous said...

honored to be with/beside/witnessing your brave journey, my friend. ((hugs!))

stacy said...

coming to your cabin that evening was one of my most favorite moments. you are so sweet and radiant and if i could have, i would have curled up there the entire time with you, danielle, jen and everyone else. thank you for being you and sharing yourself with us. you are truly a gift. xo

Lauren said...

I'm so glad to be part of this journey, and to have you be part of mine.

Jen Lee said...

Thank you for all the ways you share yourself with us, and the world.

postcards from... said...

i absolutely loved meeting you and spending a few moments in your presence. hope you are travelling well since SAW.

daisies said...

you are so beautiful and radiate such presence as you continue to soar down your path and i do think that we don't necessarily need a dock or a fire to share some conversation. i am just starting to find my routine again after being away but would love to find some time to talk with you .. hugs and love, xo

Kirsten Michelle said...

such an honour meeting you hug to hug ... having connected heart to heart.
you are a bright and beautiful light.
love and blessings,

Jeanine said...

i'm so glad you introduced yourself at squam, pretty lady. such a treat meeting you. big, big hugs.

Susan Tuttle said...

gorgeous reflections on SAW -- I love how you describe Jenna as a guide -- that she is:)