back from the mystic

My Journal

On Labor Day weekend, I returned home from a week away teaching at Squam Art Workshops "Into the Mystic", a retreat held at the soulful Sevenoaks Retreat Center in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia.

I am so full from all I received.  And that beautiful type of energy exchange also leaves me tired in the sweetest of ways.

I stayed in my nest of covers and soft sheets until 3:30p with not bit of guilt, knowing it was exactly what I needed.

That Sunday morning (that turned into late Sunday afternoon), Michael brought me coffee and breakfast in bed.  I read. I ate a candy bar slowly.  I rested. I cuddled a sweet chihuahua.  I napped in the sunlight.  I had an honest and beautiful conversation with my daughter propped up on pillows.

I needed this time to soak up all the goodness from the week and also to realize that the most magical part of it was the subtle shift in me. One week of teaching, making and dancing in firelight and starlight had softened me.  And also gave me courage.

Propped up on pillows and under blankets, I reached out to friends of mine with feelings I had that were hard to say.

I communicated these feelings with a deep love and my friends communicated back to me with the same deep love and understanding.  I was asking for a bit of space in our togetherness.  What could have caused a divide instead may have brought us closer.  They understood.

At our last breakfast together on this retreat, a few us of played a bit with a large seashell I had in my bag, some brilliant little handmade dolls and a hand that a "lion rider fairy" had gifted me.

We had an epiphany.  That the visual art we made together in just a few minutes depicts life itself.  Our hands and hearts reaching out to others and then our need to pull back into ourselves.  This is a beautiful dance.

I am going to set that seashell up like this in my studio so I can remember this week and everyone of those amazing women.  And honor that need to recharge and retreat daily.

I brought what felt like my whole studio along to teach my altered book process.

I returned home lighter with so much more than I came with. No surprise as it happens like that every time I teach at Squam.

The teacher gets taught.

And her heart is so full and grateful.


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