I always want to write a blog post after each Squam but composing at the computer feels cold and mechanical. The softness and soulfulness of the Squam experience requires pen and paper. And only then can it be moved to the computer.
Squam by the Sea...what can I say about it? The best Squam ever? It was certainly one that took me out of my comfort zone with a three-day painting workshop by Flora Bowley (hint: I'm not a painter). But after taking online workshops with Alena Hennessy and Sarah Ahearn Bellemare, I approached this workshop with no fear--only curiosity and a child's mind.
The words that describe the Squam experience are not coming easily. Squam fills my soul to the brim--I am energized and at the same time at peace. I become more open to possibilities and ideas bubble up, seemingly out of nowhere. The negative voices (I am not an artist, I can't paint, I am mediocre) fall away and I realize down to my core that, yes, I am an artist and I can paint and I'm not mediocre.
The love and support of the women who attend Squam enable the flow of creativity. A confession: After my first spring Squam in 2011, I was a bit disappointed. It was a nice knitting retreat, but not life-changing (or so I thought). Slowly, slowly the change happened and after Spring Squam this year, I could see that yes, indeed, Squam changed my life. The changes are small but they have a large impact.
I'm still floating from Squam by the Sea. Re-entry has been soft...I replay the sunrise walks on the beach, relive in my mind the feeling of putting paint on canvas, the discussions at mealtimes about how we can achieve our dreams.
I'm at a point in my creative life where I want to do all the things: paint, cook, draw, knit, photograph, spin, weave, write... And wanting to do all the things leads to a paralysis, where I do none of the things.
I challenge myself to get up early and do one thing each morning and one thing each evening, even if it's only for an hour.
Being able to express myself creatively is no longer a luxury or something that I will get around to after I take care of those things thing need to be done (work, laundry, housecleaning). It has become a necessity.
Bright blessings upon Elizabeth and everyone at Squam who has touched my life and helped me realize my creative potential.