Posts Tagged ‘friends’

Morning magic

It’s been over three months since I returned to Melbourne from the United States and another Squam experience.   Suddenly I find myself at the end of the year without having written this post, which has been floating around my mind since the end of September.  If I am honest, I have been struggling to find the words to describe my time at the fall Squam session and the matters that have come into focus for me subsequently.

If you are like me, there are moments in your life which you remember as perfect, golden flashes that are captured in your memory like precious photographs.  Squam in September was a continuing series of those instances, one after the other after the next.  Meeting my soul sister Camille and driving together to Squam Lake from southern New Hampshire, hearing Elizabeth calling my name through the woods as she came to greet us when we arrived at Rockywold Deephaven Camps and then enfolding me in one of her wonderful hugs.  Our full moon ceremony in the Longhouse following our skunk magic experience (about which I will let Elizabeth write in due course).  Sharing my hope of more love of all sorts entering my life, and instantly receiving love in response from Elizabeth and Camille.  Placing my favourite crystals on Eldorado’s dock in the light of the full super moon after it had risen over the lake.  Taking Tara Morris’s life affirming and exuberant photography class.  Sinking into the introspective goodness of Camille’s writing class.  Feeling all the emotions swelling up to my surface and manifesting themselves in constant tears – happy, joyful, grieving, revelatory, random, embracing.  The buttons of my camera under my fingers as I raised the viewfinder to my eye again and again.  Being told that someone wants to meet me because she’s read my blog and likes my writing (me! my writing!).  The sunlight seeping through the greenest of green woods and striking the lake water each morning and again in the evening.  Meeting new friends even though I feel that I have known them forever.


These are just a few of the shining moments that return to me over and over again.  As I said to Elizabeth in a recent email, the beautiful space that she creates for us at Squam Art Workshops is the most unexpected and perfect gift because it allows us Squammies to do whatever feels right creatively at any given moment – even if that creativity demands immediate napping or swimming or sitting by an open fire in your cottage being silent amongst the chatter.  I’ve spent the last three years or so growing so much as a person and being at Squam with such wonderful people and in such a transcendent environment feels like the reward for all the hard work that I’ve done.  Squam is the place where I am entirely me in the rawest and purest sense possible, and it is also the place where I have been the happiest and most at peace for a long time.  Each time I’ve come away from Squam with new soul sisters and a deeper knowledge of my capacity to love and to touch others.  I’m also learning that, while Squam is indeed a magical land of wonder and love, it is also something that I take with me every time I leave.  It is something that I remind myself of daily, and which I try to incorporate into my day to day life far away from that New Hampshire lake.


I was reflecting on this one morning in November when I was reminded of the word that I chose to guide me through 2014.  Of course, I had forgotten my word by around 1 March, but that sunny November morning brought it all back to me for some reason.  I chose the word “connection” because at the end of last year I felt disconnected from many of my loved ones and from myself in a visceral and concerning way.  I wanted to feel connected to the important people in my life, and connected to me – my emotions, my spirit, my self.  Even though I’d completely forgotten my word, it came tumbling back to me that morning and I realised that everything that had happened this year had moved me closer and closer to my word.  From yoga in Bali to time with friends at home, finding – remembering – new soul sisters and my tribe at Squam, allowing time for creativity and love, living as close to my essence as I dared – all of it was guided by my inherent desire for “connection” even if I wasn’t conscious of it at the time.  How lucky am I?

Squam has been such a massive part of 2014 for me.  Revelatory, embracing, kindred, family, and big, big love.  It has changed everything.  It inspires me daily.  I am counting the days until I get to return to the lake shores in June 2015.

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I miss this place, and I miss you guys. Life right now is about snatching precious starburst moments with beloved friends and family, as well as listening to my body and what it needs from me right now. Apparently what I need is a lot of sleep and plenty of caffeine. Yes, you’re correct – they do seem to be mutually incompatible.

I hope you are all well, and happy. I’m thinking of you.

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It is good to love many things, for therein lies the true strength, and whosoever loves much performs much, and can accomplish much, and what is done in love is well done.

Vincent van Gogh

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Friday night pyjamas

My friends are my ‘estate’.  Forgive me then the avarice to hoard them.

Emily Dickinson
Letter to Samuel Bowles, August 1858 or 1859

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2013-07-12 18.21.58So, sometimes life is super tough. Right now I feel like I’m failing all over the place – work, friends, loves, families, habits, photography, images, words, friends, work, friends, family, creativity, loves, travels, courage, and did I mention work?

This week has been calmer than previous weeks, for which I am extremely grateful. It has still been as stressful as previous weeks, which is apparently par for the course right now.

Where do you want to be right now? And what do you want to be doing? If you didn’t have to worry about cost or implications or impressions or reactions, what would your heart be telling you to do right now? I keep asking myself these questions over and over, and I wait and listen and strain to hear the answer. Sometimes I think that I hear the answer, and other times I’m sure that I can’t hear and that I will never hear it. The most that I can promise is that I will keep straining and trying to hear it in the hope that somehow and somewhere I will work out what my heart wants and how I get to what my heart wants.

What does your heart want? Here is what I know: NYC calls to me. I want to create words and images that capture your imagination and inspire you. Images and words that capture my imagination and inspire me. Perhaps that place is somewhere different from where I am right now, but I am ready (or nearly ready) to embrace any change that comes my way. I am ready to open my arms and my spirit and see what happens. I promise to embrace everything that I feel in my bones and that calls to me. I promise to reach out for new experiences and words and images and loves and

I miss this place and I miss all of you – and I feel like I am letting each and every one of you down by not posting more regularly. I am so grateful to everyone who has continued to follow this small place despite its inactivity. More grateful than you can know.

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I’m in Sydney at the moment, spiralling up and down depending upon how much caffeine I have in my system and how close to the edge I’m feeling. Everything is pretty mental right now.

Thank goodness for photography and friends and loving family and upcoming trips (with the promise of lots of photography and relaxation and culture and food and wine and …) and sleep and red wine and fluffy doonas.

Stay well, friends.

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That perfect tranquillity of life, which is nowhere to be found but in retreat, a faithful friend and a good library.

Aphra Behn

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Some of you may recall my excitement on the birth of baby E back in July – a Bastille Day baby, for those Francophiles out there.  Baby E is now 13 weeks old and thriving – long legs, frowning determination, delighted with the discovery of her hands, and giving lovely gummy smiles when the joke/noise/action is of an appropriate level of silliness.  She likes goats milk and the Hawthorn Football Club.  She doesn’t like having clothes pulled over her head or being kept waiting for said goats milk.

Last week baby E’s parents asked me if I would be her godmother.  I can’t tell you how thrilled and proud and honoured I feel (I said yes, obviously).  I love that kid, and I love her parents.  That they want me to be a permanent part of baby E’s life – and their family’s life – is enormous and amazing.  I feel so privileged to be able to play this role for baby E, and I love that not only are her parents my always friends, but now they are chosen family as well.

I am very lucky.

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Hello, lovelies, I’m back from my travels in Vietnam and Singapore.  I got back 3 days ago and have been trying to reacquaint myself with “real life” since then.  To be honest, I feel a bit dazed to be back in a place that is so very different from where I’ve been for the last few weeks.

I’ve got so many things to tell you and a ridiculous number of photos to show you, but I’m not quite ready to start yet.  I spent quite a bit of time writing while I was away, as well as jotting down notes here and there.  It’s hard to put into words all the sights and sounds and smells and impressions that I experienced, let alone the stories that I have to tell.  I am still processing in my head everything that I saw, so I expect that there will be a series of posts over the following weeks as I work out exactly what it is that I’ve taken from the trip.

Some of the highlights of my trip?  The crazy traffic in Hanoi, that moment swimming in Halong Bay early on a Tuesday morning, the beauty of Hoi An and its beaches, being directly confronted by the destruction caused by the Vietnam War at My Son sanctuary, accidentally ending up in Cambodia, amazing times with some of the best people in the world in Singapore.  And the head space that I needed so badly.

I feel humbled by what I’ve seen and experienced, as well as expanded.  Definitely worth it.

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I’ve been talking about aspects of my trip over at The Baraza if you’re interested …

Hope all are well!

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