Saturday at Squam was pretty good. There was breakfast and then there was gentle yoga, which we skipped, and “No-Stress -Storytelling” with Camille DeAngelis which my mom and I decided to participate in.
My mom was on a search for coffee so she missed the beginning of the workshop where Camille (who played Cards Against Humanity with us on the Thursday night) talked a bit about the 2 books she wrote and that if she could do it, anyone can (which I strongly disagree with – I’m 99% positive that I don’t have the attention span or memory to write an entire book). The part after that was where we were shown two tables; one had all these pictures on it and the other one had cards with words on them.
These were my prompts.
After you chose a few prompts, you were just told to free write until you felt you were done. I don’t know what my mom wrote but I’ll post what I did (as bad as it is):
The twins in the stained glass window, while looking in opposite directions, each held a glimmer in their left eyes while the moonlight held that glimmer in the window’s colourful glass. They watched the arguing congregation before them with the patience of a Hindu god but without the wisdom to intervene.
“Watch them! Watch them through the full moon and see for yourselves the havoc they wreak,” said one of the townspeople. “They are not angels of our God but demons of the horned one! We must destroy this window and destroy them in the process, it’s the only way!”
“But what harm,” said the town scholar, “do you perceive them to have caused? Your crops failed this season because the rains never came. A piece of art does not control the weather.”
“But what about my Mabel?” wailed Annie Butcher in reference to her very pregnant teenage daughter. “She says the angels came to her in the night and seduced her with their evil charms. Who knows what kind of child will be born unto her. A child of light, I highly doubt!”
“Johnny Kingston put Mabel in the family way and we all know it!” shouted someone in the back.
“And what of my missiing sheep?” asked a man in brown, corduroy overalls and a John Deere baseball cap.
“And my pigs!” shrieked Mrs. Jackson. “All my spring litters were born with deformities, they were not fit for human consumption and had to be drowned. The angels did that, you mark my words, the angels did that.”
“Generations of inbreeding did that,” said the scholar quietly as the congregation all stared at him, boring psychic holes into his face with their stares.
And all the while, the angels looked anywhere but at them from their shiny place in the church window, their gazes to the left and to the right but never down as the moon illuminated their faces and cast yellow, green, red, turquoise and purple light across the faces of each townsperson.
While they may not have been looking down at the congregation, they were definitely listening and they were pleased by the discussion. They had nothing to do with Mrs. Jackson’s hideous pigs or Mabel’s situation, but they were happy that the scholar was injecting some sane ideas into the minds of an otherwise closed community.As the angels listened, they sent down soothing twinkling light, hoping to calm the congregation and make them open to these new ideas, if only to save themselves from their own destructive fate which was at the center of the discussion.
“This is a piece of art,” said the scholar. “Made hundreds of years ago and made a part of our church by the gods themselves. I see the phenomenal craftsmanship involved and its beauty while others in this room ascribe to these angels something sinister. My question is “Why?” What makes you think these innocent cherubs inherently bad? Why is it that you can’t accept the possibility that they could be responsible for the good things in your lives?”
“What good things?” asked a pruney old man sitting in a front pew. “I’ve been living here my whole life and nothing good has ever come out of this town.”
“Are you a good person, sir?” the scholar asked the man.
“Of course I am,” he spat.
“Then there you go,” said the scholar. “We’re all good people and good things happen every day. Look at these angels in the moonlight and envision them filling the room with love because that’s just as likely as hate and this is a building of faith, so maybe let’s try having some from now on.”
The room was silent as they all looked up into the innocent faces of the angels.
The angels were pleased with this turn of events and shone down white, shining light that filled the room with love that made the townspeople’s fingers, toes and noses tingle and from that night forward, the townspeople felt comforted by the nameless cherubs in their glorious stained glass window at the front of their tiny church.
I told you it was pretty terrible, but that’s sort of the point, to just write, to write ANYTHING, to get it out and see what sticks because that’s the awesome (ugh, I said it again) thing about writing, you can keep all the good parts and just get id of the bad parts, then you can add more good parts from other things to it and arrange this here and that there and voila, you have a nice little story! Admittedly I could have done better if I was given more time to think about it but at the same time, I think if I thought about it too much, I might have frozen up and not written anything. I’m not sure.
Here’s a picture Camille took of me and my mom writing:
After writing there was Vinyasa but my body’s just not ready for that yet so we skipped that and went back to the cabin where they were setting up the catered lunch of all the weird bean and corn salads and corn chowder and cookies and brownies.
At 1:15pm while everyone was at our cabin, Longhouse, having food, they took a group photo of us all on the stairs where my mom, Belinda, Brian and I all have prime real estate. I will absolutely post it when it becomes available so I can tell you about some of the people in it who were in my classes who were great. (No one was not great.)
After lunch the Squam fairies set up an open studio space full of limited art supplies which was just okay. I think it was mostly so people could finish projects they’re started earlier in the week. There was lots of paint but no brushes. There were these blank journal things we could take and play with but we needed to go get ready for the art fair before I got to finish the picture I was drawing in mine.
I didn’t take any pictures of the art fair in full swing, but I should have. Now that was a crowd. I did take some pictures of the wish tree outside though and my mom took some of me putting wishes on the tree. Behold!
Me tying my first wish (of three) to the tree.
My first wish. <3
And just as an aside, my mom wanted me to show you guys the path we had to take every single day for every single meal …and this is the part that DOESN’T have rocks…
There were things like this all over the place, put there by Squam fairies who were never seen:
These are known as “wish bombs” and I really wish I knew where they got those tickets.
These guys were on the path on our way back from breakfast Saturday morning.
This is the famous Squam Lake, as seen from our cabin’s back porch.
My mom being a freak.
My mom patiently supporting my photography passion.
Okay so the art fair. I can’t even begin to guess how many vendors were there but there were a LOT and most of them were super expensive. I didn’t bring my camera so I didn’t get any pictures of the dining hall all done up for the fair (did I mention there was free beer? I don’t drink beer, but still!) but Brian did capture my favourite part of the decorations. See, in each cabin there are ice boxes instead of fridges and what an ice box is, is a big metal box where you load up the biggest “cupboard” with ice harvested in the winter from the lake and that keeps the rest of the cubbies cold. Well, the people who work at the camp took those ice blocks and made these neat luminaries out of them by drilling a hole in the top and another hole in the back and this is what they look like all lit up:
The paths to the art fair were lined with these ice luminaries and it looked amazing!
So at the art fair, my mom bought 3 issues of Taproot magazine for her friend Jamie, signed by Amanda Soule who is the editor and apparently one of Jamie’s muses. My mom also bought a bag that says “Just be true.” and I can’t remember what else. I bought a white tank top with black writing that says “gentle spirit badass motherfucker” on it (which I got from this lady) that I wore to the grocery store and people were totally staring at me. That’s okay. I bought a greeting card that I’m going to frame from Paper Taxi that is a Roald Dahl quote (one of my heroes) that says “make sure everything you do is so completely crazy it’s unbelievable.” and an Alena Hennessy print of an Anais Nin quote that says, “I must be a mermaid. I have no fear of depths and a great fear of shallow living.”
At the art fair, Thea hunted me down and gave me a one shoulder hug while I introduced her to my mother. Then Thea started spewing all this stuff at my mother like, “your daughter is such a special ray of light, a creative soul who needs to be nurtured, a glorious human being…” and all kinds of stuff like that that I honestly don’t really remember, I just know it was really weird but also sort of awesome because NO ONE in my life has ever Carebear stared at me like that, in a way that actually like, changed my life.
Then she asked if she could take a picture of the two of us on her iPhone and this is that picture. I’m going to print it out and hang it in my office:
And I almost forgot! Which is stupid because I’m wearing them right now! Saturday between dinner (we had to fend for ourselves so we got AMAZING sandwiches from this little deli in town while Belinda and Brian went to an arcade) and the art fair, while I was internetting and I;m not sure what my mom was doing, there was a knock on the door. So I yelled “COME IN!” and it was Belinda and she was like, “I haz a preeeeeseeeeeeent for you!!!!” and she presented me with my very own “Dick in a Mouth” hat from Korea (long story) and these adorable turquoise fingerless gloves with pink flowers on top. Check them out, I LOVE them!
I love them! I’m wearing them right now!
Belinda got herself a purple pair and I’ve convinced Blake that he’s going to make me all kinds of these because they look pretty easy to make and we have a sewing machine, so why not? Belinda also – at the arcade – went in a photo booth and gave me a crazy strip of photos of herself that says “I freaking <3 you” at the top and “xoxo <3” at the bottom. I have that stuck up above my desk so I can always see it.
Meeting Belinda (and Brian too) was just the icing on the cake. We’ve known each other since 2001 or 2002 but this was the first time we’d ever met and I think we got along just like this was the 100th time we’d met. I mean, I talk to her online every single morning and have forever and she is exactly the same online as she is in person. Which is a really good thing because sometimes people aren’t. I wasn’t worried though. In fact, I really can’t wait until they can come up to our house for a few days to hang out and meet our kids and Blake and maybe Ronny and Alex because I think we would all get along so well. And we could play Cards Against Humanity!
Sunday morning was pretty uneventful. We went to the dining hall for breakfast for the last time and while I was eating ice cream, my mom brought Elizabeth over to sign my Creative Pilgrimage book in which Squam is featured and she thanked me for bringing Belinda, who she said she had a connection with, and Brian and of course my mom. She wanted to know what I had taken away from Squam and I said I wasn’t sure yet (I’m still not sure, but I feel stronger for having gone, so that’s something!) and then she signed my book: “oh sunny you found your tribe. may you continue to vibrate to that same good vibe. love love love <3, e“
After breakfast, we all went back to the cabin to start packing. I’d started the night before so I really only had my electronics and toothbrush to pack up. As I was packing, Belinda and Brian came upstairs to our room to say that they were leaving and that they wanted to take pictures of Belinda and I together which I DUH had never thought of so of course I went down to the dock with them and this is the best of the pics we took I think. I’m going to have this picture framed for my future office for sure:
I love Belinda so much. You have no idea.
And that, my friends, was Squam. I’m all out of pictures. I’m all out of stories, except for the few I think I’ll keep to myself because you really had to be there.
So I guess this is it! A huge thank you to everyone who chipped in to help me get there. I truly had the best time despite a rocky beginning and would go again in a heartbeat. I’m trying to figure out a way to go with Blake next year but we’d need $2400 for tuition and $400 for gas and a few hundred dollars for spending money because everything in VT and NH is so expensive and you can’t not buy stuff at the art fair, everything’s just so beautiful. Oh and I bought a pink New York t-shirt at a rest stop and a blinking keychain thing with Blake’s name on it because we never see stuff with his name on it and I got Madison some perfume from the duty free shop and Wes a stuffed lemur. And 15 bags of Cheddar Cheese Pretzel Combos. The rest of my money was spent on food and drinks and I took $281 US with me and I came back with $23 US. If Blake came too, we’d need at least $100 more than that. So yeah, we’re still trying to figure out how to make it happen. I also guess it depends on what classes they’ll be offering too.
Anyway, something to think about but not too deeply. It’s too early.
Okay, I’m going to go start clearing off my desk and actually I’m feeling a little bit brave so I might go take a walk and take some pictures of things. I haven’t decided yet. (I should really nap, but hey, I can sleep when I’m dead!) *poof*
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