As some of you know, six years ago this month I traveled out to Port Townsend to attend Artfest an experience that cracked my life open in the best possible way.
In 2006, I worked a corporate job that had me feeling isolated and lost. And in all honesty, a bit crazy as one of my recurring thoughts was, why am I not happy when I have a perfectly good job? What is wrong with me that when people come into my office and tell me about the shopping they did that weekend I wanted to staple my ears to my desk. And if I was so damned keen to do something else, why wasn’t I able to find the energy to do any of the things that did interest me on weekends or at night?
For me, the simple answer was: I had no tribe.
No doubt there were good people all around me it’s just that we didn’t have goals, dreams or visions in common. At Artfest I found people who understood me, who saw me, who felt one of the best possible ways of spending a Saturday afternoon was getting their hands messy with paint, glue, canvas, paper—or whatever. Playing with art supplies, using traditional techniques of knitting or sewing to make cool things— making their home and their lives beautiful with hand-made objects—this was what they were doing as part of their regular lives and I was all in.
Squam was founded on the idea that there are some people who want (dare I say need) creativity at the center of their lives and it would help us all to gather up and connect about these shared passions.
Fast forward to this weekend when the mailman dropped a package on my doorstep that held a copy of taproot.
As I sat with it Saturday night, drinking tea and reading it from cover to cover, I could not help but be struck by how much my world, my life, my days have changed since that long ago gray March morning when I boarded the plane for Seattle.
Amanda Blake Soule edits this beautiful magazine, someone I met for the first time with Squam Lake in view out the window. In this issue are articles by two women I know well: Maya Donenfeld and Christine Chitnis. Again, I met both of them through Squam, but this is not about specific people or personalities—what I felt so deeply when I held this magazine in my hands two nights ago was that important connections are being made that lift all of us up, that help all of us find our center and our joy in the midst of living life which has its full share of challenges and change.
Indeed, part of what delighted me most was discovering all
sorts of new people I might otherwise not have crossed paths with, most especially
the artwork of: Phoebe Wahl, Linsey Gray
Frost, Holly Ward Bimba (and just so you know, there’s so much more:
wonderful writers, photographs and the work of the always marvelous Jennifer
In its opening letter, taproot asserts that it is grounded in a desire to address the revolution that is happening: “the kind of revolution that’s happening in people’s homes, backyards and neighborhoods. People are taking stock of what is really important in life.” I’m kind of thrilled to be part of this growing community that is so much more than one gathering or one magazine, one blog or one podcast—it is all of us connecting from a place of, dare I say it, soul.
Things have continued to expand for me exponentially (which is what will happen as you get on your true north path) and as my interests and ideas expand, so do the courses and focus of what we offer at Squam, but I loved this reminder to keep my heart rooted in what got it all started in the first place: an open door for anyone looking for new experiences, kindred spirits and unlimited creative fuel for a strong and healthy life.
On that note—stay tuned—we have something wonderful we hope
to announce on Thursday!
Sending you all best wishes for a really good start to your week.
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