Back in the middle of January—we put out a call for some focus on love for this second week of February that is all about Valentine’s Day – the idea at the time was to offset, or expand, the traditional experience of that day.
I can tell you definitively, I had NO idea what was about to roll into my mailbox. I had NO concept of the magic that people would make and share.
Oh my word—you guys—photos simply don’t do justice— for those who will be with us at squam—I cannot wait for you to see them in person. I love that we have created this tradition for our gatherings and hope to add to it each year, through the year.
Below are the spirits who took the time to create these beautiful pieces filled with so much intention and heart. I am absolutely filled with joy and appreciation.
ZOE MAJA MCINERNEY
Zoe doubled up the joy for us with a beautifully stitched circle of Joy with a knitted heart at its center AND the sweetest knitted red heart with two stitched eyes—a happy heart, I am thinking. As you will see-- we begin with a heart and end with a heart-- I couldn't have planned this if I tried. And it matters to me so much that joy is called out for here-- a circle of joy.
On a bright red card, Michelle wrote, “how to fit the meaning of squam on such a small space!? It holds such a ginormous space in my life. From the soul sisters met, to the recognition of my self, to the creative freedom realized, to even the lake itself- tied to my family for years. Pieces of me fell into place at Squam Art Workshops and allow me! To Emerge a better ME. Does it sound big? It IS big! Really, really ginormous. I am so excited to return in June and downright giddy to attend by the sea. Such big things are shifting for me this year and SAWs will be milestones along the journey. Enclosed was the EMERGE butterfly.
I posted about the arrival of our very first love banner ornament here. In Amy’s note with her “You Belong Here leaf” she wrote: Thank you seems inadequate, but . . thank you! For dreaming up squam and making it happen. I’m looking forward to dangling my feet off the edge of the dock and dreaming some, myself. Here’s my contribution to the love banner, some words I think others might need to see, too, on a bright spring leaf. I always need reminders in January and February that Spring will come to New England!
So if there is one piece that you simply must hold in your hands it is this hand-stitched totem of loveliness created by Jennifer Finn. Jennifer created an embroidered sampler with a gorgeous red heart at the top on a cream background and each line in a different color of thread. It reads, “Art is my constant companion My dearest repose 2012” In her card she thanks us for the opportunity to create it—but OH, Jennifer—thank you!<-! We will treasure it always.
Straight from the j.millie studio comes this darling doll who holds a banner that reads: ‘She Believed she could so she did’ – filled with energy and so many stitched details you have to see her up close to appreciate all the care and thought that went into making this sweet lass. I am particularly struck by the silver filigree butterfly tied to her neck-- how did Judy know? At our very first gathering in 2008—we likened it to a “puddling” of butterflies . . oh my. Such a perfect reminder of our beginnings and courage for the journey ahead.
Sometimes I don’t have words to express my feelings in response to a gesture, this is one of those times. Bonnie sent along a quotation from Agnes Martin that reads,
OF ALL THE PITFALLS IN OUR PATHS AND THE TREMENDOUS DELAYS AND WANDERINGS OFF THE TRACK I WANT TO SAY THAT THEY ARE NOT WHAT THEY SEEM TO BE. I WANT TO SAY THAT ALL THAT SEEMS LIKE FANTASTIC MISTAKES ARE NOT MISTAKES AND ALL THAT SEEMS LIKE ERROR IS NOT ERROR, AND IT ALL HAS TO BE DONE. THAT WHICH SEEMS LIKE A FALSE STEP IS JUST THE NEXT STEP.
What catches my heart most, though is in the note Bonnie explained that this very piece of paper has traveled with her over the years (and has the pin marks in its corners to prove it) Bonnie writes that she created it years ago when she was “feeling despondent about where I was going as an artist.” I love that she shared it and love thinking that it may also mean that it has brought such strength to her artist core that she can now release it to the next person who needs the support.
Although Molly has never traveled to squam for one of our
gatherings, in fact she has—in her heart and spirit—that is what she shares
with us and what I love so very much.
That our community, via this blog and the internet—is open to all
whether you can be here in person, or not.
In Molly’s note to us she writes, that her son doesn’t understand the
valentine she created for us – WHERE THE HEART HAS JOURNEYED THE FEET WILL
WANDER—“maybe I don’t fully understand it either, but I do know that my heart
has journeyed to Squam. I’ve walked the
edge of the lake, run and jumped off the dock, stomped in time to live
music. One of these days, my feet will
do all this and more. But for now, I
send a small part of me to join my kindred Squam spirits (and a little bit of
my chickens, too!*)
*chicken feathers are tucked around the hand-stitched heart at the top!
MICHELLE DZEMA (& Bailey, too!)
Another child that got involved with the squam love banner was Michelle’s 6-year old daughter, Bailey—who made one for us, too! Bailey’s circle of love perfectly complemented her mother’s lovely message of encouragement. Bailey’s says, “You’re meant to be here!” and Michelle’s reads, “you . . .yes, you!” Oh the sweetness!! So much goodness in these simple words--- I know they will reach out to so many who may still have feelings of uncertainty. And how utterly delicious that Michelle and Bailey created these together for us as we have so many mothers and daughters who attend squam together—that spirit is represented so clearly here in these ornaments that will always hang in unison.
Heather writes, “thank you so much for providing such a magical place to rest, recharge and create.” Her beautiful “squam” heart is made out of natural materials and feels like the essence of squam itself: simple, heartfelt. At the top, Heather has attached a beautiful iolite stone with a feather. The iolite is for connecting with spirit, soul work and creativity—oh MY! Don’t we all want to walk under that powerful piece and have its mojo sprinkle down onto our heads?
How could we possibly have a love banner without a knitted dove holding an olive branch? Right? Oh you guys, Adie knitted us the most beautiful dove with a butterfly riding on its back and a note that says, “wishing you joy, peace, laughter and love—holding you in the light – 2012 Again, you have to see this—it is so darling, I want to tuck it against my heart and keep it close all day--- so filled with spirit it is.
And, with perfect sweetness and perfect simplicity—Louise knitted us a pink heart that will sit at the center of the banner as it grows. Because that is what it is all about—keeping love at the center. When things get rough, uncertain, confusing, and hard—because this is life after all where things get rough, uncertain, confusing and hard--- and what keeps us grounded and on track, is love.
Thank you ALL. We are blessed.
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