i’m in!

this little thing called perfection…um, yeah…not working for me.

thank you brene brown for this call to action to set ourselves free!

i love her work. she often talks about those things that we don’t want to necessarily see about ourselves, or express. but she does it in a way that makes it feel safe and ok to talk about. she opens a door…  her latest book is about perfectionism, and she says:

“Perfectionism is a twenty-ton shield that we lug around thinking it will protect us when, in fact, it’s the thing that’s really preventing us from taking flight.”

i know, right? powerful stuff, and we all know it to be true. so if  you’re feeling tied down declare your freedom on her blog (i just did!) and check out her new book: The Gifts of Imperfection

getting my soul known again…

my hands in flora‘s class …photo by christine chitnis

i never seem to be able to put into words what squam does for me…i have the best intentions, writing notes to myself about this and that moment, and i get home tongue-tied because there is just too much…

but these words – sung by our jonatha, and originally written by woody guthrie  – have been running around in my head for more than a week now, and express it in a way that feels the best:

“I fully aim, to get my soul known again
As the maniac, the saint, the sinner, the drinker, the thinker, the queer
I am the WORKS, the whole WORKS
And it’s not ’till you have called me all of these things
That I feel satisfied, I feel satisfied.”


because it is there at S.A.W. that i understand that i have the soul of a painter, a poet, a mystic, a tree nymph, a siren, a seeker, a healer, a lover, a listener, a muse, a guide, a teacher and a student…and it is there that i can fully embrace the paradoxes. there is nowhere else on earth that i’ve yet found that satisfies all of these things like that lake, and those days, and all the amazing co-creators of that experience. we each show up, with our baggage both literally and figuratively and we look around at everyone else’s bag and say “you know, i have one that looks just like that, and here we are together at last. and i get you. i see you. where have you been all my life?”

S.A.W. breaks me down gently, with just enough (literal and figurative) discomfort to put me safely out of my comfort zone, to wake me up, to give me compassion for those that are cold or anxiety ridden or lonely or sitting in self-criticism, and then it fills me up in such a way that i walk through those woods tear-filled, love-filled, and compassion-filled with my arms and heart wide open and ready to serve…

and i know elizabeth’s vision calls to me…and i know my soul answers.



a pristine lake

pine trees

twinkle lights

old friends

new friends

fresh air

paint in many colors



cowboy boots



spontaneous dance parties

fire in the fireplace

ice block candles

and did i mention the laughing?

lots and lots of laughing…

i was talking to an imaginary friend last night as i was packing, trying to explain why i was bringing what i was putting in my suitcase (do you do this?)…and i realized, i’m just braver at squam because i feel i can be totally and completely free and experimental. the voice that says “you look ridiculous/too young/dress (act?) your age” is silenced. in some way, i feel like i’m going to play dress up with my friends so i bring all my favorite things… and last night i was really wishing for some fairy wings and a tu-tu to go with my cowboy boots.

puppy love & stripes…

cute right?

post-earl play…

ice cream!

so, all is well down here. for us, earl was more bark than bite, and we are very lucky that was the case. it’s fall now. cooler, crisper, sharper… i still haven’t gotten over the feeling that september is supposed to be the start of something new, and i miss shopping for school supplies and making my mark in fresh new notebooks. bittersweet…the end of summer, isn’t it?

(oh and fall – please don’t tell summer – but you’re actually my favorite).

outer bands on the outer banks…

surfing yesterday

a reminder of how fragile we are here

sunrise this morning

nothing too dramatic, just the outer bands of hurricane earl passing overhead with their distinct north and westward spin…

locals here are playing a small game of russian roulette, surfers surfing amazing blue-green warm water tubes, kite-boarders pumping up their kites next to al roker. all essentially procrastinating about doing what needs to be done in case of a worst case scenario and as is the nature of island escapists, hoping for the best. worst case? landfall of a powerful, intense, category 4 hurricane at about 2am (during high tide of course). if earl makes landfall at this strength, it is certain to be one of the top 10 most intense hurricanes of all time, causing catastrophic damage with a significant storm surge. and as it passes the sound water will rush back to flood us from the west side too.

best case, a sideways glance and a rainy, popcorn-filled, movie watching day with some good friends and good, solid gusts for thrills.

so i have a full pantry, 5 rented DVDs, some trashy magazines, a to-do list that includes picking up all the potential projectiles from the yard and carport (things like flowerpots and garden tools), and a list of the valuables to pack in the car…the photos, journals, hard drives, and art. irreplaceable. a tragedy to lose…the rest of it, you have to be prepared to set free.

and that’s the lesson…what’s important? a truism just brought to the forefront because we’re being asked to choose.