Thursday, June 14

it's how you focus your lens*

stolen photo above taken by Stephanie on Amanda's camera 

It's not often that I stumble about when I sit down to write to you.  In general, though I may not know what I have to say, I tend to dive right in and start swimming.  Tonight, I keep putting one foot in the water, or one sentence out on the page and pulling it back.

I don't know where to begin.

Do I tell you about the light, the luna moths and the luminosity of the weekend?  I've already done that and can't double up on myself.  Do I tell you that this was the largest gathering we have ever hosted and I received exactly one complaint from anyone (attendee, teacher, RDC all-inclusive) over the course of five days?  Do I tell you I feel a deepening here of a community that has taken root, a group of people who stay in touch and support each other through the year and then are every bit as welcoming, gracious and openhearted to people venturing to the lake for the very first time?

I don't know where to begin.

And so that's where photographs help me so much.  The photo above isn't even mine-- Stephanie took it I am assuming on Amanda's camera since I found it at Amanda's and stole it-- most brazenly.  I had to have it and am trusting they will both understand.  In the best of all worlds, a snapshot captures a moment and keeps it aloft, forever suspended in the ether when the magic of that river of time would otherwise be rushing past, lost in the current of a full and busy day.  This photo carries so much meaning for me.

There we are hanging out-- we have all crawled out of the digital dimension of our blog / email connections and are fully present, three-dimensionally, making each other laugh, savoring the light on the lake and an afternoon of physical beauty.

There is Lauren--- uncanny that she is tucked in the back almost out of view since that is so often her role at Squam--- let me tell you about that girl: she BUSTED ASS.  She worked so hard, so unceasingly, with a smile and a warm word for everyone from the moment her eyes opened each morning to the time she fell into bed.  There is no way on earth 200 people would have been registered, classrooms prepped, teachers readied without her.  No way in hell. 

Oh, and she managed the entire Squam Art Fair which was such a stellar success I had vendors trying to give me money for 2013 to guarantee them a spot-- I kid you not.

My little rock star.  I just love her to the moon and back.

And there is Christine carrying her second son due next month-- I call her Sissy and she is my neighbor and one of my dearest friends that I wouldn't even know if it weren't for June squam which is where we met, lo these four years ago.  And this is true for Amanda as well.  A bewitching soul who has been such a part of my journey and evolution into my role in the squam community-- I would not know her personally if it were not for June squam 2009.  (Plus Annabel, of course, the darlingest wee empath and gentle spirit you ever did meet).

What you can't see in the photo but what I know is on the other side of the porch is the Lettuce Knit crew:  Megan, Denny, Natalie, Stephanie, Jen & Marlowe.  The kind of people who make the world a better place.

So, the first thing I would try to tell you about last week would be the people.  But this photograph above is one moment out of, oh I don't know-- 18 hundred thousand?!  Moment after moment, image after image, conversation after conversation.  Oh, and lots of hugs.  People are quite huggy at squam and I am one of the worst offenders for sure.

The top of the week was rather overcast and partial to drizzle.  However, Friday morning, I slipped out to the dock at 5am and sat with the clear sky getting pink as the sun came out from behind the mountains and warmed my head.


Yes, I do sit on a pillow when I meditate.  Am old.  Need soft things under my butt.


It was a really good way to start the day.  The kind of start that fills your chest cavity with a certainty and peace that you can carry with you for miles and miles, perhaps months and months.  I'm thinking it might be kind of like how camels carry water.

You see why I had trouble sharing what last week was about?  It's feeling, sensation-- ephemeral.  Hard to put into words.  Hard to capture under glass.

If you want to find more comprehensive tales of the please go here where I have posted out a list (which I'll keep updating) of people's stories and experiences.

I got back Tuesday night.  Today was the first day that felt more normal and back in the groove.  The buds and I headed out to the farm for a walkabout.  Although they are missing the giant snuggles and rub downs they get from Dave-- they seemed pretty happy to be snuffing about familiar grounds.


catch you on the flip side--

bisous, e

*the answer to the question:  how do you always seem so happy?


  1. I had reservations about going to Squam this year, not sure why or if I ever will really know why, but that no longer matters. My experience was even more powerful than my first SAW which was exquiste. Was it because 10 of us from Nirvana were in the water for a half hour on Sat afternoon, yes the water was chilly, no it was cold and the friendships warm. Was it becasue I stepped out of my knitting comfort zone in a supportive environment? My lens is now clearer. Still have yet to finish unpacking. I can't quite put Squam all away. Elizabeth-Thanks for all you do.



  2. Even if you feel like you can't find the not fret. That feeling pours through my computer screen and bathes me in light. I look forward to it every year, and every week it happens. Thank you for answering that question. I love the lens you share. xoxo

  3. well, damn if you haven't managed to capture a bit of the squam magic in your words after all. like megsie above, i feel bathed in light.
    p.s. so glad to hear that squam is very huggy. i love me some good hugs :)
    p.p.s. love the way you focus your lens...

  4. In the end the words are really so unimportant with Squam. Coming home this year, I'm convinced it's what you bring home with you. The friendships, the memories of the laughs and the hugs. Those are the things that fuel us until the next meeting.

    Thanks so much for building just a fantastic community.

  5. love reading your words, seeing your journey through them..
    Can't wait to give you a big squeeze in September.


  6. Oh I how I loved seeing your smiling face Elizabeth, and the familiar peace that inhabits that lake through your lens. I look forward to September.


  7. Oh Elizabeth, I wondered how you experienced Squam. You make it look so effortless, churning out the peace, the hugs, the permission to go with it and have a good time. Thank you for putting on Squam, for your support last year, for your hug this year and making me feel special. How wonderful to know that Squam feeds you as much as it does us. xo Kelli

  8. I love love love that last photo.

  9. I love all of these pictures.....I can feel the magic of Squam coming through my computer screen.....and I can't wait to experience Squam for myself in September! I don't know everyone in the first picture know....the one you borrowed.....but the person in the middle with the baby on the hip....well I have to know where she got her outfit from!!!

  10. Hi, first time in your blog and simply felt so connected! I am a writer from Mexico City, I am a blogger too and have Canadian roots (and family). I adore visiting the cottage at the lake every Summer (will visit at the end of July) so when I saw your pictures, I felt so connected to the moment and to those women you mention, since it seems to me that Squam is a great way of connecting and reloading energies. Congratulations on your effort, and of course, as you say, the only way to keep ourselves happy almost every day is in the way we focus our lens: our attitude towards life and its beauty. Getting around with inspiring people is such a great way to keep ourselves inspired. Your moments of being at the lake, 5 in the morning, couldn't be better described cause words don't usually feel enough. Love, Cynthia


thank you so much for sharing your thoughts with me-- I love that you stopped by and hope something I shared was what you needed today. xo, e