I've been writing this post for over a week now.
I had such an incredible experience at Squam this year. Again, I felt so impressed and so inspired, I was completely blown away by my incredible students, I got to spend time with some of MY FAVORITE PEOPLE ON THE PLANET, I made so many new friends, and I was given a gift that I could not have given myself in any other circumstance, and it has taken all week to really process it and except it.
I want to share what happened and maybe you might find a little peace, comfort, or help for yourself.
I feel like I was given the gift of falling. I had an opportunity to sing with Jonatha Brooke on Friday night at the "Coffee House". I listened to the song for about 45 minutes, went over the words through dinner, and then sang through it about 4 times with her. 2 hours later, having not heard the song again, I got up to sing, and I bombed it, and I was mortified.
When trying to get to the real root of why I was so torn up about not doing well under really tight crazy circumstances I discovered that I wasn't allowed to fail. For myself. But the crazy thing is I looked back, and I never had. I had never dropped a line or a note, I had never not turned something in. I have never allowed it. The more I looked at it the more I realize I prided myself on being in a sense untouchable in that way.
I was so embarrassed and I was really tired, and the more people came up to me and told me how beautiful it was, or how moving it was, the worst it got. I wanted to explain that I am classically trained, and that I have performed for years, and always picked things up in the past, and that nothing like this had EVER happened, but it didn't matter. That's what I've learned in the past week as I have continued to process this. My reasons for being upset didn't actually matter. But I couldn't see what they saw. All I could see was that I had not done my best, and that in the past, it would have been perfect.
So what if it had been perfect? It would have been a nice song. It would have been very pretty, and it would have perpetuated this self imposed need to always be polished even on the tightest of ropes. See! now we are tapping into the real emotional robot stuff. So I truly feel like it was a gift. That had never happened to me before, and for something like that to happen in such a beautiful caring place, I will be eternally grateful.
I learned that I just can't take myself too seriously. When and where do you learn that lesson?
I also learned that I allow others to fall without judgment, but it wasn't something I would have ever allowed myself. No one loved me less. No one thought I was a failure. Jonatha STILL loves me, AND the world didn't end.
Squam is a beautiful amazing place. It's not just about knitting, or sewing, or printing, or painting. People come and open themselves up. It's like everyone is walking around without their armor on, and it's only then when we can truly allow ourselves to grow and change. And it happens every time.
You can eat ice cream for breakfast. You can stay up until 3. You can make something you never thought possible. You can learn new things. You can come by yourself even if you're afraid. You can allow yourself to fall. Someone is going to catch you. What more could you ask for?
And so my love grows deeper for this time and place. Thank you for picking me back up again.
watch this beautiful squam video by the beautiful Jen Gray.