when i went to squam last year i was incredibly excited to meet that beautiful woman on the left, my friend leonie. in fact if truth be known, a few of us spent the night at a beautiful restored mill turned inn in new hampshire the night before squam and talked about who we were most excited to meet. i blushingly admited my girl crush was leonie and just between you and me, she totally lived up to all my expectations,
i mean, hello !!
and then there is the woman on the right. going into squam, i didn’t really know much about her at all so it is a complete mystery to me why i signed up for not just one but two classes that she was teaching. and now i wonder how on earth did i blog for this long without becoming a faithful reader / fan / stalker of the amazing jen lee?
almost two decades ago i fell madly head over heels in crush over natalie goldberg and i devoured writing down the bones (among others) and wrote heaps of poetic prose in mad rushes in pink paged notebooks with purple free flowing pens. well over a decade ago, i read a travel book by henry shukman called savage pilgrims: on the road to sante fe and i fell madly head over heels in love with new mexico and when he got to the part about meeting natalie goldberg, i nearly lost my mind. seriously. incidently, though this book is out of print, it really is quite brilliantly engaging, his prose is incredible and i have since re-read it more times than i care to admit.
what is my point? did i have a point? am i really going to compare jen lee to natalie goldberg. why yes i am. because she lit a fire under my butt that hasn’t been lit since back when i was reading natalie goldberg.
at squam i purchased, take me with you, a journal for the journey and then when i got home, i promptly put it on a shelf with the stack of half finished journals and did my best to forget about it. i did not, however, forget about jen and the impression she made on me as i started seriously thinking about writing again and storytelling and faithfully stalked her blog. and then she did it, she started, journey together in january. um. of course i was so in. over the holidays i organized my studio, i created a beautiful space to write, i painted. i painted a lot. i took photographs. i stayed silent on my blogs as i do every december. i stayed silent in my journals. i don’t actually believe i wrote anything anywhere (other than a splattering of facebook and twitter updates) in december. and then i watched part one in the journey. AND. I. HAVEN’T. STOPPED. WRITING!
It all feels very powerful and insanely private. but then a few nights ago i was talking to a dear friend on the phone and i suddenly found myself reading to her the first batch of words that i have journeled privately in a very long time. the words i wrote based on a prompt jen gave us. and it felt good. i was thinking i would share them here but please remember, they were written with the thought that no one would witness them and they are raw and unedited but its real and honest and me. rather than subject you to actually having to read my childish scrawl (though i thought about scanning them), i thought i would read them to you …
and a brief hello … very brief because as i was recording, my battery died so it cuts off rather abrubtly ;-)