"The month of November makes me feel that life is passing more quickly. In an effort to slow it down, I try to fill the hours more meaningfully."
I've been struggling these last few months with a lack of creative inspiration. Nothing seemed to catch my eye or spark a desire to go out and shoot. I took a hiatus from Facebook, Flickr, and my blog; I flaked out on posting my '10 on 10' compilations each month; even my IG presence was fairly low. I basically stopped showing up. I thought, erroneously I now know, that by limiting my exposure, my presence online that the pressure to 'create something new" would be lifted from my shoulders. That I would feel free to create as I pleased with no thought as to whether it would appeal or please anyone else. After all, I reasoned, this was my year to 'Breathe'; to 'Be Still', to focus on me. In reality quite the opposite happened. I stopped creating all together except for the occasional IG post, and even some of those were forced. After a few months of this I realized I was missing something: interaction with my fellow creatives, my on-line friends, my cheering section on IG and Flickr and here on this blog (oddly, said with tongue firmly planted in cheek, I still don't miss my daily FB fix.) I knew I needed a push to get back to creating but I had no idea it would come in the form of trip to Southern California to join with 10 other women at 'Gather, California', a creative retreat put together by Kim Klassen and Xanthe Berkeley. When first told of this trip in mid-September I hesitated in even asking my husband if I could possibly attend. His business/travel commitments were reaching an all time high and with 5 kids still at home it's rarely an easy thing to coordinate all their activities even when we're both available. But, I did ask and he said, "yes!" It took a little bit of coordination with my husband and my in-laws but all my responsibilities were covered!
I truly can not put into words what those three days have meant to me. Even more than the inspiration I've received it's the friendships that have begun that are the real blessing. I hope to post more about Gather and what it meant to me at a later time, but for now here is a glimpse into the beauty, acceptance, joy, and love that defined my time at "Gather, California".
|The lovely and completely fab Xanthe Berkeley!|
|Gifts from the sea.|
|The beginnings of a beautiful mandala.|
|No trip to the beach is complete with out a sand-pail full treasure.|
|A little bit of biota still life play!|
|The theme for the retreat (at least for me)!|
|In the LAUNDRY ROOM! What I wouldn't give for that laundry room!|
|Another theme...perfectly fulfilled with love!|
|Attention to detail.|
|Mindfulness put in practice.|
|Messages in vintage bottles.|
I do hope you've enjoyed this little glimpse into my time at 'Gather' this past week. I am so thrilled to be back here, in this space, sharing with all of you!
Please continue on the "10 on 10" blog loop and visit the lovely Connie. And don't forget to leave her some comment love while you are there!