It Was So Much More Than That
I’m slowly making my way through the re-entry that comes with returning home from attending a creative retreat. Although I’ve gone through this type of landing and resettling twice before, it still feels surprisingly rocky and discombobulating. As bumpy as this internal re-gathering time is, I wouldn’t trade it for anything.
My time at Camp Shutter Sisters was … some word I don’t even have in my vocabulary. Yes, more or less, Camp was a photography retreat with break-out sessions ranging from iPhoneography to shooting macro to post-processing. But it was so much more than that. Yes, I did learn some tips and came away with new ideas for my photography. But I left Camp with so much more than that. In the words of another Camper, our time there was an “epic meeting of kindred spirits.” And that truly is the best way to describe the three days when 70 or so women gathered together, connected by a common love of photography.
As I was packing for the trip and then flying to California just a week or so ago, I had all of these fears and worries running through my head. Did I pack the right stuff? Did I bring enough cameras? Did I pack too many cameras? Would my photography measure up? Would I feel like I am really a photographer and “enough” of an artist to be at this retreat? Would I connect with other people? Would I fit in? Would I be seen? Ahhh…there it is…that’s the real question, the deepest one, the biggest fear. Would I be seen?
I realized during my time at Camp that being seen is resting heavy on my heart. By being in connection with kindred spirits and new sisters, I began to really feel the weight of this, the ache of it. Although I feel a well of pain around this need and realization, I also feel swells of joy. Joy because this was my gift from Camp ~ to truly honor my need to be seen and to actually be seen by others. How beautiful and amazing it was to be held in this way. *sigh* And, one other thing this deep realization revealed to me…we all want to be seen. Every single one of us yearns to be known and seen for who we really are.
So yeah, Camp Shutter Sisters was a photography retreat. But it was so much more than that.
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