It Was So Much More Than That

Monday, October 24th, 2011 17

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.

17 Responses

  1. Lindsey says:

    Oh, I’m so thrilled that it was marvelous … and that you were seen, as I was sure you would be! Can’t wait to hear more and see more pictures too. Love your little green hearts. And I have that very same mug – but in orange. Love. xoxo

  2. Looks absolutely wonderful. Love to you. xx

  3. Mae says:

    it amazes me how so many of us felt the same way going into camp. it was such a wonderful thing that tracey, jen & myriam did to start us off on the right foot by acknowledging these hesitations and giving us permission to release them from the start. by doing so, i think it really allowed camp to be, as you say, so much more than that.

    lovely post. thank you for sharing and so incredibly glad to have met you & spent time with you last week. so glad we’ll be together again in january! {hugs}

  4. Corinna says:

    This makes me cry. In the best kind of way. Can’t wait to SEE you again.

  5. oh sweet colorful thing you are all mine come January and I plan to monopolize all your time while we swap stories about permission and facing fears in the new year. You are an artist with such a beautiful light.

    Shine on.

  6. Jess Greene says:

    Beautiful and well said. That is one of our deepest needs I think. I always feel that way going into those situations…and feel so elated when I am seen…and always surprised when I find that others have this same feeling. But I shouldn’t be. Most of our feelings are common at one point or another. xo girl! Wish I was there with you.

  7. Meg says:

    A lovely and courageous post, and good luck with the steps you are taking. I can relate to the ache from the desire to be seen, really seen so much but like you try to trust the universe and keep moving forward. As Julia Cameron says, don’t worry about the big picture, keep working on the little “what next” steps. And well done for getting a book proposal out!!!

  8. tara says:

    so much yes to this. xoxo tara

  9. Glad you had such a marvelous time!

  10. Celina says:

    It sounds like it was a truly life changing experience. So glad that you got the chance to go, I know you have been looking forward to it forever. xoxo

  11. Grace Moore says:

    This makes my heart so happy. Happy, happy, happy.

  12. exactly ~ you said it all and then some…you were seen and thank you for seeing me along the way 🙂
    miss you dear friend

  13. hillary says:

    sweet sister meghan, wowza, you said it. you found the one, the most important thing. and the realization that being seen is universal? (makes me think of the na’avi in the movie “avatar.”) we can take that everywhere we go. our vulnerable selves remembering that we are meeting other vulnerable ones. namaste, my friend.

  14. Kim says:

    Wow, sounds like you had such an amazing time! I’ve never gone on any sort of photography retreat or workshop type event, but I’d love to someday. I can only imagine what kind of lifelong connections that may arise!

  15. GREAT post! I wish I was there! Sounds incredible!!!

  16. Melissa says:

    Such a wonderful post and beautiful photography. I can’t wait to hear more about it!

  17. Darlene. says:

    So glad camp shutter sisters was good for you
    Wonderful photos – I will be at the next one!!!!

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