(photo by tracey clark)
(photo by jen lee)
i'm stumbling over my words today...bear with me as i sound downright dramatic, like a teenager in love.
i've been in manzanita, oregon for several days with the lovebombers (a group that started last year - more details here and here and here). it's been several fat and full days of spontaneous joy of the best kind - the kind of days where you say outloud to anyone within earshot, "this is the best day ever!" truth be told, i can barely believe my luck in having landed in such a rich community of women.
the day before we arrived in manzanita, jen and i were in portland gathering up food and getting ready for the weekend. there was a moment inside a sweet little downtown cafe where i confessed my worry: what do i really offer to this gathering of women outside of the mechanics of organizing our weekend, our carpools, our housing arrangements? how can i insert my heart + soul into these next few days when we're all together? i wondered if any of the other women were feeling the same.
(bottom 2 photos by karen walrond)
what i'm learning is that we all have our misconfigurations of heart. sometimes we're downright blind to our offerings and to our trueness. and then, perhaps with a bit of resistance, we meet one another face to face in the exact spaces of where we are on any particular day: fulfilled, not fulfilled, tired, blissed out, overworked, in love, confused, not confused, and on and on. and then, the magic happens. all of our combined lives and gifts and moods converge for one very large display of lives + friendships in the making, in the real, like cracked open hearts finding just the right balm in the puzzle pieces of what's been laid out on the table. it's the unplannedness and the spontaneity of this convergence that makes it so downright special, like the most important happy accidents of our lives.
(photo by karen walrond)
(photo by karen walrond)
i've learned so much these last several days about how the simple act of having fun creates an intimacy between friendships that soothes and fuels. in between important and enriching conversations, our weekend together was all about impromtu dance parties in the dining room, bonfires, and lots of singing outloud to lionel richie and other classics. it was gathering around and doing collaborative paintings together - some of us discovering our inner artist for the first time. it was playing dress up for silly and fun glamour shots. and painting our toenails hot pink. so yes, in my quest for deep connection i sometimes forget that simply having fun is often the most important portal to creating intimacy in our relationships. what a gift.
(photos by karen walrond)
i am so honored to be a part of this circle of women. we lovebomb one other all year long through phone calls, emails, letters - all in celebration and support. but the very best is when we see one another in the flesh for a few days of heart + soul care. thank you, manzanita, oregon. you hold such meaning. and thank you jemen, jen, jen, andrea,hula, katherine, tracey, myriam, karen, ali + anna, brene, alex (missed you mati) for all the rest, the love, and the silly.
more photos and thoughts soon (i have so much to say)...
ps - for those of you who are longing for a specific community, i want to encourage you to go for it. the lovebombers were born out of a yearning, from the feeling that something was missing. i strongly believe that we must create the experiences our hearts most need - that's how lovebomb was born and the same is possible for you....really, really.