Monday, June 11, 2012

Squam Stories: Knitting on the Porch

Hey, y'all. I'm back. After thinking it over, I decided the best way to share about Squam was by periodically showing a photo and telling you the story behind it. It's hard to summarize the entire experience, but I can say that the biggest gift of this short time away was mentally handing the responsibility for the kids over to my husband. I realized that my brain quieted in the woods; I was responsible for nobody but me. My cell phone didn't even work in my cabin. I called my husband to check in once or twice each day, walking the path towards the dining hall with my phone in an outstretched hand, triangulating for a bubble that AT&T reached. But before I left I made sure school knew to email and call him, not me. Whatever was going on, it wasn't my responsibility. I didn't realize how quiet my brain had become until the drive home. It had switched back on fully by the time I reached Boston. That quiet in my head, what a gift.

So, this photo. I love it. It was taken by a cabin-mate who was also a classmate in Fiona Ellis's class, which we took split between Friday afternoon and Saturday morning. I was sitting on the porch knitting the same wee triangle over and over, trying to get what I wanted and failing each time. I look so relaxed, but in truth I was just about ready to throw the yarn into the lake--which I could see through those windows right there. As the afternoon wore on I was feeling worse and worse, with an upset stomach and a descending brain fog that made me feel thick and stupid. Something not-good had sneaked into my lunch somehow (I felt better by about 8 that night, although I skipped dinner). Luckily I am aware enough of symptoms to realize that my stupid-feeling was just that, a symptom, and not evidence that the class was beyond me. I was able to approach the second half the following morning with a much clearer head. In the meantime, I just knit that same triangle over and over, knitting and ripping, knitting and ripping, and what better place to do it than on the porch of a cabin, looking at a lake, sitting next to someone who made me laugh all weekend?

That's the story of this favorite photo and of Friday afternoon.

15 comments:

Michelle said...

:)

I'm so glad you had that space to breathe. And think. And be.

Love that picture!

I was sick all weekend. I don't think have fever today . . . yet. More later, after I try to down some coffee.

Jill said...

You're BAAACK! Yay! I'm so glad you had that time, and I love the picture too. And I love hearing the stories behind the pictures, good idea. But oh, I missed you. I hope you feel better, Michelle!

Jen said...

What a beautiful picture! I thought of you and all the other Squamies (Squamers?) all week/weekend! I can't wait to read everyone's stories. I'm so glad you were able to be there and turn off the outside noise & just be.

Karen Isaacson said...

beautiful picture, welcome back! looking forward to more stories.

Maegan Beishline said...

I have been thinking of you and wondering how your time at Squam had been. I'm glad to hear that (aside from feeling a little sick) that your time was good and refreashing! I'm hoping my head quiets in the woods as well come fall!

Donna Lee said...

Turning off your brain. That truly is a gift. And how wonderful to be able to give the gift of trust to your husband to take care of your babies while you were gone. I know he's a perfectly competent individual but you know what I mean.

I'm glad you had a good time. I love the photo.

lamina@do a bit said...

Oh how wonderful to have a quiet head for a bit :) Sounds like you have a fabulous time! Great photo!

MadMad said...

Sounds like you had a nice and much needed mental break! Can't wait to hear more!

Victoria said...

Your experience sounds wonderful, and I love that picture. Welcome back!

Bells said...

ok, finally sitting down to catch up. I have thought of you a lot over the weekend, wondering how you were going and what it was like. I love this photo and the story. Even the chance to sit and knit and rip must have been a blessing. Looking forward to more stories. I like this approach, a photo and a story.

Suburban Correspondent said...

Yes, that brain quiet is awesome. I need to do that.

Rose Red said...

Back already! Wow! Looking forward to hearing more of your Squam stories. Brain space is a wonderful thing.

Val said...

Hi from California. I smiled when I saw this picture. I am so happy to have spent such lovely quality time with you.
xxxxx

Christina said...

The picture of you is wonderful. So glad that Squam gave you a chance to turn off for awhile.

I felt the same way when I was on my way back to work on Monday. I hadn't realized just how much I had turned my brain off and just how much at peace I was feeling.

Stephinie said...

I am looking forward to reading more......