July 7, 2004

Camp is green and misty and sunny and sparkling in the morning. It is buzzing and vibrant and clean. In the evenings Camp is quiet and calm, alive with the soft fluttering of the moths that pose so well as bits of leaves and bark, caught in the breeze. This morning I awoke to excited voices and the sound of the gong and the morning air drifting through my little garden shed. Last night I awoke at three and stepped outside, looking out at the stillness, contented to my toes.

The staff here are visionaries. They are motivated and good-hearted and in love with their art and with teaching. They are silly and fun and talkative and inclusive. Every day I laugh so hard that my ribs hurt, rocking back and forth, my legs swinging under my chair. Every day I connect with someone I had not known the day before. Every day I work with artists who are excited not only to help the kids, but also their peers. We are all excitedly working toward our ideals.

The campers are intelligent and funny and caring and committed. They are respected members of our community here, and they in turn respect the staff and their fellow campers. This morning I taught an eleven year old how to juggle. This afternoon I helped a sixteen year old with a new poem. Yesterday, a fourteen year old taught me how to throw clay. This afternoon a ten year old instructed me on how to spin plates.

I have been trying to write about camp for awhile, but I keep stopping short when I try to form words for this incredible place. I am happier than I have been for a very long time. I feel challenged and alive. I feel liked. I feel lucky to be surrounded by so many artists and friends. I feel grateful to be so busy doing the activities I love. I am in constant amazement by the young people here.

I had forgotten about this feeling of contentment by the end of last spring. I allowed myself to be wrapped up in situations that weren't worth the energy. I was anxious when I had time to spare, unsure of what to do. I felt uninspired and a little bit lonely.

Here at camp, there is simply no time to be idle. There are too many people to feel lonely. Every situation is worth all of the time I can give to it. At times I am wildly happy, running from the glass blowing shop to the music shed for a concert, my eyes blurring with joyful tears, my hoodie wrapped round my waist and my sandals scuffing against the dark pavement of the hill. At other times I am quietly content, my feet up against the porch wall after dinner, drinking a hot chocolate and blowing away the mosquitoes. The energy of this place sustains me. I am happy here.

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