Last night I spent about three hours gathered around a picnic table (Which is also known as the dining/art table at our house!) sharing food and wine and stories with a dear friend.
A friend who has been out making some new stories recently, having to do with shiny jewelry and some interesting travels. A subject, I might add, she and I will be returning to later!
You will be delighted to hear that the beasties were excellent hosts and laid quietly under the table hoping, no doubt, that if we were going to drop things on the floor they’d be paper-thin slices of copa, or even tiny leaves of endive stuffed with tuna, as opposed to, well, roasted brussels sprouts.
We re-membered ourselves through several knee surgeries and a couple of romantic break-ups and a passel of dogs and way too many episodes involving dry needles on her part and four-letter words on mine.
It felt, rather surprisingly, like summer camp.
Perhaps it was the picnic table. Or the weather. Or the moon.
Then there’s the fact that I’ve been on a bit of a camp nostalgia tour lately.
You see, long before I was the chair of the camp committee or the camp nurse, I was a camper. And a counselor in training and a counselor and program staff.
And, as I’ve mentioned, it was always my job to remember all the words to all the songs from one summer to the next.
Today, I remembered some more words. You see, I went to camp in the 1970’s. And some of the songs we sang came from the Broadway musical, Jesus Christ, Superstar. (Which turns out to be a bit more complicated than I expected, as well.)
Oddly, I am, in this moment, in the midst of painting projects having to do with both Mary Magdalene and the Holy Mother or, in a more inclusive sense, Bella Mama.
I got more than a bit behind today. It had to do with the technical challenges of live streaming and the need for a nap after last night’s lovely dinner.
Honestly, I’m not quite sure yet where all of this is headed. And I’m way okay with that. I do know that painting the elements of creation dripped (literally) with stories of camp and with more than a few tears, which we add to the paint.
The camp I grew up in had a very ecological orientation. It was also strongly oriented in what we might call the archetype of the Divine Feminine, though I had no notion of those words in those days.
I had no idea then that when we picked the trash and the odd pickle out of the dust pan on our turn to sweep the dining hall, so that we could return the earth to the earth, we weren’t simply being neat.
We were, in a very real sense, becoming people who would, one day, vote.
When we sat under the full moon, filtered through the branches of ancient long leaf pine and turkey oak trees, and called circles around the fire, we were doing as women had done from the beginning of time and calling it good.
While, at the risk of being redundant, becoming people who would, one day, vote.
And some of us, at least, have undoubtedly become grandmothers, making marks on canvas saying, “I am here,” and teaching our grandchildren that they are here, too, in the midst of a world that needs us all.
So many things to re-member.
A word which, in Hebrew, also means to re-mind.
Which is, when you think about it, not a bad day’s work.
Even if I am a bit behind on the actual paint thing.