whew. okay. i'm somewhat landed, although this day is filled with dentist and vet appointments, so this may be brief, but maybe not.
first - i went to this retreat 2 weeks ago. I will say right out of the gate that it is not for everyone - there are outdoor showers and composting toilets (outhouses, basically). some cabins do have indoor composting toilets. some. It was fine, but not for someone looking for a 4-star resort. but really, not so bad. loved taking an outdoor shower. loved it - the birds, the lake shusshh-ing...a fantastic way to wake up. along with Chloe's peanut butter & jelly muffins. damn. I was happy to gather with a group of art women. there were about 15, so a much smaller group than i'm used to gathering with. this was good, in that you got to know everyone pretty well, and the island was big enough that you weren't jammed in next to someone you didn't jive with. I'll say, my big disappointment was that i signed up specifically because Jess Greene was teaching some encaustic classes that i really wanted to take. i've followed Jess, and admire her style, plus met her years ago at Squam. i didn't see her wednesday night, and when i asked, was told "it wasn't going to work out for her." so yes, i got pissed, thinking Jess had cancelled because she wasn't going to make big bucks. that wasn't the case, as i found out a few days after the retreat. she had been cancelled by the event planner about a month before the retreat, but the people who signed up for the classes were not notified. i get it - there was a risk that people would cancel, and this year in particular every registration counted. the thing is - i squeezed out the cash to go. i would have cancelled, yes. there are about 1000 other very important places for me to put that cash, and i went specifically because of Jess. now, that being said - did i meet people i enjoyed? yes. did i experience rustic living and live? yes. i guess the time was overshadowed by the 2 missteps. one, being the change in encaustic instructors (yes - the classes went on, but after the director fell violently ill the 1st night, the other instructors divvied up the classes and my encaustic class was taught by her daughter) and also because of this - my embroidery class was taught by a children's book author, rather than the internationally known artist who uses thread in her installations. stuff happens, and it was not the end of life, if you look from a broader view. it was however, enough of a disappointment to me to leave a bad taste in my mouth. i wasn't expecting a carnival and over-the-top experience...i was not looking for deep truths to be revealed within my soul. i was simply looking for 2 workshops taught by 2 specific instructors, and that was not what happened. let me stress that everyone was amazing and accommodating and friendly and awesome to hang out with! I completely enjoyed everyone's company. but had i known then what i know now, i might have made different choices. lesson learned.
right now i am working with Lion and Golden Eagle.
wishing you a day of dignity and heads held high, and knowing when to hold 'em...when to fold 'em....