I'm so thankful for Kirsten Crilly, and the way she captured the magic moment that the Squam Art Fair was for me. It was one of many things I had never done before at SAW, and getting me there and ready was a labor of love for so many of my friends.
My sister, Meg, came up with the table's overall design and concept (I lack this skill set completely). She coached me like the people in What Not to Wear, and then I went shopping by myself, armed with her advice and my phone camera for her final approval. Tilky labored with amazing thoroughness and attention to detail on my signs. Hula hooked me up with packaging supplies for my first photography art prints ever available for sale.
My friend, Jenna, devoted herself to me for the evening, driving me, parking the car, helping me set up and run the table all night long. Having her by my side helped me relax and have fun, like we were third graders playing with a lemonade stand on the corner. So did all having so many of my students, cabin mates and new friends stop by with their encouraging smiles. They all held me in love, when self-consciousness and nervousness were lingering at the edges, grumbling that they weren't invited.
By the time we ate our dinner and got to the venue, we only had 20 minutes to set up the table, which was three feet longer than I expected it to be. But still, everything kept working out. Andrew helped us unload heavy boxes from the car. Susannah pulled the photos out of their baskets and propped them up for easier viewing. I counted at one point, and no fewer than eight of us had somehow contributed to the table design, decorations, signs, the last-minute appearance, and even taking photographs to remember it by.
That was a huge accomplishment for me. Only a year ago, I was doing projects by myself (or trying to) because I didn't want to wait to collaborate with anyone else. Speed was my primary concern back then, and few people could keep up with the pace I was keeping. It resulted in work that felt thin, even to me.
Now, a year later, I don't believe in doing anything alone. I believe that being together trumps getting things done. Always. And the person I get to be in the world when I'm being together instead of going it alone is so much more joyful and healed than before, I wouldn't dream of going back.
Friendship and love. They are my ticket to magic.