Sunday, July 31, 2011

My wardrobe is completely out of control.

Somehow I've managed to accumulate enough clothes at camp to pretty much hold a normal-ish person all year round. I'll be here for thirteen days. Unnecessary and mildly embarrassing.

Two quotes, unrelated.

First, from my mother, via text, after she found out that I had gotten a haircut:

"You have bangs? Oh, I'm so sorry."

Second, from my uncle, regarding the ideas of forgiveness and judgment and humanity:

"Forgive people what they say. Invent a possibility that that's just the highest expression of love they're capable of at the moment."

Elaboration on "blankets."

Alright well first of all, Chris, sometimes it's frickin cold at night in the mountains, even in the summer. But I wrote "blankets" because I was given one by a friend this summer. This relates to the "Goddamn weirdness" bullet point as well.

Saturday, July 30, 2011

I am exhausted, but awake for absolutely no reason. Why? Why?

Many apologies, as usual, for the dearth of posts on this blog in the summertime. I've had this as a draft for several days, and I keep considering the idea of turning it into an actual entry, but... no. Nope. Not happening. Some thoughts:

I really do function better with structure.

That being said, I love the part of the Lead Counselor job that means that I function mainly as a resource for staff. I think I miss knowing the campers, though.

Skinnydipping with (biodegradable) soap and stargazing as God intended*--beautiful. Beautiful.

Corn shucking

A visit from a best friend, and some excellent conversation.




Stinging eyes



Goddamn weirdness (both good and bad and what-the-hell) between friends. Love triangles included?

Successful birthday presents

Frozen yogurt outings, as usual I suppose

Articles yet unwritten

Sing-a-song compendium

Ask me to elaborate on things if you'd like me to, and I'll try to get that done.

*Aka naked

Saturday, July 16, 2011


I really need to sleep, but it appears that I also really want to write. It's 1 am, of course. Convenient.

Friday, July 15, 2011

A sleepy reflection

A new (to me) love song came on the radio as I drove home today from Camp, and suddenly it seemed like such a great time to fall in love*. The world just felt like things were clicking into place, and (despite the fact that I rarely meet new people) this could happen any time. Bam. Soulmatehood.

I mean, this shouldn't be too difficult, right? I'm pretty awesome. You, theoretical mystery man, are pretty awesome too. We'd be great together. So it's cool, you can go ahead and show yourself now. No need to be shy. Just step right on up. Let's buy some finger jewelry and make a whole bunch of babies.

I say that like I'm good at relationships. Love songs (and the effects thereof) are so ridiculous. Annnd just a little bit frustrating.

In other news, this:

It was 7:40 am. Eye circles are my prerogative. Taken post-staff-morning-yoga, and at the swim hole, obviously. I've gone to morning yoga twice now (that makes two and then three times in the past ten years that I've intentionally woken up before staff meeting), and each time at the end I leave and walk toward the creek. I stop fifteen feet shy of the water and take off my shoes as though I'm stepping onto a holy ground of old concrete and grass and gravel, and walk carefully to the ladder, descend three steps, and sit down with my feet in the water. The slanting sunlight is savoury on the water--rich and delicate. And when I run my hands along the skin of the stream, it feels like cool silk. I've been late to staff meeting both times.

And this:

This is Daniel, and he is magical, and this picture took us about fifteen tries to take. We ran out of time during snorkeling interest group time, and then finally succeeded (with a camper behind the camera this time) at Pool Night. 

And look where I get to work:

I like this picture. Please don't steal it.

*Yeah, I know. Weird.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011


I have no cabin this week--I'm not technically on staff--and it's been a blur of velvet water and morning yoga, big hugs and secret missions and smiles and fireflies in the trees. There has been love and new understanding, and (unfortunately, though perhaps unavoidably) anger between campers, between staff, and between staff and campers. I hate this. I suppose I am blessed in my ability to hold my temper longer than most, but what I feel is disappointment and frustration with my friends and coworkers. (I love them wildly still, but, I suppose, no longer beyond all reason.) Maybe I should be more sympathetic with the need to vent and process, but there is such a fine line between venting and meanness, I feel. And for me, conversations of that kind feel like a tar baby. It all seems so harmless at first, and then I find myself stuck further and further in the mire. I want to make it better, but so often I end up enabling or even participating instead.

On the plus side, regarding campers (present and former and future), God, I love some of them so much. I love them all, but some really have holds on my heart. As I said, the CiTs can get me every time. And one that I've known for five years gave me this lecture, though (for this repetition, at least) he delivered it to JP:
"JP, if you had a favorite counselor, one who had always been there for you, who had always been there to meet you at the bus on the first day, and who had been there every time to say goodbye to you at the end of the session, but this year they weren't there at the beginning and then you found out that they were leaving early, how would you feel?"
He has always been an excellent camper, comes from an excellent family, and has been a wonderful CiT. I so hope to work with him next year. And I hope he isn't too upset.

Our only junior counselor this session, who honestly does not seem like a junior counselor at all, has given me a very similar hard time, which makes me feel quite guilty and sad (more so than I already did), but which also makes me feel so loved.

In any case: hugs and secret missions, cicadas and fireflies and warm velvet water in the early morning. It is heaven here in these woods.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011


Sometimes it is when I am the lowest that I appreciate beauty the most. Two nights ago I was in a foul mood for sure (thanks to a situation which has been addressed and clarified, if not entirely rectified), and after campfire I found myself sitting cross-legged on an inner tube by the swim hole (which is, hands down, my favorite place to spend a warm summer evening), watching the water, feeling weepy, and singing prayers into the night. I wasn't dressed for swimming, but I remembered things I had written about this water, and I watched the bats swoop above and the fireflies meander over the stream. I love the grayness of the night, and I was a little shocked to notice that the fireflies constituted the only spots of color I could see--or rather, they and their tiny neon green reflections.
Later that night, after a very necessary conversation and after offers from my friend Dean to do things like drink five gallons of scalding water "to cheer me up," I took Miley for a walk down the driveway--a choice which keeps me away from sleeping children and coworkers, but which also gives the very best available view of the stars and the moon and the horses on the hill. The sky was not as filled with stars as it sometimes is, but there was a fantastic partial moon, which had swollen and turned honey colored as it began to set, and there was a horse standing up on the hillside, perfectly silhouetted against the deep blue sky, which raised his head to look toward us as we passed by.

Yesterday I was not in a dark mood. It was a pretty average day starting out, and then the swim hole just felt amazing. And I spent some time with Melissa. I was helping with swimming stuff for three hours, and then spent all of dinnertime beaming around at my friends, siblings, coworkers and former campers. I get like this especially when the CiTs are here, and especially when I have the chance to step back and take a good look around. It's easier to be appreciative when I don't have a cabin, but a good group of CiTs or junior counselors will get me every time, and we have a really excellent group this year--several of which I've worked with since they were nine years old. It's a great thing to see people grow up, and grow into the people you hoped they could be.
In any case, the CiTs planned the evening program last night, which was water games. It was obviously not perfect, largely because they've never planned a program before, but it was pretty great. When it was over I took advantage of my lack of cabin and helped them rinse the tarps from the slip-and-slide in the swim hole in the deepening dusk, and talked to them about their past as campers and their possible futures as staff, and breathed in the evening before heading to campfire.
After staff meeting and after much debate, several of the staff opted in for a silent slip-and-slide in the field and swim in the stream, and, honestly, I think it was one of the best nights of my life. There's no way to describe sliding around on soapy plastic and whispered scoldings and giggling in dark water and racing down the slide, lying back in soap suds in a line of women and looking up at the stars that will ever in a hundred years do it justice. Kita (Cheetah) and I cleaned off the tarp in near silence in shallow black water under a deep blue cloudy sky, spread it on the grass, and met everyone again in the shower room for ridiculous jokes and toothbrush-mouthwash-facewash-shared-sink antics and uncontrollable hushed laughter, and the (possibly inaccurate, but still happy) realization that this wouldn't have happened anywhere else, with anyone else.