January 9th, 2019
In order for you to fully grasp the meaningfulness of your Nurture Self Care Starter Kit contribution, we will need a time machine so I will type the following at 88 miles per hour and see if it works.
INSERT: weird ‘nyeer-nyeer’ noises, an explosion, me putting Huey Lewis and the News’ “Power of Love” on YouTube.
It is now 1990 and I am hosting an Anne of Green Gables tea party on a blanket in a field of wildflowers with some dear friends, recipes lovingly re-created from the Anne of Green Gables Cookbook some blessed aunt got me for Christmas. I am wearing a pinafore and I am blissfully happy because a book I read is being lived. I am a girl for whom books will be an escape from the things that trouble me as a child. I am later a woman for whom books became the medicine I needed to meet myself. So I didn’t need to escape anymore. Books matter.
Back to now. You make each of us a bookmark, hand-lettered with our name on one side and a meaningful word or a phrase that I mined from each retreat attendee’s intake form on the other. I have to put a headlamp on and search inside for my own phrase: “passionate abundance”, which I believe I wrote down because 2018, despite its significant-yet-sporadic ups, was the opposite of that. I LOVE that these words become more than just words by the tip of your brush into ink and the magic of your steady, sweeping hand. I am obsessed with the fact that you found paper to write on that, if planted, will grow into wildflowers.
One of my favourite things is how collaborations can become something bigger than the sum of their parts. I get drunk off that feeling like Diana Barry off currant wine. A number of the women at our retreat came up to me privately and whispered: “how did you KNOW exactly which words to choose?!” to which I had to chuckle and tell them the truth: “You wrote them yourself in your intake form and I just pulled ’em out and then Laura made them look really pretty!” I love that these words will find homes in books. They’ll be tucked into more words and those words will make them feel things and maybe even heal things. I love that every time they open a book, they will find the bookmark and have to interact with some of their own medicine.
These bookmarks will also be barometers. Now, every time I open Michelle Obama’s biography that I got for my birthday (which is nightly, just started, it’s great!), I will see the words “passionate abundance” and I will think to myself: Sonja, is this true for you? What are you doing about it if it isn’t? How are you grateful if it is?
Let’s hop on the keyboard DeLorean again.
It is a Tuesday evening, not long ago. A bunch of entrepreneurs are gathered and we are talking about the sticky points in our work. You mention the sticky point of clients who pull from a Pinterest board and want you to simply copy someone else’s lettering. You mention how it bothers you to do this and you mention how the particular touch and soul of a calligrapher is literally to be found in their signature. I think of a recipe and how the taste of something changes depending on who followed it. We cannot help but be infused into what we do and I admire that, for you, the standard is being yourself unapologetically. I think that’s another reason the words on these bookmarks are so potent. You had to read them to write them; to see the arc and swoop of them; to negotiate the dips and the peaks and honour where to put pressure and where to surrender to the desire of the word itself.
This kind of attention to detail means the world to me. So do your words.
There is nothing I love so much as being witness to others following their calling and creating delicious spaces for you to connect and be inspired. You’ll find a series of love letters to creative kindreds I’ve discovered whose passion, talent and depth of spirit are palpable on the blog, and who generously donated their products to the women attending our retreat. Does this describe you or someone you know? Feel free to learn more about our partnership model here for our upcoming retreats. Want to attend a retreat in person? We have our Spring retreat coming up March 22-24th. Learn more and register your spot today!
To learn more about Laura & her lettering:
Product Photo by: Jodianne Beckford