I actually spoke those words after listening to a recent interview with Mr. Carter on WNYC. He spoke with compassion and understanding and with no judgment - only kindness and love. What could this possibly have to do with making jewelry you may ask? Well, this trip is not only about making jewelry but about giving myself time to learn and explore whatever is there for me. Midlife demands that of us and thankfully I had a window of opportunity that I could go away and focus on that task.
Over the past several years I have dealt with many life changes and it has afforded me the opportunity to look inward, see the trouble spots and then seek out people to help me sort through the mess. I have been so fortunate with the people that have crossed my path and my level of discovery and revelation has been monumental.
When I arrived here at Ghost Ranch many of the 'campers' were surprised to find that I ended up at the ranch via a Google search. It seemed perfectly logical to me and Jason (Strongfeld from HTS) when he ran across it and showed it to me, but it has surprised many people I've told. You see, they ask me how I found Ghost Ranch because I'm not affiliated with the Presbyterian Church in any way. Years ago this land was donated to the church and has been a mainstay in the organization ever since.
It's a very long story to be saved for another day but trust me when I say my history with religion has not been a pleasant path. To give you an example my brother switched his faith to Atheist after watching my "walk with the lord". I ended up in a near cult experience when I was in my teens and it has resulted in my not even being able to speak the names of the trinity. I consider my self a deeply spiritual person, but not one that can participate in any organized religion.
Imagine my surprise when I found myself in tears during the orientation on our first evening. It was the closest thing to a church that I have been inside since my 20s. And it wasn't preachy, there was no praying, the name of God wasn't mentioned, but there was such a peaceful feel in the room. There was caring and love in the room. To put it simply, there was something in that room that I didn't expect.
Every morning while I am out doing my yoga or trying to run, which isn't very easy in this altitude, there is a morning 'gathering' of some sort. It is in an open air room and I can hear them singing as I make my way through my morning. This morning I realized that I was like a little kid trying to see into a room without letting any adults know that I was peeking.
A woman in my class (who like so many others here, is a pastor) told me that this ranch is considered a Thin Spot. It was named that by someone who practices in the Celtic faith and it means a place on the planet where the line between heaven and earth is very thin.
The people here, both young and old are some of the kindest people I have ever met. Every time I sit down to a meal and find myself across the table from a new face I walk away feeling like I have met someone that I would truly like to see again. They say there is something very special about this place and that it changes people; and I think that every person I meet here some of which have been coming for 20, 30 and 50 years, is testament to whatever it is that permeates this land. I don't intend to walk away thumping any bibles but is it possible that the harm done so many years ago in the church is actually something that needs to be addressed in the same way that parental issues were addressed? Not sure but that music really makes me want to cry ~ Must be something in the air.
I started my journey into jewelry making in 2005 while I was working in the Berkshires in Massachusetts, an area inundated with amazing artisans. I started with glass, which led to silver, which led to inlay, which led to joy.