What I’ll Remember from this Summer

This summer was something else altogether, and it’s hard to say why. I certainly didn’t see it coming.

It was filled to bursting with new creative people in my life, new creative projects, and big new creative paths opening up in my life, suddenly making many things seem possible that were unthinkable just a few months ago. I am tremendously grateful for what this summer has done for me.

Chris Penn wrote today about how you can train your mind to remember the best times in your life, and bottle them up for later, when you might need them.  He’s right, it can be done, and he’s also right that it takes a lot more than just pretty pictures to recall exactly how things were, exactly how things went down, and to be able to bring back a piece of those feelings with you from the past.  But pictures do help.

Here are some of the things that I most want to remember about this summer.

I watched baseball on Cape Cod, in my own town:


I watched baseball in Boston:


I watched baseball in New York:


Here’s something you may not know about me: I love baseball.


I made friends with some fantastic and incredibly nice musicians, some of whom play and sell ukeleles:


I celebrated my birthday, in July, with my father, whom I adore:


We ate wonderful chowder together in Orleans:


I celebrated my birthday with my friends, Melissa and Cindy:


They gave me presents of their own original art (paintings, cookies):


I planted wildflowers in my front yard:


And when I watered them, there were rainbows:


I made a posy from my garden for my friend Melissa. She knew what the word “posy” meant, which delighted me:


I knit a cap for another friend. It was a special request:


I spent time with my cats, who were astonished to see so much of me:



I spent time at the store that my friend Melissa owns in West Barnstable. The shop was a sort of a refuge for me all summer long:






One day, she drew a picture of a unicorn for no good reason:

Later, we took that picture and made it into a couple of short movies. Just for fun.  Turned out, a whole bunch of other people liked these movies a whole lot.

Unicorn Stories: Episode 1 – Seaweed

Unicorn Stories: Episode 2 – To The Moon

We’ll be doing quite a bit more of that in the coming months.  And frankly, it shocks the hell out of me that I am making something called “Unicorn Stories” and enjoying it so damn much.  This is not something that those who know me would have necessarily seen coming.  Sometimes, we even surprise ourselves.

Why do I post all this here?

  1. Because I ask my clients to share their actual, authentic selves on their blogs (within reason, of course), and I think that I should do no less than what I ask others to do.
  2. Because I think it’s too easy to pretend to be all business all the time, as if we were one-dimensional people.  We are not, especially not those of us who define ourselves at least in part by our creative endeavors.
  3. Because the things that I did this summer were creative in the most vital and lasting way, in that they will continue to sustain me — and, I think, surprise me — for a long time to come.

New friends, new projects, new connections to my home, my land, my community, and my understanding of who I am and who I ought to be.

Not bad for one little summer.

8 Thoughts.

  1. and, um, wow. i totally did not choose that dracula favicon. is your site making suppositions about me?!

  2. Love this post. And I was just thinking… as I took a very small break this summer, about the power of taking sustained breaks in the action. It not only expands our minds but it is really important to give our minds ‘space’ to make new connections. I think it probably changes things at the synapse level. Too few of us these days really have (or take) the break we need to sustain ourselves. I’m trying to train myself more and more to put the work away, physically and mentally. And, look – you get to practice storytelling through video with a simple narrative. I’m sure that will come in handy in a more ‘productive’ context later!

  3. NIta: personally, I think that avatar really captures your inner essence. You should deploy that icon across all your social websites.

    Melissa: you are “of the” so very many things, I hardly know where to begin. :)

  4. And Rachel, thanks as always for a thoughtful response. I agree that it is important, and difficult and rare, to take real time off — time off that actually gives your muscles time to flex and find new ways of moving.

    And are you implying that Unicorn Stories are somehow not “productive?” 😉

  5. Thanks for sharing Beth! Your words have sparked an impulse in me to try something new. Not just a new coffee shop, or new hairdo, but something completely out of my comfort zone. Perhaps something small, but new none the less. I have no idea what that may be!!!!!

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