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In-Person Relationships

In-Person Relationships

smalina's picture

Like Bridget, I felt immensely reassured by our visit to Camphill, primarily because we have been talking for so long about a large project that relies entirely on a relationship with an ambiguous "camper." Knowing only that drawing is necessary and that we will be spending four days in a new environment, it was easy to be intimidated by the skills we assumed were necessary. However, visiting Camphill, I realized that all it really comes down to is a human relationship between two people. Even though I still do not know the person with whom I'll be working, it was easy to see just from a short tour the kind of community that Camphill fosters, and the sort of kind people we'll be working with in many different capacities. Any fears I had about my drawing skills (or lack thereof) disappeared, when I saw the art that the campers were creating--though their end products were most often objectively beautiful, the art for them was often a matter of process; it was the creation of the products that really mattered when it came to community and individual mental health and happiness. I would absolutely love to come out of the Camphill trip with a stunning masterpiece that I miraculously learned to create in a matter of weeks, but after seeing the community and a glimpse of the relationships I am about to delve into, I am more excited to watch myself and my partner grow from the process of working on my drawing. 

I was a bit curious about issues of physical accessibility around Camphill--particularly in places like the gardens, and the fact that the land is so expansive. Many of the campers are of advanced age, or at least live in Camphill until they are, and I wonder if this would be an issue; the buildings themselves seemed fairly accessible with few stairs, but outdoor locations were less so. I am excited to experience being a shadow--moving through and around someone's land with them, and trying to see it in the way they do, despite our different ages, mental capacities, and levels of experience.

Overall, I left Camphill feeling an unmistakeable sense of safety. The beauty of the land certainly contributed (and the natural light was impeccable), but there was something about the relationships I was able to catch a glimpse of that struck a chord, and made me feel like I was already, in a way, part of them. This space was not ours, and it will not be ours when we leave at the end of October break, but I got the feeling from our visit that the campers and workers are excited to share their space and home with us, so we can all grow and change from the experience.

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