I didn't sleep very well the night before Meghan flew in for the mini photo-camp we'd dreamed up. Will asked, are you nervous because you don't really know her? That wasn't why I was nervous but he had a point. We met and hit it off at Camp Shutter Sisters last fall, and since she lives one state over it seemed easy to plan our own little photography retreat weekend.
We are very different. Our photographic styles are different, we get charged by different subject matter, and we have different approaches to shooting. She is drawn to vintage looks and loves the evocative feeling of old film. I am avowedly digital and can't stop myself from overexposing everything I shoot. But we are both groping toward a deeper understanding of our creative paths and our life paths, if such things are separable.
Between us there was that flicker of instant recognition that arises with new true friends, familiar even though you know none of their backstory. I don't even know how you met your husband, or what your mom is like, I told her before she arrived. These are things you know about people you feel connected to. But then she was here, and as each new piece was revealed something small clicked into place. You find yourself surprised and completely unsurprised all at once at how perfectly things fit together.
This weekend comfort and discovery mingled. I see Meghan as accomplished and brave and grounded, and all those things are true, but with each new fragment of her life she shared I appreciated further the depth of her resilience and authenticity and the power of her dreams.
She thought I seem fearless because so many of my stories featured a Corinna that was unafraid to move boldly through the world. Of course lately I feel pinned down by fear, but hearing my own stories for the first time again is a reminder that within me there are reservoirs of chutzpah that might yet be accessible.
It was a nourishing weekend on every level, but I wasn't sad when I dropped Meghan at the airport yesterday. I know that this budding friendship that is shiny and new now will, over time, earn the familiar well-worn patina captured by her beloved Polaroid.