Friday, November 9, 2012


Two weeks ago, over a matter of a few short hours, I went from this

and this

to this

From this

to this

And it was hard.

"Reentry" is what I'm told it's called. Reentry from a magical world to the real world.

At first I found it difficult to put all of my emotions into words. I didn't know how to explain the Oasis experience to my family and friends. Everything just sounded flat. "It was great" just didn't do it justice. I didn't know how to talk about what I was feeling since coming home. So I preferred to keep a lot of it to myself. However, as time has moved on, I've found I have new feeling welling up inside of me. Feelings to be creative. To pour myself into some project. To take the experience of Oasis and turn it into something that can be shared, not through words and explanation, but through photos and art.

But as a full time wife, mom and worker outside the home, I've quickly realized that the Oasis schedule, which consisted of many long, wonderful hours of creative play, is not sustainable. I really tried to keep it going for as long as possible once I got home, however, after about 15 minutes, my husband lovingly reminded me I was no longer on vacation! But I've realized that's OK too, because the everyday is where I live my life. And when I need a little pick me up, I can reach into my mind and use those memories to fuel the creative energy that keeps me moving forward.

I'm so incredibly grateful for the experience. To meet people in person that I've only known on line and through their photos is so special. And to finally meet so many of the other FOL ladies was a dream come true. I only hope we can all be together in person one day. And I encourage each of you to find a way to meet those on line people with whom you've found a special connection. Whether that's through a flickr meet up or an oasis-like experience, you will be so glad you did! And perhaps you will create a new tradition and you can tell us all about it as part of this month's theme!


Dotti said...

Very heartfelt post, Stephanie. Yes, Oasis was a singular experience and I think you had to be there to "get it". While I had no problem with re-entry, I did find that it took some time to process (that would be with a long "o" sound) the experience. Initially I thought I might not go again next year but as time passes, I find myself thinking I might indeed go back. I also find little reminders and information seeping back into my daily mindset and routine. Isn't that what it's all about?


Olivia Fulmer said...

I am envious of your Oasis experience! And I love that I can live it vicariously through the blog entries about it! I am dreaming of putting together an East Coast retreat here in South Carolina. I've written about it on my blog, The Seeing Eye.

Anonymous said...

Hang onto that thought Olivia - I'm with ya~!!
Steph - I love this post. I too feel this way coming back from vacation. You get so ingrained in your daily routine that you forget there is a world out there. Then you go away and see or experience something so wonderful and it comes out "Yeah that Grand Canyon sure is big!" - just doesn't do it. Add to that all th emotionalism that goes along with Oasis, and words fail..... Oh well - what you and Dottie are saying is true. You have internalized your creative lessons and they will show up in all your work. Maybe you cant do it 7 hours a day, but it will infiltrate. ANd a creative place like that is a vacation for the mind as well as the body. Don't you feel refreshed by having had that 7 hour a day creative break?

AFishGirl said...

So well put, Stephanie. Makes me think. I do think that no amount of words or pictures can really explain fully an experience to anyone who wasn't there. For sure. In all cases. It's how we attempt to convey it, one attempts, but it's hard to really explain things that are big and life changing and so unique (as "Oasis" sounds to have been). Re-entry. I feel that way each time I leave the woods from fishing, leave the river. On the fishing trips (where we go away) it's even harder. This year after our time 28 km back a logging road in Quebec, I clearly recall us coming out in the car and when I saw the junction where the pavement was I started to cry (it was a stop sign so I was stopped) and said to my husband, "I don't want to go back on pavement and go home." Re-entry is hard and again, different for everyone depending on so many circumstances. For me, I would like a month back in that place with no electricity. It helped me see clearly what the big picture, for me, is all about. Thanks for making me think and giving me a word to describe my fear of pavement (well, my dislike of crowds/chaos/confusion/malls/etc.)...
Pam/Fishgirl (mwah)

Linda said...

I felt the same way about trying to explain to others how my trip was when they would ask. How to put that experience into words has been difficult. I like how Dotti suggests that the experience will start seeping out in my daily routine! It was so nice to meet you and the other FOL sisters and all the other online people I have admired for so long! I hope this will become a tradition! I hope to meet even more online friends in different ways in the future!


terriporter said...

Perfectly written, Stephanie! I know when I came back last year, it was so hard to reenter my real life again. Only the necessity of the laundry, grocery shopping, cooking, etc. pulled me back. And describing the experience to others? There were no words and this year was the same. Once I got back, I missed everybody so much and missed that connection with other people who totally understand what photography is to me. I missed the hours of sharing with other women who I learned from and who learned from me. Having to think of nothing else than that for five whole days was a gift. It's one I plan to give myself again in the future. And I agree with Dotti -- it was an experience that will stay with us and make us want to be creative even in our daily lives. I will be eternally grateful to have had the five of you who were able to go with me this year experiencing it all with me. Yes, definitely it's an experience we need to repeat!

kelly said...

oasis sounds like an amazing experience and i've been enjoying hearing about it from all of you who attended. i too feel this way coming back from a long weekend with my girlfriends or coming back from vacation. i usually need a day to two to re-group and settle back into 'real life' before heading off to work. it's so weird how once i get back into my car and start my commute, it almost feels like the magic is wearing off. makes me kinda sad. i love though that photography keeps me connected to those magical experiences and that in turn helps me to better 'see' the magic in my very ordinary life.

thanks for sharing your experience and your lovely images. love, kelly

Claudia@DipityRoad said...

I am so happy you got to get on this wonderful get away. It will be a memory you will hold for forever. I was always amazed at how my family got along fine without me LOL

Great post hon.

Justine said...

It was lovely to meet you at oasis, I do miss the sunshine!

Jolanda (Jofabi) said...

Beautifully written and so recognizable. For me it is even worse, re-entry.

I wished I never had left home. Despite of the closeness of Oasis. We came home last Thursday, from three weeks of so many beautiful moments, of freedom, of creativity. We came home to a crisis. Two of our cats have become seriously ill in those three weeks. Begonia is so ill that we have to let her go. Tomorrow the vet will come to our house. She's 20 years, so I feel some peace inside me. But also Poppy's kidney values have risen again. She has done so well since September 2011. Don't know if she'll make it this time. Can't handle loosing two beloved friends. My stay in the US doesn't seem to be worth that.


Carol said...

Oh Jolanda! I am so sorry to hear this news. Our pets are our families - and we all know that for you the connection is central to your being. I am really sad for you. I hope that in time your memories of the U.S. will not be forever connected to the loss. I'm sure there was nothing you could have done had you been home. Begonia will have a reset from her pain - and I'm glad you mead it home in time top see her and I hope the kidney medicaine will kick in for Poppy. Heal - and be sure to consider that you gave Begonia a loving 20 years - she's a fortunate cat.

kelly said...

Stephanie, I love the way you contrasted the images of your trip and oasis experience to the reality of home. Your words make me so curious about the experience! Sounds like you have so much new inspiration and sweet memories from it.

Post a Comment

Thank you for sharing part of your day with us. If for any reason you are unable to leave a comment here on this post, please leave your comment on our Facebook page or in our Flickr discussion group. We love hearing from you!

© Focusing On Life