the art of the heart

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How does one sum up a weekend like this one? Every time I try, my mind fills with a kaleidoscope of images that cover a spectrum of beautiful faces, bright colors, book covers, poetry and prose, rainbow hair and amazing costumes.

It seems strange to me that I haven’t always known these people, that it has only been 5 years since my first Sirens conference.

Every year I am able to come to Sirens, I learn new things and I meet new friends. Inspiration abounds, whether it comes in the form of one of the panels / papers, or in a conversation with friends, or one of the Guest of Honor speeches.

So many artists, with so many kinds of arts! Not just writers…we have people who paint and draw and crochet and knit and cross stitch (and other fiber arts). This is most evident on Saturday night at the Sirens Ball, where participants are encouraged to dress for the theme, and the silent auction tables are filled with amazing prints, jewelry, wood working, clothing, scarves and more.

I have a good amount of imposter syndrome when I walk in (and at other times), but it usually melts with the first hug from a fellow author who’s work I adore. This year I forced myself out of my agoraphobic paralysis and actually had conversations with our Guests of Honor (and they were all lovely).

There is beauty in a place that not only accepts you for who you are, but embraces you for it, where you are free to be entirely and unapologetically yourself. Where your beauty is not defined by the size of your body or the shape of your face…where we paint the landscape around us with the art of our hearts and revel in our resistance to the mundane.

But all good things must end, and I have already dropped folks at the airport, checked out of the hotel and am waiting for it to be time to drop my luggage. Then, I will find a place where I can plug in my charger and do some writing/editing.

Tomorrow we go back to the daily grind, and the beautiful land we created from our imaginations will fade slowly back into just a memory that we can pull out when we need to be reminded that we are wonder and joy and fierce.

Until next year, Sirens…I will keep you in my heart until we meet again.

Photo by Tim Marshall on Unsplash

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