I read over my calendar to check my plans for the day: Let’s Make a Movie, 11 A.M, with Beana Bern.
“Are you nervous?” she asked me, as we set ourselves up in the studio annex. I spent a lot of time in there, the space for Fiber Arts and Papermaking classes. I was familiar with the spinning wheels and dye bath pots, the colanders and stove, the books about textiles and knitting patterns. “Actually, I’m doing all right,” I replied. I settled myself into a chair to the left of the window, where the winter sun came pouring in. It illuminated the looms in the corner behind me. “Does my hair look okay?” I asked jokingly, smoothing back my french braid. She giggled and gave me one of those looks. “You look fabulous.”
Beana assembled her camera on a little tripod. I stared into the lens. I felt the lens and camera and, eventually what I knew would be the whole world, staring back.
I swallowed and felt flushed.
“Okay, maybe this is a little more intimidating than I originally pictured.”
“Sorry, babe,” she gave me a pouty-lipped sympathy face, continuing to adjust her technology “but I want you to try to make eye contact with the camera.”
“It’s fine. I’ll be okay. It’s just…” and I laughed while looking at my reflection in the lens, yet again. “I’ll be fine,” I repeated.
“Looks like it.”
I couldn’t pinpoint the moment she started recording. There wasn’t a flash of a red light or a soft click. One moment what we said was lost to the past, and the next my words were being remembered by her little black box on a tripod.
But maybe that was a good thing, because once I started talking, I forgot to stop. Beana began to ask me questions about Sterling: my journey to finding this place, my experiences with the work program, what type of environmental steward I am, what I wish I had known before coming to Sterling, why it is special, what Sterling means to me.
And the camera fell away as I began to speak. The veil between myself and anyone who might be interested in joining our community faded too. It was just Beana and I in that room, and yet I knew I was sharing a piece of myself with anyone who would care to listen.
I was telling my story.