Thursday, 28 January 2016


For several months, I've been tossing quotes and ideas into a mailbox on my computer entitled 'BLOGfromtheothersideofseventy'.  The folder has grown, and today I began reading through the lines and words, seeing if they are still important to me.   Seeing if they have remained relevant. Noticing too if I  have absorbed some of the lessons contained in them.

From the folder:

     **Wabi-Sabi-  – "Much has been written on this Japanese concept, but in a sentence, one might be able to understand it as 'a way of living that focuses on finding beauty within the imperfections of life and accepting peacefully the natural cycle of growth and decay.' "

I think I'll give myself a 6 on this one.  That's averaging out the 8 on 'finding beauty within the imperfections' part, with the 4 on 'accepting peacefully...' if it relates to my personal cycle of decay, rather than the cycle of plant life..  While I am somewhat more accepting of my body's crankiness, I was not pleased today as I tried crouching to capture a photograph of a purple-hued beetle and landed on my bum on the wet

      **From the poet, Jane Kenyon (May 23, 1947–April 22, 1995)
"Be a good steward of your gifts. Protect your time. Feed your inner life. Avoid too much noise. Read good books, have good sentences in your ears. Be by yourself as often as you can. Walk. Take the phone off the hook. Work regular hours."

I score higher on this one. Consciously reducing commitments to doing things I don't love, I am freeing myself to spend more time with my camera.  Wandering alone, I hear the silence and breathe in the hidden.

Also, with a more clear awareness, I am seeking those people who nurture me and who accept my style of being.  I'm less likely to count the number of 'likes'  my photographs garner on Facebook and more likely to  contemplate my process in capturing the images.

    **In a fascinating interview with Clayton Cubitt,  photographer, filmmaker and writer on  Clayton concludes the interview with this line:
"Be here now, care for people, make beauty, leave it better than you found it. End of story."  

And finally, not from the folder, these words: 
       simplicity  movement  trust.   

I drew these Blessing Cards* this morning from an old Quebec butter bowl where all the blessings convene and rest.  With closed eyes, my fingers held on to these three small cards. These blessings fit perfectly with this new post that I began writing last evening. They fit perfectly too with the path I am trying to follow, with the world I wish to live in.  

I have a long way to go...however, it's a beginning....

                                                   * the blessing cards originate from Findhorn


Saturday, 2 January 2016

calming traffic ahead

9 pm December 31, 2015

As the clock nudges closer to the New Year, I am feeling pressure to come up  with wise words, some pertinent thoughts and perhaps some lessons gleaned from these past 12 months. And, of course, a lengthy list of personal wishes and goals for the year ahead.

Wait a minute... January 1st is simply a single day following December 31st, truly a random time to spout forth lofty promises to our selves!

My friend, Jean, understands the futility of this, when she tells me that her New Year's resolution for 2016 is the same as the one she holds herself to every year:  'I won't take up smoking this year.'


That said, I have found myself thinking once again about how I am living my life. As I have become more & more engrossed with my photography, focusing with ever- increasing love upon capturing the world close to me, the doing, the busyness of life seems less relevant. Yes, I still 'need' to make my bed and go shopping for the food I will cook for dinner. Yes, I still wish to volunteer for causes I'm passionate about and take walks with friends who are dear to me.

I am choosing these things consciously, they are not simply filling up my day with the busyness of doing.

The light & the shadow, the mist & the wind, the smell of the sea.  The bend of a branch & the fallen leaf edged in frost. These are seen by the quiet mind.  If I need a reminder, I think of Kierkegaard's words;  'busyness is a decision.'

For many months I have been following the wonderful blog of the photographer David DuChemin (a Victoria native).  In his Christmas Eve post he listed a number of wishes for all of us this coming year.

These are two that I have chosen:
- 'Let it be a year of beautiful light and finding joy and mystery in the shadows.
- And let it be a year of joy in seeing the world and the moments around us, knowing that the brevity of life makes those moments all the more precious. We have this brief, astonishing, beautiful, life, let it be full and honest. May you look back with gratitude and forward with hope, and live right here, in this moment, with both.'

In addition to these, I'm adding three reminders of my own:
- The message on a road sign near South Chesterman beach in Tofino - 'Calming Traffic Ahead'
 - From Brain Pickings,  'Seek out what magnifies the spirit'
- And, finally, a heart-felt reminder to embrace magic

                                               happy new year
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