It seems that this pandemic has brought out the best and the worst in people. I have heard stories and seen people hoarding things with not thought for others. I have also seen neighbors getting food for people at risk and offering whatever support is needed.
This quote from Charles Dickens seems to sum it all up:
“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of light, it was the season of darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair.”
Focused on process, our creative life rains a sense of adventure. Focused on product, the same creative life can feel foolish or barren. We inherit the obsession with product ….from our consumer-oriented society. Julia Cameron in The Artists Way
I have always wanted to paint or draw and create something. Anything I did looked terrible and so I didn’t keep on trying. I never realized that art is also a skill to be learned
and though I will not be Picasso I can make some things I enjoy. Others may not find them good but they please me.
Don’t let our culture stop you from something you enjoy.
Nobody sees a flower—really—it is so small it takes time–we haven’t time—and to see takes time, like to have a friend takes time. Georgia O’Keeffe
We often hear the phrase “take time to smell the roses.” The truth is we seldom do take the time. There are some people who do but most of us don’t. Georgia O’Keeffe painted the flowers and she took the time to really see them….on a level most of us never will. Do I ever see the beauty? Do I ever experience the smell or the shape of the petals? Not often.
O’Keeffe compared this to the time it takes to have a real friend. Seeing all the things about a person and understanding them takes time. Accepting who they really are takes more time and the ability to see beyond the surface. We don’t often take that time but that is how we find friends who understand and accept us as we are.
Stop and really look at that flower. Absorb everything about it. Take the time to do the same things with those who could be real friends.
Music is very important to me. I took piano lessons for years and studied with a concert pianist. It was there I discovered that I didn’t want to be a concert pianist. I just wanted to play for enjoyment. I sang in choirs and for 10 years was a choir director. I think that music moves me more than anything else. I can sit in church or in the car or wherever and find tears rolling down my cheeks. Once, spending three weeks in the hospital, only the Brandenburg Concerto would comfort me. This has a wonderful explanation at the beginning.
I cannot stay still when the rhythms of music move me. I have to tap my toes or move my hands. I MUST do something! I don’t understand people who sit perfectly still. I know that their enjoyment may be equal to mine but they are STILL!
My father was the same way. He loved Dixieland Jazz and took me with to bars as a child to listen to the greats. No one said anything. I think they knew he wasn’t plying me with liquor but with music.
There is so much wonderful music in the world. I know I will not live long enough to absorb it all. I want to develop a playlist for when I am fading out of this world. I want to hear the music I love and take it with me.
It is so beautiful out today that it is hard to believe. In May we had weather that was like August and now it is like May out. There is a wonderful breeze and sitting here on the porch is heaven. I have so much more energy when the heat lets us get outdoors. I have been on the porch almost all day. Even mopping the deck was not a chore.
Tillie decided to join me but of course after I put the rug back. Bassets don’t do uncomfortable.
I put out more bird feed and some squirrel feed. I try to keep the squirrel feeder full to keep the squirrels away from the porch. They make such a mess.
It is amazing how much difference can be made in how we feel when the weather is wonderful. The tide is coming in and soon the muddy parts of the marsh will disappear. Our daily tide change is around 7 feet so when the water moves it is almost impossible to swim against it. When our children were young we taught them if they were caught in the tide to go with it to another dock, climb out and walk back. It can be dangerous if you are not aware of its strength. We also have extremely salty water. When you swim and get out and dry you can see salt on your body.
There are lots of things I could be doing inside but i’m not moving. This amazing coolness will not last and I am soaking it up while I can.
Today has been productive…. I think. I spent the morning wrkin in the garden. I completed some planting and cleaned out several flower beds. I felt really good about it although tired. However, at this moment there are some tree surgeons cutting limb from our oak tree. It needed pruning. the bad part is they are right over the beds I just worked on and I will be lucky if my flower beds are still in good shape. Oh well, life is never boring. Nothing like having to do the word twice.
Working in the garden is such a great time for me. There is something about planting and watching things grow that renews the spirit. Maybe someday I will manage to get it looking great. The problem is that it is so big and so demanding. Keeping the vines off the azaleas is a full time job so I seldom have time for the fun things. Today I took the time and planted some things that should decrease the work in the long run.
There is nothing better than sitting on the porch in the evening…watching the sunset and seeing a beautiful landscape. Maybe someday for the landscape but the sunset is always beautiful.
Spring now bypassed us as our temperature have been 90-100 all week. Hopefully this is not how the rest of the summer will go. A little cooler would be nice.
I hope those of you who are in spring are enjoying it. For us it slips by so fast and summer keeps going through September. “That’s what I like about the south!”
Today I am baking sourdough bread. This bread became a staple for the miners who sought their fortune in the gold fields. In truth, history tells us it is an ancient bread. In order to make it you first have to have sourdough starter. I made mine from bread and water and time.
Making this bread is a process and depending on how you do it can take days. You are not working at it constantly but just doing things to the dough over time. It is a lesson in patience. It teaches that work and patience can create wonderful things.
I always make bread by hand as there is something earthy and soothing about getting you hands into the dough. There is a delicious aroma and the dough is stretchy, smooth and pliable. The motion of kneading is soothing. It brings calm with a sense of accomplishment.
I love baking all kinds of bread. The bread is wonderful and the house has a comforting smell. Maybe like grandmother’s kitchen.
It is said that we should eat less carbohydrates. I guess I will have to stay away from others because bread will never be gone from my home.
What is is to search for our own soul. (It doesn’t matter what you call it. It is our inner core…our best self.) How do we turn away from the things that our society has led us to believe are the ultimate good? When are we able to grow enough to cast aside the ideas that we have been taught from birth?
Most of us who have spent our lives in western society have been taught to reach for things that are finite. We look to find joy and peace in things that fade. We want everything taken care of NOW! We are impatient and want pills to cure our ills that work fast. If we feel the slightest bit bored we want entertainment that distracts us from spending time with ourselves. We want to be as beautiful at 80 as we were at 25. The look of youth is the ultimate. We want things to feed our emptiness with…cars, jewelry, clothes, electronics, houses….anything to make us important. We want to seem important, looked up to and emulated. We think that these will be fulfilling. They won’t. Their rewards to us are ephemeral.
Turning away from these illusions and seeking the soul itself is a challenge. Can we go against society and understand that love and compassion and empathy and generosity are what matters? These are eternal.
Seek inside yourself for the things that really matter and pursue them.
Today was beautiful here. We have been having typical March weather…one day cold the next really warm. Today was just right. In spite of the weather the azaleas have been beautiful. We have several varieties in our yard and they don’t always bloom at same time. This year they are all blooming at once.
There is nothing more beautiful than nature. Spending time outside will refresh the soul. Just sitting in the sunshine can make life seem better. Time under the trees quietly thinking helps reduce anxiety and depression. When you can take some quality time with nature.
This is been a strange week. For the first time in forever I didn’t write at all for two different days. Both times life was overwhelming and it just didn’t work. For someone who is retired it seems strange that I have had very little time to do anything. Things are slacking off now and I hope to see a more normal pace. Is there any such thing as normal?
Have you ever noticed how some people seem to have one trauma after another and others seem to drift through life unscathed? I just want to shake my fist at God and say unfair! unfair! It just doesn’t seem right. To make it worse sometimes the ones who have just floated through are also the worst people.
Looking at these things from the outside is probably not logical. Who can really know what is going on underneath. It’s like the saying about the swan. Serene on the surface but paddling madly underneath.
Maybe the people who have been through the fire have been formed into beautiful vessels. Most of the ones I know have so much more compassion and ability to care than others. With all their trials they can still support and care for those around them. You can actually feel the vibrancy of their empathy. It radiates from within.
No one knows what form us. Some can be broken by events and some make finer. When that happens it is a beautiful thing to see.