Monday, March 22, 2021

another trip around the sun


i suspect 53 would have felt like a hazy and blurry year, even if it wasn't tainted by the coronavirus bringing everything to a standstill. it's one of those blah ages that don't seem to count for much. it's neither here nor there, and the difference between 53 and 54 isn't really a significant one. i guess i'm inclined to think that i'll like 54 better, mostly because i'm partial to even numbers, though frankly odd numbers of things look better. hmm, i wonder how that bodes for 54? not that i look all that great after the sedentary year in front of my computer.

however, i have all kinds of good intentions for 54. i want to do 10,000 steps a day. i'm going to take up my daily 750 words once again on the 750 words site and i'm determined that four days a week, those words will go towards the novel. i have about 7,000 steps to go today, since most of it was spent at my computer working. also it's rather cold, windy and grey outside, so not all that inviting for a long walk.  see, i'm already full of excuses. but hey, it's my birthday, so i can decide, right? maybe the 10,000 steps starts tomorrow. but first, a glass of wine.

that's the kind of thinking that got me through 53. and this whole corona bullshit. that's still not over, despite how weary we grow of it. and they're slower than mud at vaccinations here in denmark. 

but back to this birthday thing. it does feel like i'm in a place were they don't matter that much anymore. it's still awhile to 60, which will be the next significant date and since they're putting off retirement age, i'm not even sure that's that significant anymore, so maybe it's actually 70 and it's a long time until then. heck, look at joe biden, he became president at 78 and he seems to have found himself - he's not making any of those old gaffes he was known for, he's just getting down to business and being seriously presidential. it's so refreshing and my ptsd from the trump years is fading and i'm even sleeping through the night sometimes. i no longer wake up in a cold sweat, worried about what embarrassing and horrible thing the president has done. it's such a relief. 

apropos my birthday, i picked up a long-ago ordered book from the library today. i ordered it so long ago that i didn't even really remember - i think it was back in october. it's nobel prize for literature winner louise glück's averno.  on the back cover is a fragment of her poem october (capitalization hers):

Come to me, said the world. I was standing
in my wool coat at a kind of bright portal--
I can finally say
long ago; it gives me considerable pleasure. Beauty

the healer, the teacher--

death cannot harm me
more than you have harmed me,
my beloved life.

and that feels like the right note to end these musings on another trip around the sun.

* * *

whoa, cool AI-assisted story here. i'm not sure what i feel about it.
i think i am at once intrigued and horrified.

* * *

i think i am sad that zoom dysmorphia is even a thing.

* * *

juicy talk of fauxbrége fakes in an hermitage exhibit.
i learned about them in dearest, a very fun jewelry-oriented substack.

Saturday, March 13, 2021

unbidden waves of nostalgia

me and a naughty pony of my past - clearly a second place pony with that red ribbon

the past few days, i've had some waves of nostalgia washing over me. i'm not sure i can pinpoint what brought it on and i've been trying to figure that out. it might be because i'm listening to the vinyl café - the simple, but hilarious stories of dave and his family are somehow nostalgic, as many of them involve memories. if you're interested, you can find playlists of them on spotify. 

it's also listening to the new podcast that obama has with bruce springsteen (also on spotify, i swear this isn't a spotify ad). it made me think about when i was introduced to the music of the boss - on a debate tournament trip in a van to the now-long-shuttered university of south dakota - springfield - when our high school english teacher/debate coach talked of the nebraska album. i'm not even sure he played it in the car, except maybe a song came on the radio, but i think it was in the days when things were still on vinyl, so i don't think he could have played it in the car. when that teacher's name popped up, commenting on a post on facebook, i actually sent a friend request. i wanted to tell him that the podcast had made me think of him.

my cousin, normally flitting about the world for her job, is stuck at home in california and sharing old pictures prolifically in a family group on facebook. many of them i've never seen before. it's kind of strange that she has so many family photos since her family's house burned to the ground when i was 5, but i guess other family members have shared pictures with her, as she seems to have a never-ending trove. there's definitely nostalgia in that. and i don't recall having so many family photos around from that side of the family - i guess my dad was the youngest of 9, so there weren't so many left when it was his turn to get some.

i even think that my grocery delivery company has made me feel nostalgic. they're tempting me with the first asparagus of the season (it's from portugal). and that, of course, has me thinking of my dad, who was known for his asparagus. my patch is a bit overwhelmed by last season's weeds and i'm feeling a bit guilty about that. the weather is rubbish this weekend - it's been sleeting out there off and on all day - really more like slushing, if that was a thing - or i'd probably have been out there weeding and maybe digging up the roots and moving them because they're not doing that well where they are. and  i'm feeling like maybe my dad is frowning down on how i've let them go. asparagus was his pride and joy. 

do you think the pandemic is making us nostalgic? i was definitely feeling nostalgic in the past week for the beautiful holiday we had in barcelona one year ago, just before the pandemic was declared. maybe that's it. i'm so glad we had that trip, but i ache to travel again. and to see friends. and to invite them over for dinner and play board games. and to not feel like i have to hesitate. and me, a non-hugger, might even miss hugging people. no wonder i'm nostalgic. we've lost so much. or maybe we haven't lost it, but we've definitely put it on hold.

Friday, March 05, 2021

daily delight reprise : march 5

 


husband called out to me to hurry up as i was closing in the chickens for the night. he wanted me to see this cloud. it was much, much better than this photo indicates. husband is totally a keeper and that's today's delight. 

Sunday, February 28, 2021

daily delight - february 28

here we are, the last day of february and the last day of my daily delights. maybe i'll even continue because it's become a habit now. today, there were several and i didn't photograph very many of them. warm, homemade, browned butter blondies, some time at the sewing machine, a coffee and a brownie with a good friend, where we got to laugh and complain a little bit and talk through a recent stumbling block we both encountered. it put it all in perspective to talk it out and laugh a bit. i also listened to a bunch of podcasts and made some really delicious mushroom soup. it wasn't as warm today as yesterday, so i didn't spend that much time outside, but the sun came out for awhile and that was good. i spent ages looking for my chekhov books in various boxes (i have a lot of boxes of books) so that i can dig into my new book in earnest. i read the intro to it this morning and while i wanted to do nothing else but read it today, i also kind of didn't, because i already know that i will feel bereft when i'm done with it. you know that kind of book? bittersweet delight. and that's surely the right note to end this month of delights.

 

Saturday, February 27, 2021

daily delight - february 27


you might think that the molly dolly in the sunshine is today's delight. and she does delight me daily. but today's delight was something unexpected and hard to photograph. it was a phone call. i'm not normally that thrilled by phone calls, but this one was very nice. it was a great opportunity to talk through the recent strife in our little creative group and i felt immeasurably better afterwards. she managed to put things in perspective for me and i understood what happened a whole lot better. 

these are such strange times. we're all more vulnerable and fragile than usual. we take things harder and more personally. or at least i did this week. it was a stressful week. very intense. things moved quickly and i worked some really long days. it was both exhilarating and exhausting. energy-giving and energy-draining. things can be two things at once, even seemingly opposite things. we can be happy and sad. we can be disappointed and surprised. we can be curious and unable to understand. and people usually reveal themselves in so many ways and yet we can still be blind to them. we all both hide and give away more than we imagine. and it's human. and as bewildering as it may sometimes be, it's also delightful.

Friday, February 26, 2021

daily delight - february 26


it's snowdrop season! i filled my wonky little ceramic vases with snowdrops today during a brief break for fresh air in the garden. it's been a long week. i'm glad it's friday. i'm glad that husband went to get chicken tenders for me from carl's junior. he's a good person. it probably would have made me feel better to make some dinner, but honestly, i didn't have it in me. so i'm looking forward to those crispy chicken tenders. and to relaxing this weekend. doing something creative. catching up on photographing my #100daysofpayesgrey (see instagram), digging a bit in the garden and maybe baking something delicious as a treat. doing a bit of writing. and maybe some reading too. so many delights ahead. but tonight. relaxing. and enjoying the snowdrops.

Thursday, February 25, 2021

daily delight - february 25


this has been a crazy week with a really big project at work. long days filled with teams meetings online and long evenings working. it's both exhilarating and exhausting and one last zoom at the end of the work day that stretched to almost two hours was a bit miserable (see previous post). more than a bit actually. and i cried real tears when it was over. at least that one wasn't work. the work stuff is good, even it is very intense right now. or maybe because it's very intense right now. but the book i ordered the other day - george saunders' a swim in a pond in the rain - arrived today and though the stupid post person left it out in the rain, leaned up against the door, it wasn't there long enough to get more than a bit damp. and though i have a lot of books piled on the shelf beside the bed, there's something delightful about a brand new book, freshly arrived.