Sunday, November 11, 2018

making my way through the fog

we have the most beautiful, long, strangely warmish autumn this year. since my dear bloggy and real life friend, cyndy, died, i've found myself consciously paying more attention to the beauty of the world around me and stopping to appreciate it. i've been pulling the car over and carrying a real camera with me again, rather than only relying on my iPhone (tho' that camera is pretty good these days).  the other day, the camera actually had a hard time finding focus in the fog, but i liked the shot anyway. it kind of conveys my life of late - the path ahead is a bit foggy and uncertain. things are a bit in turmoil at work, with multiple reorgs over the past year that have bounced our department all over the organisation, landing it finally in a strange place where it doesn't really fit. it's draining. i'm a person who can tolerate a high level of uncertainty, but being tossed all over the organization and not really feeling as if all the work you do is particularly appreciated takes its toll after more than a year. so, i've been feeling a bit like i'm not sure what's next. do you wait for things to get better or do you seize other opportunities? i'm doing a little bit of both at the moment. the actual work i do is wonderful and engaging and i get to work with some amazing photographers and filmmakers and tell great stories and that's been keeping me going. i've also been seizing every opportunity i can of late to travel and it helps to be away from the cramped, dark space we've been been banished to in another building since just after the summer holiday. i've really come to realize how important your workspace is to your satisfaction at work. and how important it is to have enough space around you and not feel like the desks are all crammed together. we've very crowded now and when people are on the phone, it's completely impossible to get any work done. i find myself dreading going to the office these days and i never felt that way before. your surroundings just matter so much. and so, i travel all i can. this week, it's berlin and istanbul. and i can't wait!

Thursday, October 25, 2018

venice for the first time

sparkles in the water. sunshine. a winding maze of streets. earthy tones, laundry on lines hanging overhead. gondolas. glass. coffee. pasta. buffalo mozzarella. bacalao. art, architecture. canals. dead ends. did i mention the sunshine?

venice is spellbinding in its beauty. it's been there so long, you feel it resting in itself, rather oblivious to the hordes of tourists. and yet still overrun by them. there's no escape really. i myself was acutely aware of the excess noise my suitcase made as i wheeled through the ancient pavement towards my hotel. i wanted to be quieter, more gentle than that. to step lightly, and i did, after stowing my bag at the hotel.

once again, i had that sense of awe in the face of the first time. this was it - my one and only first time visiting venice. i may go back, but that will be with this experience under my belt. i'll never see it again as a venice virgin. i'll never feel the duality of the weight and the lightness of that experience again in exactly the same way. and i did my best to be conscious of it. to look around, observe, enjoy, savor, bask. there is so much beauty, so much history, so much awesome coffee. i tried to just take it all in and just BE in it, no filtering, and no processing, just enjoying. i think that for a change, i was able to do that.

and on that cloudless autumn day, venice must have been at her very best and it made me feel that i was too.  what an amazing experience it was.

Thursday, October 04, 2018

5-4-3-2-1 method

still reading and rereading that nytimes piece on being kind to yourself.  i haven't been particularly kind to myself of late, so i'm eager to figure out how to do so. according to the article, there's a 5, 4, 3, 2, 1 method, which involves naming five things you can see in a room, four things you can hear in the room, three things you can touch or feel, two things you can smell and one good quality about yourself. so here goes...

5 - starbucks cups full of colorful sharpies, my cameras, a flock of unikitties, original art by people whose work i love, a photo of my father-in-law beside a drawing of him that husband did at age 9
4 - it's nearly 2 a.m., so i can hear husband snoring, my own fingers on the keyboard, my ears ringing and silence
3 - i can feel the touch of my fingers on the keyboard, the scratchiness of the wool fabric on the chair and the softness of the lambs wool pelt that's also on my chair
2 - i can smell the fragrance of the shampoo i just used in my shower and if i'm honest, the nagging odor of a litterbox that needs to be changed
1 - i am self-reflective, even if i don't always give myself the right message.

Tuesday, October 02, 2018

goodbye dear friend

i've been home sick. after all the travel in recent weeks, i have ended up with a head cold, slight fever and general aches. i think it was my body's way of telling me i needed to take a moment to slow down. the weather was blustery and there were squalls of rain off and on all day. but just before 6:30 p.m., i was sitting at my desk and the sun came out in a full blaze of glory. it exposed all those spider webs that have accumulated on the window, but even so, it was warm, golden and welcome. i turned my face towards it and basked for a few minutes. a few hours later i learned that our dear old friend cyndy was finally released from the bonds of her cancer, at right about that time. and i can't help but think that the beautiful, welcome, golden light was her, finally coming over to see me here in the falling down farmhouse. and it didn't feel so much like goodbye as hello. thank you for the light cyndy, i am sure you have found it. it was a privilege to know you and be touched by your enthusiasm, your words, your thoughtfulness and your kindness. godspeed.

Friday, September 28, 2018

be kind to yourself

the new york times told me to be kind myself today. i'm not sure i've done that or that i even know how. instead, i bucked up my chin, packed up my laptop and headed for the library and a decent internet connection and i worked. i pushed aside everything that yesterday brought up in me, including those things which i had suppressed and made myself forget. i've not articulated them to a soul since 1991, so it's a bit hard to know where to begin now. i need to find a space to whisper them out loud to myself. and that's a bigger step than we might imagine. the courage of ms. blasey ford yesterday was incomprehensible. i have no idea how she summoned it. and no idea how to feel if it was all for nought.

an accidental bug for lunch

my lunch today consisted of a bug that i accidentally swallowed on my way to the car. it kind of went downhill from there. the afternoon was filled with diagrams of squares and circles and funnels and data and ways of boxing in creativity and others taking credit for ideas not their own. it was disheartening to say the least. it didn't help to get home and watch a bit of the horror show before the senate judiciary committee as a petulant, entitled manchild freaked out that his frat boy ways were found out and half of the country remained on his side. memories of a sexual assault i had buried away from even myself resurfaced. my wonderful friend cyndy is dying. and the full moon is waning. these are troubled times we are living in and it can feel pretty hopeless. especially when you have a bug for lunch.

Monday, September 24, 2018

kittens = happiness

it may be slightly irresponsible of me not to have fixed our two mama kitties. what stops me is that they are molly's daughters, so if i fix them, there is no more of molly's line on this side of the atlantic. plus, we live on 7 hectares and we need cats around here. i also thoroughly enjoy them - taming them, making them into good pets for their eventual forever homes, photographing the hell out of them. after a long, stressful week, coming home to them brings me back to center and makes me happy. i'm a cat person, what can i say? this time, i am thinking it's time to fix freya, six kittens is a lot for one batch, even tho' it's a bit of shame since she has finally become a good mama. but, i think i will keep one of the creamy ones, just to have a little piece of molly to carry on the line.