Friday, November 12, 2021

Friday Ramble - Sixteen Years and Onward

On Sunday morning, clocks in the little blue house in the village turned back an hour, and Daylight Saving Time waved goodbye until next year. The departure of DST also marked sixteen years of pottering about in cyberspace, sixteen long years of logging on in the morning, posting an image or two and sometimes muttering along for a few paragraphs, occasionally spilling coffee on the keyboard. There are times when I can't believe I had the cheek to set this "book of days" up in the first place, let alone do the blogging thing faithfully for sixteen years in a row. There are other times when I look at stuff I posted here years ago and am appalled. Yuck.

However lacking they are, and they are certainly that, these are my morning (or artist) pages, and chances are they will remain pretty much as they are in the coming year. There may be a bit of font and banner tinkering now and again, but that is all. I don't foresee any significant changes to this place, and I expect blogging life will simply go on as it has been doing so far, photos and scribblings and bits of poetry.

To say the last year has been rather difficult is an understatement and then some. In late November of 2019, my soulmate passed away after a ferocious battle with pancreatic cancer, and life without him is still rough going. I can't even begin to express how much I loved the man (and still do), how much I still miss him. Within a few months of Irv's passing, several dear friends also passed away from cancer, and I miss them too. Most of the time, I feel as though I am just clinging to the wreckage and paddling frantically to stay afloat. Thank goodness for family, for sisters of the heart, for cherished friends and darling Beau. I could not have gotten here without them, without all of you.

Big life stuff notwithstanding, it's a fine thing to be here and all wrapped up in what we call simply, "the Great Round". Some times are easier than others, but Beau and I go rambling with a notebook and camera every day. At times, I just tuck the Samsung S21 cell phone in my coat pocket, and off we go, collars turned up against the wind. We wander along at our own pace, conversing with the great maples and the beech mothers, watching their leaves dance in the autumn woods, feasting our eyes on the sun going down like a ball of fire over the river, on skies alight with winter stars and lustrous moons that seem almost close enough to reach up and touch. My departed love is always with us in spirit, resting easy in the pocket of my tatty old jacket - he loved rambling and was usually the first person out the door.

The road goes ever on, and there is magic everywhere if we have the eyes to see it, the wits to acknowledge it, the grace and humility and plain old human decency to show respect and say thank you. The small adventures of our journeying will continue to make their way here and get spilled out on the computer screen mornings with a bad photo or two and a whole rucksack of wonder. The world is a breathtakingly beautiful place, and I am starting to realize that sometimes an image says everything that needs to be said, all by itself, no words needed from this Old Thing. Mary Oliver says it best:

The years to come – this is a promise –
will grant you ample time

to try the difficult steps in the empire of thought
where you seek for the shining proofs you think you must have.

But nothing you ever understand will be sweeter, or more binding,
than this deep affinity between your eyes and the world.

(excerpt from Terns)

In another poem called It Was Early, she wrote that sometimes one needs only to stand wherever she is to be blessed, and that is something I keep in mind as Beau and I are tottering about. Thank you for your kind thoughts and healing energies, your comments and cards and letters, for journeying along with me this year. You are treasured more than you know, and if my fingers were working, I would write each and every one of you. Alas, they are not. Be well, my friends. Be peaceable. Be happy.


Victoria Londergan said...

Nature takes us directly to Life, her world and the inner world of love being in deep communion. She brought me there after the fire of loss when all I wanted was to die. In those days, I didn’t believe I could survive. She showed me how the sea holds light and shadow, and how sunlight rides on the rising waves, everything gleaming. I saw the ocean glisten in full sunlight, balancing sparkling vessels of light—small shimmering stars—on the ocean swells. The ripples of light reached past my weariness and confusion until I could see what I needed to learn. Everywhere, light is pouring through the deepest places.
— from the book Stars at Night: When Darkness Unfolds as Light Paula D’Arcy

🙏🏻 For your tender vulnerability and precious artistic gifts ( there are many) And most of all, thank you for seeing with the eyes of your heart through thick and thin now and always♥️ Go gently 🧚

Debbie Galloway said...

Thank you Cate for your steadfast posting. I look forward to seeing the seasons thru your lens.
Wishing you all the best...

Anonymous said...

Your posts are my daily touch of beauty, my reminder to see. Thank you Cate for persisting despite loss and grief. Hugs!

Cindy R said...

Coming here to read your reflections, see your images, has been a treasured part of my day for perhaps ten years. I am forever grateful for your gifts and your generosity in offering them to us through the hard times and the joyful ones. May your journey onward be blessed.

Belle said...

“Be well, be happy.” I love this as a blessing!
I love your writings & rambles, too. Thank you so much for sharing.

Jeanne said...

I am grateful for you every morning.

Beth Owl's Daughter said...

Bowing in deepest gratitude. You have made blessed my days that begin with your voice, your vision, your tender sharing. Happy Anniversary, beloved.

Marti said...

For the many times that I came and come here, quietly, not commenting but always knowing that the words and photos here would remain with me throughout the day. Over the years, I have purchased your cards, a few wonderful tote bags, mos recently, the Just Breath tote. I am forever grateful for the walks you take, what you see and your ability to reach deep down and share the simple joy of the sacred ordinaries with all of us. With deepest thanks.

Unknown said...

Cate, thank you for maintaining your blog. I start my day with it, and your posts have given me much pleasure and food for thought.


Dee said...

Thank you so much for continuing your beautiful blog. You have become as much a part of my mornings as the first cup of coffee. Happy Anniversary!! and many blessings to you and yours.

Mystic Meandering said...

Cate, I'm so glad to have been a part of your "book of days" and "artist pages". I always enjoy reading your posts and seeing your exquisite photos :) Thank you for keeping on. _/\_

Maggie Emm said...

Hi Cate, thank you as always for your beautiful pictures and wise words. Sending much love and a big hug to you - like many other mostly silent ones I will be with you all the way! xx

Kiki said...

I too accept with a quiet joy your thoughts and pictures. I too often learn about poetry I don’t naturally already know, as a European with English not as my mother tongue I made some marvellous discoveries. Your writing is always a ‘cherry on my English literature’.... and as a huge dog lover I go into the woods with Beau and you. When you lost your dearest, I took you in my virtual arms and gave you silent consolation, same when your former dog died. You are GREATLY appreciated.
All the best in the coming years. May you always find solace, peace and joy in your daily doings.
Love from Switzerland, Kiki

Pienosole said...

Thank you. 🙏🏻 Reading your posts is something that enriches my life and reminds me of our common humanity and our connection with all living beings and those who have passed on. “May you be well. May you be healthy. May you live in peace.” ❤️☀️