Reflections that create balance. (Bridge over the Mississippi, Minneapolis MN)
Like monthly bills and seasonal equipment, 2012 will soon be put away.
Annually I take the week between Christmas and New Year’s and look back. Not that I don’t regularly return to carefully saved artifacts and reflect on my journey at other times, but it’s an interesting practice to hold the twelve months in hand all at once.
Because I am still coming to the words–how can you encapsulate a year, a month, a day?and should you?–this week’s blog is almost purely visual: an admittedly incomplete retrospective of what has fed me, gifts given and received over the year.
The theme that emerged in my almost-random selection from the 6,000 digital photos? Structure. Structure in general, and the structures I am building. Of what underlies my daily life, how to not split time into dreaded work and distracting play, but to find joy in all of it.
Once again, I wish I’d hatched a fully grown, spectacularly stunning concept that would bring surprising insight, followed by deep understanding–and aw heck, while I’m at it, world peace!–but laughing, I repeat the mantra: I accept being in-process in my thoughts and in my life.
Oh, and thank you, Gentle Readers, for joining me (however briefly or steadily) during the past six months.
The whimsical turnip.
The whimsical turnip: its graceful arms reminded me of Shiva, whose cosmic Dance of Bliss simultaneously brings destruction and creation. How appropriate in studying days gone by, the wave pattern of the past, present, and future. On the culinary side, it became part of a potato-turnip-leek au gratin dish for Christmas Day.
Watermelon radish in a salad of green leaf, cucumber, green and orange sweet pepper, carrots.
That shocking pink, what a surprise! Yes, I was ready to laugh at surprises, and open to new foods and sensations and thoughts and concepts.
Adirondack Park creek, near Jockeybush and Good Luck Lake
Stillness in the water allows reflections. Same with my life.
Snowy tree early 2012
Snow on tree. Just looking outside my window, I found meditation objects, beauty.
Votives, St. Patrick’s Cathedral, NYC
I took them where I found them, those meditation objects and rituals, and adapted them to my own house: candles, incense, writing, yoga, walks, cooking, talking, time with friends and family.
Mohawk River: beauty in browns and blues.
Yeah, just some grasses along the Mohawk River, nothin’ special. But no–eminently special, subtle color and stillness again. Just look, that’s all. So I did.
Food is fun! A study in red, brown, and white.
The daily is worth attending to, including the daily food. Vegetarian chili with Community Garden tomatoes, those familiar basil-garlic cheese curds and black beans, followed by strawberries with chocolate sauce and slivered almonds. (Yes, technically the tomatoes are more orange than red, but in other light they matched quite closely.)
Ice at Dyken Pond
Like a modern art painting of skyscrapers, just the beginning of the freezing process–I spend a lot of time “at the beginning,” but those moments are striking, too.
Mountain beyond Robert Todd Lincoln’s home Hildene, in the Battenkill Valley, Manchester VT
A classic wind battered evergreen with snow topped mountain behind. What does it evoke? Back to the idea of stillness. But more: active stillness, strength from within, a yoga thing. Responding to the wind, relaxing into holding the snow, moving with circumstances as they arrive.
Tomatoes and pears: early morning still life.
My life is art, my food is art: more meditation objects.
Sunset over the Helderbergs: note the teeny electric pole on the right, which helps you realize the distance you are viewing
Beginnings and endings and the in-between. A huge sky sweeps toward me, over me, I am immense and minuscule all at once.
Pea sprouting in late spring
Back to the garden.
A pea plant breaks through hard ground, living into its defined structure, but how it grows, the rhythm and size and potential production, are all to come yet. How fragile it looks there, and yet it is so strong.
That’s me, that’s the new year. Delicate, to be nurtured, but hardy and riotously ecstatic and full of surprises. To be attended to every day, carefully but not with anxiety, just responding to changes as they come.
Along the Long Path at John Boyd Thacher Park: fall leaves color streams that are just above freezing mark.
Detritus of the old is beautiful, and will feed the new life to come, after the quiet time, the enforced rest, of winter. Welcome, winter; Welcome, new year!
A wonder-ful 2013 to all.