Sunday, 1 January 2012

The Way Ahead

looking into the distance
One way and another, 2011 was my 'annus horribilis', and not a year I really want to remember. Even stranger has been my reaction to New Year's Day. I have my goals, the things I love doing - but could not face my usual walk with notebook in hand, cataloguing my failures of the year before, or my plans for the coming twelve months. Twenty-eleven brought too many hurts, too many problems, too many unexpected changes. New challenges confront me, not my usual list of resolutions; more a case of getting through each day, each night, the treadmill that has become the norm.

typical of the photos I take to sketch later
How boring! So instead of the now daily task of overnight washing and drying, the wondering how I would survive the day, tick off the commissioned writing, stay sane and normal (was I ever normal?), I lay in bed today reading, late of the morning; two mugs of tea. Checked the hens, cleared dishes from yesterday's partial family gathering (our beloved boys), wondered why I could not motivate myself; for once did not want to write the usual 'morning pages' - twelve years of book after book after book, words, words, words.

nearly fell of a five-barred gate to take this - I love the juxta position of bare tree and firs
And dearest R. suggests we drive out with a picnic, this beautiful new year's day; not my usual solo disappearing but with a basket - a feast - of prawns and smoked salmon, chicken and salad, home-made bread and flasks of boiling water for tea. "Take us on the backroads to Ilmington Hill," he says, and I gather up map and camera; and sneak in pen and 'journaling notebook', begun three years ago on just such an escape, and surprise myself as words spill onto the page, even before we have left home. Word whispers materialise, and tiny sketches ready for spit-smudged neocolor.

the silhouette of firs fascinate me; upthrust of branches against a pale sky
still gazing into the distance -
another way ahead

We are back in time to shut in the hens (six eggs again); drink more tea by the fire; I write my New Year's blog for Dobies, and I ask myself for how long I can manage this virtually 24/7 mountain of work, and stay true to us both, and make the time to stitch and create my paper and textile 'Quilt Journey; which is to catalogue my love of life, my passion for place.

'Word Whispers' from today will appear in 'Journaling the Journal' as soon as I have a moment to colour and scan my sketch and type the words.


  1. Hell Ann

    Happy New Years to you and yours.

    I can understand your reaction - I too have not been able to settle to anything these past few days, but I would suggest the spontaneity of your unplanned picnic very much gave you the inspiration to write. I have always been taught that if you let the imagination roam and just remember the key words the rest will follow they become organic and just arrive.

    In some ways too I am very glad to see the back of this last year due to the distress and hardship it has caused too many people, but the phoenix out of the ashes does grow and we need to change to allow new experiences and possibilities into our lives.

    May this next year be filled with love and light for you and yours and those irreconcilable differences resolve themselves to everyone's satisifaction.




  2. It was an annus horriblis for us too - and indeed many of my friends seem to have had a dreadful year. Let us hope that 2012 will be better.

    Wishing you all the best - and waving to dear pattypan in passing! Hello my dear.

  3. Ah Ann I know the feeling. So going for your drive and breaking from the norm was the best thing you could do for yourself. Happy New Year!

  4. I was awe-struck from the comment from dear PattyPan, a Phoenix!, wow, I have forgotten about the Phoenix, and I hope that all over the world, the Phoenix does rise.
    It has been the pits here for 2011, but I am hoping for 2012 to be merciful. I may be asking a bit too much, but I think all of us need it.
    May 2012 bring your creativity back to you.

  5. May I first wish you a Happy 2012. And then I'll say that many of my friends and I also don't thing that 2011 will be too missed.

    A new year does offer us opportunities to break up some old established patterns and try a bit of unknown territory. I definitely am going to hop off my familiar daily treadmill. Wonder where this wandering will take me as the months unfold!

    Best wishes.

  6. sorry to read your year wasnt a good one....hope 2012 is better for you..

  7. What a lovely day! Comfort, companionship and creativity - and love. May it set the pattern for your year, whatever else your days produce. Blessings for you both. x

  8. I can relate to the list of failures, but there usually are enough good experiences to offset those; if it's been particularly bad as you say, then you did the best thing you could do at the moment for yourself, and that was to get out and away...simple changes do wonders and we will get through it...this will pass.....

  9. 2011 was hard and for a while I lost my way too. Sadly, only seem able to find it again when I immerse myself in the domestic, the minutiae of every day, even to the point of washing up because it gives me time to stand and stare out of windows.
    I hope 2012 brings you better times, better balances and less berating yourself over failures. We are all human!

  10. I am so sorry you've had a rough year, Ann. I hope the new one will offer hope and joy to you.

  11. Happy New Year Ann - such an honest post - maybe this year is the time to let go of some of your commitments and go with the flow! It's so easy to feel the pressure of not doing enough - but we have to remind ourselves that we are enough! I am wishing you many creative and peaceful adventures

  12. Dear Ann, Your 'word whispers' are beautiful even in the sadness of a hard year gone by. But it is gone! I love the story of your work and how the words come to you on these explorations. And I am hoping my little piece of art is safe with you now?