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.