November has been a pretty month, a month of breathtaking views, and happy events. I will miss the November skies, sunsets, and sunrises, clouds, and colors. It's not easy to reflect on all of the beauty and Thanks,
and not think on the horrors, too. I am not blithely unaware
of headlines and happenings... shootings, fires, losses, injustice, corruption, lies, and atrocities. None of us can be unaware. I am buoyed by the mindfulness and actions, compassion, diligence and resilience of many good and intelligent people. I acknowledge my privilege, blessings, opportunities, and the peace and comfort I can wrap around me... I do not need everything I have or deserve any of it anymore than anyone does, and I am struggling to enjoy my life, while being a conscious and solicitous being. Even having the space and time to reflect on the concepts of self-care
and personal space
is an immunity from real hardship.
and my Instagram are happy places... I cannot deny that I have a beautiful life, that I focus my attention and what I share on the best aspects of my life. If keeping it real
means anything, if you find any of this
a little too shiny,
rest assured... we have heartache, challenges, setbacks, and worries, we have been battling very real upsets and anguish. Like the subjects I paint, I think I need my social media to be as far removed from the whole picture
as possible. Too much news, too much time immersed in every crisis, flattens me. If I am not careful, I get pulled too low, become ineffectual, despondent. Do I feel apologetic for this quality, for the way my empathy can deplete me utterly? Yes... which is equally discouraging, and essentially pointless to linger on. Nonetheless... I am sorry. I am sorry for the suffering in the world, the injustice, the hateful words and cruel deeds, I am sorry for the loneliness, and struggles. And to survive, to carry on, and in hopes of being a source of comfort and encouragement... I will keep looking at the sky, planting the garden, sharing recipes, packing lunches, washing socks, listening, holding space, keeping hope, shining light.
This is where I nursed my cold and
discovered the bliss of online shopping with local shopkeepers, artists, and makers.
And when I wasn't feeling too crummy, I kept busy building and making my own gift giving creations... woodworking, painting, and crocheting.
What I would love to do is develop a style and means of sharing our handmade gifts as prettily and thoughtfully as our friends do with their gifts. I need to be careful, though; I have a bad habit of procrastinating when I cannot do something as nicely or well as I have envisioned, then things get muddled, delayed, lost, or stressful, which is not pretty, at all.
Here was a happy chance... taking Max out for a midweek lunch, and running into Lucas and Charles. Lucas helped me find a brilliant birthday gift for Maria.
Here she is... our birthday girl. She wanted to remain 13 for as long as possible, so even though we were dropping her off to school on the day of her birth, she saved the official turning
for the hour
of her birth. And this is where I might write scads of praise and an anecdote or 2 about her qualities. But I've already whispered all of it into her ear, and around her head. She is a joy, thoroughly, consistently, and we love her.
Here is my Swiffer
He is a joy, and a scamp, and puppy-cat, and we love him, too.
Tonight... a party to celebrate the birthday girl, and be with friends, sharing our happiness.
And ahead... our wishes for light, hope, and comfort, for all.