This morning I get up and, waiting for the kettle to boil, I pull the curtains back and look out the window and find the photo of the day.
Hello Thursday. I'm glad to see you.
I get as much pleasure looking at the objects in my window when they're reflected by the morning light onto the curtain as I do looking at them when the curtain is open. It's kind of otherworldly-like; secret goings on in that other realm just beyond the reach of this one. Like when you're a little kid and you think all your toys come alive when you're sleeping, interacting in a toy community with toy concerns and toy traditions and toy conversations - all above the little non-magical world of mortals and thus never to be shared.
The Harbourfront starts to feel a little lonely in November; all those tourists have gone back to wherever it is they come from. I do find a little comfort in the quiet. The longer stretches of night enfold you; life becomes quieter, less public. In January I'll be aching for more light, but lonely November comes welcome.
I've been away from my home for a week, being stand-in-mommy for my cousin in Riverdale. When I get back, I find this large and lusty gal docked across the street. A quick search tells me she has been up for sale, and just sailed up the St. Lawrence Seaway from Nova Scotia to stay for the winter.
She can light up a room, wouldn't you say?
A lot of people see the onset of autumn as a yearly crossroads. We feel energized for change and renewal; it’s as if the ripening leaves and drunken migratory birds lure us off tired old paths. My unanticipated absence from this space probably has something to do with all that.
It’s not good blog form, they say, taking a break without offering some sort of substitution posts. Or at least some advance notice. But then again this space has always been more about being true to me than retaining you. That’s not to say I don’t think the world of you for stopping by and offering support and conversation and encouragement. I’ve met some really wonderful friends here and for that I’m genuinely grateful.
After a couple of weeks of not being able to face that Typepad dashboard, I reassessed the future of my blog and what, if anything, I want of it. It turns out my longstanding goal of writing with more candour and openness has not changed, so I wondered if I was resisting that honesty. Especially as the desire to spend some time just living, without telling the world about how I was going about doing that, was forceful. With more certainty I know the photo project gave me license to resist the writing part. That wasn’t entirely unintentional, but now it was time to stand back and decide if this was what I really wanted.
I’ve not abandoned the photo a day project, though I will admit the “a day” part has gone amiss. Well before the blog break I’d been giving this whole “living out loud” some serious reconsideration. Blame it on Facebook.
Lest you think I’m entirely Facebook-Jaded, I still love social media. I love that people can express their passions and tell their stories on their blogs. I love that Facebook has put me and my extended family and my old friends in back touch with each other’s lives.
But I have, as should everybody, reconsidered how I want to use these things. Just as I feel it is an absurd waste of time reading that a Facebook “friend” – someone I barely knew even when I last saw them thirty years ago – has a headache or is making roast beef for supper, I also feel that my daily journal belongs in a bedside book, not on your computer screen. Some bloggers journal engagingly and with great success. I, however, am not comfortable merging the public and private. And because of that, the blog has become as insipid as an average Facebook status update.
Maybe it’s because I’m happy. Reluctant Blogger wrote once that she has no desire or need to write when she’s happy. It’s been a wonderful year and I will cherish this record of it. But it occurs to me, I don’t want to share every aspect of my personal life with the world – rather I want to share my perspective on that world.
I remain committed to the photo project for the rest of the year, and I will back-post the pictures I’ve been taking while “away.” Maybe a fresh approach on the project will reinvigorate it and, let’s hope, my writing.
Toronto's Nuit Blance, 2012. In which we go out at bedtime and find art in the city. And lots and lots of people.
I say it often to the folks who take my classes: don't ignore the things that inspire you, even if you don't know why they are making you feel inspired. Maybe, even years later, it'll be the missing puzzle piece.