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.
It's bloody cold today, but I made myself get out for a walk. I'm glad I did because the colour of the sky was the most gorgeous gradation of blues: from asure to cobalt to indigo to navy to midnight. And probably a whole lot of others I couldn't define. And it's not even supper time yet.
Queens Quay West, Toronto
This is a 365 Project – wherein I will endeavour to post a photo a day for a year.
I needed a creative kick in the pants. And I have been wanting to get back to a more basic daily diary keeping – a basic capturing of my daily comings and goings and getting down those significant moments, without mind to "good" writing or story. Unlike my main blog, which encompasses many little stories and encounters, this project will evolve as a story over time, it will grow and change as each day unfolds.
A photo journal fits. I just like to take pictures, and I take a lot of them. Sometimes I take photographs to help me find the appropriate words later. Sometimes I just like an image and can't articulate why. Or because I don't want to forget a moment.
Sometimes there are no words.
Today I had lunch again with Ceri and his lovely father Al, and when I came into the street to walk home I found this. This gentle sun looks like Christmas Eve usually feels to me. I hope your Christmas Eve is (was) peaceful too.
The Esplanade, Toronto
Big walk today, and then walked down to meet Ceri and his father for lunch in the St. Lawrence Market neighbourhood. Walked down Church Street for a change. Had a very enjoyable lunch of chicken parmesan pesto salad with wonderful company in a cosy pub by a gas fire.
Only the bell tower remains after a fire in 1955. When I was searching out its details online, I found it in a list of "Toronto's Best Makeout Spots."
This morning I open my eyes and roll over to find I’m joined by a rainy day and the lull of its gentle conversation. As always I want to keep it to myself – I don’t want to have to share it with the mechanical goings on of the work day. I want to walk in it at my leisure and absorb its smell and energy into my body.
I want to watch it lazily from a window as it provides sustenance to the vegetation and washes the streets and sidewalks. I want to cook in the glow of the stove light while I enjoy the sound of it falling outside and the deepened, bluish/greenish atmosphere closing around like a protective hug.
I think of rainy day jobs and creative activities and the pleasure and satisfaction we find in those things because the rainy day has given us an excuse to stay in and do them. I think of certain past lovers and how we dreamt of rainy days together, lolling about, talking, sipping tea, reading the paper and those other things lovers do so well together.
There’s something in a rainy day that slows my wheels a notch – and as I head out the door this morning I’m wishing I could have this rainy day for my very own. Or better perhaps – to share with someone else.