Suspend all the doing ...

2 // take a break from your carefully packaged & organised life; suspend all the doing, sit amongst the shambles of half-read books and empty cups, let blessed rest find you.

Leonie Wise, lifted from her beautiful blog.

Murray left yesterday and I collapsed into a small pile of crumple today.  I can do stuff ... I can but oh how I pay.  Just till the iron medication kicks in. 

I'm so impatient for it to work though.  And so I was always going to love Leonie's wise words, suspend all the doing.

Although, rather than suspend all, I'm doing slowly and carefully, then resting.  Multiple loads of laundry have been done today because ... it's 17 celsius here in Belgium.  Unusual perhaps, or simply an Indian summer.  It's good, as so many of my very best people are arriving on Friday.

Shannon and Erik are zooming over from Holland, Teresa and Kim from the UK, Jayne is coming and her Steve is flying back from Dubai, Ren and her lovely Norwegian are coming too.

Steven and Isabel, Martin and Gaby, Ellen and Anna, Marcia and her man ... I'm happy.

My photography exhibition has its official reception/opening on Friday night.  Saturday night is the night of the birthday party.  But honestly, it's mostly about my pleasure in catching up with these people I love. 

I'm scared I've forgotten to invite some people and they need to contact me because I am haphazard at the moment.  The anemia has surely caused problems with energy levels but also with concentration.  And I thought it was enough to take the medicine and move slowly but it's the 'not doing' that is making me most crazy.  It feels like someone has removed my larger station wagon motor and replaced it with the engine of a very small scooter.

Or that's the way I'm explaining this loss of forward motion. 

Slowly, slowly ... let's see how it goes.

Leonie, thank you for the music too.

Leonie Wise, Where the Road Ends

we wonder if there is a place here for us,
if we will tell our stories to island visitors some years down the line,
this island gets under our skin, into our blood
little remnants of it coming home in our memories

Leonie Wise, extract from where the road ends.

Beautiful people, beautiful photographs, beautiful words.

Here is just one of Leonie's exquisite  images from that particular post.

She has opened a conversation for me ...  we wonder if there is a place here for us.

I know that curiousity.  I have been looking for 'home' since forever.  I'll know it when I find it and in the meanwhile I'll enjoy where I am, like always.  I've spent the last 30 years moving towns, moving countries. 

Perhaps it will always be like this for me but perhaps one day I'll arrive ... and somehow I'll know that I'm home.

New Directions ...

And now we welcome the new year, full of things that have never been.

Rainer Maria Wilke

It's like that ... this year.  It's full of the promise of things that have never been.  Exciting things.  And if I can just work through this winter thing, this frustration with ice and snow, the isolation of working alone and without colleagues or friends After 5 fabulous weeks back amongst my people, then all would be grand.

It's been a rough week, one where I picked up more responsibility than I like, cleaned the house more often than usual, and struggled to juggle all of the balls/projects I seem to have up in the air.

And I've been on a mission, trying to work out what is possible, which projects are feasible when it come  to time and what might lead to employment ... the usual angst but with a clearer head.

I'm developing an exquisite project with a much-adored and respected friend ... to be unveiled as soon as it's ready to fly.  And I'm interviewing the people in my neighbourhood here.  The Flemish people I enjoy doing business with ... enjoy knowing, and I'm loving their stories. I need to pick up and start running Camera Journeys again ... but need to wait for the new direction to be confirmed, with dates and a place to book.  There's a newsletter to get out soon ... there's stuff to be done and no more time can be spent on my knees, feeling sorry for myself.

It's been like that ... I needed to give myself a bit of a talking to.  And it helped that I was reading Diana Baur's superb book titled 'Your Truth'.  It's been the perfect companion through these challenging days.  At only $5.99us, it's the best kind of read.

And the quote at the beginning ... I found that over on Cynthia Haynes website ... via the truly lovely Leonie Wise.

So, there's a vegetarian lasagne to bake now, and some bread too.  I was going to make a pavlova for dessert but I think that might be raising the bar higher than I want to commit to longterm.  I don't love housework.  I'm more like Erica Jong in her poem Woman Enough

I'll leave you with a favourite subject ... an image that I think best sums up the promise of things to come.  Tot straks.

New Zealand Guests

I just had the most delightful weekend with Leonie and Nick ... surely two of the loveliest New Zealanders living in London.

More stories to follow, I just need permission to blog some photographs.  Meanwhile, here’s one that Leonie spotted and I stepped back a bit with the telephoto lens and shot over her shoulder.

Thanks guys, I’m still smiling over spending time with you both.


Ira Glass ... American public radio personality and wise man

Nobody tells this to people who are beginners, I wish someone told me. All of us who do creative work, we get into it because we have good taste. But there is this gap. For the first couple years you make stuff, it’s just not that good. It’s trying to be good, it has potential, but it’s not. But your taste, the thing that got you into the game, is still killer. And your taste is why your work disappoints you. A lot of people never get past this phase, they quit. Most people I know who do interesting, creative work went through years of this. We know our work doesn’t have this special thing that we want it to have. We all go through this. And if you are just starting out or you are still in this phase, you gotta know its normal and the most important thing you can do is do a lot of work. Put yourself on a deadline so that every week you will finish one story. It is only by going through a volume of work that you will close that gap, and your work will be as good as your ambitions. And I took longer to figure out how to do this than anyone I’ve ever met. It’s gonna take awhile. It’s normal to take awhile. You’ve just gotta fight your way through.
Extract from Ira Glass on Storytelling, part 3 of 4

However, the actual quote was found over on the lovely Leonie’s Blog.