The Simple Pleasures



Originally posted on Outmanned:

This week’s writing challenge from The Daily Post was to find inspiration from three photographs. I chose three photographs taken of my son by TJ Parker Photography one chilly fall day.




When do we stop being able to appreciate the simple pleasures in life? Is it when we go to school? Puberty? When get our first job? When we turn 18? I can’t remember when it happened to me, but somewhere along the twisted line that is my life, I lost the ability to find enjoyment in the things I see everyday. I forgot how to see beauty in the plainer things, and excitement in the mundane. I am truly a child of my generation. I need to be entertained.

A friend told me a story the other day about a little boy she knew. He was five or six years and at a play date with some younger children…

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Memo # 12

I have finally instituted a writing day for myself. Non-interpretive, uninterrupted. Awesome.

There is a rose on my desk from Valentine’s Day, I’ve eaten a delicious maple & pecan pastry, I’ve replaced the ink in my printer, and I’m armed with a belly-mug of tea.

First, a meditation.

My favourite thing this week is a difficult toss up between the clear, dense and sparkling blanket of stars over the ocean these past few days, striking like those here in my old mountain range:

and a Neruda ode to socks which I handily rediscovered by being introduced to a frog poem over coffee (online here). My favourite song has been the one from the Hobbit 2 credits, ‘I See Fire’. My overriding intent this week has been to finish up my collaged chest of drawers, but so far, no such luck. The main reason for this saddening failure is that I’ve been saddled with a migraine of the sort that simply wants to shackle me without actually breaking me. Thus, I am reduced to treating it constantly (and treating myself nicely) while foregoing a lot of life and wearing out spectacularly quickly. Hmph.

At night I dream of art like growing vines, and the mysterious smile that speaks of souls in -contact-, learning. Once I get to sleep anyway. My dreads are full of grief at the moment…

Today, I will be bulking out my submittables and preparing at least one packet for the mail. Perhaps deciding on the fate of my next poetry collection: to be or not to be?

Here goes.


Everyday Art

I’ve been experimenting with collage as an art form. Here are some of my early attempts. Currently I am working on a pair of side tables and a chest of drawers, both of which I’m really excited about. I’m soon to embark on a refurbishment of some tables and chairs in a local shop’s cafe as well. So much fun!


I gave away my earliest pieces, and recently made a stab at selling various things, all proceeds to charity.


The response has been good I think for early steps: while more items may have sold because of the charities involved, there was a lot of genuine interest in the pieces themselves — especially the larger ones, which weren’t actually for sale that day!

a bookshelf i finished for a friend :)

a bookshelf i finished for a friend this past year :)

Several people asked me if I had shown my work in art galleries at all — even if I had a gallery! Heh.


Rilke on Love and Other Difficulties…

rilkepix          I will try at some juncture to say my own bit here, but for now let me say that this is one of the most inspiring quotes about relationship that I have ever come across and I highly recommend this work. There are chapters and chapters of these brilliant and soulful observations in the book, which is ridiculously worth reading (as are most Rilke writings…)

         “…They hurry to a conclusion; to come, as they believe, to a final decision, they try once and for all to establish their relationship, whose surprising changes have frightened them, in order to remain the same now and *forever* (as they say). That is only the last error in a chain of errings linked fast to one another. What is dead cannot even be clung to (for it crumbles and changes its character); how much less can what is living and alive be treated definitively, once and for all. Self-transformation is precisely what life is, and human relationships, which are an extract of life, are the most changeable of all, rising and falling from minute to minute, and lovers are those in whose relationship and contact no one moment resembles another. People between whom nothing is accustomed, nothing that has already been present before ever takes place, but many new, unexpected, unprecedented things. There are such relationships which must be a very great, almost unbearable happiness, but they can only occur between very rich natures and between those who, each for himself, are richly ordered and composed; they can united only two wide, deep, individual worlds. –Young people–it is obvious– cannot achieve such a relationship, but they can, if they understand their life properly, grow up to 49456such happiness and prepare themselves for it. They must not forget, when they love, that they are beginners, bunglers of life, apprentices in love, –must *learn* love, and that (like *all* learning) wants peace, patience, and composure! 
To take love seriously and to bear and learn it like a task, this it is that young people need. — Like so much else, people have so misunderstood the place of love in life, they have made it into play and pleasure because they thought that play and pleasure were more blissful than work; but there is nothing happier than work, and love, just because it is the extreme happiness, can be nothing else but work. So whoever loves must try to act Rilkebookas if he had a great work: he must be much alone and go into himself and collect himself and hold fast to himself; he must work; he must become something! For believe me, the more one is, the richer is all that one experiences. And whoever wants to have a deep love in his life must collect and save for it and gather honey.’ “

Find more on Rilke and links here and here.

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