“In the sense that there was nothing before it, all writing is writing against the void.” Mark Strand, 1934 – American poet, essayist, and translator.
Sitting in front of the blank computer screen on a particularly wet Sunday afternoon I could not think of anything to write about today. So I am writing into the void. No wonder the blank page or in my case, the empty computer screen, is so frightening. This void is not my usual habitat. I am a creature of city streets, beaches and bush. My inspiration is born in these things, and of course, family and grandchildren.
And as is always the case, I did think of something. Today I thought of a book I have entitled Lilian Too’s Book of Gold. It is subtitled “Wise Ways to Health, Wealth and Happiness” and contains 365 daily reflections. I haven’t even thought of this book for ages but looking for enlightenment I opened it and saw the reflection entitled “Life is a Sacred Dance”. And thinking about it I know that “when movements are coordinated and sure there is so much grace and when there is also music life becomes a celebration!”
Life is supposed to be a celebration but so often we get mired down in all the things, both small and large, that upset us and work together to spoil our days, so that we forget to be thankful and celebrate all the good things in our lives.
Most of us have so much for which to be grateful. Oh sure, there are those aches and pains that we have to deal with; those pesky neighbours or workmates; that rude clerk in the store or any one of a hundred things you can name. And certainly, there are those things that really drag us down. The death of a friend; a family member with a terminal illness; an unexpected bill to be paid; or the end of a relationship. And further afield war, earthquakes, devastation and riots. Many of the things about which we worry do not impact us personally, and in most instances, there is nothing we can do about them.
Death is something we have to face whether our own or a loved one’s. Relationships will end either by us or by the other person involved. Health whether ours or somebody else’s, will be compromised, and we have to find a way to deal with all of these things. But we also have to find time to celebrate our lives. To remember all the good things for which we have to be thankful. So today I am making a pact with myself to celebrate all those things for which I am grateful.
And to prove that Pollyanna is alive and well and living in Wellington, NZ here are some of the lyrics from a favourite song:
I hope you never lose your sense of wonder You get your fill to eat But always keep that hunger May you never take one single breath for granted God forbid love ever leave you empty handed I hope you still feel small When you stand by the ocean Whenever one door closes, I hope one more opens Promise me you’ll give faith a fighting chance And when you get the choice to sit it out or dance I hope you dance; I hope you dance.
JB November 27 2022 On a cold wet “Summer” day in Wellington, NZ
I mentioned a bit ago that I have found myself watching little videos of baby animals.
I surprised myself since I have always said that cutesy is not something I do but…
I must have been very bored one day to have taken a peek.
I watch these videos on my Instagram and what ended up interesting me was not the happy cutesy ones.
There are mothers that are nurturing. But what caught my eye were the ones that appeared not to be. Some drag their young brutally. Some beat them and push them away.
Of course some babies go to the wrong mother and are pushed or smacked away.
I have seen large males grab a baby and try to run away with it but usually the mother will grab the baby back.
I have seen mothers carry a baby’s corpse, some of which are very decomposed.
So I did what I always do. Research.
Mothers will kill their own baby if something is wrong with it or if they don’t want it.
Males will (rarely) kidnap a baby and kill it, because and get this – as long as a female is nursing it cannot get pregnant (and those males are out to copulate and reproduce). Females can nurse their young up to four years (I think).
I read that monkeys recognize death but will continue carrying their deceased babies for a long time.
I learned that like the life we know there is cute, and joy, and nourishing, and teaching. But there is also isolation, rejection, pain, and grief.
Actually watching them makes me realize how very like the monkeys we are. So from North of 43 I contemplate just how connected life on this planet is.
This post was written by Judith in April 2017. I, her counterpart here at AWA am reposting this in her absence. This particular day JB’s WordPress was acting up, but today, the difficulty is Life Gets in the Way. And all the plans, schedules, intentions go awry. I thought I would look back at her trove of verbal treasures, and there are many. But I chose this one today, because of the sign below. So come with me and take a peek at what was on her mind five and a half years ago, Chris G
Today has been one of those days.
First, I lost a blog post that had been published, it attracted at least one comment. So I redid that post.
Then my site theme was lost and I have spent the last several hours trying to reinvent what I had. But I don’t know where that has all gone either.
What did I do to WordPress I wonder? But I do know that several others had strange happenings on WordPress today.
So let’s hope tomorrow is a better day for WordPress.
« We can easily forgive a child who is afraid of the dark ; the real tragedy of life is when men are afraid of the light » Plato
Much has been said about the recent decision on the rose versus wade legislation. The media have covered it at great length. We have seen and heard the talking heads on this subject and no doubt, most of us have discussed this with friends and other groups in which we are involved. I am not going to get involved in the discussion here.
I simply want to tell you about a book that I picked up from the library last week. In our local library which is very small and an offshoot of the Wellington City Library, there is a table holding copies of the librarians’ picks. Knowing nothing about this author, Douglas Kennedy and always ready to try something new, I picked up his latest book, Afraid of the Light.
“While Afraid of the Light isn’t a novel solely about abortion, it explores the complexities of family, morals and improbable friendships. It’s a stunning social thriller set against the self-righteous tone of our time” per NZ Book Lovers.
The author assures us he is pro-life but cleverly shows both sides of the current argument. He leans heavily on and against the activities of the militant, extremist anti-abortionists.
I found this book intriguing and yet another, unputdownable. So I will now go to write a review on Books&MoreBooks.
When discussing yesterday’s movie with Chris of Bridges Burning, my alter ego on this blog, I was surprised/amazed to hear that she had no idea who Mary Quant was/is.
In 1955 when her first shop Bazaar was opened in Kings Road Chelsea, I was a schoolgirl longing to have access to money to buy my own clothes, particularly a Mary Quant dress. That had to wait until the next year when I was working and had my own money.
“The serendipitous synchronicity of a name shared by the shop and Harper’s Bazaar emerged just ahead of the opening of Quant’s Bazaar. In its September 1955 issue, this magazine became the first publication to feature a Quant editorial, printing a photograph of a sleeveless daytime tunic worn over culotte trousers, captioned “big penny spots on smart tan pyjamas, 4 guineas, from Bazaar, a new boutique”. Although Quant (sic)described her spotty pyjamas as ‘mad’, Bazaar, with its uniquely agile finger on the social pulse, was alert to her potential.
In 1957, her second shop opened in Knightsbridge; in 1962 she agreed a deal with the American chain store JC Penney; in 1963 she launched her cheaper wholesale line the Ginger Group; and in 1966, her divinely packaged makeup, jewellery and coloured tights hit the stores. But it was the arrival of her miniskirt in 1965 – ‘so short,’ she said, ‘that you could move, run, catch a bus, dance’ – that ensured Quant’s position as the most sought-after label for every fashionable female.”
But back to the movie. Suddenly watching this, I was transported back to the ‘swinging sixties’. The Beatles, the Rolling Stones, The Byrds et al all were part of my growing up and the early years as a young bride.
The movie blurb reads “The first official feature documentary celebrating the incredible life of one of the most influential icons of the 20th Century, fashion designer Dame Mary Quant. Featuring contributions from Kate Moss, Vivienne Westwood, Edward Enninful, Dave Davies, Charlotte Tilbury, Jasper Conran and Zandra Rhodes as well as Mary’s family and peers.”
it follows her life through childhood in London with holiday visits to Pembrokeshire, to meeting the charismatic, Alexander Penrose-Greene at Goldsmith’s College in London, early moves into and through to her rise in the fashion industry, marriage to Alexander (who coincidentally was five years her junior: a secret kept out of the public eye), to the birth of her son, Orlando and her private life. Alexander died at the age of 56 in 1990.
Much has been written about her and the amazing and rapid rise of her fashions, clothes, makeup and accessories. The name lives on and with it my memories of those dresses worn with delight, following the recently finished Second World War and bought with my own money.
Now my question to my followers – Do you know who Mary Quant is.
She is now Dame Mary, 92 years old and lives a quiet life between homes in Surrey and Grasse. She is a non-executive director of the House of Fraser group.
“Risk it, go for it. Life always gives you another chance, another go at it. It’s very important to take enormous risks.” Mary Quant, British fashion designer 1929 –
No. Not alcohol or any other drugs but dependency on the things we have come o take for granted.
For weeks/months? we have been sympathising with Granny on the sporadic supply of water and electricity in her part of South Africa. It appears that almost every day one or other of the services is cut – how hard that must make life for Granny.
Well, today I woke up and only part of the apartment had power. The first clue to something being wrong? The bedside light didn’t work and the radio clock was off. Even my trusty totem, my rock salt lamp was off. To make that first cup of tea I had to move the kettle to the other end of the bench.
Over my many years, I have learned first place to check is the fuse box. All looked well but what do I know? Anyway, a friendly electrician answered my call for help. His first port of call was the fuse box. He checked and all was in order. Then he checked all the powerpoints. They were in order. He then asked did I have an RCD. Um. A Residual Current Device. Once he described it I could show him which powerpoint had the device. He reset it and all was well. He then said he would check the outside powerpoint for the heat pump as he was here. And I am glad he did. We have had torrential rain for several days. Water had got into the box holding the plug and that had caused the RCD to trip.
So now Granny I am moving on from sympathy to empathy. I have some real idea of what life must be like when the power keeps going. off. And oh yes, it was only 13 degrees and the heat pump wasn’t working.
It’s still raining, but now it’s warm inside. The coffee maker has been happily bubbling away. The laundry s washed and dried, and dinner was cooked for my son this evening. So once again. all is well in my little corner of the world.
JB July 20, 2022 On a wet, windy, Wellington night.
As you may know, JB and LA from Waking Up on the Wrong Side of 50 initiated Five Word Friday which takes place on the first Friday of each month. It’s kind of neat that JB’s Friday is always the day before LA and me, so its like getting 2 or 3 scoops of ice cream for the price of 1 scoop.
So it caught my attention when I saw a YouTube clip about a late night host (Stephen Colbert) who asks his star guests 15 questions which will reveal their true selves, and the star was Daniel Craig. 007 himself.
The question – and answer I was most interested in was ’Describe the rest of your life in five words.
You guessed it. I was hooked. And I wondered what my five would be. I mean we’re talking about the rest of your life. My life. I wondered if age had anything to do with the kind of answer one might give, considering that people of my ilk have been described as living in God’s Waiting Room. Haha
Before I tell you my five, I will relate what a few others have said.
First, Daniel Craig could not come up with just five, so we’ll move on. He’s only 54 so….
Keanu Reeves at 57 yrs said, ”I’m going to be hopeful.” That’s petty good I think.
Matthew Dicks, an American novelist is 51 yrs, and he youthfully replied, ”I plan to live forever.” Ah the optimism of the young!
Tom Hanks at 65 yrs. old poetically replied, ”A magnificent cavalcade of colour.”
Bruce Springsteen at 72 years said, ”Damn, what a (bleeping) ride,”
Jennifer Lawrence at 31 yrs, came up short saying, ”Hopefully not too short.’ (short one word.
Bradley Cooper, at 47 years was the funniest. Answering off the top of his head said, ”Oh man, that’s two, yes!”
So I guess enough dallying around. How do I describe the rest of my life in five words??
INTENT ON DOING KIND THINGS. *DISCLAIMER- I may change this afrter3 further thought or wine, but given The God’s Waiting Room status probably not a bad idea.
So my question to you, from here at North of 43 is: HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE THE REST OF YOUR LIFE IN FIVE WORDS?