Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Last day of November

Well, here we are and I've managed to come up with something for every day of November.  It's been good to see a number of other bloggers who have drifted off a bit of recent times coming back and warming up to it again.

I thought I'd be raiding the external hard drive for old pictures but in fact I haven't, and have found that I'm thinking about photography again and picking the camera up more often, which can't be bad.  I don't feel that I've had a great deal of consequence to say for myself, but then when I'm asking people to look in every day it's probably just as well not to be blathering on too much. 

The less said the better, sometimes, more and more I feel.  I've found myself much more inclined to read blogs without an obligation to comment than I used to. Yet I sometimes also fear that I take few risks, put myself out very little, that my blogging is safe, bland and anodyne.  But I also know my limits, and they are legion.

Very saddening in the last couple of days to see the departure of someone who I hope has genuinely become a friend in the world as well as in the blogging spirit, and who, however quirky, eccentric, occasionally abrasive or truculent, has enriched my life and my comments threads with  extraordinary wit, humour, imagination ( a lot of that!) compassion, kindness, compliments and affection. He says he has taken a risk too many, not played safe enough, and rues the consequences.  This feels all wrong, but brings home once again the sense that our on-line lives are rather vulnerable and precarious.  Yet I still value this way of making a window into our lives, however small, selective and infrequently opened; it has brought new friends in and brought old ones closer, and strengthened ans stimulated more private conversation. But when the window closes, there's a danger we'll disappear to one another. I don't know whether this is something to worry about or not.

Ah well.  So then we here at home ended up having a ... discussion,  about what I rather antagonistically and pejoratively called the doctrine of detachment, and which I equally antagonistically and pejoratively attacked as being potentially glib and disingenuous.  (I can be an argumentative cuss).  About how much responsibility we need to take for the effect our words and/or actions have on others, the role of intention in the matter, and ultimately the nature of the self that acts or is acted on.  These things happen round here. We didn't exactly reach any conclusions but we didn't end up divorcing either.  And it made me think I'd go and look up Marcus Aurelius.

I found him on Tom's shelf because I'd passed him on to him.  And it really must be a long time since I read any, since I found this marking a page:

It's a label from the 1992 vintage of Burrow Hill's Somerset Cider Brandy (what it says on the tin, really).  I think they sent this, just the label, to me with an offer because I'd bought half a bottle of the first year ever.  If I'd kept it it might be worth a bit now, but I finished it one night with one of my nieces after she'd just finished a boyfriend.

Marcus Aurelius was just too dense to plunder for a quick soundbite about detachment, and even the dictionary of quotations didn't yield too much, except that he was to be found between St Augustine who said

To Carthage I came and there sang all around me a cauldron of unholy loves

and Jane Austen who had Emma's dad saying

The sooner every party breaks up the better.

So on that note, and because if I don't stop soon it will no longer be November and my pledge will be broken, I will close here.  With some random pictures.   

This is the sign for our village.  It means 'The Holly', and I'm quite sure that old Marcel, whose house and holly tree this is, the first house in the village, insisted that they put the sign there.

More holly,

and mistletoe.  Very festive.

She's probably hoping she's not going to be festive,

and she's getting out of here in case.

Bunnies and pumpkins,


and don't forget the vegetables.


Rouchswalwe said...

I'm in a funk, sweet Lucy. I read your words and laughed at the hen and ooed and awed at the vegetables. Now I'm thinking about context.

And about all of the warmth I've received from my friends this year. I'm a tough cookie. But honestly, this year has been rough. I have learned the true meaning of "a friend in need ..."

Genuine friendship can handle risk-taking. Yes. Thinking about blogging and blogs and sharing on blogs, I also "value this way of making a window into our lives" (how perfectly you have described this feeling in my heart). In a world in which letter writing is not longer a factor for so many, I value blogging. New worlds open up, and I am able to learn from others through pictures and text. It's a wonderful balance for someone like me, who deals face-to-face with people throughout the workday.

Thank you, Lucy! Thank you, Tom!

Zhoen said...

Congratulations on your fortitude.

I don't think anyone ever lived richly by playing it too safe. I think it's better to err a little on the side of giving it a go.

christopher said...

Sweet Lucy, it is hard for me to think of you as antagonistic but I suppose blogging is really not that good a window unless someone insists on self exposure. Even then, the writing does not permit a more global picture and the photos nearly always point away from us even when we take them.

On the other hand, I am one who lets more of me out, writing frankly about parts of my life. Unfortunately, there is showbiz in this. I exaggerate and distort and otherwise creatively add and subtract and fantasize. Especially in the poems I would recommend not being all that sure you see the "inner" me. I think of comics who tell on themselves, but also make up stuff and actors who utilize their own lives to fill out characters. Blogging is for me like that, but not for everyone. I don't think I can be badly hurt in the blog world but I sure know that others can.

Roderick Robinson said...

That was very touching. There's a dozen compliments I could choose from but, for reasons I've explained, your resilience is foremost.

I am presently exploring the possibility of doing a blog no one will want to read. That would get round some of the problems that have accumulated in the past.

earlybird said...

This resonated: ' ...a window into our lives, however small, selective and infrequently opened; it has brought new friends in and brought old ones closer, ' and I couldn't agree more.

I barely 'know' BB but when I got to his comment here I laughed out loud.

I've enjoyed your November posts - words and photos. So now we've been given the 'before' Christmas pics, I hope you'll post the 'after' ones.

Fire Bird said...

well done... it's been an entertaining and interesting November here. No barrel scarping detected.

The Crow said...

Well done, Lucy; well put. I admire your gift with words as much as I value your art and your photography.

Today feels too much like the day after the funeral of someone dear. Numbness, which allows the significance of the loss to sink in. You've written a lovely eulogy.

Unknown said...

Marcus Aurelius, though he never blogged, often has an answer I find. Our friend posed the question Why do we blog? You have answered it here. I hope that any blogger in the neighbourhood who is thinking of bowing out, first reads what you write here and changes his or her mind.

Catalyst said...

Gee. Golly. Nice holly.

(My word verification word is: asicksmo. I wonder if it's commenting on my comment?)

Julia said...

Here, here, Lucy!

I found myself slipping into quietness more and more this year. November gave me a good excuse to kick start writing again and nudge open my own window a bit. Sometimes a little kick is all it takes.

Roderick Robinson said...

Just trying out my new blogonym.

Aha, it works.

new blog now, alas, attracting comments.

J Cosmo Newbery said...

Everyday! That's serious good going. I think I managed one post for the month!