Process

What These Ithakas Mean

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Esquimalt Lagoon

 

Not so much writing this fall. It was full of doing.

Sailing through the holidays, through the dark, to the New Year.

Ithaka

As you set out for Ithaka
hope the voyage is a long one,
full of adventure, full of discovery.
Laistrygonians and Cyclops,
angry Poseidon—don’t be afraid of them:
you’ll never find things like that on your way
as long as you keep your thoughts raised high,
as long as a rare excitement
stirs your spirit and your body.
Laistrygonians and Cyclops,
wild Poseidon—you won’t encounter them
unless you bring them along inside your soul,
unless your soul sets them up in front of you.

Hope the voyage is a long one.
May there be many a summer morning when,
with what pleasure, what joy,
you come into harbors seen for the first time;
may you stop at Phoenician trading stations
to buy fine things,
mother of pearl and coral, amber and ebony,
sensual perfume of every kind—
as many sensual perfumes as you can;
and may you visit many Egyptian cities
to gather stores of knowledge from their scholars.

Keep Ithaka always in your mind.
Arriving there is what you are destined for.
But do not hurry the journey at all.
Better if it lasts for years,
so you are old by the time you reach the island,
wealthy with all you have gained on the way,
not expecting Ithaka to make you rich.

Ithaka gave you the marvelous journey.
Without her you would not have set out.
She has nothing left to give you now.

And if you find her poor, Ithaka won’t have fooled you.
Wise as you will have become, so full of experience,
you will have understood by then what these Ithakas mean.     – CP Cavafy

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Heart to Heart

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I had an amazing day last weekend studying colour theory with my very talented and inspirational cousin Maggie Rose.

A little Goethe as tribute :

 

“Colours are light’s suffering and joy. “

 

“You can’t, if you can’t feel it, if it never
Rises from the soul, and sways
The heart of every single hearer,
With deepest power, in simple ways.
You’ll sit forever, gluing things together,
Cooking up a stew from other’s scraps,
Blowing on a miserable fire,
Made from your heap of dying ash.
Let apes and children praise your art,
If their admiration’s to your taste,
But you’ll never speak from heart to heart,
Unless it rises up from your heart’s space.”

-Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

 

Mind the Gap

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There are beginnings and endings, and there is the space between the two. Or maybe it is a process; turning the ending into a beginning. Either way, I’m finding it a bit difficult, sitting here in this gap. I expect there is a lesson in that.

 

It Will Have to Be Enough

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Is it New Year already ?

A whole week in – I’m wearing purple and green – does that count ?

I make no special resolution.

Every night I’m full of resolutions; they lay thick on my wrists; they drip from my fingers. If I could live in that first hour after bed, what I wouldn’t accomplish!

I played with beads yesterday evening instead of finishing the painting. Feet to the fire ! I should finish the painting ! The resolutions were flying.

Have you followed a butterfly’s flight ? Perhaps my attention bears too much resemblance. Does painting fit with that ?

I landed on a new name: Curiosity Artist.

It will have to be enough.

 

fire

How Does Your Garden Grow ?

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Valerian
Valerian

Contained in the lovely essay :  “An Absorbing Errand: The Psychology of Mastery in Creative Work“.

The good life is lived best by those with gardens — a truth that was already a gnarled old vine in ancient Rome, but a sturdy one that still bears fruit. I don’t mean one must garden qua garden… I mean rather the moral equivalent of a garden — the virtual garden. I posit that life is better when you possess a sustaining practice that holds your desire, demands your attention, and requires effort; a plot of ground that gratifies the wish to labor and create — and, by so doing, to rule over an imagined world of your own.

[…]

As with the literal act of gardening, pursuing any practice seriously is a generative, hardy way to live in the world. You are in charge (as much as we can ever pretend to be — sometimes like a sea captain hugging the rail in a hurricane); you plan; you design; you labor; you struggle. And your reward is that in some seasons you create a gratifying bounty.

Janna Malamud Smith

Oh, I think everyone should have a REAL garden too !

Inside Out

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Rain-drops

 

It is wet, wet, wet outside,

and so I’m listening inside.

Sara Kay

 

Hurry Ruins

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“Hurry ruins saints as well as artists. They want quick success and they are in such haste to get it that they cannot take time to be true to themselves. And when the madness is upon them they argue that their very haste is a species of integrity.” (Thomas Merton)

I don’t think I have this problem. I think I have the opposite; reluctance. Reluctance to try for success, reluctance to let a piece be finished; a reluctance to fail, a reluctance to count neither time nor product. Reluctance ruins too and carries its own false integrity.

The above quote was part of a post called Just for Today. Well worth the read !