January 2011

dancing with January

…and not finding our rhythm yet.
I’ve been reading with interest everyone’s New Years post and thoughts and
words for the year, but haven’t been able to find my own. Lots of building
decisions and tasks and days and days of sniffles or headaches or stuffiness
(sometimes all at once) have thrown a haze over the first fresh, new weeks of
the year. Thank goodness the haze is lifting and January and I seem to stepping
on each others toes less and less as the days go by.
I have spent the days on the sofa simplifying and redecorating my blogs.
It is a work in progress, but I would welcome your thoughts on it…
do you like the larger pictures and centeredness and everything but the
posts tucked away in the little categories above?

One day when I was in town, that first week of January, I had a spare
twenty minutes and popped in the bookstore to browse the shelves.
I so wanted to find a book or a magazine to point the way for me in the
New Year, to give me a little guidance or focus or inspiration.
I didn’t find anything at all….but did get a little glimmer of the book that
I might put together some day that is the book that I was looking for.
In the meantime, I have found much beauty and steadiness in the
book that has been my constant companion for thirty-four years.
I bought The Country Diary of an Edwardian Lady when I was eighteen
and its pages have been open to the month or season in every home
I have had over all these years…in my bedroom at my parent’s house,
my apartments and tiny houses in the years after college, our first
little house in Williamsburg and our present home in the countryside.
Lately, it has been open on my dressing table, and I gaze at it morning
and evening as I open pots of face cream or pin up my hair. I wait for
the day of one of Edith Holden’s entries to match the date I read and
imagine her on her walk or bicycle ride in the English countryside more
than a hundred years ago….paying such close attention to the birds and the
leaves and the flowers…to the weather and the small wonders of the
everyday. So she gives me some of what I am looking for…
always has, I suppose.

And I found some of what I was looking for in my beloved Country
Living (British)….just the cover speaks of so much-orderliness, domesticity,
light, comfort. I also have some blog pages open on my computer that seem to
touch on what is needing some attention in my life or something I would like to
focus on. Sue, Tif, Dorit, Alicia, Alison….all glimmers. So…no resolutions for
me….just some Glimmers and Little Realizations that with some time and
attention will strengthen and become familiar and smooth steps
in this everyday dance.

a twelfth-day miscellany

The snow is gone now, but I am becoming
quite attached to having it around and and am
hoping that more will come again soon.

In the meantime, I am trying to get back
to some sort of routine…but only half-heartedly,
as I know that only today is it the last day of
Christmas, and tomorrow is a town day, and
then the weekend is here…so there is really
no possible way to get back to the usual
until next Monday…perfectly sensible,
wouldn’t you agree?

On Monday I did something greatly out
of the ordinary and that was to go to a matinee.
It is rare for a movie to come along that I am
willing to both pay money to see and endure
all the dreadful pre-movie ads…but it was
The King’s Speech, so I gladly did both.

It was very much worth it. I was
moved to tears by the end and glad to hear
the gentle applause throughout the theatre
at it’s conclusion. Of course, I have been rather
taken with Bertie and Elizabeth since I saw
the movie of the same name several years
ago…and there was also Colin Firth. The
only thing I didn’t like was the gloomy cast
to most of the movie (something you see more
and more these days) and the stylized rooms
and sets (more artistically pleasing to some
designer’s vision than to reality, I think).
I clung to any glimpse of sunlight or
firelight and was glad the theatre was
warm since they didn’t serve hot
cups of tea during the showing,
more’s the pity.

We were supposed to go to a lovely
annual Twelfth Night gathering tonight,
but various menfolk in the house are ill…
so instead, we will light a fire and sip
potato soup. I might even be able to convince
everyone to watch one last holiday story.

I just finished my first book of the year…
The Shell Seekers. It is the book that
introduced me to Agas and scrubbed pine
tables when I first read it in 1987. It was a
cosy, easy read when I met it again after all
these years, and I especially liked these
lines from a poem by Louis MacNeise
that I found amongst its pages…

“…Whose nature prefers
trees without leaves
and a fire in the fireplace.”