January 2018


There is a four-year-old post here with the same name, and when I read it and wandered back through what I was sharing then, I see now the beginnings of what has deepened into a way of life. Those first years after my mother died and my caregiving ended was the same time I became aware of the rosehip-colored glasses I had donned. And in the same way that reading glasses have become my constant companions (not that I am quite used to those yet) these rosehip glasses have changed the way I see so much.

On the night of the New Moon, I had a small ceremonial, one I’ve enjoyed many times in the past. The elements are simple, darkness and warm light, a stack of old magazines, perhaps some scissors and paste. Tho’ I have come to prefer tearing, not cutting, for the softer, ruffled edges. And I didn’t intend to paste that evening’s gleanings onto pages, but to pin them to my studio wall to inspire me. But instead of finding pictures that spoke to me, I found myself sifting through old tearings and hearing not a whisper from them. The pile for recycling grew and grew. When I finished, there was a small scattering of pictures that I may or may not keep, pictures of something I am challenged to bring into being in my life…pictures that are Real to me, not so obviously staged, styled or arranged.

I half-heartedly turned to the magazines and leafed through a few, but felt the same disinterest. It was curious to me, at first. But then I knew what was behind it…

The same something that makes me turn away from the computer-generated scenes in movies…and the plastic-surgeried faces of the elder-women I hope to look to out in the world…the lovely, meaningful artwork heaped with plastic paint…the charming front-porch decorations that soon overwhelm my spirit which seems to feel all of the plastic packaging and shipping boxes and striving for a look behind the pretty tableau…

It’s not that I don’t understand the longing for a cosy front porch…or to express myself through creating. And several times a day when I see the age spots appearing on my face, or my jawline soften, or my eyelids lower, I notice and feel…taken aback for awhile. My mind follows little trails of pondering what benign treatments there might be, what herbal skin oil might help. But this different sort of striving, to stop or mask what is a natural process, I also soon notice. And I think, instead, of the beauty I saw in my mother’s and my grandmother’s wrinkled, spotted faces. And I shift back towards acceptance…sometimes even peace, and occasionally…joy.

I would just be so grateful to find this acceptance more often in the world than I do. I begin to feel curmudgeonly with all of my noticings…and rather lonely. For it is not just about acceptance of aging, it is about seeing the connections between not accepting and the journey women have in this shiny, new century. And it is also about seeing the connections between all we unthinkingly buy to answer lovely impulses of creativity and nurturing and the cost of it all to our earth…and to us. How few have discovered that the acceptance of the limitations that keeping the earth always in mind (and its natural, needful rhythms and beautiful, complex relationships) …can also bring peace and joy.

For awhile now, I’ve been trying to find a word or phrase to encompass it. The ones in use don’t really satisfy me…making do…sustainability…stewardship. In the past, I would have come up with a poetic phrase for it, but others don’t catch on to one’s own poetic phrases very easily. And it feels important for more and more to catch on to seeing what we are each creating, day by day…with what we notice and what we don’t. So, I’ll just keep trying to describe it in words and pictures, here, there and everywhere. And keep trying to live out my own response to that noticing…however imperfectly.

This line from that first “real” post in 2014 sings out to me “During midlife, the desire to be real to ourselves, which comes from our soul…” I can see now how I have been struggling to express both this desire to be real and to find more of it in my world. It’s not a message that is exactly welcomed with open arms, or so I find. Yet quieting one’s soul-voice is the opposite of what the world…and the earth…need right now. And as my rosehip-colored glasses seem to be on as often as my reading glasses are these days, I suppose you may expect much more sharing of my own Real in the year to come.

A few notes…

  • Please know that you have to scroll back up to the top of the post to find the comment form…just click the word “comments”
  • Wisteria & Sunshine closes for new membership the evening of the 31st, Wednesday. Getting Real, in lovely ways, is one of our compasses there. We will reopen in the Spring…
  • And I’ve finally setup a way for you to receive new posts here in your inbox. It is surprisingly complicated with a self-hosted blog! At the bottom of left of the page you may find the box to click to signup, if you are interested.


I’ve had these photos for a few months, ever since my son Caleb showed them to me on his phone. He does carpentry and construction in the city and this house will be getting renovated sometime soon. And I feel just a bit sad about that…there is something poignantly beautiful about it in its current state. Expressing my wistfulness, he then mentioned lead paint. But I still love these photos, and the way it feels to be in empty, tattered rooms.

It is so easy to picture a shabby, elegant sofa…a coverlet upon it…a fire in the grate…a small table at hand to hold a cup of something warm…and s-p-a-c-e. Of course, there are the bothersome details about how to make that cup of something warm, and where is the notebooks and pencil and pen and books and every other little thing that makes for contentment? The constraints of the natural complexities of life always shadowing our longing for simplicity and spareness.

This is something of what I feel as I walk slowly through January, lovingly scrutinizing my home…my work…my ways…so wishing they could be emptier and more…pure, natural, clear…than they are…than they can be. Such longings, tho’, aren’t very helpful if they become expectations. So I am just paying attention to them and encouraging them to help me let go, and then let go some more.

One thing I won’t be letting go of is this blog. Although I’ve rather neglected it in my rosehip-confusion of the past few years, my delving this month revealed to me that of all the places where I can share, this feels most like home, apart from Wisteria & Sunshine, which is my true home because of its shelter and seclusion. Perhaps I will think of this blog as my town-home, my pied-a-terre. Someplace to go when I am feeling sociable and yearning for conversation and communing around the hearth.

I’ve had some ideas for a few new furnishings I will be creating for these rooms, to make them more inviting and comfortable for us…but didn’t want to wait for them to manifest before saying…

Hello again…and Happy New Year…

May we find so much that is…peaceful & understanding, clear & spacious, warm & deep…in our togetherness in this webby world. xo