Lifting myself up
Like a heavy weight,
Old camel getting to her knees,
I think of my mother
And the inexhaustible flame
That kept her alive
Until she died.
She knew all about fatigue
And how one pushes it aside
For staking up the lilies
Early in the morning,
The way one pushes it aside
For a friend in need,
For a hungry cat.
Mother, be with me.
Today on your birthday
I am older than you were
When you died
Thirty-five years ago.
Thinking of you
The old camel gets to her knees,
Moves forward slowly
Into the new day.
If you taught me one thing
It was never to fail life.”
Hmmm…I went looking for a May Sarton something to share, something with a nod to August…the waning summer…but I found this, instead. And it suits, if only because I know this feeling so well, especially in these August days when this recent mono relapse ebbs and flows, according to its whim. Of course, I don’t see myself as an “old camel” just yet, even when the heaviness descends, but it does feelingly describe the effort needed sometimes.
No lily-staking for me, tho’ early this morning I did manage to find and toss to the hens the pickling cucumbers that grew to enormous size while I was otherwise occupied…and the summer squash. And I was able to fill my shop with lovely, textury, tree-free School Year notebooks and calendars and planners. And a sweet, restful, wonder-filled visit from a dear old friend was delighted in.
I don’t think often in terms of failure, but as I get older, “to never fail life” seems a very good aim. In the little ways of lilies and friends in need and hungry cats, if not in larger ways. But also in not failing ourselves…our gifts…our dreams. It’s so easy to be distracted and diverted. I am trying to stay focused on clearing the quieter path I keep mentioning, yet my steps have really slowed this month…as they do sometimes. Your responses help me to keep me going, tho’, keep me getting to my knees again and again, keep me finding peaceful ways. It’s so important not to feel alone. Let’s keep talking about it all!
And so, to our Blogging Renaissance…
I’d like to share with you what has made blog-reading a pleasure again for me…after I gave up bloglovin’ years ago because it was so commercial and materialistic…and then didn’t even give any of the feed-readers a chance because they are overwhelming and ugly…and found visiting through bookmarks tedious. The idea isn’t mine, tho’ I can’t remember where I came across it (please let me know if you are reading!) but it is so elegantly simple…
:: CREATE A ONE-PAGE BLOG FOR FOLLOWING BLOGS ::
This is mine, at Blogger, because they have the “blog list gadget” that keeps the newest posts at the top and I can easily see if there is something new to read…if someone is ‘at home’ to visit. It wasn’t made for anyone’s eyes except my own, but I am quite glad to share it, and hope that in the near future, there will be more such pages to explore and wander amongst. This one was made three and a half years ago, tho’ I updated the photo (from my Rosehip Ceremony-xo tonia) because it beautifully evokes what blog-reading can be…an intentional visit with a gathering of kindred spirits.
When I logged into Blogger, for the first time in a long while, I was reminded that Google now owns it, so I will soon be finding out whether a wordpress.com blog has a blog-following widget. If so, as part of my disengaging from the matrix, I will move my little blog-following page elsewhere. And I’d like to find more blogs to add to my list (tho’ not too many.) And get better about leaving comments.
Tho’ it’s taken almost a year to bring into being this new rhythm of being online, it’s beginning to settle in. I’ve posted three times in the past six weeks (almost fortnightly-my aim) and look forward to seeing how this rhythm, this practice, will deepen and unfurl. As well, I look forward now to the half hour on the porch, once or twice a week when I sit down with my laptop and go a’ wandering. Instagram is still in my life, but it’s lost its luster and feels like more of a tool than a distraction now.
I’d like to keep the Blogging Renaissance conversation going for awhile…see if we can really breathe some life into it. So there will be another chapter soon, and some Monarch chrysalises, no doubt, and garlic chive blossoms and some of the other-myriad-ways we keep our own “inexhaustable” flames aglow.
Emmie August 14, 2019 at 6:56 pm
I am so glad you are blogging again. I have also resurrected my blog this year. I am on such a similar path and have gotten so much from your words this year. Thank you again for being you.
Lesley August 16, 2019 at 3:53 pm
So kind, Emmie. xo
Nicole~ August 14, 2019 at 8:20 pm
Found my way here from insta. I am in Old Camel mode these days. August is dreadful in Georgia. I love the idea of a blogging renaissance. I just can’t seem to find the focused time to sit and make it right. And maybe blogging feels too much like staking the lilies.
Lesley August 16, 2019 at 3:56 pm
It’s a good poem to measure things by, isn’t it? I suppose if blogging doesn’t feel like a life-supporting thing, Nicole, it’s not worth the effort. Blogging (reading or writing) needs to be pleasurable. I hope sultry Georgia receives some cool breezes soon.
Laura Hansen August 14, 2019 at 11:32 pm
Lovely post. Here’s a poem for you that suits the mood.
Lesley August 16, 2019 at 3:57 pm
So descriptive and familiar, Laura…
Mel August 15, 2019 at 5:33 am
Well you know I’m all for the blogging renaissance! .
I put together a separate page on my blog with a linked list of my favourite haunts… more to share with my readers, as I still use Bloglovin…despite despising it immensely. I just haven’t found a more easeful way of knowing when someone has posted. I always opt for the “follow by email” which means I don’t rely on the aggregator for those, but not everyone has that option. It’s a work in progress, but heading in the right direction. .
I would so love for more people to return to regular blogging, but I think it asks people to go beyond a simple desire to do so — I fear it’s a function of our damaged attention spans – both the reading and the writing of blogs demands more focus from our hijacked brains. Ack, don’t get me started….
Lesley August 16, 2019 at 4:02 pm
I visited your lovely page, mel, and your blog, which somehow fell off my little list (now remedied) Such a satisfying, beautiful post you wrote…in word and image! As for my approach, I just really appreciate seeing the updates, which you get via bloglovin (for as long as you can bear it : )
You know, my attention span is still just fine? I sometimes wonder if it is because I never became attached to the phone. So it’s much like 2007 around here, with a little bit of Instagram thrown in.
Kimberly August 16, 2019 at 5:15 pm
I blogged for almost a decade, but when it changed to commercializing and creating a platform, instead of just sharing our quite lives, I stopped. I have a website for my business, but that’s its own world and not personal.
I miss it.
Lesley August 19, 2019 at 8:34 am
I do understand, Kimberly. The advice out there confused me for awhile, even if I didn’t do anything about it. But there have always been some who went on simply sharing their lives and their creativity (Alicia Paulson comes right to mind) and they still have large followings and comments. So I am hoping, that if any of us really want to get back to blogging the “old fashioned” way…we can.
It may take awhile for readers to put down their phones and find better rhythms for visiting and commenting, but I really am hopeful. I’ve been wanting to talk about the details more deeply with other women creating and trying to make a living in natural, gentle ways…perhaps we can gather at Rosehip Business again?
Jacqui August 17, 2019 at 11:10 am
Beautiful words, as always, Lesley. Definitely feeling old camel-ish today after a really busy and hectic week, but I’m happy to relax into it today.
I’m busily tranferring my blog back to Blogger – ah well – hopefully you’ll still visit. I’ve had too many comments now about not being able to leave comments – and the biggest part of old fashioned blogging is the connection, so I’m just going with it. xxx
Lesley August 19, 2019 at 8:37 am
Of course I’ll visit! : ) I just want to-eventually-not give Google *my* business. Are you on Squarespace now?
I can only imagine how much more old camelish I would feel if I still had young ones in my life as you do, Jacqui. xo
Jacqui August 21, 2019 at 4:44 am
I’m still on squarespace officially, but I have set up a parallel blogger blog, while I transfer posts over. I’m still on the fence, as I love the way ss looks, so I’ll see how it goes.
Glad to have a whole week at home with nothing planned but house and garden xxx
Michelle August 29, 2019 at 9:00 am
Hurrah for the blogging renaissance! I’m ready for it, even if I have almost completely forgotten how to comment. I do love your space and am so glad you’re blogging again. Take care.
Viv August 31, 2019 at 9:55 am
Hi Lesley – I am just having a bit of a catch up myself in blogland – it has been a busy summer for our family. I am with wordpress because I have put in your address link when you do a new post it comes up in my reader.
There are a lot fewer people blogging now since the rise of instagram etc but some people are starting to come back although once you get out of the habit I think it is hard to do.
I have never seen that lovely poem before – thanks for sharing it.