Friday, 17 January 2014

trying to penetrate why seeing the same landscape over and over is important

Each day unfolds pretty much like the other - the part that is my practice - my daily forays out onto the beach - don't vary much except the weather dependent part of them. Can I go out onto the bay? Not before the ice is built up and not without snowshoes when the snow is drifted -unless the skidoos have packed it down enough. Or I walk to the end of the beach as far as I can go. I tend to go later than I used to although the sun rises earlier - I am in my winter slow-down, wanting to nestle under the feather-tick with a good book and the cup of coffee the fella brings me. Bella knows the drill - she sleeps on the rug near the bed until I rise and dress. Then it is to the kitchen table where I drink a half-cup of coffee and write the letter for the day. Gear up and out we go.

This week has been somewhat an exercise in frustration. Bella ran off on Monday and was gone for hours so now I'm only taking her on a lead. That means I am spending time with a spoiled kid twirling around and I swear, though this can't be true, she knows if can just irritate me enough I might let her go with a 'damn it - go then, stupid dog'. But I haven't. I don't want her slowly becoming more and more disobedient and me a bad dog person. So this week that is the discipline and I pine for simple reflection on what I'm seeing.

I felt it yesterday too. The pining. I went at 9AM  on the Seniors' Van to Goose Bay. I had a lawyer apt. I couldn't miss and it seemed a sensible idea - going in with the fella means a ten hour day in town and what to do with the gal - also it isn't a cozy easy to get around town - it is a long long strip so - the seniors' van. Perfect really and I did grocery shopping and the three of us on it, another woman and the volunteer driver, went for lunch. All good. But I LONGED to be here idly taking photos of trees and the shore and the snow and writing to you all about it. Yes, I did. The trees on the trip home (45 minutes or so) were heavenly, all laden with snow and miles and miles of them, until I fell asleep in the heat of the van and the rhythm and the gorgeousness in my eyes like a little kid at the fair.

Familiarity does not breed contempt! It breeds affection, love, longing and more longing. I can't bear to miss what will happen to the ballycatter with the temperature surge and drop - or how the afternoon sun is getting stronger and making exquisite shapes on the snow - or how yesterday there was this strip of diffused light across the mountains across the bay, as if there was a blue shield of glass just across them. I don't want to miss a thing.

And it makes me think of my fella and how the longer I know him the more I watch his every move - not in a possessive way but because he has become more and more interesting - not less with knowing him.

This watching, listening, close observing reminds me of when my children - my great galumphing adults - were babies. I could have spent a year examining their eyelashes. It was all I wanted to do - look at them and the changes day to day.

So - a landscape, a lover, babies. Maybe I can even go further and say 'life' - what is that quote 'the only life worth living is the examined-life'? I will look it up but not before I finish my thought. Maybe when we hear that, we think - oh the examined-life - yes, of course! But we don't think further - we don't think or penetrate what the word 'examined' means or the word 'life'. We assume we know. Or I should say, I assumed I knew and didn't think of it much except as an obvious truism. But now? Now I'm thinking that it means we need to attend to the minutiae of that we love, our life, really observe it - with gentleness and delight at whatever happens. Sing to it like the Aboriginals in Australia - sing our life awake. Pay attention to it - lovingly, daily. Yes.

1 comment:

  1. Jan - I know just what you mean about wanting to take the time to stop and just look. Just look, watch, and reflect on what you see. One of the things I love about my home office is that I have a great view from my office window. I can watch weather changes, what people do, where the birds fly, the whole thing. It's all interesting to ponder. Oh, and about Bella...Sorry to hear she ran off. I think you're doing the right thing keeping her on the lead even if she doesn't. Sometimes it's hard to be the one in charge, but just like laying the law down with teenagers, you have to be the parent.