Tuesday, June 25, 2013

you must become splendid again

"You must become splendid again." 

- Hélène Cixous

It's been pouring since early morning. I don't remember the last time we had such a solid rainfall, but then, I have a pretty lousy memory. I'm drinking coffee in the afternoon, something I don't ordinarily do. But I work this evening, which seems as good an excuse as any. 

It's the last week of school for our daughter. She writes exams this week, and then on Thursday says goodbye to Junior High forever. I'm very glad for her. Junior High has been rubbish in so many ways. Yesterday not a single one of her friends said happy birthday to her. What can a person even say about that? 

As for me, I'm trying to become centred after our recent busy time. The last month has been a bit of a blur - my trip to Ottawa for TWUC AGM, Rob's show at the Douglas Udell show (now taken down), Chloe's grade 9 farewell ceremony, a couple of freelance gigs for me, extra shifts at work, and then Chloe's birthday yesterday. So I'm trying to regroup now and plan for the summer, to see what seems possible to fit in writing-wise for the next couple of months. To see what might fit into my work and family schedule. Often at this time of year, I despair a little for my writing, because I know it's going to be a struggle to get to it. This year, I have a pretty okay first draft of my book Transactions with Beauty, which I've talked about before and which is based on some of my ramblings on this blog. It needs a lot of work, I know that. But it's a different kind of work than writing is and somehow it seems manageable. That I will set my goals and that I can accomplish them. 

"You must become splendid again." These are words that I want to use as my mantra this summer. 

I took these yesterday after a brief shower of rain. When the sun came out later in the day, I took some of the photos, then went in, made dinner, etc. Afterwards, came out again and the sun was coming through the flowers at a different angle and the bokeh, I could see in the camera, was wild and colourful. What is it about such bokeh that makes me insanely happy? It was after a tiring shift at work, a good shift, but a draining one. I've not been sleeping well, I've been tired, but taking these, I was awake.

Some of the shots are very similar, but the bokeh is what they're about and the slightest shift in angle and light can enliven and alter the bokeh.

The Virginia Creeper is having one of its best years yet.

This one dahlia plant has already bloomed so beautifully, and more to come.

Similar scene, but I loved the purple / orange bokeh....

And this is really the magic bokeh:

These last two shots make my heart sing. Who knows why....


  1. Dear Shawna, I'm sorry to hear about your daughter's disappointing friends. This is a tough time for many kids, though knowing that, it doesn't necessarily make it any easier to get through.
    Also, I, in my supreme arrogance, disagree with H.C. here; we are already splendid-sometimes we just need the eyes to see, the ability to lift the veil, so to speak, to remember.
    Best wishes, L.

  2. Disappointments: being tied up (with changes at work) for the week of your husband's show. And all of junior high.
    You are splendid Shawna. And through your eyes, bring me joy this morning. And I agree with Leigh about re-seeing the splendor always present, but the truth is, as well, when we do regain ourselves, our experience is as becoming splendid again. I needed this post today. Thank you. These photos are wonderful, rich, joyous.

  3. "you must become splendid again", when I read it out loud I read "you must become splendid NOW" don't know why I mispronounced it. That must be because that's what I needed to hear! Like a kick I need to receive so that I can awake now and again.
    Summer is coming (doesn't feel like Summer around here)and I'm starting to move in slow's incredibly precise every year!

    Kids are so hard on others and on themselves! Wish you a wonderful quiet time revising your book.

  4. Stephen - you've said it perfectly. Thank you. Wonderful comments, too, thank you Alma Lua and Leigh.


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