Thursday, February 13, 2014

just carrying on

"In some cases carrying on, just carrying on, is the superhuman achievement." 

– Albert Camus

“Nobody realizes that some people expend tremendous energy merely to be normal.”

- Camus

"The brain appears to possess a special area which we might call poetic memory and which records everything that charms or touches us, that makes our lives beautiful."

 -Milan Kundera, The Unbearable Lightness of Being

And isn't it true that we ought to congratulate ourselves, just for carrying on? I've never really found it difficult to carry on with the writing, in spite of many ups and downs, but what is difficult is to carry on with the rest of life. When I'm alone in my study, surrounded by my books, then I am most myself. No matter how much we might love our day jobs, so much of the work life is acting a role, and this expends energy. And yet, no matter where our day takes us, we can hope to encounter the poetic, those things that charm or touch us, make our lives beautiful. We can hope. In reality, I know how draining and all-consuming work can be.

February must be the most sapping month of all. Half the time lately it's been too cold and too dull and dreary to bother taking my camera with me on walks. By now all the colour has been seeped from the forests and leftover neighbourhood flowers. One day recently, Rob bought home a bunch of roses from the grocery store (as often happens). They began as a quite fiery orange (you'll remember from a few posts back), but faded to a more mellow yellow, and fringed with the pinkish-reds.

And so, the photographs are just the usual repeat of familiar standbys. My go to subjects when nothing else is jumping out at me. Which is maybe just fine. It's a way of carrying on, practicing.

Submitting to the practice, as Rumi would say.


  1. The second Camus quote made me chuckle. Lovely photographs, as always.

    1. whoops, accidentally logged in as my son..

  2. i love the images. they look like old paintings.
    and i'm not especially a flower lover. odd. i know. most people are.
    give me a pine forest. or sparkling little waves arriving like white horses on a beach. i get excited then.
    i've been absent from here for a few days.
    i had catching up to do.
    and oh!
    like little gifts to open! thank you!
    you've hidden a beautiful poem of your own here without meaning to maybe . . . then again maybe you knew.

    "starting here, what do i want to remember?
    the way, late winter, light comes into my kitchen
    just when i was starving for it
    when winter had thinned me out."

    and another picture of beloved ace in a post . . .
    and the snowy colorful prayer flags.

  3. Hi Shawna. I was thinking about what you said about your never struggling to carry on with your writing. I love that. I have struggled with myself forever. Finally at the age of 52 I am beginning to live my dream of working as an artist, and in the process finally I am discovering that my life, my art ARE my struggles, and my biggest and deepest source of inspiration. I think I always believed that it would come from the outside. It may seem so simple and obvious, but it has taken me a while! And that realization in turn also makes me understand and appreciate more and more what you talk about. How lovely! Here's to all those little things growing under the cold ground that our eyes cannot yet see. Thank you!

  4. You're both so lovely - thank you for being here xo S.

  5. It is very much more than just fine, Shawna.
    Thank you for sharing your extraordinarily touching vision.


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