Saturday, July 30, 2011

Hopes and Expectations

I have not heard from my sister and sister in law back in Indianapolis and the news from there is rarely good because they are both in very difficult places. From here I can do little about any of it, but ironically I feel the need to get some information before I go to Norway for a fortnight. I know it is foolish because I will be no further away actually, but it has become something more urgent than packing my case or checking for my passport for the 47th time. So I sat myself down to write about it, which of course is my way of thinking a bit harder about the things that don't make obvious sense.

Hope is the best and worst thing let out of Pandora's box. The best because it buoys up and leads us into achievements and commitments beyond what we can see. Not a Pollyanna naivete or Dr Pangloss best of all possible worlds, but the kind of oh yes I think that could work if we put our shoulders to the wheel. I spend a good part of my life in this camp.

Hope is the worst thing out of Pandora's box because it leaves us doubly bereft when it cannot be sustained. I have spent some time among the doubly bereft: the inevitable consequence of time spent in the hopeful camp. "Hope for the best but expect the worst" is a good rule of thumb and like most aphorisms nearly impossible to carry out except in brief glimmers. For all my whimsy and poetry, I am a rather sturdy soul if I have the time and space to get the bad news tucked safely albeit temporarily like a wayward shirttail into my belt. And that is why no news is so disconcerting--it leaves my shirttail flapping in the breeze.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Remembering Ted

Posted by Picasa
Today when we gather to say goodbye to Ted officially, it is family flowers only, so I'll just have this little floral tribute here. I did not know him well. I might not have known him at all except for knowing his sister. They both have a smile that lights up their face and your own. Ted always smiled to see me coming when our paths crossed at the pensioner's lunch or the carvery on a Sunday. He made a point of saying that he had read and enjoyed my article and I knew that he meant it. His speech was sometimes more difficult to understand but it was always worth listening to because he had something to say. I'll miss him.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Little Things

All day I had dithered about walking. The sun came out; I hung out laundry. The sun went away; I picked up a crossword puzzle. A friend was here cleaning house so while she did the basics I tackled laundry and dishes. It is very nice--even if it lasts only a moment-- to have everything clean and tidy --except for the stacks of books and bags with knit projects, but we're not talking perfection --we're talking about comfortably tidy. And so shortly before time to fix dinner, I took a walk up the hill. If it rained, I'd get wet. Enough dithering.

As soon as I was out the front door, I felt better and took off at a good pace for me. I never was built for speed, but I was walking more than thinking, with my camera bag tucked across my shoulder. Maybe I'd take some photos; maybe not. OK so the walk did not put all the dithering aside, but to photo or not is a creative decision which falls in a different category in my mind--usually no angst.
For some time now I have had in the back of my mind a sort of competition to find the smallest flower. This is the kind of thing that would occupy my brother and me for ages in the time frame of children, so it might be minutes or weeks or years, apparently since I still call it to mind.

By the time I had reached the top of the hill, I had scoped a couple photos I wanted to take on the way back. By the time I came to the edge of the loch, I had slowed and pulled my camera out. About the same time I was down on hands and knees setting up for my smallest flower competition, I began to feel those other little things on the hedgerow--notorious midges--the Scottish version of Florida's no-see-ums. Invisible, persistent, annoying.

So with the light beginning to fade and the midges bombarding me, I rushed my shots and hurried home for a shower. So some of the flowers have their close ups, but I'll have to try again for a complete set of tiny little flowers.
This last photo is one of my favourites. It comes from my own garden. The red clover is not particularly large, so it gives you a good sense of just how small those little blue flowers are.
Posted by Picasa