And so we shift. This is the first in the new blog format. For the foreseeable, this blog will be primarily image-centric, with at least the one daily photo, drawing, painting, or some similar thing.
If you’ve enjoyed the written portion of the site—and bless you, friendo, if that’s the case—I’ll be shifting my text to a longer format to be released as a weekly newsletter. I’ll publish that in this space tomorrow or the next day.
Thanks for spending all this time with my stuff. If you wish to unsub from the daily thing, I totally understand, and promise I won’t be put out.
I went to rural Oregon. My brother lives in a small town, and I missed Christmas with him this year, so this was the next nearest thing. It was beautiful, if an exhausting road trip, with some time to reflect on where I am to go and what I am to do with this artificially shiny new year.
Christmas is, essentially, a celebration of new birth, whether adopting pagan solstice traditions or touting the arrival of a savior.
It’s a good thing to have these divisions of the year. Without seasons and change, we wouldn’t have such visceral cues upon which to hang our expectations and our resolve. Precious few of us are so self-motivated as to be able to begin anew, regardless of the day or month or year.
But anew we shall proceed. Here’s to auld lang syne. and to new days, unknown adventures, too.
It’s completely artificial, the demarcation of the new year. We’ve already passed the actual renewal by the time Christmas Eve hits. But it echoes what I’ve said before here, that every day is a potential chance to start again, so why not?
The newsletter is coming, a weekly publication if I can manage such a thing. I haven’t figured how to treat the subs, but I think it’s only fair to let you have the opt-in if you’re a current subscriber to this blog. Image posts will commence quite soon, and we’ll see where it goes.
Thanks so much for ringing through the past couple years, it’s almost faux new year’s!
Christmas comes but once a year, but it’s a long series of train cars speeding past that start the day after Thanksgiving. We’ve been complaining at one end of our culture about the relentless commercialism of the season, but indulging in it at the other.
One aspect of the turn of the year I’ve always enjoyed is the shift in thinking as we spin around the back side of the sun—also, a cold face while the rest of me is wrapped up in warmth is hard to beat, but its not the main event and can last well into the following months.
Renewal is it’s own relentless feature of life on Earth. We’ve evolved with it and as a result of it. As biological imperatives go, so goes our ache to interpret and make something new in the world.
And it can feel lonely to look backwards on a year gone by, and forward into the unknown. But it’s a quiet time well worth settling into. The sun brightens and beckons soon enough.
I’m still thinking about change and renewal. There’s so often a desire for artists to do more than they’ve done before, to top themselves or shift into more challenging evolutions. The end of a year offers a natural prompt for that kind of thinking, and here I am, taking it on.
I’ll notify everyone through this site, of course, of changes and updates. Things are afoot, it’s mostly a matter of expense and organized time. Happy nearly Christmas!
Is it even worth it? The thing is, if it isn’t, how would I know? All I can tell is that I do—or don’t—enjoy the moment of creating something, and decide if I want to keep going. That might be all we can ask of life.
With that in mind, I’m figuring out where to go in the coming year, what plan to chart up and start, how best to make my way. The planning stage of anything is exciting, and a little unnerving, but it’s often the only way to avoid random floundering or too much time wasting. A little is good. A lot is fine, but not fulfilling. Given a choice, I’d rather work on a long hike with a spectacular view than an easy trail that circles back to the same place.
I spent some time in my twenties involved in various mystical pursuits. They didn’t go very far, but some principles I thought were useful, and so I kept them even when I dropped the rest of the woo.
One of those is that when you feel you’re standing still, you’re actually growing more than in times of great excitement and action. The concept is similar to that of exercise is general, that training is growth, the competition is when you put that growth to use.
If you feel at all stagnant, do keep this in mind. As long as you’re still working, there’s growth even when it feels like you’re standing still.
I must admit, the diminishing daylight and rainy skies is probably affecting my mood, but it’s a tug-of-war with my love of gray clouds and wet gloom. Growing up in Arizona affected me more than I know. Part of that is getting used to an unfamiliar seasonal pattern.
I think about emotional patterns reflecting environmental ones, and there’s got to be a similar phenomenon connected with our work. Motivation is harder, judgment harsher. But. There’s a flip side.
My delight in bright colors and silliness is magnified. I’m hesitant to emphasize this too much—I’m not the best Pollyanna. it’s just another reminder that, like most everything, there are more ways to understand and analyze darker days than just as a mood dampener.
We finished putting up the basics of the “holiday” season, the month long run-up to Solstice—and by definition, the new year—festivals of all kinds. It’s fun and it’s pretty, but it reminds me of so much that’s underneath. Not only the living space itself and the trees, but family gatherings, friends celebrating, and a robust increase in kind feelings.
Those are the important and necessary bits. The rest is a reminder and flourishes. Bet I don’t have to mention how this applies to creative work.