I just want to say that I am especially appreciative of your support this crazy year, knowing how just about everybody has been affected in one way or another. There's the things that money can't buy: your appreciation and delight of my photography is so nourishing and really fuels and uplifts me when I run out of my own steam. So thank you, all of you!
I am also incredibly grateful that my mom has been able to assist me with basic living expenses, and that we can enjoy a comfortable living space and freshly harvested food from one of the many little local organic farms - such a wonderful blessing in themselves! I wasn't intending to move in with her for so long, although I've found that invariably things work out better than we could have choreographed. It's been a little tougher the last few weeks as she went for an operation. The after effects are taking a while to wear off and healing is slow, although she is healing well. This whole year has been such a learning-growing experience for the two of us. She is a master of "I'm fine-ing" (I realise I've osmosed some of that from her) and until I moved in with her to make allowance for my own healing, she hadn't allowed more than a glimpse of just how "not at all fine" she actually was. It is a beautifully privileged and distressing thing to be sole companion to someone who moves through life within the clutching cloud of deep depression that affects them right through to the physical level. She and I have polar opposite ways of dealing with things: she will ignore what is ignorable and pretend the rest is how she prefers it anyway, while I dive in deep and steep and intensely focused, digging up details to find out as much possible with the intention of directing things in a more desirable direction. Through our time together now we're both learning a more moderate middle way. It's also an immensely precious gift to have this time living together after missing out in my early years. My own dogged journeys through many long depressions as well as physical illness (also often outwardly "I'm fine-ed") have brought me immensely valuable insights and techniques, and being able to share these with her is healing and uplifting for both of us. Various mindful (or bodymindfull) meditation practices (something else I'm immensely grateful for) have taught me to simply watch feelings and thoughts come and go without getting caught up in them, although learning to just be here for her in her moments of great distress (while noticing but not succumbing to my own distress at her distress) is certainly putting all my practice to the test. And with her being the vast majority of my company too, there are still those times when I lack the emotional vitality to lift myself up and I sink back into that oddly-flavoured depression that accompanies the physical effects of fibromalgia and myalgic encephamyelitis. Yet inevitably something, or someone, comes along before long, and like a rubber ball (or a Tigger, maybe) I bounce back.
One of those somethings is my mom's art. The walls of my bedroom are adorned with her portrait sketches and landscape paintings, and throughout the house are her abstract ceramic figures that bring forward in time a few fond flavours from childhood. I was recently absolutely delighted to discover a number of her landscape paintings which we thought had been lost in a move decades ago! I have photographed them and included them in their own gallery on my website for your enjoyment.
This featured one is my favourite, hanging opposite my bed.
May your week be breathspace-blessed, especially in your most trying moments. (I would say may your week be delightfully free of trying moments, but this is the 2020 season finale so I won't push it!