the curtain draws down
there’s no reason that the end of the year should cause any particular soul searching. if you’re not searching your soul all year long, a bit of cramming isn’t really going to do you much good between the night of 12/31 and the morning of 1/1. but i happen to have chosen a sort of fiscal year for STILL blog that more or less corresponds to the calendar year, and so i am faced each january with a decision about how the last year went, and how the new year should go. i feel that i probably didn’t do justice to my black backgrounds last year, although i was getting the hang of it by the end. i got behind on posting my collages, which did not in the end amount to my original goal of a collage a week. i spent a lot of uncompensated time serving as editor, first reader, and illustrator for my husband’s writing, and i did a lot of dishes and driving to soccer. on the other hand, i acted as a competent general contractor, project manager, and co-art-director on a major national photo shoot for better homes and gardens in our house, which was enhanced by a substantial rehab, the first in our 12 years of occupancy. i gave a well-received talk at the sea change conference in spring, and a creative mornings talk in the fall. i watched a daughter find her feet at an elite university, and a son more or less gracefully navigate another year of the morass that is 21st century male adolescence. i saw interest increase for my images. i found a collaborator who could match my intensity and work ethic in liz gardner of bodega ltd. and, i’ll be damned if i didn’t create one new image every single day, without missing a single one, for another entire year, which now makes six years in a row, or 2,191 straight images. it’s hard for me to see the big picture sometimes, when my obligations are daily. but six years of still blog is something i will take to my grave. if you are what you do every day, then i am still blog, as much as i am anything else. thank you for being here with me.
dried lily blossom
a good book
i am about halfway through the book “a gentleman in moscow,” and have been reminded, although i shouldn’t have needed the prompt, what a uniquely satisfying feeling it is to be part way through a very good book, knowing you are in good hands, and the author is both going to maintain your interest and not insult your intelligence. it’s a luxurious feeling. a movie is over too soon. a tv show too interruptive. a podcast too beholden to its format. a good novel could in theory go anywhere, at any length, and the author is up there on the high wire, making magic look natural.
northern white-cedar with (female) cones
i see this as a cute sort of bunny face. our friend paul, who stopped by to give my boys some fly tying lessons today, sees this as a source of some soft fur and some stiff fur, which mingled together will make up the perfect dubbing for a bead-head hare’s ear nymph. a matter of perspective, i guess.
european hare ears (Lepus europaeus)
winter has emptied this grape cluster, leaving behind its essential structure. i feel pleasantly emptied at the end of this year, profitably poor, energetically depleted, burstingly spare. ready for a very active hibernation.
wild grape vine in winter
more or less straight
just finished a free-ranging discussion about the trials and temptations of high school and college students these days. i’ve concluded that my kids have bent a few rules, in a more or less healthy way, and generally reverted to the straight and narrow. #moreorlessproud
winter prairie stem