A Look Ahead

January named after Janus, Roman god of gates, passages and archways; god of beginnings and transitions.  Janus, of the two faces. I think of Janus as I play catch up with friends.  I think of Janus as I rush through a third (or is it fifth?) draft of a short story I started in October of last year.  I think of Janus as I hurry from one appointment to another even though I only return to work next week and this week should be a time of relaxation and reflection.

So I try. To relax. To reflect.   I give it my best shot. I find myself alone, looking at the cold glass eye of Rice Lake, high up on the side of a mountain and with notebook in hand try to shape sentences out of what I am seeing; what I’m feeling. But I am not seeing and just as frustration sets in, he arrives.  A seagull.  Tripping, I think or lost.

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He watches me with curious black eye.

I capture him on my mobile.

The longer we sit there daring each other to move, the more I realize the more I look, the less I see.

Habit is good but it is also really bad.  Here’s the problem with habit:  it stops us from seeing or perceiving things as they really are.  The Horsechestnut tree in the garden has become yet another tree composed of trunk and leaves, the banana in the fruit bowl just another piece of fruit and the seagull – bless him – another bird of feather and bone.

Our family, friends, nature, art – all lose their complexity and gloss.  This year I resolve to see things anew.  This year I commit to WONDER and ATTENTION.   I commit to finding enthusiasm like a child does, devouring whole continents and discovering shells, centipedes, crayons, fossils, piazzas, dunes, comets, thunderclaps, geraniums and craft and words…more words.  I want to be alert.  I want to be astounded by the world.

What are you committed to changing or doing this year?

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26 thoughts on “A Look Ahead

  1. I need to work on that. Since Christmas I have been without inspiration. Inspiration to do something better than just ok. I need to interact with people to get energy. Or perhaps I just need to see what’s in front of me.

    • I love people and people’s lives and often they are very inspiring but I find I am most inspired by nature. A change of routine (even a small one) sometimes helps Kate. A simple thing like visiting an art gallery or museum (I love museums) instead of the watching a movie can inspire and evoke an eruption of gratitude. Good luck!

  2. Wow! What I wouldn’t give to sit on that pier, Yolanda…such a beautiful photo. I love your commitment for the new year and with your scenic surroundings, I have no doubt that you’ll be inspired and break out from habits that are holding you back.
    As you know, this year I’m committed to staying focus. I’m not looking back, only straight ahead on what is important to me. I plan to keep distractions out and focus in…we’ll see what happens. 🙂 Great to read your beautiful words. Happy New Year! xo

    • One of my ‘local’ hangouts Jill. Glad you like it – you should come visit! While it is very cold we haven’t had any snow so luckily I’ve been able to enjoy the outdoors.

  3. Oh, I am jumping for joy reading your commitment and these words: ‘I commit to finding enthusiasm like a child does, devouring whole continents and discovering shells, centipedes, crayons, fossils, piazzas, dunes, comets, thunderclaps, geraniums and craft and words…more words. I want to be alert. I want to be astounded by the world’

    To be astounded and to find joy in every moment is to be truly alive I think. I love living with a word and finding it’s meaning in the ‘mundane’ of life. I had ‘magic’ at the end of last year and without a doubt, magic entered my life and continues on even though I have now chosen some new words!

    A wonderful post Yolanda, thank you for adding to the brightness of my day! xo

    • So glad you enjoyed this post Pauline ❤ I continue to be amazed at the power of words (and thoughts) and wish more people would adopt this practice of like you say, 'living with a word'.

  4. Such beautiful pictures!! I think I’m on the same road of frustration and contemplation of what and where and how.. so I’m committing to more mindfulness which is the same as attention, isn’t it? 🙂

  5. Your enthusiasm is infectious, Yolanda, you make me want to look at things anew. I havent consciously committed to anything yet this year other than to take on a new training course which is taking up much of my time at the moment – but its only temporary and once over, I can concentrate on seeing things for what they really are. Great post to get us thinking for the new year – thank you!

  6. That’s a great goal for the year Yolanda – so many things to be inspired by and to create if you look at the world with wonder and attention. I found last year that by paying attention to wildflowers, I paid so much more attention generally to what I was seeing. This year, I’m looking forward to their arrival again, but I want to pay more attention to trees.

    • I like the way you concentrated more on one particular thing – certainly wiser, if you want to really get to know something. You did a wonderful job with your wildflowers. Oh trees! how I love all of them but they are so hard to identify unless they have very obvious features like the weeping willow.

  7. Dear Yolanda, when you describe ‘the cold glass eye’ of Rice Lake I am immediately grabbed by the essence of your creating writing and why I love it so much. Having just read and replied to your comment over on my blog, and now, at long last, getting over to catch up with you, I already know that we have been bogged down by the same sense of frustration. I am desperate to write a memoir piece for a competition, cut off at the end of the month. Out of all the things I want to write about, do you think I can formulate just one thing? Sometimes even the most beautiful of surroundings, no matter how much we wish it could be, just can’t help with the exact words we really want to write. Your photos are beautiful and just looking at them and imagining how you felt when you took them, in line with what you share here, shows me that you will discover your wonderment in the world once more, I just know it. Here’s to a year ahead filled with creative passion, inspiration and opportunities a-plenty to pursue your writing goals. Hang in there Yolanda! Sherri 🙂

    • Thank you Sherri 🙂 it means a lot to me that you enjoy my writing and my posts ❤ My biggest gripe has to be that when I have the time to write I have a gazillion other things to do and of course 'nothing' comes to me (ie. story ideas). Very frustrating. I wish for you the very same and more Sherri; a year filled with every happiness and creative success.

  8. Yolanda these images had me spellbound, so peaceful. I love your commitment and walk alongside you treasuring the things around me with gratitude that I am still here. I can smile and soak up this life with images like yours. Stunning post.

  9. Happy New Year, Yolanda! Hope you will see and be aware of limitless, astounding possibilities ahead! You chose great words of ” Wonder” and “attention.” Using these ‘tools’ you will find fantastic ways to see things in a ‘different light,’ Yolanda! I am pleased like you were my student and I were your yogi or teacher, You have learned much, my little grasshopper! Smiles!

  10. Pingback: A Reality Check For A Busy Body | Scribblings

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