We took a rather long holiday break to spend Christmas with our local family at our home in the countryside. Since this blog is dedicated to our experiences on the Brittany coast, I have taken a break from posting as well. We are now back in our little apartment by the sea and it seems that while we were gone the oceanscape didn’t change much. The tides still roll in and out with predictable regularity and the sun still rises and sets on schedule. These certainties have a calming effect.
From my own point of view, this new year offers an opportunity to take another look at my personal life and to use the changing of the calendar as a prompt to make my own alterations. In other words, make some resolutions. Anyone who has known me long probably recalls that the first of January is one of my favorite days. I appreciate signs and portents and I am not at all hesitant to find significance in the human construct of a calendar year. I fully believe that extra energy for my own change accompanies the turning over of the year. And since I feel that way, it tends to work that way for me. The beginning of a new year always brings hopeful expectations.
I stopped long ago with resolutions about losing weight or exercising more. Mine tend to revolve around art goals, although this year, as explained in a recent post, my art year began when we moved to the sea, and I am in the middle of a project which will go on until we leave again.
I do have some new things I want to explore, including making my own stamps, which I have already begun to do.
That’s a simple and fun idea, and the stamps can be used in my journal, in letters, to make package tags or in multi-media illustrations. I will add them to my on-going monthly Sense of Place book project.
This year I decided that my real resolution is to experience more joy. It is very easy to get swept away by the bad news of the day, I certainly often do, but adding my distress to the general gloomy outlook is probably not helpful in the grand scheme of things, and I feel convinced it does not accomplish much either for myself or the rest of the world.
Standing in a shaft of winter sun, with the wind brushing my cheek, leaning out a window to listen to song birds greet the morning, watching the gold yellow dawn disappear into blue, smelling the rain on bare earth, or tasting the salt in the sea air, all these joys I have experienced, They are available every day. I think of joy as a current that flows unseen through the air. I just need to locate it and stand in the middle of it and allow it to wash over me. It only requires that I forget myself for a moment, because joy really is completely impersonal.