“In each of us lie good and bad, light and dark, art and pain, choice and regret, cruelty and sacrifice. We’re each of us our own chiaroscuro, our own bit of illusion fighting to emerge into something solid, something real.” ~ Libba Bray, from A Great and Terrible Beauty
Wednesday afternoon. Cloudy and cold, low 40’s.
Things I believe in:
- the Oxford comma
- friendship on a daily basis
- lifelong love
- fictional characters
- dreams (as in sleeping) as reflections of our lives
- the inestimable power of music to move
- the unmistakable humanity of dogs
- past lives
- the existence of true good and real evil in the world
- there is always hope
“We all walk in mysteries. We are surrounded by an atmosphere about which we still know nothing at all.” ~ Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, letter dated 23 July 1820
Things I know for certain:
- Turning 40 changes your life in ways you cannot fathom for years to come
- Melancholy is a way of life
- Being different is both hard and easy
- Revenge is counterproductive, which doesn’t lessen its desirability
- I belong in front of a college classroom
- I will always miss Caitlin, my father, and Mari
- I have lived through momentous points in history but have failed to notice
- The mirror is not my friend
- I have surprised myself with the quality of some of the things I have written
- I did not win the lottery
“There are so many
lives of which I know nothing.
Even my own.” ~ Jane Hirshfield, from “Unnameable Heart”
Things I don’t know well enough—yet:
- How to choose a friend wisely
- How rain sounds on a tin roof
- My own soul
- How to believe in myself
- How to be still, really still
- How to be comfortable in my own skin
- How to make and apply fondant on a fancy cake
- How to renovate a house from top to bottom
- How to find a literary agent
- Where to find my place in the sun
“. . . the compulsion to repeat what one has experienced is like gravity, and it takes special equipment to break away from it.” ~ Edward St. Aubyn, from The Patrick Melrose Novels: Never Mind
Things I will never do:
- Parachute out of a plane (used to be on my bucket list)
- Have my picture taken while a snake is wrapped about my shoulders (I would die of fright first)
- Pay retail
- Go back on a promise (as long as it is within my power)
- Race in the Tour de France (well, duh)
- Dye my hair blond
- Dance on a table (again)
- Ride a big wave
- Be sorted into a house at Hogwarts
- Travel in a TARDIS
- Not have a dog in my life
“We all want to take our lives in our own hands
and hurl them out among the stars.” ~ David Bottoms, from “Coasting Toward Midnight at the Southeastern Fair”
Things on my bucket list I may actually achieve some day:
- Photograph a feeding hummingbird
- Photograph a hawk in flight
- See the New Year’s Eve fireworks show in Sydney
- Fly a glider (yep, still want to do this)
- Go to Ireland
- Retile a room, walls and floor
- Relax in a natural hot spring
- Go to the Louvre
- Go back to London and visit the places I knew as a child
- Read everything Virginia Woolf ever wrote, including diaries
- Have floor to ceiling built-in bookshelves filled to the brim with books of poetry, fiction, and some science and history
- See the Northern lights and the Great Barrier Reef
- See Hadrian’s Wall and Stonehenge and all of the stone circles across Europe
- Publish a real book that people will want to read
“The heart is forever inexperienced.” ~ Henry David Thoreau
Things I will love until the day I die:
- A mockingbird’s song
- The smells of fresh lavender, lilac, and rosemary
- A cup of hot tea
- Fresh bread still hot enough to melt butter
- My name
- Black leather boots
- A long, hot bath scented with bath salts
- A neck massage
- The smell of the air after a spring rain
- The feel of fine, soft, squishy leather purses and jackets
- Christmas socks
- Paper in all colors and weights
- Handwritten letters and notes
- Books, books, books
- The certainties of cemeteries and waterfalls, mountains and oceans, and the moon in the night sky
- “Amazing Grace” played on the bagpipes
- The smell of 4711 cologne
Music by Bruno Mars (feat. Lindsey Stirling, Alex Boye’, & the Salt Lake Pops), “Grenade”
All images are mine, my concept of chiaroscuro.
As I Grew Older
It was a long time ago.
I have almost forgotten my dream.
But it was there then,
In front of me,
Bright like a sun—
And then the wall rose,
Between me and my dream.
Rose until it touched the sky—
I am black.
I lie down in the shadow.
No longer the light of my dream before me,
Only the thick wall.
Only the shadow.
My dark hands!
Break through the wall!
Find my dream!
Help me to shatter this darkness,
To smash this night,
To break this shadow
Into a thousand lights of sun,
Into a thousand whirling dreams
~ Langston Hughes
4 thoughts on ““Find beauty; be still.” ~ W.H. Murray”
You make me feel less alone on a daily basis. Thank you.
Thank you so much for visiting and commenting. I am glad to hear that you find something in my words. Your support means a lot.
I love your lists. If you had been here today with a camera, you might have gotten a shot of the Cooper’s Hawk hunting on the newly filled bird feeder. (That’s cheating, don’t you think? Hunting from the top of a bird feeder?)
Hope you are having a lovely week… Love all your posts & F&L…
Yes, that’s cheating. What a lazy hawk.
As always, thank you. Hope your cold week is going well.