New beginnings?

For some reason New Year is the time for resolutions. “I am going to do this, or I’ll stop doing that” To me it is the most important de-cluttering, habits grow on us, and could make us settle in routines that will not take us where we want to go. What puzzles me is how we tend to adopt popular resolutions, and allow other people’s goals  be our defeats. Why should any article in any magazine know what I should focus on this year?

Dawn at the first day at the new year

Dawn at the first day at the new year

It is quite simple really, nothing can grow from nothing, a failure to deliver on prescribed goals may not be my failure, but an attempt to force nothing to grow. Magazines and even self-help books do not know which fruits  can grow when the seeds of my abilities and limitations interact with the people, challenges and tasks that I will meet during this year.

If my life is a garden, the perennials need weeding and dividing, the fruit trees need cutting back, and the flowerbeds are spiffed up with new seeds. I do not expect any apples,even if my neighbor will have them, as I have no apple trees. I do not wait for roses where my daffodils are, and I am experienced enough to know that dirt, water and sunlight are as important as the toil and fertilizer I will add.

New beginnings

New beginnings

I also know that some seeds may wait in the ground for years before they start growing. Nothing new has been added, only the possible beginnings have been given room.

My new year garden will have this plan, give room for growth and expect to be surprised by the seeds sprouting in your garden. Perhaps allowing other people or accepted standards to define my goals is not taking charge of my life, but avoiding taking responsibility?



Nostalgic- weekly photo challenge

IMG_6234 what we wereI once read that nostalgia originally was an illness. The diagnosis army doctors put on boys from the Austrian mountains that simply were not able to thrive in the flatlands. Now we allow nostalgia to have a more genteel ring to it, almost like a reverence for the things passed. Sometimes it can be stifling too, making only what was, or what we remember about it, be the ideal state, not being able to tackle change and challenges. At the World Museum of Mining last week I saw this sign, perhaps the only way to balance looking back, looking forward and being here, just now? I think the quote is from T.S Eliot’s “Wasteland”. Anybody nostalgic about high school and EngLit able to help me out?

This doll symbolizes the stifling nostalgia to me. She has been standing, waiting, in this dollhouse for decades, looking for people who will never return, and as she is in a museum she is not allowed to engage in play with real, living children.IMG_4643 dukke

Up! Weekly photo challenge

IMG_0038 staying upTo me the best films made for children are those that are not childish but are able to be simple and profound at the same time. The best of those in my mind is the Pixar film Up! by Pete Docter. Funny, action, great animation while all the way showing a way to deal with grief, sorrow, loneliness and rejection. How do you get up and going when your wife dies? When your father does not show up? When your home will be demolished? When your goals are much bigger than your abilities?

IMG_0866 long wayI know from counseling, from a lot of persons I have met, that the films solutions will work.  To be able to let go, you have to get hold on what you are leaving. To be able to go on, you have to face anger, bereavement, bewilderment and weakness as part of your grief. To be able to live a true life you must stand up for your truths. To find true friends you should open your mind and heart, as they are not always given where you are looking for them. Some goals are meant to be shared and achieved with others.

IMG_2939 long and winding roadI had the film and these words in my mind when I went looking for UP pictures this weekend. Perhaps you can see that, perhaps you see something else! Even without going to South America with your house tied UP with balloons….

IMG_2936 to be up

Change for better and worse, for good and for bad – weekly photo-challenge

Symbol of change

Symbol of change

One night I heard something rustling in our garden. I looked out and locked eyes with a racoon eating an orange. Some time later a heard a thump and next morning an orange was lying on the patio floor. That all symbolizes change to us. Living where oranges grow abundantly, living where raccoons roam the trees at night, living where there is a patio floor, a wonderful change, an exchange from cold norwegian winter.

IMG_1292 moden og umoden appelsinEven change needs a seed to grow from though. To me the seed is the happy memory of our honeymoon 31 years ago. We went to Florida, and the warm nights were scented with orange blossoms. I even brought orange blossom perfume home. For years one of my drawers smelt like summer, like fun, like love. Through better and worse, through the growth and change of our relationship, I could go back and let that happy scent accompany me through the day.

IMG_1331 appelsin blomstEven change could go unnoticed if we are too busy to cherish it. To me it is a gift to live a place where I smell oranges everyday, every orange an eye-opener to the possibilities of change. Every orange blossom a happy note of thankfulness for the things that are still the same, through all the times that are changing.

IMG_0501 appelsin tre

Weekly photo challenge: a day in my life

This is just what indexing and organizing and de-cluttering and getting a grip on life is all about, you have to understand this: life does not come in neat and tidy packages. How could you label your life and say: this, this is IT? Life, comes in heaps and  bundles. The thing with trying to get some order, is all about not letting details rule your life, so that you will have energy to handle, confront and enjoy whatever challenges, setbacks and possibilities you’ll encounter. To put it short, you can not go anywhere until you find your car keys, but knowing where your car keys is, won’t take you anywhere either.

I have been thinking about this on different levels for  quite a long time, and this photo challenge just got me started again. No matter what level I choose, something of my life will not be in it. Some instances, yesterday we spent hours trying to solve some software problems….we have nothing to show for that struggle. Except it did not make us especially happy, even then we went on an excursion to the court-house ( a wonderful storybook building) and to the art gallery. Do the pictures I took show my enchantment with the place or my impatience of not having solved my problem? Another instance, we did not see any of our children yesterday, still they are at the heart of everything I think, feel and do. And lastly, it was Good Friday yesterday, which is at the core of my beliefs, I did not go anywhere near a church though, so how could my pictures show it?

Even then, to me, every picture I take, is a reflection of my soul. Every image I share and every word I write is an invitation to listen to your soul, what do you think when you see this? How will we grow when we share our reflections? There then, the glory, and wonder of humankind, we are able to reach out to each other, to understand more, to love more, just form glimpses, just from tiny sparks and ideas. So – ten images from yesterday, from my day, what do you see?!