Sunday, May 5, 2013

Weekend Sketch

Lovely weather, lovely weekend. My enthusiasm for posting has been stifled somewhat by an anonymous comment left on my last post, so I'll just do a quick recap and post these photos I arranged before we took off Friday morning. We've left Nola back with her parents, had a little break from little dog Henry (Daughter #3 volunteered to have him for the weekend, freeing us up to enjoy our time in the city), but brought him home with us, and now we're settling back to enjoy a week of sunny skies and warm temperatures.
As requested, some photos of the Coalport china vase my mother gave me for my 17th birthday, filled by Nola with a single lily-of-the-valley stem and an almost stemless English daisy. I've also included a page from the Illustrated Journal I've begun keeping again, as warm-up for our fast-approaching travels and my painting course. . .
And I must mention that I had the pleasure of meeting another Blogging Friend -- Historian On the Run was in Vancouver to run the BMO Half Marathon. We'd originally both planned on running the Full Marathon but had to scale back -- I bowed out completely, but she switched to the Half and completed it this morning -- Can we give her a big cheer? Brava!! On Saturday, we met at a Greek restaurant for lunch to help her fuel up for the race. As has so often happened when I've become friends with a blogger online, we felt comfortable immediately IRL -- and our guys seemed to feel comfortable as well.  After lunch, I did my best to enable her in buying yet another pair of Fluevogs (Girl has a serious collection!), but they didn't have her size in the right shoe . . . .
Must also mention that the Vancouver Opera's production of Tan Dun's Tea is a must-see marvel. Must hear as well -- not just for the vocal element but for the wealth of sonorities, encompassing such unusual "instruments" as paper and water . . . But when I say "must see" I really do stress the visual aspect of this work -- costumes, lighting, set design . . . .as well as the dancing. . . Pater thinks it might be the most striking stage set and costumes we've seen in the 5 or 6 years we've been subscribing. I reminded him about Madame Butterfly, the Magic Flute, and he thought for a moment but decided to stay firm with his preference. If you're in Vancouver, consider treating yourself -- a gorgeous spectacle!

26 comments:

  1. I have hardly used any of my opera tickets this year but I would have liked to have seen Tea. I took a course in sketching before I left for Paris but I haven't done anything since I left. Your Coalport is pretty with your little flowers.

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    1. I know you would have loved it, but then again, you're loving what you're doing right now!
      The line-up for next year's VOA season looks good! I wonder if we'll see each other at the QE. . .

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  2. Meeting bloggers whose posts I've read for years has been such a pleasure. Like you, I've found that it's been like getting together with an old friend - as though we're picking up from a visit last year or last month.

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    1. I look forward to experiencing the same with you one of these days. . . Perhaps later this summer, although I imagine you'll be grandbaby-busy!

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  3. I'm sorry that a previous poster took advantage of her/his anonymity to give you pain. I've always made anonymous comments myself (really because as a complete technophobe I haven't worked out how to do anything else!) but I do now sign them. Of course, those of us who live in developed, peaceful parts of the world are aware of our relative good fortune, but that doesn't mean we don't have our own difficulties and dilemmas, and it's precisely your honesty in detailing your experiences - good and bad, exceptional and mundane, sad and enviable - and your responses to them, that makes your blog such a pleasure to read. Please do keep writing, and don't let the begrudgers get you down!
    Rosemary

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    1. I'm sympathetic to the anonymous commenters -- often I suspect it's less an unwillingness to give a name than it is to get hooked into a system (Blogger, Google, whatever) whose commitments we don't fully understand. . . I really appreciate it, though, when you leave your name within the anonymous comment, mainly because it's such a pleasure getting to know you that way. Thanks for taking the time to comment today -- it means a lot!

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  4. ma, had to go back and read that comment. I thought the last three sentences were most revealing and I'd guess there is a good measure of jealousy there. (And I too have envied a friend who leads a very luxurious life compared to mine. ) I don't think there's anything wrong admitting envy. (You know I'm envious re Nola!!!) I just wish it were not coated in self-righteous censure. This kind of person is called "concern troll".

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    1. I'm leery of being too reactive to that comment as it's uncomfortable to feel negativity directed from a dark corner. But I am not leery of admitting envy -- feel it regularly! And I do try to keep myself honest about it because it's easy to skew off in the wrong direction at envy's behest. . . Dangerous. . .

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  5. Isn't it funny how the daisies are picked for their flowers with little thoughts of grabbing the stems?
    Thank you for posting the image of your Coalport vase.
    Do you keep these sketches in a book or are they loose? They are charming by the way....

    I did go back to read the anonymous comment and I put my 2 cents in. I wonder if that phrase will disappear when the penny has been recalled :-))

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    1. Yes, and aren't they so delightful clutched in little hands? I think especially of those chubby little one-year old starfish hands.
      So far, I've done my sketching in a book. . . my skills are obviously limited, but I find the process so pleasing.
      And yes, re the penny phrases. . . "penny for your thoughts" is another one, 'though I suppose it hasn't been much used lately anyway. You remind me that I must get our huge penny stash turned over to a neighbour who's collecting them for charity.

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  6. Bah. Concern troll is too nice for what the Anonymous commenter said. I think "Envy Troll" is more like it.

    Mater, you have everything most women have ever wanted. But you have worked so very, very hard and done such a wonderful job with your career, your family, and your wonderful relationship with Pater. I have read your blog for a long time and I have been envious of you but you have also inspired me to work harder, and appreciate what I have. From what I have read of your interactions with your students, you truly bond with them and they get an experience in your classes that few of us ever do.

    You have opened your heart and your mind to us, and you have done so much good.

    I don't have a life anyone would envy but I have enough.


    Christine

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    1. I try to emulate your response to envy -- as Duchesse and I say above, we feel it regularly, but then I try to find a way to make it productive rather than negative.
      I suspect that there are elements of your life that are also enviable -- this blog has been instrumental in helping me see the wealth in mine. Even when Pater was away through the week, I came to see that the loneliness some saw in my weekdays was a solitude I could treasure. . . I hope readers realize that they only get a partial view here, though, and there are downsides as well.

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  7. Boo to the haters! I have envied you too, but I know that every life comes with issues, and we all sit where we sit. I think part of blogging is moving through Haterland, from sorrow, to anger, to acceptance, to finally you delete 'em if you don't like 'em:).

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    1. There are elements in both our lives that are enviable, as in many of our readers'. Frankly, it came as a surprise to me to see myself as enviable . . . and then a big Doh! and forehead smack and I've got it now.
      In 6 years (?) blogging, this is my first really negative comment, so it takes a bit to get my head around it and find a comfort level with the reality. Getting ready to move on, and your pragmatism helps. As does your boo-ing support! ;-)

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  9. I'm one of those nontechie people who can't figure out how to respond any other way than anonymously (a lesson would be appreciated), but I will be happy to sign my name. I've worked in refugee camps and townships in South Africa as well as on fairly wealthy college campuses in the US and found that we all have our blessings and concerns. No one is more or less important, and no one who is expressing her ideas in a thoughtful manner should be dismissed.

    My sympathy on the death of your mother. Mine, who died 10 years ago, sounds as if she was very much like yours. It took me several years to fully process my feelings.
    Lynn

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    1. Thanks, Lynn -- and no problem with the anonymous commenting, especially when you sign your name. Your wisdom and experience echoes Hester's (in last post's thread) and is much appreciated.
      I would like to extend your wise dictum to the anonymous commenter at my last post, not wishing to dismiss anyone's ideas. And we don't all easily have the ability to articulate our concerns or brush past our envy so easily. Sometimes I think blogging makes it tough, bringing so many varied lifestyles into our homes, making us party to conversations that stir up a chaos of responses.

      Thanks so much for your sympathy on the loss of my mother. I'm not sure I'll ever completely sort the ambivalence I have about her. . . it's a big work, isn't it?!

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    2. It is big work. My mother had some mental health issues that meant that I never quite knew who would be present. Her rages were quite terrifying, but she could also be the kindest person. After she died it was sometimes hard to accept condolences because I felt both relief and terrible sorrow.

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    3. Ah. . . . I understand that ambivalence although my mother's emotional palette was perhaps smaller in range. Take care.

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  11. I went back to see what the anonymous commenter said (and thought about our conversation about it all on Saturday), and I have to say more than ever that I disagree with what s/h/ze noted. You rarely seem dissatisfied to me. Maybe it's because I, too, understand the draining effect that all that marking can have, though. I think you handle it and your students and the demands of of life with tremendous grace and flair.

    Thanks for the lovely shout out here. It was wonderful meeting you and P in person!

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  15. I am so disgusted that anyone would post negative, hurtful stuff on a a blog such as yours which is so lovely and truly a celebration of life. I have found your blog only recently and enjoy it enormously. Life is short and being happy is a choice we make every single day; how is it that any sentient being would waste his/her time in hateful behaviour. (Perhaps these are not sentient beings after all.) I am a woman like you, similar in age and living on the south tip of Vancouver Island. Yesterday my husband and I went to Vancouver via ferry to visit family. It was a glorious day of warm sunshine and calm waters; we truly do live in the most beautiful place on earth. I would like to send my encouragement to not give up. There are many like us out here. I will visit your blog regularly and with appreciation. If I use the anonymous ID, it is because I do not have the accts set up for other choices. Cheers, V.

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  16. Thanks V -- and I'm so pleased that you would take time to comment and that you find something here that pleases and/or interests you. And yes, don't we live in a wonderful spot! (and I completely understand about the anonymous posting, but appreciate your initial added as an identifier)

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I'd love to hear your response to my post. Agree, disagree, even go off on a tangent, I love to know you're out there, readers. Let's chat, shall we? I apologize, though, for the temporary necessity of the Word Verification -- spam comments have been tiresomely numerous lately, and I'm hoping to break that pattern.

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