Thursday, December 31, 2015

The Space Between the Years -- Is that Change I see on the Horizon?

 So here we are, poised on the brink, ready to see the Old Year out and ring in the New. Good-bye 2015. . . .

I took these photos from our beachfront terrace over the last few days, and I thought they illustrated the difference we might hope for as we turn the calendar, albeit, yes, perhaps a bit too dramatically...
 At the very end of 2014, my mother-in-law, our last parent of the four, died, so that 2015 began in some sadness. However, it quickly made up for itself by bringing us two new grandbabies in March. Not bad, at all 2015, not bad at all! Of course, that made the rest of the year gallop along even more quickly than normal. As well, the explosion of family size pushed me toward a decision I'd been resisting for a year -- Retirement. This has been a huge adjustment for many years, but I'm mostly happy with the change.

And definitely happy to have more time available for travel, especially at times of the year previously off limits. The luxury of seven weeks in Europe this past September and October was not wasted on me -- I'm still savouring the experience in so many ways. . .

We recently came to another major decision, one that will have significant implications for lifestyle. I'll tell you more about that over the next few months, but suffice it to say, for now, that I'm very conscious of my good luck in where I live and I'm trying to be very deliberate about appreciating it in the moment. I'm also very aware of how fleeting moments are, of what a trap there is in trying to hang onto them, trying to relive or capture the past, trying to know or predict or control the future. Liminality, as I've surely wearied you by pointing out, has been very much on my mind, and although I've felt somewhat unsettled with it, I'm also trying to embrace its possibilities.

As in the dramatic darkness of the photos above -- so many analogies compressed, the movement between the light and the dark, between sea and land, the potency of those clouds, full of unreleased (yet!) precipitation, the difference between the outside and the inside of those freighters (imagine the life/lives, the dramas, the work, the boredom, the longing).

And the bright beckoning of the shots below with the blue, blue, and yet more celestial and aqueous blue. . . and snowy peaks across the water, a ferry in transit, again with the analogies. . .
 Shall we wish for our 2016 to be this open, this bright, this smooth in the sailing? Or shall we leave room for some of the drama that makes life, hmmm, interesting? Be careful what we wish for? Or simply go for it!

I have some exciting plans for January. I'll tell you about them soon, but here's a hint: They involve this daughter, who's (finally!) published another post in her blog about life as an ex-pat (in Rome). And then who knows what the year will bring.
























For now, there's still one day left in 2015, and I need 12 more kilometres to get to 2000km run in the year. I don't do New Year's resolutions, generally, but I think I'm going to finish the Old Year with that one...haven't run more than 9 kilometres for at least a month now, so we'll see how that goes! And then I think I'll have earned some armchair reading time (especially since I finally wrote a catch-up post on my reading blog, albeit a hasty one), and Pater and I will line up some movies to watch while drinking some good red wine and eating a special dinner, à deux. Pour moi, c'est mieux!  (Dinner just the two of us. For me, that's better -- I hope the French doesn't seem an affectation, but I love the fun of the rhyming, and when you're talking of a romantic dinner, who can resist a romantic language?!What about you? Will you be staying in or heading out, toasting with others at midnight or cheating, as we may likely do, and heading to bed in 2015, happy to delay making 2016's acquaintance until morning.

34 comments:

  1. Happy New Year, dear Frances! I hope that whatever drama 2016 brings you will take it in stride and enjoy the smooth sailing moments all the more for it. I missed so much by being away from blogs for all of 2015, so I enjoyed reading your brief recap here. Tonight we'll have a quiet dinner made at home and drink some prosecco or cava. If I make it till midnight (a roll of the dice since we just got back from Louisiana), I'll toast from my couch. I'm looking forward to starting 2016 with a run.

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    1. That's a long day's travel, I'm sure, and such a climate change -- I think you could be excused from ringing in the New. . . Wishing you a wonderful 2016, with more running than in 2015! Good to have you back blogging!

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  2. Happy New Year! I love the photos and your continued musings on liminality. Have a lovely evening. It sounds just perfect to me. I'll be watching and knitting with a cat who has missed me terribly by my side. And I am perfectly content with those plans after running around all day.

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    1. There's nothing better than a quiet evening in after too much (if festive) running 'round. Happy New Year!

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  3. Happy New Year Mater! I wish you all the best as you really settle into your retirement. Today we are doing some last-minute cleaning for the New Year, tonight will be a quiet one, as is usual for us. We had thought to go to a Scottish Hogmanay celebration downtown, but the snow put paid to that, just don't fancy going out at night. Look forward to hearing all your news as you unveil it!

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    1. Sometimes the snow makes a good excuse for staying in! Two days into the New Year, we've got freezing fog here on the Coast -- brrr! gets right to the bones. . . Happy New Year!

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  4. I love the photo of the freighter in connection with thoughts of the passage of time. People may think you have Photoshopped it - but that's just what it is. For that specific moment. Breathtaking really, and simple. Your romantic dinner sounds wonderful. No plans here, except maybe an old airline bottle of wine. Ha.

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    1. Flattered that photoshopping could be considered -- these are unfiltered, although at least they were taken with my Nikon DSLR rather than my trust iPhone. Ah, those airline bottles....

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  5. Those views are so amazing. I'd probably not get much done for looking out the windows! Like you, we're having a simple (and what I hope will be delicious) dinner à deux ce soir. Doing a bit of decluttering in our bedroom between now and then. Happy New Year!!

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    1. I've been doing some happy decluttering as well -- now to take care not to clutter right up again.
      Happy New Year to you and Le Monsieur (and le no-longer-petit monsieur, as well!)

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  6. Felice anno Nuovo! Mary

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    1. Same to you, Mary, and glad to get some practice with Italian ;-)

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  7. Haven't these been most gloriously sun-filled? Amazing views from your island.
    It will be dinner â deux here, too, although our Vancouver kids may join us for the earlier part of the evening before heading out to parties with their friends. C est mieux! (and I love seeing a bit of French or Spanish or other languages thrown into conversations)
    Bonne Année, Mater and Pater!

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    1. Even spoken or written poorly, it's worth playing with other languages, I think, just to keep us alive to all the other viewpoints and possibilities in this big world.
      And yes, we've had some spectacular sunshine -- but oh, what a foggy day it was today in Vanc'r! Bonne Année è vous et votre famille aussi (or are we perhaps at the tutoyer stage after our weekend visit a few years ago? I never like to presume)

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  8. Happy new year to all. May 2016 bring all that you wish for

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    1. Same to you, Ceri! And thanks for reading and commenting in 2015.

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  9. Lovely lovely crisp views and great pictures. Wishing you a fabulous 2016.
    Our friends from France and Vancouver are here to welcome in the New Year. We have been eating fabulous meals. Gone for a brisk walk and the ladies took in a yoga class while the gents went to the movies.
    Cheers!

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    1. I've been following your friends' visit on Instagram -- look like a lovely way to begin the year. Enjoy!

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  10. The French is certainly not an affectation, especially when you actually speak it..and you do. Now, when I include it in a post (ironically, of course) it's only after googling the translation to make sure I have it right, and then ditto the spelling, and then double checking. Irony can be so labour intensive. Love your liminality discussions, as I'm sure you know by now, since I included your foggy liminality post in my favourite five for 2015. As per Une Femme's list of 2015 baggage to leave at the station... I'm trying to not place unrealistic expectations upon 2016...nor worry about what I'm missing. Just glad that Hubby is recovering well, and in good spirits. We cross-country skied yesterday (on all that lovely snow we received on Tuesday) and he's feeling pretty perky. Moi aussi! Happy New Year, Frances. Enjoy your lovely meal for two. I look forward to learning of January plans and other news from your island.
    P.S. Aren't ferries the best? So many analogies for life in a ferry ride.

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    1. I loved your last post, not just because you mentioned, but mainly because of your focus on community in blogging.
      So pleased to hear that you two were able to get back on your x-country skis -- that indicates decent progress. Hope that continues through this new year. And yes to the applause for ferries, although we ride them a bit too often to be as appreciative as you sound... or we're just ingrates! ;-)

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  11. Brava Frances! You did it! 2009 km!
    Congratulations!
    So,2016 could be a good year
    Musings of the past and present are part of the New Year's Eve or end of a period in life
    You always make me think about it too. Thank you for sharing your thoughts
    with us
    Your photos are beautiful,and as Susan B. said-ferries are the best,I wish you calm sea (as saying goes- only rough sea makes a good sailor but I think we both have mastered it :-)), a good and happy journey and safe harbours!
    When one has everything in balance it is hard to wish for a change!
    But who knows?
    Happy New Year
    Dottoressa

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    1. Thanks, Dottoressa, but there seems to be something wrong with that DailyMile widget -- I certainly haven't run 2019 km already in 2016! ;-)
      It's true, what you say about being wary of changing things that are in balance -- of course, life tends to change things for us whether we choose or not... so let's cross our fingers and wish each other the best of changes in 2016!

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  12. I like the idea of bright beckoning even if I am a little hesitant this year. Still, standing on the spot is not an option so I had better get going. An excellent opening to the year by the sound of it.

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    1. See above re change and spot-standing. . .Hang on, the ride's starting! Happy 2016!

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  13. Happy New Year an I'll enjoy hearing more about the upcoming changes and adventures!

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    1. Happy New Year to you, my longtime friend and fellow blogger. Very soon, you'll be a fellow Nana as well (or Mémère, peut-être...

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  14. As I contemplated a word for the year, I kept returning to the word relax, but I think what I was really looking for was a word that captured liminality and the realization that I can neither "capture the past nor control the future". Not sure that I'm ready to embrace the word change, but perhaps that's exactly what I need to do. All this to say that I very much enjoy your discussions of "embracing the possibilities", and I look forward to hearing more. Happy New Year!

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    1. Happy New Year, Laurie. "Relax" makes sense to me, as a way to "Accept" or "Embrace what comes" . . . so many ways the yoga instructors find to suggest living mindfully, in the moment. I'll never really get there, as I carry the past perhaps too much and I want to know or anticipate or guard against the future. But I'm working on it. . .

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  15. As I contemplated a word for the year, I kept returning to the word relax, but I think what I was really looking for was a word that captured liminality and the realization that I can neither "capture the past nor control the future". Not sure that I'm ready to embrace the word change, but perhaps that's exactly what I need to do. All this to say that I very much enjoy your discussions of "embracing the possibilities", and I look forward to hearing more. Happy New Year!

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  16. Lovely photos Frances and a very Happy New Year to you and yours. We just had a lovely few days with my brother and his family (so many nieces in our basement - great fun, although they looked at me pityingly when I said I didn't have an Instagram account). I have just finished Ian Brown's book on his 60th year. He was reading Knausgaard and Clive James while writing it so there are some pleasant echoes. He writes a great deal about liminality. Enjoy the clear cold sunshine! Brenda

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    1. That sounds like a great family time together -- just what the holidays are for, really, Brenda, and I bet your brother was happy for a spot out of the limelight. I'm still wanting to read Brown's book on his son -- did you ever read that one? I loved his piece in the Globe a few weeks ago about Jean Vanier, so maybe it's time to grab his latest title and work backwards. As for the clear cold sunshine, I did, but oh my, this damp freezing fog is penetrating...Happy New Year!

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  17. I thought I would find you thinking about the coming year! Me too! I hope 2016 brings you much happiness.

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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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