Monday, December 28, 2015

That Was the Year that Was

It's time for one of those year-end, contemplative posts. So here are some bits of accumulated wisdom from 2015.

Best Life-Simplifier: Buying extra underwear and socks. When you have a well, you're conscious of water. When you go from one week's worth of underwear and socks to three weeks' worth, the number of loads of laundry you do drops dramatically, your cistern stays full longer, and you don't need to buy extra water. Plus you can stop monitoring water quite so obsessively.

Best Indulgence: Buying iced-tea spoons. They were not strictly necessary and have yet to be (may never be!) used for iced tea, but they were also inexpensive. And it's SO LOVELY to be able to avoid getting mayonnaise and peanut butter on my knuckles. Small pleasures are sometimes the BEST.

Best Challenge: Saying "no" more often than I was really comfortable with, all so any "yes" could be something I did with great enthusiasm. I had some great experiences last year and am looking forward to a couple of new things in 2016. Tip: It helps to have a sudden reminder (like a husband having heart surgery) of your priorities.

So long, 2015. You have had moments of joy and sadness, frustration and peace. Welcome, 2016. 
Monday, December 14, 2015

A Year Later

My husband's heart surgery was a year ago tomorrow. The following poem has been my companion, off and on, ever since.
[i carry your heart with me(i carry it in] 
    i carry your heart with me(i carry it in
my heart)i am never without it(anywhere
i go you go,my dear;and whatever is done
by only me is your doing,my darling)
                                                      i fear
no fate(for you are my fate,my sweet)i want
no world(for beautiful you are my world,my true)
and it’s you are whatever a moon has always meant
and whatever a sun will always sing is you 
    here is the deepest secret nobody knows
(here is the root of the root and the bud of the bud
and the sky of the sky of a tree called life;which grows
higher than soul can hope or mind can hide)
and this is the wonder that's keeping the stars apart 
    i carry your heart(i carry it in my heart)
For his part, my husband says he feels more like these lines:
     I have not been unhappy for ten thousand years.
During the day I laugh and during the night I sleep.
My favourite cooks prepare my meals,
my body cleans and repairs itself,
and all my work goes well.
They're from Leonard Cohen's poem, "I Have Not Lingered in European Monasteries," which is from The Spice-Box of Earth.

He means, of course, that he feels quite well, not that I'm any great shakes as a cook. 

It's been quite a year. A good one, on balance. And we're both grateful.