Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Choices

Can you read the name on the side of the preserve jar? It says 'Golden Harvest'. It contains branches I cut from my garden this morning--each full of promise of the flowers they will carry in days ahead.  Serviceberry, flowering almond and lilacs. That gorgeous entwined branch was found for me by Chloé on a recent forest walk.

When I wrote about balance the other day, it obviously struck a chord with many of you. It's something we all struggle with. This morning I read Arounna's post (Bookhou at Home) and it's all about finding balance and making choices to stay true to yourself, in her case the artistic vision of both her and her husband.

My thoughts have been swirling in past days, as they tend to do. I was reminded of a beautiful story I heard about making choices and measuring 'success'. It comes from an album by Harry Chapin. He was a storyteller and songwriter who died tragically at a very young age.  He tells the story of his grandfather, James Ormsbee Chapin:

"My grandfather was a painter. He died at age eighty-eight, he illustrated Robert Frost's first two books of poetry and he was looking at me and he said, 'Harry, there are two kinds of tired: there's good-tired, and there's bad-tired.'

He said, 'Ironically enough, bad-tired can be a day that you won. But you won other people's battles, you lived other people's days, other peoples agendas, other people's dreams and when it was all over there was very little "you" in there, and when you hit the hay at night, somehow you toss and turn--you don't settle easy.'

He said, 'Good-tired, ironically enough, can be a day that you lost. But you don't have to tell yourself, 'cause you knew you fought your battles, you chased your dreams, you lived your days, and when you hit the hay at night, you settle easy--you sleep the sleep of the just, and you can say "take me away."' He said, 'Harry, all my life I've painted. God, I would've loved to be more successful, but I painted and I painted, and I am good-tired and they can take me away.' "

James Ormsbee Chapin "Child at Window"
Going back to my photo, everything is entwined. We are surrounded by promise and potential. It's a matter of unravelling things and making daily choices in a way that make sense to us and hitting that pillow at night (at least every now and then) feeling 'good tired'.

10 comments:

  1. oh such a beautiful & tryue post, Kathleen
    like Margie & Arounna said today, life's a matter of choice
    up to us to make the good ones, every day
    oxoxox

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    1. Thanks Sonia. I really love Chapin's 'good tired', 'bad tired' way of analyzing things and knowing if we are on the right track. xx

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  2. lovely post Kath. both yours and Arounna's blogs really ring true for me right now. xo

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    1. Thanks Nance. I'm glad you liked it. There's lots to think about, isn't there? xo

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  3. good tired, i like that
    i think that is how I feel most nights

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  4. I read that same post by Arounna and it really got me thinking a lot, especially what she wrote about the copying.

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    1. Hi Carolyn - I think it's easier to copy these days without realizing that we are doing it because of all of the images we see each day, but intentional copying was a problem well before the internet. When Arounna mentioned using blogs as time stamps, that hit home as I know I'm guilty of thinking that way too. Sometimes I wait until a print is in my Etsy shop before putting a photo of the painting on my blog. It's a kind of paranoid way of doing things. Not ideal for sure.

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  5. "To thine own self be true" - my dad used to say that a lot. I think you're doing just that!

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    1. I'm definitely closer than I was a year ago!

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Thanks so much for taking the time to visit my blog and to leave me a comment. I love reading them. -- Kathleen

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