Scraps and surprises

What happens when you turn it sideways and you like the subtle form visible there more than the intended (and obvious) one?

And while spritzing, pulling and pinning will correct bumps on this one, it won’t turn an unhappy experiment into something worthy of my time.

That’s how it goes sometimes.

I have no recollection of taking this picture. Should I be worried? I don’t even know where this house is.

I like all the lines and recesses and the walkway coming straight at you.

What if the photo inspires the next small cloth? It might be a fun challenge to try and capture shadow, railings, and rooflines.

What if we don’t know the purpose of our lives — not out of superficial disregard for what matters but because it is unknowable? Would that change anything? Would it strip away some layer of reflection and free those thoughts for other things?

We had rain yesterday. It’s still grey and humid and blessedly quiet. After days of porch construction next door and “Carnival Week” at the camp out back, how welcome the quiet is! The whir of fans. A dripping faucet.

Hope you all are having a good weekend! Much to share about writing retreat. It was productive. Interesting. And mostly — wonderful to be out in the rolling hills of my birth (not to be too dramatic!)

22 thoughts on “Scraps and surprises

  1. Nancy

    Love the striped porch posts and the last photo. It’s funny how perspective is so personal…I (we) are so darn sick of the ‘whir of the fan’ around here!! We ache for the fall nights when at least it cools off and the light breeze brings in night air, allowing us to drift off to sleep 🙂

    Reply
    1. deemallon Post author

      Suburbs all the way. But I was born not far from here, lived again near here from 10 to 16 at which point my parents built a home with views not unlike these (not the suburbs in other words). Went to college just south of here and then lived back near the New York State line again in Pittsfield and Lenox for several years. A little more than 15 years all tolled.

      Reply
  2. Laurie

    I take photos all the time when shapes or texture or color appeal to me. Many times they lose their appeal later but I see some possibilities there.

    Reply
    1. deemallon Post author

      The first time I read this comment I thought it was over in your blog. Funny. I take too many pictures these days. And don’t delete enough. Need some sort of regular purge routine. But I love it.

      Reply
  3. Angie Shipley

    What an interesting, thought provoking post, Dee. I love the house piece, both ways. I am always drawn to houses. And I could move into the house in the picture that you don’t remember taking. Things have been so turned upside down in my life these last 4 years, that I find myself wondering almost daily what the purpose of my life is. I truly have no idea what the purpose of my life is now. My mind just devolves into railing against life….

    Reply
    1. deemallon Post author

      Hi Angie. Your comment makes me curious. My life has been a little staid these last couple of years. But with the same result: a lot of wondering and a lot of railing. Most of my railing is about politics, and not personal, though.

      Reply
    1. deemallon Post author

      Thank you for the clip. I started my day with that song. And then, “you’ve got a friend”. I miss music.

      Reply
  4. Liz A

    I love that my iphone records dates and locations of images … sadly, I rarely use our camera, even though it takes better photos. The iphone lets me be more in the moment.

    Hope you keep that scrappy bit … I can well imagine it cut up and recomposed elsewhere.

    In any case, thank you for the last image especially. And always, I love your houses.

    Reply
    1. deemallon Post author

      I had that on for a while and for some reason it creeped my out. But it was great on all those drives to Montreal to have each shot labeled : some little town in Quebec or Northern Vermont. Turns out the house was in Boulder. Why is showed up in my feed yesterday as if a recent pic, I have no idea.

      The scrappy bit will end up somewhere. Not in the garbage.

      Reply
  5. Hazel

    The idea of home has changed so much for me over the last few years, and how it can be found in many directions. I hope there’s not one purpose for our time here, it would be too easy to miss the mark. Hopefully, it’s just to do the best we can to take care of ourselves and each other. Looking forward to hearing about your retreat.

    Reply
    1. deemallon Post author

      I wasn’t suggesting that we denigrate our efforts at being moral loving beings only to ask : what if we cannot know? I find the idea strangely liberating. I forget what book it was long ago (by Carolyn Myss maybe ? who once famously said something like: god is not a job counselor) —that our purpose may be very small — not as in unimportant but as in, not grand.

      Here’s something else she said, found just now looking for the spelling of her name:
      “To love yourself, truly love yourself, is to finally discover the essence of personal courage, self-respect, integrity, and self-esteem. These are the qualities of grace that come directly from a soul with stamina.”

      I am loving the idea of a soul with stamina.

      Reply
        1. deemallon Post author

          I read your comment again and see what you mean better. Sorry if I didn’t read you clearly!

  6. Saskia

    I used to be sure my life had no purpose, however about half a year ago I was having this conversation with a cousin, who happens to be a psychologist and a Buddhist, and according to him our purpose in life is to enjoy it, in other words, be happy
    At the time I found myself disagreeing with him, nowadays I am in the process of rethinking my original attitude: perhaps it is purposeless, if so, why not enjoy it as much as possible;
    that of course, means different things to different people I realise as I write this…..

    oh well, I seem to be unsure; lovely post as usual, that last image is stunning….and I agree that the different perspective does make the first piece more interesting, that seems to happen quite a lot

    Reply
    1. deemallon Post author

      I find the idea that our purpose might simply to be happy also intriguing. I recently heard an argument (podcast? don’t remember who, sorry), suggesting that if we try to lead lives of purpose (as opposed to happiness), we are more likely to be content. This sounds like we’re talking in circles, but I don’t think we are. I have to say it again: I find it liberating to think my life has purpose but that it may be forever unknowable to me. Takes the pressure off of trying to find/define it.

      Reply
    1. deemallon Post author

      Agreed. So glad you said this at this juncture because first it’s so true and bears repeating and second because there were two comments that I somehow missed. Hope you’re staying cool!

      Reply

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