Tag Archives: resilience

Ghost of Tara and travel plans

After ten years of a blogging on a basically free WordPress platform, I used up the allotted memory. A funny time for that to happen, if you ask me. A little like how I waited weeks to shut off my sister’s phone and cable and when I finally did so, she was dead within 15 hours.

As for WordPress — I just signed up for two years on the business plan. I’d rather not pay for what’s been free, of course, but I’m so relieved that the fix was straightforward, I don’t really care. Who knows what other bibs and babs will show up here now?

(Please note: in the process I dropped “WordPress” from my domain name, so your computer might be suspicious. Also, if you link to this blog on your blog, you’ll need to update. Now it’s: http://www.deemallon.com).

Here are a few more pictures of the box holding my sister’s ashes. The play of light is something she would have appreciated.

Today, grief brought me to this realization: I am an incredibly resilient person. At the moment pretty battered and worn out, but not at all worried about myself. That’s what resilience will do for a person.

Two obvious contributing factors to my brand of resilience: loving food (seriously! and I don’t mean loving food in a serious way, but seriously, this is a factor) and, this is key — seeing beauty and stories everywhere.

I started my day watching an interview with Gloria Steinem (you can find the link in Michelle’s comment yesterday – thank you, Michelle!) Talking about the importance of narratives, Steinem said something like, ‘we are wired to tell and listen to stories.’

Yes. And to appreciate beauty. Wherever we find it.

Another mosaic from my sister’s clip files.

And sidewalk shadow and rust seen while walking to my car this afternoon– also beautiful.

There’s a lot left to do in my sister’s apartment, but the end glimmers and good thing because an incredible travel opportunity dropped into my lap.

Such a gift! Such timing!

My cousin Ginny (also Mallon) offered me a small scholarship through The Fat Canary literary and art journal to attend a residency program in Assisi, Italy for the latter half of April!

Can you believe that?

What contributes to your resilience?

Sorry to lose a bright light in Elsbeth Thompson

resilience:  1 : the capability of a strained body to recover its size and shape after deformation caused especially by compressive stress
2 : an ability to recover from or adjust easily to misfortune or change

I am thinking about resilience this afternoon, having just learned that the talented writer, gardener, and blogger, Elsbeth Thompson, committed suicide last week.  She wrote books, columns, and a blog about gardening, and seemed to have a particular knack for turning wastelands into lush gardens.  Her blog chronicled the restoration of two railroad cars on the coast of Sussex, and to this reader, seemed an adventure in vision and optimism.  Though I am a mere fan of her blog, I am sorry for her surviving husband and daughter.

The news brings up questions:  What makes a person resilient?  Why are we more resilient at some times, and less at others?  How do we inculcate resilience in others, particularly our children?  Can we?

Her death also raises the issue of inscrutability.  Even people we think we know well can be shouldering enormous unseen burdens.  What looks, from the outside, like an ideal life, can be anything but.  Reading about her efforts, I often found myself jealous of her resources, as well as of her sure hand in making spaces intimate and lovely.

I don’t hunt for events like this to provide perspective, but this sad news certainly makes a flooded basement seem incredibly minor in the scheme of things.

Although my response seems overblown (even to me) based on a mere reading of a blog, I nevertheless am sending love to England, especially to her young daughter.