Friday, December 26, 2014

2299 moments, the night-side of life, best of 2014 & the horizon of 2015

In the last couple of days, I revisited the files with the photos I took this year, and picked some of them to get printed and framed, so that I can give them as gifts for Christmas. Revisiting the photo files also brought back so many memories of this year, like the one above: spotting a sun halo, and trying to catch a picture of this rare sky moment. Such luck, to be there right at that time, and probably one of my favourite images 2014 (here's a larger version of the photo with notes).

Altogether, it was a beautiful, and special year.  Today I counted the photos I took since January: 1127 with my photo camera, and almost the same with my mobile phone camera: 1172. Which makes 2299 photos altogether.

Each photo, a moment that made me pause and notice and enjoy, and take a picutre, to keep the memory. Some moments were huge, like the ocean horizon of Mallorca island. Some small, like this playful "selfie" reflection photo of an art installation.

"If it wasn't for this illness, it would have been a truly wonderful year," I joked yesterday while we were out there, on a walk, and watched 3 birds sailing in the December wind. But then, it still is. And I am glad for those photos, to bring back the memory of those small big moments that shaped the year.

Looking at time, it feels a bit weird that it was my birthday now, this day of life celebration, just a few days after the first chemo therapy. But also kind of symbolic, with the start of this treatment, and the step into  a new, different year of life.

This week I came across this quote from Susan Sontag, who calls illness “the night-side of life”.. here is the longer quote, from her book “Illness as Metaphor”, more + quote)
“Illness is the night-side of life, a more onerous citizenship. Everyone who is born holds dual citizenship, in the kingdom of the well and in the kingdom of the sick. Although we all prefer to use only the good passport, sooner or later each of us is obliged, at least for a spell, to identify ourselves as citizens of that other place.”
So I will be citizen of this other side for now. Which also is part of life. I guess one of the most important tasks is to keep the larger perspective, to see beyond the immediate discomfort to that wider horizon. To remember that I am basically on the way to the kingdom of the well. And to notice the small beautiful moments each day, especially now.

This year started with a mindful January, a time of noticing a small moment each day. I want to continue this in January 2015, and also spend time revisiting moments from previous years.

Another thing that I started last January, and that I want to continue: to try and see art every now and then, when I have good days. It was one of the things that added so much to this year, those brief visits to places of art and history, and the reflections they brought. Often it was the smaller ones that I enjoyed more, like the Hamish Fulton exhibition in the local gallery here. Which inspired so many other memories of art and places, from London to landart.

And I want to keep blogging, and join the photo challenges, share moments, visit the moments of others from around the globe. Be part of this larger, electronically connected world, especially in this time of being more restricted in the things I can do and the places I can go. It's an ongoing inspiration, this sharing of moments and experiences, around the world, along those wider horizons.

Plus, of course, there is the world of books. I want to keep reading around the world, and spent some time yesterday sorting a shelf, to put the books there that are waiting to be read - more about that, in an own blog post.

..I started this blog post yesterday evening, and now it turned longer. It is morning now. The field I see from the window, which was green yesterday, is covered with the first real layer of snow of this winter. And this revisit of images of 2014 now turned into a sketched plan for the upcoming season through the night-side:
- To notice the small moments
- To keep the larger horizon in mind
- To keep walking towards that horizon 
Step by step.
Moment by moment.

May 2015 bring many beautiful moments, for everyone, around the world~~


Here are more "best of 2014" moments from around the world: photo friday

And I now started to mark all blog posts about this shadow journey with a tag, you can click here to read them: C is for cancer, and for courage, too 


bookspersonally said...

What a lovely and meaningful reflection on your year, art, illness and their intersection. Wishing you well

grayestone said...

Excellent images and thoughts. I will have to look into that book on wellness/illness because that is a new way of looking at things:-)

Dorothee said...

Thanks for leaving such lovely comments, and glad you enjoy the reflections. The book on illness from Sontag - I had the same thought, and looked for it, and started to read it.