The Lesson of the Dandelion

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dandelion

It’s a sure sign of spring, the dandelion. This pervasive weed has spread globally. And yet, I can’t dislike it. It’s bright yellow head, the bitter taste of spring in it’s young jagged leaves. The delight of school children, as they proudly bring in the already wilting flowers to moms and teachers. (I got two pollen filled bouquets just today!) And no matter how it’s attacked, sprayed, dug, plucked, stamped on, it lifts it’s bright yellow head in the morning.

What a lesson.

I’ve been struggling with being able to let things go and move on, taking things too personally, letting others bruise me in too many ways.

A long time ago I wrote a poem called weeds. It was in my adolescence, and very emo, I’m sure, but one of the lines was:

Calling me from my garden, so well tended
Calling me to be free
To take a chance
To be
Weeds

Happy gardening

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A Seasonal Quick Change

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It has gone from winter directly to summer here in Kyiv.  The birds are singing frantically in the trees outside my flat.  The air has cleared from the late winter fires of everyone burning what ever trash they could find.  The snow is almost all gone, except for a few dirty and ragged piles in some shadowed places.  I ran out with my camera to photograph what I could around my soviet-era apartment building.  I’m so glad I did because I got some of the best shots of apple blossoms, and today, they are already gone. 

As I’ve mentioned, I have a page on Facebook, as well, (www.facebook.com/RuthAnnKarnowski ) and my Darling Companion has suggested that I think of a theme per week.  He then thought about my attention span and said, at least keep your photos themed around one idea per day! So, lets try that, and you can join in!  I’d love to hear what you think of the theme, of the photos, or contribute your own thoughts and photos as well! 

So, for today, the theme is, Spring (with a sidebar of Easter, as Sunday is Russian Orthodox Easter) Maybe we can keep this going all week!!!  Are you in??Image

 

It’s the journey

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It’s been a difficult year for me. There’s lots of changes in my life, and as is true for many of us, I don’t deal well with changes. So, I’ve been “blue” and withdrawn. But in all that there are some constants. One constant is my little black dog (my own version of the LBD), Maggie Mae. She is always there, and always cares. The second constant is my need to be creative, and to share that creativity with others. It may be that lost little girl in me, still seeking approval, or it can simply be that I find beauty and want to share it.

Thanks to a dear friend, and “darling companion”, Derek, I have been more mindful of my photography. I can remember using a small Kodak camera when I was a girl, and doing my best with it’s limited capabilities to get “artsy” photos. I would make my friends pose in abandoned buildings and photograph them. Today it would be called all very “emo”.

More recently I’ve discovered I don’t photograph people all that well, but I do photograph places, flowers, things, rather well. And that’s the focus of what I do. It is the focus of the Facebook page I’ve started, http://www.facebook.com.RuthAnnKarnowski I hope you’ll stop by for a visit and browse, let me know what you think, share with friends, and come along with me on this interesting journey.

I’ll start by sharing with you, one of my favorite pictures. “Darling Companion” says the internet is all about cute cats. Well, I don’t have a photo of a cute cat, but I do have a photo of a little black dog, who reminds me always, it’s not the destination, it’s the journey.

The road less travelled

“Sisterhood”

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One thing that totally irritates me is forced intimacy.  I don’t mean sexual intimacy, although forced sexual intimacy would be a whole different topic.  What I’m talking about is the “hon”, “dear” and even “sis” or “sister” that people might claim.  The whole idea that I might be your “sister” based on some shared interest or shared belief just boggles my mind.  To me that word carries power, meaning.  And to fling it about so casually, attaching it to people you’ve just met, is just ridiculous.  So, I wrote this little piece.  And since I had nothing else written, and I’m determined to write every day, I will share this bit of prose:

Are you my sister?

Have you held me in your arms at the side of a dirt road as my world crumbled into glittering pieces at my feet?

Have you heard the scream of utter despair that rose from somewhere deep in my wounded soul, and still held on?

Have you washed the stiff blood from my hair, fighting the tightening in your belly at the sight and the smell, but still, carefully, and with love, worked till the blood was gone?

Have you left home, and family, and husband to sit in an old rocker beside the couch where I lay, for three days, dead to the world, horrified, shocked, numb, and each of you in turn came, and sat, demanding nothing but that I walk through that pain, and emerge to your embrace on the other side?

Have you held my face in your hands and looked into my eyes and seen the pain and darkness there and not turned away?

Have you put raw wool into my hands, and shown me how to card, so that mindlessly I could pull and straighten the wool while the pain of such horrendous betrayal clawed at my heart and soul?

Have you danced with me in the woods, laughing and singing, and shared the cup in perfect love and perfect trust? 

Truly, the women who answer yes to these questions are my sister.  To call any other “sister” or to allow them to call me “sister” belittles what these women have done for me.  It takes away from who they have been, and continue to be, in my life.  

 A sister is one who walks through the fire with you, knowing she too will be burned, but faces that pain, with quiet courage, and takes your hand, and steps into the flames. 

Are you my sister?

Sunday

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And I’m listening to a twenty minute long version of “Whipping Post” by the Allman Brothers.  It absolutely *still* blows me away.  Talk about an amazing bunch of musicians.  So, I was asked, if you could only save five CD’s which five would you save? Considering how important music is to me, I found that a difficult choice!  But I have a few thoughts:,

1.  Marc Cohn – his debut cd.  I have purchased this CD multiple times.  And simply can’t be without it.  His understated but soulful voice and perfect musical choices simply grab me every time.  I’ve heard this CD thousands of times, and each time it brings me joy.  There’s the soaring, “Walking In Memphis” and “Silver Thunderbird” which always makes me think of my Dad.  The happy rhythm of “29 Ways” and the heartfelt sentiment of “True Companion”.  It just is an album with not one wrong note.

2. Beethoven’s 7th Symphony as done by the New York Philharmonic orchestra – This is my favorite Beethoven symphony and the second movement absolutely does me in every single time.  I am left breathless by the complexity and beauty of this musical piece.

3. Ancient Muse: Loreena McKennit – It was a difficult choice, but knew I had to have one CD of hers.  This one always takes me to far away places, and deep inner spaces.  I love the purity of her vocals, and the musicianship is outstanding.  We all need music that will take us to other places, and this is the CD that does it for me.

4. Gord’s Gold; Vol. 1 – Gordon Lightfoot – This is another album I’ve bought multiple times.  While McKennit might be ethereal, Lightfoot is down to earth, homey.  I love his imagery, the simply earthiness of his vocal style, and the slice of life pictures he paints of everyday people, and everyday life are kind, and forgiving, done with affection for we mere mortals who struggle through life.  I sing along to “Did She Mention My Name” every time, and become wistful over past relationships.  I feel the ache of a relationship that has withered, when I hear “If You Could Read My Mind” Each song crafted to bring us a slice of life.

5. Horowitz plays Chopin – by Vladimir Horowitz – I thought long and hard on this, and I had to go back to my favorite composer, Chopin, played by my favorite Chopin interpreter, Horowitz.  Chopin compositions are deceptively simple, and so complex.  I have never grown tired of them, and they move me in profound ways,  And isn’t that what music is about? 

So, there you have it.  My five choices for CDs I’d preserve.  What are yours?

You Gotta Start Somewhere

Do you make New Year’s Resolutions?  I do.  This year, I have promised myself to: write more, read more, photograph more, dance more, and be healthier.  Not too bad, huh?  But here it is, nearly the end of January and I haven’t acted on any of them.  So, this is step one.  A bit of writing. 

What should you know about me?  Well, I’m just a woman who has had some pretty “interesting” times.  I mean that in the sense of the Chinese proverb, or curse: “May you live in interesting times.” 

I am bossed around on a daily basis by a darling Scottish Terror, named Maggie Mae.

I have some of the most amazing friends.

And I have a blog.  Well, at least we’re starting, huh?

So, how’s your year going?