marking time, marking place

by Anna Blanch on November 16, 2011

I’ve turned the lounge room of the cottage into a comfortable thesis writing haven. Candles have been setting the mood of coziness lately. I have a favourite writing chair, plenty of cushions, and a coffee table to put my feet on. I keep a steady supply of sparkling water going to keep me hydrated, and grocery deliveries help with supplies for yummy sustenance.

It is the quotidian of the everyday. the beauty of the ordinary, the accoutrements of home that keep me inspired at the greyness of the sky seemingly closes in.

Moments of contemplation are precious and rare. I find myself giving i far more easily than i’d like to distractions from the best for the sake of the good or the immediate. But those moments of quiet, cool, fullness are when I feel content. But more often this week, i’ve felt those who couch fatalism or bullying as jokes prompt me into response. I don’t enjoy conflict, I would rather never feel the prickle across my brow or the uncomfortable rumblings in the pit of my stomach. I like peace, in part because of the positive visceral calm. But, my my soul is vexed and rended by the reminder of pain and suffering and lack of opportunities for education for women around the world. This is a life’s work. this is a world that my a small few could change the fortunes of those that mark the future of their nations.

Yet, right now it feels like the environment conspires against me. yet, the crisp coolness is beautiful. I both look forward to the snow and dread it. I vacillate between wanting to hibernate and let the cold, biting air do its thing while i’m safe and warm and seemingly immune from its abrasiveness toward my lungs, but i can’t do that. I have to teach, and go to the library and to church. I have to go outside. I was quite proud of having avoided fresher’s flu and the kind of cough that has landed me with a chest infection the past two winters. Yeah, well, let’s just say pride comes before a fall, or a cold in this case!

[that was not a theological statement about illness being as a result of sin, it was used for metaphorical or rhetorical effect….i hope laughing is occurring right now…or at least a wry smile…you can at least give me the smile can’t you?]

I’ve been thinking a little about preparing for advent, celebrating thanksgiving and Christmas. I’ll be writing right up until Christmas and because of that and the craziness of the last two winters I decided not to plan any travel this year. But, I’ve decided to make the cottage as cozy, welcoming and a place of rest, reflection, and comfort. The beginning of advent is still a good 10 days away but i’ve been thinking….in those brief moments when my head doesn’t feel full of quotes and deadlines and self imposed pressure and stuff.

I’m still nervous about whether I’m going to reach my goal before Christmas. I’ve had to listen to myself when i say it’s the 6 or 7th draft that’s good, and not be so hard on myself for the first draft. I’m learning how to let myself write a little more stream of consciousness. There’s really alot in there, who would have thought it?


I wouldn’t be involved in Life:Unmasked if it wasn’t for Life: Unmaskedthis challenge and invitation  from the lovely, Joy. This post I wrote about “getting real” prompted my involvement with This Life: Unmasked. This is my tenth post for the challenge. Here is my first: Life: UnMasked, my second, Ready or Not, my third, Is the Heart Home?, my fourth, Like Fireflies in the Night and Swallows in the morning, my fifth, This is a Choice, and my sixth, A little less of a superhero, my seventh, Just another day…, my eighth, In Control? and my ninth, The travails of my single mindedness.

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  • Joy

    Your writing space sounds divine. I get that dilemma between hibernating all winter and going out into it… but unfortunately I don't have a choice. And I do feel better when I actually go out, even when the weather is nasty.

    • Goannatree

      I would love it if it made me feel better going outside – in the winter – but unfortunately, i\’ve become a bit paranoid about getting chest infections which linger. I love to run but I really struggle with it in the winters her to! 🙂 My poor lounge room is cosy, but it\’s more with piles of books and papers. I really should post some pictures shouldn\’t i?
      Brit Reints wrote a post today about how she\’s embracing winter hibernation! If i didn\’t have the thesis, i think i probably would too!

  • Amy Nabors

    I love the sound of your writing area. I am learning to love winter which is a drastic change for this melancholy soul of mine. The photo just took my breath away.

    • Goannatree

      i\’ve been finding that i need to have other people around to help me to continue to write into the dark afternoons and evening! What have you done/are doing to help you learn to love winter?

  • Beccabumps

    Mmmm…nice…am right there with you. I keep gravitating towards candles and cosines…succumbing to the temptation of reading in my dressing gown.

    • Goannatree

      the greyness makes it so! 🙂

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