Archive for January, 2012

2012, January 30

Love, differently

January is coming to an end tomorrow. That means the Estrella’s ~Seasonal Photo Challenge~ page is now updated with February’s theme and photo suggestions. I’m really excited about this month’s theme and suggestions, so please drop by to check them out (and leave me a comment there this time around).

You can see my photos from January right here, where February’s logo is already up. I have also updated my Capturing Love on Film album if you want to see even more photos under the Love theme.

While you’re there, if you’d like to give me suggestions for March and upcoming months, I’d love to read them. And of course, feel free to join in and snap some pictures. With all of you there, I’m sure it will be a lot of fun!

~~~

j shared some thoughts on everything being just so last week. It prompted the following thought:

Grief is a different kind of love, one that hurts the most, even (or rather especially?) after a long time, when one doesn’t expect it to, when it seems like a big fat cruel cosmic joke…

2012, January 25

I’d like…

I would like to be 10 inches taller than I am. Maybe even 10 years younger. I’d maybe like to have more religious faith. I would like to be stronger and wiser. I would maybe like to be less of a child than I am, but no less dream-filled. I’d sometimes like it if I could keep my thoughts closed away in their factory. I would like to have more time to read, and especially to write.

I’d like many things, but right now, this minute, I would most like to have long(er), curly, darker chestnut red hair and be able to hear each loop laugh at snowflakes’ touch.

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Your turn, tell me what you’d like? :)

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2012, January 23

Love of reading (and) The Fault in Our Stars

“Shakespeare told us precious little of the man whom he entombed in his linguistic sarcophagus. (Witness also that when we talk about literature, we do so in the present tense. When we speak of the dead, we are not so kind.) You do not immortalize the lost by writing about them. Language buries, but does not resurrect.”

~ John Green, The Fault in Our Stars

I picked up my signed (with purple sharpie) copy of “The Fault in Our Stars” from the post office on Friday afternoon and started reading it Saturday night. By the time I made myself put it down and go to bed it was already 4am.
It makes me wish I had an entire day to set aside for it, to fully experience and process the book, but nights are good too (I sleep very little anyways).

I read another book by John Green before, but chose this one mainly on impulse, because I fell in love with the title. And I am so glad I managed to jump into reading it not quite knowing what it’s all about, and had absolutely no spoilers.

You probably all know by now how much I love reading. Even more so, when a book manages to make me laugh and cry, when it changes me, when it makes me feel so many intense feelings.
It captures so well the mysticism of personhood, and is such a rollercoaster of a book to read, even so far. I have a strong feeling I’ll be re-reading it.

Somehow it’s clear to me that this book chose me just as much as I chose it (or even more).

I highly recommend it to everyone!

2012, January 21

Recipe of the month: Mulled Wine

For January’s recipe of the month, I thought I’d go with a seasonal drink we make during Winter, in this little corner of the world.

Aside from being a tradition of the season, mulled wine is a variable drink with many recipe versions. And at the same time there are many ways for savoring: sip it alone in a hot bath, while under a warm blanket curled up on the sofa reading a good book, on an outing with friends or on a romantic evening with your sweetheart.

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Mulled Wine

1 –1,5 l great quality (either white or red) wine
8 dkg sugar
1 cinnamon rod
5 cloves
half an orange’s peels
optionally: a few pieces of cut orange, some allspice, cardamom, dried fruit (apples, plums, sour cherries), raisins, lemon peels

Wash the orange, grate the peels and then cut thin slices of orange if you want any in your drink.
Pour the wine in a large pan, add the spices, fruit and peels, sugar, and heat until boiling point.
After you’re done, strain your drink and serve while hot.

Happy wine-sipping ;)

2012, January 16

Monday Musings

Loved how the Chef, in a moment of joking with friends, as I shyly and half-jokingly said that I’m a writer, turned to our company and with all seriousness said: “She really is, she’s an English writer!”

~~~

Our weather in under 24 hours (maybe on account of it being Friday the 13th?) was the following:
Heavily overcast. Foggy. Sunny. Clear skies. Overcast. Raining. Sunny. Overcast. Snowing. Sunny. Snowing and Sunny. Short snowstorm. Foggy and Snowing. Clear skies. Snowing. Overcast. Snowing. Lightning and Thunder while Snowing. Windy throughout the day and night.

~~~

Oh boy, could I relate to this. Hope does sometimes get in the way. I think it’s all in the perception of things; all in allowing ourselves to lose track of what we’d like, or not let anything hold us back.

2012, January 11

Wishlist

In 2012, I wish for

grief being relieved. In moments of doing seemingly small everyday things. Like ice skating.

… love letters. I wish for many love letters. Both sent and received. No matter if short, long or in between.

… heartbreaks. Both in small everyday ways and in big life-altering ways. Because as cliché as it may sound, we truly couldn’t appreciate all the best things around us unless we experienced heartbreaks too.

… more pauses. I wish for us to notice pauses and let them be exactly that: Pauses.

… all j said right here.

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2012, January 9

In time… As cliché as it may sound, actually works

“Sometimes there are no words. No words to describe what we feel, and no words that could truly comfort us.”

It’s the second time around that I’ve started a blog post with these words. These are the beginning sentences of one of my love letters I volunteered to write back in December. And I still believe every single one of the above words.

I won’t share the whole letter with you, but it was along the lines of the, by now cliché, “time will heal all wounds”.
Because as much as I wanted to find some amazing new formula or tips for doing X, Y, Z and one’s grief will magically dissipate… I wasn’t able to. I think I did find a fresh way of comforting my letter’s recipient, but the message behind my words was still “in time…”.
Writing this particular letter has actually helped me deal with my own grief. I felt much lighter after finishing and sending it along, as if I’d found a new way that worked for me as grief-release.

What I didn’t expect was being struck by realization (or rather thrown to the ice and being demanded that I pay attention) weeks later.

The Chef finally convinced me to go ice skating. I haven’t done so ever since I was around 8 years old.
Sure, I rollerblade very well, but was afraid of stepping onto the ice, knowing it would be very different from the dry-land version. I kept putting it off. And for good reason might I add, as my friends went ice skating right before Christmas, then New Year and I wanted to have all limbs intact for the holidays.
However, I had no more excuses for last week… And there I went.

A friend let me borrow her skates since she couldn’t make it, so I arrived at the ice skating rink, got equipped and stood around waiting. It wasn’t too bad, I could walk or stand and keep my balance without any problems.
We slowly progressed in the crowd towards the ice rink once it was cleaned and ready for use.
I stepped onto the ice and it felt so strange. The Chef held my hand tight and gave me a few pointers like “Bend your knees a bit more”, "Don’t be afraid" and reassured me “It’ll be alright” – and I let go.

I let go of all the fear and anxiousness I’ve managed to gather up until that point. And it all went well.
We skated for two laps holding hands, and then I let go of the Chef’s hand, and skated on my own.
It felt so good! Not to mention how happy I was that no one had to stick around and teach me very slowly how to ice skate.
I only held the Chef’s hand again at times when I wanted to gain more speed.
Then I sometimes let go of his hand even then.

I leapt and the net appeared, even if only figuratively speaking.

During the whole time, I kept thinking of the person who has taught me how to ice skate some 16 years ago. I mentioned it to the Chef.

About fifteen minutes before our time on the rink was up however, my skate’s toe picks made me trip up in a place the ice was overused/had some holes made by people previously jumping there.
Naturally, I fell. It hurt. (My hip and knee were blue/purple/black within the hour.)
But I got right back up, brushed the ice off of my clothes and was on my way a couple of minutes after the event.

But in that moment, when my body hit the ice, when, even though it felt like eternity, I quickly brought my hands near me and proceeded to pick myself up – I could see it.

I could clearly recall the very first time I ice skated.
I could clearly recall the very first time I fell when I was 8 years old and my uncle was right there next to me, right there to pick me up quickly.
When he didn’t give me any time to think past being on the ice one second and being upright the next.
When he kissed me and held my hand for a little while longer before letting it go again as I skated some more.

And I felt it. I felt some of my grief being relieved.
I felt like he could see me, like he was right there next to me again so I wouldn’t get blocked and scared.
I felt like he would be proud of me.
I felt like I was connected with him in a way that absolutely nothing can ever diminish.
Not even death.

I’m going ice skating again this evening. And I will try to pay more attention.
But I know He’ll be watching, ready to help me get right back up in case I fall again.

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