Wednesday, January 6, 2016

The blue rooms - part deux



Today is the Epiphany.

Perhaps it is because I have only had one cup of Earl Grey but I am blinking drowsily. Truth be told, I am sliding into Winter Brain, although the temperatures are calling me a blatant liar with a high of 52°F forecasted for today. The sun has just broken out behind weeks worth of clouds and I am tap-dancingly grateful for this has been one of the most unlikely sleeper seasons on record. As there has not been enough cold in the Alps, there isn't the pull to create the Mistral winds that fold back the blanket across the sky. I am keeping an eye on the one magnolia blossom that opened her bloom three months ahead of schedule, hoping that her sisters won't follow suit. They must be tempted...like I am to take my camera and chase after these bright lights with a butterfly net before they disappear again. 

But I think that I will stay put and watch it from my window instead, just as I have been following the saga of the swallows that are fighting over the bird food ball that we have tucked into a crook of the olive tree. For despite the weather, my body knows what January means and so the blue of this second room on the first floor of Anthony's house feels just right. No, not blue for sadness (like the brilliantly voiced character of "Inside Out" - if you haven't seen it already, it's amazing) but blue for calm. 

On a few of my friends blogs, "reinvention" has been the new buzz word and it has left me subtly surprised. For although "Necessity is the Mother of Invention" (thank you, Plato) and some of us have no choice but to start over from scratch (I've done it), I am dubious when it comes to anything whispering of "a whole new you." We need who we already are. I am more inclined to peaufiner or keep adjusting if I can, working on both the personal projects and modus operandi that are already en route. Quietly. In the past,  there have been midnights which were ushered in with the banging of pots and the trill of my Dad's old trumpet. Not this year. Granted, I am also really aware that tomorrow marks the one year anniversary of the terrorist attack at Charlie Hebdo.

So what is the Epiphany? As in the religious signification, not the spine-tingling realization nor the galette des Rois almond pastry with a surprise hidden inside that is served in France today. Let's see...it is several things...but to (over) simplify, it is ancient, a celebration of the Adoration of the Magi in Western Christianity and of Jesus' baptism for Eastern Christianity or sometimes both together. There are many different manifestations of this holiday all across the world and until very recently, it was often considered as important as Christmas itself.  However, in Medieval times, there also existed Twelfth Night, which was then a period of rollicking tomfoolery as portrayed in the eponymous play by Mr. William Shakespeare, a time when holiday greenery was burned in case evil spirits were lurking there. Perhaps it is best to go to the source? I am drawn to the etymology of the word from the Greek, epiphaneia which is the verb "to appear" and signifies "to reveal" and also "manifestation." Interesting. 

So, we have something or someone existing, something brand new arriving. Yes, I start to see what my friends mean. Old customs and current traditions are often closer to each other than we think. Then as now, we keep on keeping on, each in our own beautiful way, like the fluttering of the birds or the peace that a blue room brings.








Speaking of new, a sneak peak of one of the first additions to the new old house, below, in the adjoining bath to this blue room...can you imagine? I can. :)


If you have missed the introduction to Anthony's house, you can find it here.


And here is a lovely song that I heard on FIP  yesterday:

Well...if you feel like sharing...where are you at right now? 

Do you feel like hibernating or jumping out of a cake?

Do you have goals or just some clear ideas of things to look forward to?

Because...as you can see...(and this is the follow-up from the previous post)...


...the door is open. All we need to do is walk through...


Cheers,
Heather




41 comments:

donna baker said...

Beautiful post Heather. I need sunshine too. Cannot go days without it, without hurting. It makes me long to feel the warmth on my shoulders and I survey the garden. Yes, even here, halfway around the world, the weather and animals are acting strange. My blueberry bushes have swollen buds; much too early. I thought I saw two birds that build nests up high over my front porch, looking for a new spot to build their nests. Much cold left so I hope they'll just eat and stay warm before trying to hatch any babies.

Loree said...

I am enjoying the first real winter day this season. So I will stay put and make the most of it until the sun starts to shine again. Right now the wind is blowing, a strong, blustery, northerly wind and I long to capture it in my hands and put it in a covered pot so that when the days get too warm and calm, I can let it free.
The blue of that room is just so perfect. I hope that Anthony keeps the colour.

Karena Albert said...

Dear Heather as always beautifully worded and the blue room...ahhh! I need sunshine on these cold wintry days and right now have cloudy overcast and drizzly cold weather. Of course it IS Winter. Sunshine gives me motivation and inspiration which know should come from within.....

xoxo
Karena
The Arts by Karena
Life Lessons: So Honored

Joan McKniff said...

I wrote a long piece I could never recreate and software rejected me. Please think beautiful thoughts and then a serious one.

Carolyn said...

Such beautiful evocative photos. I am not one for jumping out of cakes. Cold weather has finally arrived here in the mountains of North Carolina, so I'm going into hibernation mode. Beautiful clear and sunny days, though, that mock my hunkering down. I'm not so sure about reinvention, but I'll go for expansion.

George Snyder said...

"We need who we already are." Perfect. Thank you for that. Each morning I ask for the grace to know my true self. I don't think it's an alien being but someone just beneath the surface, hidden under layers of old ideas and protective varnish and dulled dreams. Je t'embrasse, G.

La Contessa said...

NOPE!
NO re-invention here....................I will keep plugging along doing whatever it is I do!
Let's keep EXPANDING what we have...............if you get my drift and definitely keep sharing YOUR WONDERS of YOUR part of this tiny WORLD!
Which reminds me.........a need to make a BOX!
XO

Lorrie said...

Oh, that lovely blue paint. Gorgeous photos, once again. I'm not interested in reinventing myself at all, but peaufiner - that's a new word to me and I guessed what it might mean (and was happy to see I was correct) - a concept that is more doable and certainly more appealing these days.
I'm back in the classroom, herding teenagers and hopefully filling their minds with things that will help them continue to invent themselves. I'm tired, this first week back, and would love nothing more than a little hunkering indoors.

Unknown said...

I am with you in prefering to peaufiner...the idea of "reinventing" oneself has always bothered me, because, as you so perfectly write, "we need who we already are." As for the mode, I too prefer quietly, and almost invisibly.

Here, our road has been covered in ice and vestiges of last weekend's snow each morning, bringing an inclination to hibernate, and that is when I have been reading. As the afternoons have brought sunshine with a bit of warmth and the east wind, the dogs and I have roused ourselves and played/worked outside for an hour or so until it's been time to go inside and jump into active brain work. Sometimes I've succeeded at making that jump, other times not. The clock is ticking, though, as I must prepare for an upcoming hearing and decisional work. I do not have specific goals or clear ideas of things to look forward to, just a general sense of what is to be accomplished and a certain optimism borne of a lovely Christmas time in Berkeley with my family. And the joy of gazing at your lovely blue photographs and that blue and copper bathtub. Thank you, Heather, Leslie in Oregon

Susan Athanasakou said...

Fab pictures, as I expected, I'm not a winter person at all, I want to hibernate, just crawl into bed with my books!
Epiphany here, in Greece, is a very important celebration for The Greek Orthodox Church, third only, in rank, after Easter and Pentecost.
Today it's blowing a gale , I'm sure it would give your Mistral a run for its money, and it's freezing, I don't want to reinvent myself, I just want SUMMER!
Susan.x

Unknown said...

This is so beautifully written. I've been in hibernation mode for exactly one week now, and I'm not sure why. Your post made me think that it's for a good reason, and I just haven't walked throough the door yet:)
Mary

D. B. Ruderman said...

really touching Heather -- there's also James Joyce's concept of epiphany -- a kind of vulgar shudder, and awareness at the core of your being that somehow manages to change nothing -- of course this can be taken as just cynical -- but for me I think it points towards an awareness of reality as a radical mixture -- on this reading blue might be sad and calm at the same time -- your pictures and prose are really terrific...

Maria Anagnostopoulou said...

Thanks for knowing the meaning of the greek word "epiphaneia"! When Jesus was baptised by St.John in Jordan river the Holly Spirit appeared above Jesus head.
"Epi" means "on or above" and "phaneia" means appear. The Holly Spirit is portrayed often as a white dove. So every 6th of January the priest is throwing the cross in the sea or river or lake and then releases a white dove. Many young men (now women too) try to catch the cross from the waters. The one that brings it back to the priest is blessed for a whole year!

Maria Anagnostopoulou said...
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Maria Anagnostopoulou said...
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D A Wolf said...

Luscious blues and your equally delicious words...

I love when you dissect a word and riff on the word and teach us more about the layers to a word... That's delicious too...

I feel as though I've been hibernating for too long, and so I find myself trying to get back out into the world even if in small steps and stages...

Happy New Year!

xo

Heather Robinson said...

I wish you a happy new year! Do you write the blog "Greeker than the Greeks"?

Susan, this comment is from Maria Anagnostopoulou - see below!

simpleimages2 said...

The epiphany, the day of giving.Moments of anticipation, like blossoms, are gifts of the season.
Should we measure the future by days,the distance by hours,the witting by steps and gaze? She stayed.

The doors to connecting rooms...



robin said...

A. On the couch, between my puppies B. Hibernating. Definitely hibernating (but maybe eating some cake). C. No goals; maybe some foggy things to look forward to: more serenity, less ego, better inner monologue. You KNOW I am with you on the idea of being who you already are! There is a great Buddhist quote that says, "you're perfect just as you are, and you could use a little improvement". I LOVE that! Trying for acceptance of myself with a little tweaking - spiritual tweaking! Lovely photos, bathtub and writing - and SO lovely to be alive!

Heather Robinson said...

Oh my goodness, I hope so too Donna. Where we live is a huge agricultural area and there have been really dire predictions - as in a year without a crop for certain fruit trees - if things don't change...

Heather Robinson said...

Loree, that is the most beautiful image! And it is funny because I nearly wrote something similar about capturing the sun in a box but I couldn't quite find the words. Am so glad that you did!

And of course, everyone must be telling you this but did you see that Malte made the 52 places to see this year list on the NY Times? :)

Heather Robinson said...

...but a little external prompting helps SO much!! I really learned that when we lived in Paris and there was so little sun.

Heather Robinson said...

My thoughts linked with beauty are nearly always super serious, Joan! ;) And it is rare that you write a lengthy response...I am shaking my fist at the software!!

Heather Robinson said...

Brilliant, Carolyn. I love it. Onwards! And oh for those sunny cold days. They are the norm here in winter and I miss them...

Silke Bauer said...

Beautiful. Peaceful. And a blue to that make you wish to be taken away by gentle waves.
Though for me it can't be further away right now. My mind too distracted from what happened on New Years Eve in Cologne, Germany, the town where I live. The soothing blue of the walls and sky of your images eases the pain and deception a little.

That reminds me that in these times it is probably more than ever important to concentrate on beauty and art. Because what happens is so ugly. The last days my eyes clung to your photos waiting to sink in. But it was not possible.

As an indiviual I would agree that it is good to be who we are and enjoy all the development that we go through as a person and to be curious for improvements to make.
As a citizen of Cologne I would say it is best to stay firm who we are and still believe in the values we had before that New Years Eve. Though this is hard.

Thank you Heather for this blue dream. (Image 8 is my favorite. With this framed artpeace in front of the blue wall and on the marble mantelpiece. Just delicious!)

Heather Robinson said...

I am so sorry, my dear friend. I should have known that this would have hit you very hard. Especially hard, I should say. I am still trying to wrap my head around it and the interviews of witnesses that I have seen on the French news.

You know, lately I have been thinking about that beach near Bormes les Mimosas and Cap benat - the one that lead you here. So I am going to close my eyes for a bit and send us both a bit of that beauty and peace. It will come back to you, Silke. Sending much Love too.

Heather Robinson said...

http://lostinarles.blogspot.fr/2012/04/la-mer-deux.html

Silke Bauer said...

Thank you so much Heather, ahh that beach! What a beauty (: (Including that furry beauty!)

The worst thing is what is taking place right now this minute: Street fights. Violence. But there is hope too because more people than I thought stay sober and stick to the idea humanity. We'll see...

Sending much Love to you too!

Heather Robinson said...

I am pretty sure that there is always a reason when we go quiet. And that is fantastic that you are listening to that! ;) Thank you for the jolie compliment.

Heather Robinson said...

Whew. Amen to that. (what you said but also to the hug!)

Heather Robinson said...

Ahhh, you and Carolyn said the same thing and how wonderful! Yes please just keep being true to your wonderful self, friend.
xooo

Heather Robinson said...

But it is so incredibly important what you do, Lorrie. I know with all of my heart that you are an amazing teacher. Sending you a bolt of energy to keep you going as you get back to work!

Heather Robinson said...

It sounds like you have had a wonderful holiday time, Leslie. I knew that Bob and Henry would keep you on track. ;) And how great to have family moments to hold onto as we roll through winter. Good luck with your preparations. You will do great.

Heather Robinson said...

And Maria, yes she does! Susan, I just now (finally) took a look at your beautiful and fascinating blog and am now following on bloglovin'.

Oh what I wouldn't give for that wind!! I can take the cold but these grey skies are just not my cup of tea at all. As for summer? Too hot for this pale skinned red-head but autumn? Voila!

Heather Robinson said...

Yowza! Oh, I need to read more about James Joyce's concept of epiphany as your description was a little too close to home...eh, oui, in a way that did not strike me as cynical...off I go to discover.

And thank you again so very much for the fine compliment.

Heather Robinson said...

Maria, I saw a photo from National Geographic where a definitely not-so-young man was one of those to catch the cross, a gorgeous golden icon. So much fortune is coming to him!

And I moved your comment up, hoping that Susan would see it but yes, she does write "Greeker than the Greeks"!

Heather Robinson said...

Small steps are the longest lasting...you know that more than I!

Happy New Year to you as well, DA.
Bisous.

Heather Robinson said...

Thank you Edgar for this little gift.

Heather Robinson said...

Oh my gosh I love that quote and everything that you wrote here wonderful Sister (plus a Hallelujah for that last phrase). I love you!

Heather Robinson said...

I had not heard about the street violence, Silke. We seem to be right on the edge in so many ways. As you say, we shall see how it goes. Let's just try and stay positive and be positive for now. Ben, that furry beauty, is a perfect example...he is napping on the couch across from me, as content as can be.

Splendid Market said...

Beautiful weathered walls, such lovely layers of blue. I feel like hibernating, purging and cooking! xo