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Born in the US, raised on the Mediterranean island of Cyprus, lived in Italy, the US, and Canada. Lover of language, travel, colour, and the natural world.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Counting down

It is the first day of the last month of the year, a.k.a. December 1. Outside all I can hear is wind blowing through the trees. It is a clear blue sunny day. The wind is shaking the Autumn leaves from the trees, sending them scuttling along the pavement. Tree limbs are breaking and falling all over the city and every now and then I hear sirens heading off to help someone remove the heavy limbs from a shattered roof or a crushed car. I am learning to love all the trees in this city. The Japanese maple out back that is still clinging to the delicate, deep red crumpled palms that adorn its branches. The huge oaks out front that, if I close my eyes, sound like the froth subsiding along the shore after a wave has broken. It is a new language, the language of trees, and I am accustoming my body to living beneath the vast canopy as much as I am accustoming my ears to the never ending sound of wind that is one of the few weather features that distinguishes winter in this part of the world from the rest of the year.

The other feature that distinguishes northern California is the fog that seeps in soft like a barefoot thief in the night, enveloping the trees and lamp posts so that when I look out the living room window with my cup of hot tea, there seems to be something mysterious about the street we live on. I feel as though I am looking out onto a scene from a mystery novel, and as though any minute a carriage is going to come clapping down the street and a shady character with a top hat and an upturned collar is going to emerge from it. I kind of love it the way the fog blurring everything gives our otherwise picturesque neighbourhood an air of mystery.

I have been thinking a good deal about the fact that this is December, and about the fact that exactly one year ago I was beginning Reverb10, a month-long commitment to write a blog entry using specific prompts that were emailed to me every day for the month of December. Gwen, the woman who hosted Reverb10 just sent an email out yesterday informing the thousands of people that took part last year that she is not going to host it this year, and that we should do our own thing. Last year she was in Colorado. This year she is in Mexico, and I guess the beach just doesn't scream "write your prompts!!" like the snow of Colorado did. I can totally understand that, but I have to admit that I had kind of been expecting to receive a prompt today to start me off on the journey through December to the new year, so when I woke up this morning I found myself wondering how I could come up with my own way of bringing 2011 to a close and preparing for a new year.

I have been feeling ready for a new direction for this blog. Last December was all about reflecting back on the previous year. I think reflecting back has its purpose, but over the last few weeks I have made a number of changes in my life, and I am really feeling ready to be here, right now--not reflecting back over the last year and not reaching forward into the future. As I type this I am realizing that this was one of the reasons that I created this blog: to create a space in which I could write about presence. It has been interesting that since I began, I have written a good deal more about the past than the present. So the fact that I am finally ready to be writing about the present a year and a half after I started this blog is rather amusing to me.

So as we move into December you may notice a shift in my writing. I am going to start including a good deal more creative writing into my blog. I may throw in some poetry or quotes that I come across here and there. I am going to be using this space as a place to explore where I want to take my blog this month. I am hoping that my process generates some questions or ideas that stimulate your own creative energies as well. As we move through the month, I would love to receive your feeback on which entries you love and would like to see more of. If anything I write or share stimulates your own creative process I would also really love it if you would share images, thoughts, ideas or links to your own blog entry in the comments section below. If you are having trouble making comments, select "anonymous" in the comments pull down menu and then just sign your name after your comment. I do not want to miss out on hearing from you because you are having trouble leaving a comment.

I am really excited to be heading into December with you, friends! I am looking forward to the month ahead and to the possibility for more creative sharing and dialogue. I wish you all a wonderful month, and look forward to seeing you right here tomorrow!

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