Taking Stock

Al_NewportOR_2015
Any kind of life change affords one the opportunity to do some reflecting, a little looking forward, and the chance to contemplate what’s next. And what’s here now. It may seem silly, but how often do we pause to look around right where we are?

Earlier this year, I shifted my focus to more cerebral pursuits – I wanted to make creativity a priority again, to get in a better mindset overall. At the gym, I had had my foot on the gas for too long, so to speak. And so I did. I eased up a little. I still trained – but only three or four times a week instead of four or five. I stopped going heavier, instead making sure my workouts were consistent and made me feel good, not whipped. And when I got home, I read books on creativity and did some writing. Nothing worth publishing, nothing for public eyes. And while it didn’t seem like I was accomplishing anything at the time, it allowed me to grease the wheels and just start. Along the way I closed up the blog and excused myself from social media – just to quiet my mind for a little while. Enough with all the external information, it was time to just look around at the here and now – in my neighborhood, in my own world, in my head. Or, as I explained it to a friend:  just do me for a while. Continue reading

January

Al_iPhone

‘That is very kind of you,’ said Dorthea, looking up at Mr. Casaubon with delight. ‘It is noble. After all, people may really have in them some vocation which is not quite plain to themselves, may they not? They may seem idle and weak because they are growing. We should be very patient with each other, I think.'”

George Eliot, Middlemarch

Cabins in the Woods

Not far from the cottage I mentioned in last week’s post sits a curious collection of tiny cabins, dotting a corner of the island. Belonging to a family for the last several decades, the compound has slowly expanded with each generation; deliberately, consciously. Each cabin is deftly designed and built by the hands of the family members – each of whom I’m told has been creating, designing, and building all manner of beautiful things for years.

For the most part, each cabin serves a simple purpose – sleeping; cooking and dining; laundry and showering; taking a sauna. Generally large enough to hold a bed and a few pieces of furniture, they are rustically minimalist, but cozy and inviting. Each one looks toward the lake, maintaining quiet privacy from one another.Photo Aug 25, 8 15 52 AM  Continue reading