Copyright info

This entire site started ⓒ August 5, 2010 to present day, and all photographs and text herein, unless otherwise noted, are copyrighted by the visual artist and photographer, Muriel Zimmer. No part of this site, or any of the content contained herein, may be used or reproduced in any manner whatsoever without express permission of the copyright holder(s).

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Day 365 August 4, 2011

white sculpture clay, acrylic paint

Today brings an end to this daily blogging for Denise, of the blog 365 days of yoga and daily routine, and for me.  I intend to continue writing and posting images but I will do this when it feels like the right time, versus every single day; posting daily was one of the founding principles of the journey for Denise and I.  Yes, I still will do yoga asana practice every day, because I know it is such a help to me and fun as well.  Why wouldn't I?  As well, why wouldn't I continue my art practice daily?  When things feel right there is no issue with doing them, if anything, we can hardly wait to begin!

The words though, ah the words, they are more challenging for me to compose every single day so they will be posted sporadically, certainly.  Of course this resistance to daily writing goes against what many writers tell you to do, but I didn't say I wouldn't write daily, I just won't post daily.  There is a difference.

I leave you with a few words about a neighbour of mine who used to live across the road from me in Cape Breton when we were both young women.  From the vantage point of my Cape Breton farmhouse, her house was one of only two that I could see within the 360 degrees of visibility.  She and her family were from Toronto.  This is what I remember most about Sue.  She never spoke a word of criticism to anyone in my presence, even when I thought upon occasion, well, perhaps this or that should be said about X [you fill in the blank].  Sue was also soft spoken, a bit shy and she always had a personal story to share with you that cheered you up.

Sue's family was her centre; I knew her when her boys were young and whoever doesn't realize that raising two small boys is more than a full time job is a bit of a lunatic.  Sue and her husband were artists.  They worked with cloth, manufacturing luscious, wearable art garments and wall hangings.  After their family moved away, Sue went back to school and later went on to teach painting in a university.  She composed highly symbolic paintings and exquisite portraits, sometimes of her own family members.

One of my favourite memories of Sue was her joy at showing me one of her family's latest summer creations.  She walked me outside to her sprawling vegetable garden and there amidst the small rows of different vegetables was a bed of lettuce.  I mean there actually was a brass bedstead, a brass headboard and footboard set up on the ground and within its demarcated framework was a lush, thick carpet of tall lettuce leaves.  Sue's face lit up with such apparent joy as she watched me examine this work.

This tells you a lot about what was important to Sue and her family.  Laughter.  A common purpose.  Bringing an idea to life.  Sounds like a good plan for all families, don't you think?  Yes, Sue was inspirational.  May the love and joy in her life rub off on all of us.  That is the nature of love you know, whether it be love of food, love of art, love of good books, or love of family, for when you talk about love, it can always expand and include more.


Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Day 364 August 3, 2011

detail of acrylic painting

The day before the last blog in this project.  Ahhhhh.........

I've learned so much.  Denise and I both feel honoured to have completed this project together.  We have both learned an awful lot about yoga asana practice, daily routine, art practice and more.

Once I have my new blogspot up and running I'll include a link to this lovely project.  I think my new blog will simply be Muriel Zimmer.  Haven't made it yet, but I'll keep you posted.  I'm away for five days starting tomorrow, so I'll get to it once I'm off the boat and back on the land here at home.

Mr. Bear, our ten year old black labrador retriever, just came over to get a kiss.  He's such a sweetie.  I hope someone just came over to give you a kiss too :)

Well, I'm off and running.


Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Day 363 August 2, 2011

Jim's front room

My brother Jim lives in a very old house, set deep in the country in upstate New York.  His stone house was built about 200 hundred year's ago.  By some standards that is not an old house, but for Canadians a 200 year old house is an old house.  Of course by standards in India or China, 200 years is like yesterday afternoon.  I myself am getting a bit decrepit at my current age 65, at least compared to my youth.  You see, everything depends upon your personal point of view.

It's true though, some times I feel about 102 while other times I still feel about 7.  My heart is young.  My body on the other hand needs considerably more attention to keep it happy and functioning than even five year's ago.  So, there you have it.

How are you doing?  What age are you?  Is your body crying for attention?  If it is, I recommend you pay attention.  I know that often we are the last ones to get loving attention; there is usually a long list of people ahead of us, especially if we are caregivers ourselves.  But you know what?  Here is my take on that,  as a caregiver how are you supposed to know how to take care of anyone else if you are clueless about taking care of yourself?

I hope that you spend some time taking care of yourself today.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Day 362 August 1, 2011

Did I remember to mention that my daughter is getting married next month?  Yes, it is an exciting time for our family.  This season we are actually talking about wedding fever.  There are five weddings taking place between June 2011 and March 2012 in my family.  Phew!  My daughter's is wedding number 4, but as you can well imagine, her wedding looms very large in my life.

One of the fun parts of weddings is figuring out what to wear on the big day.  Thanks to lots of feedback from my fashion consultants [my daughters], I've bought a great medium blue dress and the colour of these tulips I've posted is the colour range of the Korean red coral jewelry that I plan on wearing to my daughter's wedding.  If it's chilly I'll bring a similarly coloured pashmini shawl as a warm up wrap.  I have reddish coloured sandals too.  I haven't spent so much effort on my wardrobe in many years.  It's really an exercise in artistic sensibility, to choose an outfit for an important occasion.

What is the statement you want to make with your choice of clothing?  My rules for any clothing are: 1. it must be comfortable, 2. in colours I adore, 3. and suitable for the event.  If the clothing passes all three rules I know it is destined to find a place in my little closet.  How do you chose your clothing?  Current or not? Classic? Do you forget comfort? What are your favourite colours for clothing?  Do you watch Project Runway to enjoy looking over the shoulders of clothing designers?

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Day 361 July 31, 2011

Today I spotted one tomato starting to ripen in the garden, a sure sign of the upcoming season of fall.  Tomorrow begins the month of August.  Denise and I will celebrate the evening before the anniversary of our blogging at a fine local restaurant with David, following an early evening yoga class.  Then bright and early on the 4th, more Denise's time of day than mine, we'll have a closing ceremony for 365 days of yoga.  It amazes me that Denise loves the dawn and practices daily very early in the day.  I am not a morning person, I'm more a late morning or an early afternoon person, but not too late in the afternoon, once 3:30  hits my energy starts to decline.

It is hard to believe that one year is almost done since this blog began.  So much has changed in my life.  My commitment to daily yoga asana has become a welcomed part of each day.  I can feel the benefits of this physical conversation with myself, and more than just in a physical way.  I am happier and calmer.  I'll keep you posted about how things will change once the one year anniversary date of this blog is reached.  The fact that Denise is with me again in the flesh to start and end this project makes the circle complete for both of us.  I couldn't have done this without her.  Thank you so much, my dear Denise :)

Right after our closing ceremony, I'm off to the airport to fly out of Nova Scotia, just down the coast to Maine, to join my brother on his boat where we will attend a family wedding on a small island.  Water and boating is a hard duo for me to pass up.  Seeing my family will also be lots of fun.


Saturday, July 30, 2011

Day 360 July 30, 2011

Saulnierville,  Nova Scotia 

Near the end of the general class today at David's new yoga studio, as I rested on the floor briefly before giving my full attention to the next pose, setubundha sarvanghasana, I heard one of the other students who was already in the pose ask a question.  She said, "Is this supposed to be relaxing?"  Perhaps it was because I found this class quite challenging at times, or perhaps it was because I was generally tired, but I instantly laughed right out loud and declared that this should be the mantra for all Iyengar yoga classes,  "is this supposed to be relaxing?"

It struck me as so funny because many people think that doing yoga IS very relaxing.  In one way they are right, but in most Iyengar yoga classes this relaxation is the hard won fruit of serious, physically demanding work.  The harder you work the deeper your relaxation at the end of class.  This "hard work" involves sweat, increased heart rate, trembling muscles if you push yourself too much, uncertainty, balance, confronting some of your own fears about what your body is capable of doing, and most of all strength.  As David sometimes says, yoga has nothing to do with what is comfortable.  You are rarely comfortable, rather you attempt to retrain your nervous system by moving in ways that feel unusual, and all of this increases your joints' range of motion and undoes "desk disease", that condition so many people experience from too many hours at a desk.  If you are very tight in one part of your body, that part will be asked to open and stretch.  If you are very weak in one part, that part will be asked to become strong.

That was a rather long winded explanation about why this remark, "is this supposed to be relaxing?", was so funny today.  Do you get it?  What others think is easy sometimes really isn't.  I hope you had a good laugh today too :)


Friday, July 29, 2011

Day 359 July 29, 2011

Black Currants

My dear friend Denise, of the blog 365 days of yoga and daily routine,  said today, "Being in nature is healing and has refreshed my spirit."  I agree.  I think that is why  David and I both dove into the garden today, for hours and hours.  I finished picking the black currants and processed them in two batches.  Boiling water bath.  One batch unsweetened puree.  One batch sweetened with honey puree.  Did I remember to mention our garden is organically grown?

David harvested three rows of garlic and hung them in the shed.  I staked tomatoes with old strapping boards and strips of ripped up pillowcases for ties.  David also turned over a large patch in the garden, a location that we are doing our best to rid of bindweed, through natural means.  The freshly turned soil is puffy and gorgeous.

I hope you too found solace and healing in nature today, even if you only saw a photo of nature in a magazine, or gazed out of a window from your bed or chair to observe the weather in your neighbourhood.  Perhaps you sat under a tree?  Noticed a meandering river?

Perhaps after a long day of work in the city you closed your eyes briefly on the subway on your ride home and imagined a beach with rolling green waves and a light grey sky.  You were standing in the water watching it rise over your feet and then recede.  Ah........   nature, yes, it heals.


Thursday, July 28, 2011

Day 358 July 28, 2011

Havanna, Cuba
Another hot day at home in Nova Scotia, but I think farther afield to distant locations.  David and I drove into the city today to attend an Irish wake for one of David's oldest friends, Tom C. who died suddenly on Saturday.   David and Tom met in grade 3, quite a few year's ago.

Tom had the ability to make lifelong friends for he always treated everyone he met as someone special and worth knowing.  He and his wife Judy sailed the world for two years, all the way to South America.  Tom recently went to Havanna, Cuba last winter with two other boyhood friends.  He just loved travel, and that is why I think of Cuba tonight, and remember Tom.

His friends toasted his memory countless times.  His wife hugged everyone.  Several funny stories about Tom were told which made everyone laugh out loud.  David and I gazed out on the water and watched the boaters as we listened to the Irish music.  David laughed and laughed with his old friends, as Tom would have wanted him to do.

Yes, in tribute to a fine person, there is nothing better than laughing over the countless funny experiences you shared with them.


Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Day 357 July 27, 2011

Day 357  grapes, year two in Nova Scotia
So today was a wet, warm gardening day.  The grapes, as you can see, were starting to produce a few clusters so David and I gave them strong posts and a wire and I tied them to the wire.  The branches were touching the ground this morning, so we knew they needed help.  Then the weeding began, followed by removing a few potato beetles, pruning tomatoes. picking blueberries and finally, picking black currants.  Phew, but what fun!

What was your day like?

Tuesday, July 26, 2011