This is What I Loved

Edinburgh Watercolor, Maps.stamen.com

Edinburgh Watercolor, Maps.stamen.com

10 July 2013
11:50 am
Edinburgh 

T. —

My dropbox is fully loaded this morning, giving me more and more Bon Iver covers. Part of me wants to listen to them right now, and part of me wants to save them for going on vacation. There’s so much to do between now and Friday morning, and I feel like I’m becoming very slow and sluggish in doing it.

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I bought a new notebook a few months ago. I was thinking of sending it to you, actually. It’s not a size or style that I usually go for, but I had to buy it for some reason. I just started writing in it this week because I’ve decided to keep it, to open out these slim rectangular pages and start writing across them, like a square page. Just one square at a time. I don’t force myself to write. It just flows. Yesterday’s writing, for example:

9th July, 2013 — The thing I love about Scotland in the summer is that everyone is happy and everyone is outside in the sunshine. It’s such a rare commodity that we all know it’s important to grab it while you can. I’m sitting in Harrison Park Gardens before going over to Ross’ for meditation. But I find this more peaceful and serene than anything: sunshine through the trees, a soft breeze, kids playing, smoke from BBQs, dogs running around with pure joy. I think this is what I loved about Savannah: it showed me what I’m like when I’m happy and carefree. I did yoga on the beach, I swam with dolphins, I sat in the park, I waded through the fountains. There’s nothing much better than getting soaking wet and drying out in the sun. We lived there long enough for the rest of the world to creep in, for the ordinary responsibilities to start weighing me down again, but I still have these snapshots, these episodes in my memory bank of true bliss, of definite happiness and limitless peace. When I think of our treehouse apartment, it’s very straightforward to see why that time was so special. I’m quite sure that I’m glad to have moved on when we did, but I’ve found a good example of a peaceful sanctuary, a definition of stripping everything down to just be exactly how I am. When I can apply those qualities to the depths of an Edinburgh winter, keep the peace and joy aglow in the midst of the cold and dark — then I’ll know I have succeeded in peace.

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Savannah Watercolor, Maps.stamen.com

Savannah Watercolor, Maps.stamen.com

I just found this site today that will turn maps into watercolors. I would give anything to be able to paint watercolors myself, but I don’t think I have the eye or patience for it.

I miss summers in Savannah. One summer, I want to go back.

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Good morning,
M

 

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2 thoughts on “This is What I Loved

  1. I loved these map paintings! So lovely.

    I have a habit of listening to song covers because I am interested in another artist’s take and perspective on somebody else’s work/material. I am always trying to find something similar to the songs I loved so well, and yet different enough to make it refreshing.

    I’m not sure if you will like everything I sent you; let me know your thoughts once you have listened to all of them. I find that it’s quite different when listening to them with the headphones on versus when full-blast with the stereo, the music filling up the room. Some covers become even more beautiful, others get lost in the accompaniment.

    They said it’s difficult to cover Bon Iver’s songs, and that no one should attempt to do them. I am happy to disagree. Justin Vernon’s voice is ethereal and golden, and the originals will always have that perfection–but it is precisely because the lyrics and composition are so good that people seek to sing them.

    T.

  2. PS. Do you keep individual notebooks for when you travel to a different place? The idea is to write about that specific place. I had something like that when I went to Singapore, and then to Tagaytay.

    T.

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