Thursday, May 10, 2012

Thursday Thoughts...

“How we spend our days is, of course, how we spend our lives.”

Annie Dillard

What an extraordinarily eloquent way to remind me that how I live each day adds up to how I will have lived my life. In fact, it can be a bit scary when I stop and think about how many days are made up of 'do this' 'do that' 'go there' 'call them' 'write this' 'edit that' 'email who?' and so on...

I'm not sure I want to think that in the end my life will have been all about a massively long and frenetic to-do list (not that I don't love  a list - I do). And so I stop and ponder how to make sure that the days breathe, have light and love and laughter in them and are a mix of the creative and the mundane.

I have taken to writing in this little journal each night - despite searching the interweb widely I think it is no longer available. It is by Frank Chimero and is called "the being there diary' which simply asks you each day - "What was the very best moment of your day?" Firstly it makes me backtrack and replay the day so I remember so many things I did that I had already forgotten. Secondly, it makes me think of those moments when I giggled, sighed with wonder, smiled, laughed, felt uplifted, and all of those emotions are great to re-live. It also lets me focus on how it is often the small things that make magic in my day.

A gentle reminder to me to make sure I have something to write in that journal every single day.

Camellias from the garden - a mass of delicate beauty.


  1. My absolutely favourite quote of all time.

  2. Sometimes it's all about contacts. Loved the quote and especially loved the diary. So...10 minutes of blog surfing later, I found it from a US self publishing/print on demand company. Got 5 copies coming and one is for you. Of course, there's no telling when I'll get around to sending it along...probably after a trip to Habu.

  3. what a beautiful way to end the day, reflecting back on what gave it meaning... when i read the comment about lists - ah, lists, the bane and blessing of them - i thought about something i once read... that we are human beings, not human doings... i think it all comes down to how we do the necessary - our state of mind, our presence... and usually there are others involved in the interaction - so there too is an opportunity to make the most of the moment...
    a treasure of a quote - i do so look forward to thursdays from you...

  4. I love Ms Dillard, I am sure we have talked of her before, Pilgrim at Tinker Creek sure opens one up to another realm. Like a macro lens, she is, but a walking thinking writing one. Fiona if I were to look at your life from where I stand, I would think, wow - look at that woman's life? She is engaged on a daily basis in such creativity, is open to that, and not afraid of it, in fact she shares it all with the world on her blog, she shares the love that is born of her creating, not keeping it to herself. She has a rich full life, she knows not of war, but peace. She speaks wisely as if been through her own war and come through the other side. An olde soul, a wonderful soul. Your days are full, rich, passionate and you let those things flow through and out of you - so many folk don't even tap into that. That is what I see, from here. I know what you are saying, getting the humdrum in the way of the creativity. But if you add up the hours in the day of creativity including thinking creatively, I'm sure you'll come up with some new math. x

  5. 'being there' diary.... sounds like a very good idea (I'm often so focused on the next thing to be done that I struggle to savour the moment.... and this is despite the fact that Dillard, Thoreau et al are my touchstones....)

    go well x

  6. So true Fiona. You can also get more from your day by looking at your dreams that evening. We've forgotten how to use our dreams to heal, when in fact they are amazingly powerful tools for us given by our soul. If you want to see what your day has been, then look at your dream. The quality of your dream will always mirror the quality of your day. So revealing once you start to listen. xo

  7. I love that quote....and pretty much anything that Annie Dillard writes! What a great idea...that journal of yours that prompts you to look back upon the day to help strengthen those memories of insight, laughter and love! Thanks for another wonderful post, Fiona!

  8. A quote for the times. So much to do these days. Thanks for the reminder.

  9. Glad to have chosen a favourite for you Kate - this one is a beautiful truth.

    Well yay Jennifer! Well down you super-sleuth and many many thanks. Whenever is wonderful.

    Thank you Mary Jane - it has helped me to stop and reflect on the day so it doesn't just disappear. Even reading over them gives me a great reminder of fun and beautiful moments and feelings. I like the approach you take with you in the buy-ness of our days...mindful and peaceful.

    Ah Louise you are so kind, but so true re Ms Dillard. What an amazing piece of writing that is. I discovered and learnt so much and opened my eyes with wonder anew at the passing of each little moment. I love the approach to new maths - and for sure, my days are rich and very fulfilling and my mind is open to creativity in lots of ways. Thank you very much - they were lovely things to say and write and I really appreciate them.

    So true Ronnie - I have taken to scheduling nearly every half hour of late and that feels mad. I think Annie Dillard helps us all to stop and wonder. Just. Be. Present. A work in progress for me, but a beautiful reminder from Annie D.

    Such an insightful thought Janine - often times dream recollections are fleeting, but often they stick and you wonder what was that about? Why did I have that dream?, so I shall be thinking about how they help heal and resolve a bit more now.

    Thanks Patti - it's so simple. I can't write a journal or a diary but I CAN write a thought. And it does make me realise some of the best moments are just plain silly or just simple beauty.

    So true Jo - at times the world seems to spin faster and I hate that feeling, so I need to make sure that I don't get sucked in by the busy-ness of just racing from this to that without stopping and remembering this is my life we are talking bout! Take care, F

  10. Great quote and your reflections that follow are even better. Of course, not every day can have its stellar moment, and even if it does it is so often overshadowed by what seem to be larger more urgent concerns, but I think even in the busiest gloomiest day in which not one instance of personal meaning or creative expression or positive interaction seems to have occurred, almost all of us can find something, some small thing that made us smile, made us feel momentarily unburdened and basically happy to be alive. It's looking for, identifying and cherishing these moments that truly matters, not their size, intensity or frequency. And since we get to write the story of our own lives in journals - how nice to select these moments as what we wish to record!

  11. Hi G/TT - I am sure that in every day, as y say, there is something that lightens or lifts. Or if the day is so tough, there is a moment hat is slightly less tough perhaps. And it is these I go looking for. Despite a tough day - I saw a dog wearing sunglasses in the front seat of a ute (a pick-up) the other day and that was it! Nothing to do with my day or feelings just a serendipitous observation. Go well...


I appreciate your thoughts and comments; thanks for taking the time.