Sunday, April 18, 2010

Week 1: Why am I doing this?

Spring is always that time of year when things are growing. Unfortunately most springs it is my middle that's growing and I usually try early in the year to do at least something about this. But this past winter there was more encouragement than usual to get on the scales and get going with the program: I need 2 surgeries. Gulp. Not serious ones but for moi, the original scaredy cat, well it kind of woke me up to things, like health and age and not being able to walk a block without puffing.

So I began cooking healthy again for the umpteenth time in my diet yoyo history which seems to have gone on since God was a boy but this time I know it's for good. I'm too old and the body parts are starting to demonstrate 'attitude'. So this time the changes need to be for life in every sense.
I did the normal things beginning with an overhaul of my fridge and dusting off more pots and pans for home cooking EVERY SINGLE MEAL. However, I will never be a Julia Child or a Julie Powell (more about these two cooks later). I just felt I needed to do something else and more.

So next thing on the list was to begin walking every day about 30 minutes or so. This isn't hard to do - I don't drive and the nearest place to forage for food is 1/2 a mile from here. It seems to be the end of the world during bug season and on plus or minus 30 celsius days; otherwise it's an enjoyable ramble. Gradually the 30 minutes stretched to an hour some days and even 2 hours on others.

So the body beautiful was being looked after (or will be after an interminable amount of dieting). And 'these boots will keep on walking' to tone those little couch potato muscles. But it all seemed like work. None of it really was making me feel much better. I KNOW about WORK! I am a 'working' artisan - euphemism for 70 hour weeks and low pay. Ergo, STRESS!  
- Always in the red instead of the pink and just kind of trying to make do most days. I absolutely love the work I do, making greeting cards and party crackers (you know, those Christmas crackers you pull and they go pop and out falls a little paper hat and a trinket? Well, that's what I make - only really fun ones all year round). But, the bills pile up, the orders - though great - come in at odd times with a whoosh at Christmas and a tiny tinkle in January or July and, quite honestly, it really is STRESSFUL! My poor friend, Diana, listens to my constant whine about the perils of the party supplies trade. UGH! Colour me nerve-wracked! 

And that's how this project got started. It's the artist equivalent of a medical prescription to combat fatigue and stress - the slow drain of the soul.  
I saw Julie and Julia with Meryl Streep bringing life to Julie Powell's story about how Julia saved her life and taught her how to cook. You can read about the movie here and about Julie Powell's Julie/Julie Project here. It may be at this late date that I am the only person on the planet who hadn't seen this movie or heard of Julie's blog before now but from the first moment of the movie I knew this was going to be one of those rare life-changing events - even though I wasn't sure just how it was going to happen. I knew I needed a 'project' something to get back in touch with the creativity in my soul and reaffirm that life isn't all work. I knew the project had to be ABSOLUTELY FREE (I can't afford lobsters like Julie!) And I knew it had to be a part of my usual day since I have so little personal time for anything before after or during WORK - that 4 letter word!
And then I 'got' it. Out walking I started looking at stuff - closely - let details sink in or pop out to find new ways to 'see' them and capture them. So I added my camera to the health walk regimen to make a record, to begin 'seeing', to heal the soul, to create, to rest the spirit - choose any of the above. Not the big things or the everyday things but the little details that take a few moments to see. I rarely take the time. So I'm making time. This year I am just going to plain make the time!

Like Julia, I need to create. Like Julie, I need a 'project'. Well, Julia did too, come to think of it. And that's what this project - "The 52-Week Bracebridge Photo Project" - is all about. 12 new photos taken somewhere about something in Bracebridge every week for 52 weeks. I don't know what will happen in 52 weeks, if anything. Maybe I will learn how to use my camera finally. Maybe I will see new things. Maybe I will begin to see old things that have been around for awhile. Maybe all will end in ignominy!  
Or a coffee table book?

Please walk along with me whenever you have the inclination. Enjoy the pictures and the blog. 
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April 13, 2010


  1. I have connected with a gull soon after I was released from hospital almost eighteen months ago, I phoned my friend Attila as this was happening, Attila thinks that I have glimpsed enlightenment momentarily...I kind of would like to think Attila was right.

  2. Gabor, I didn't know that - it's neat when that happens. What you went through with your illness was pretty awful and went on too long. I'm glad you have the memory of the gull. I hadn't realized until the other day how individual they are in character. I love the spots on their tails - never noticed those before either. Been missing a lot of things it seems.

    More Gulls:


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