TIC TOCC -- only slightly cheating

I know that the point of the TIC TOCC exercises is to get the creative juices flowing and to make doing something creative a manageable task.  It's not about trying to fit a past creative endeavor into the parameters of the task, and yet, when I read this week's Wright Story Extra my mind immediately leaped to a photo I took a few weeks ago.  The task this week is to juxtapose opposites.

It's not an original idea; the arrangement brings to mind Georgia O'Keeffe's paintings.  And the photo quality is limited by the fact that I shot it with my phone and not my camera.  But the photo is meaningful for me.  It's a reminder of beauty in darkness and of life in death.  I found the bird skull in my backyard and then I found the perfectly opened rose a few steps away.  Laying them on the table, arranging them for the photograph, was a meditation for me.  And I've been wanting to write about it.  So, in reality, I'm not cheating with this week's TIC TOCC, but the creating is not the photo itself, it's my writing about it and it's my overcoming this blog block I've been feeling. 

What's even more interesting and serendipitous is that Kat's blog post for this week's challenge talks about life's redefinition and reorganization.  Right now, and for the past couple months, that's what I've been struggling with.  I've been redefining what my priorities are and reorganizing my life.  It is hard not to feel discouraged or overwhelmed.  It is hard not to feel as if I have no control.  It is hard to let go of my worries for others and focus on what it is that I truly want and what it is that I truly need.  It is scary and it is disheartening, but it is also beautiful and hopeful.

At the end of September I moved from the farm back to my house in Cleveland.  I had been at the farm for over a year, living apart from my husband during that time.  It was a year of many firsts and many learning experiences.  It was a year of discoveries and beauty.  It was also a very difficult year.  This past summer Matthias and I first lost one of our cats and then we lost our dog.  Their deaths and our living apart brought the precariousness of life into sharp focus.  Nothing in life is certain.  Nothing should be taken for granted.  The dream of us living in the country is a beautiful dream, but right now it's just not practical.  And what is most important to me?  Although all of this is very difficult, the answer to that question is easy for me.  The most important thing is my life with Matthias.  It's still amazing to me that out of all the souls in this world, his and mine were able to find one another.  He is my best friend and my true love.  Yes, we have our difficulties and yes, this year and especially these last few months have been hard, but I would much rather be with him and struggling than be apart from him and struggling.  I can create art and write and grow things wherever I'm living and I'd much rather be doing those things with him.  I am not giving up on my dreams, just reorganizing them.

Transition is hard.  Change is hard.  But there is beauty even in death.  There is beauty in endings because in every ending there is also a beginning.  So, yes, I am struggling, but I am striving to see that beauty and find a way to leap into that beginning.  Even in my darkest hour I've felt that glimmer of hope.  It may still take a while for all the bits and pieces of this life to fall into place, but I'm working on it.


  1. It is often said that things happen for a reason. If you feel that you need to be with Matthias right now then that is where you are meant to be.x

  2. Your new banner is beautiful. Love what I see you've added to your shop as well. Can't tell you how glad I am to read your blog again.
    Blessings on you both in the days ahead, together again in your sweet home and garden, working on your day to day and future side by side. Constant love from me to you both.

  3. What a beautifully written post and wonderful photo. I'm honoured that this week's TIC TOCC has been used in such a positive way and I believe that it was meant to be. There have never been any hard set rules with TIC TOCC I am just happy if anyone enjoys or gains inspiration. And I'm so glad that you have shared the TIC TOCC journey with me & that its helped us get to know each other even more.

    Thanks for the lovely comment you left on my blog; your support means a lot to me.
    Hugs to you
    Kat Xx

  4. Big hugs Anne. That is a very honest piece of writing and apart from it being enlightening for me to read, I hope that the writing of it has helped you more. Hold fast. x

  5. Wow, Anne, you've had a whole lot on your plate for some time. I'm wishing and hoping for much better days ahead for you! It's good that you are open and receptive to the messages around you, like this one you've shared with us so beautifully. Life speaks to us through Nature, and in whatever else is at hand for Her to speak through, to get her messages to us. So, as you say, no matter where you are, you can find ways to live your dreams. I wish you all the very best. Just hold fast to your love of creating, because it will continue to carry you through the difficulties. At least that's been the case for me. Every time I've found myself overwhelmed by life, even if I couldn't bring myself to actually lift a finger in a creative act, the simple act of imagining the creative possibilities has carried me through. My best!

  6. You are brave to examine your goals and prioritize them rather than struggle to hold onto all of them. I once read that a person can do anything they want, just not all at the same time. Hopefully your path will be clearer and brighter in the future. Best of luck to you.


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