Just for the joy

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early work with the superb affinity designer | simon marsh

I’ve been longing to find a couple of hours to begin to get to grips with Affinity Designer, new software I’m cock-a-hoop about. After adding some super new brushes and absorbing some encouragement and samples by Frankentoon today, I’ve been completely and happily occupied this evening – and blithely thought I’d share the fruit of that delight. Just for the joy of it. Only the beginning of what I hope will be a long friendship with Affinity. But already I love it.

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May I?

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Wild geese over south-west Scotland | Nikon D3300 & 40mm f/2.8 | click x2 to enlarge

May I be forgiven for being a little immodestly proud of this photo? Captured today from the passenger seat of our moving car (70mph), heading north, in south-west Scotland. I think I’ve always loved geese and ‘big sky’ – even before encountering my poet-inspiration Mary Oliver – but undoubtedly more since. Mary’s Wild Geese is perhaps one of her best-known and best-loved poems, and whenever I encounter a flight like this one my heart is warmed. I think of her, and inwardly recite an array of her works. Actually, during the course of the visit, and on the homeward journey, we saw perhaps half a dozen more such flights, several of them much larger than this one. What it must be, to be able to take off like that, honking encouragement to one another en route. Oh, and that sky …

Little bins

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Photo at Pixabay

Every day, twelve little bins in which to order disorderly life, and even more disorderly thought

Mary Oliver
Upstream, page 25

Recycling in the UK has had a bad press this month. I read I’m not as good at it as I once was, and need to live in one of four counties to pass muster. Boxes and bags are out. Ubiquitous and ugly wheeled bins host the nation’s best-ordered recycling efforts.

Mary Oliver writes of the social self that might be cycling life through ‘twelve little bins’ – the hours of the clock – more concerned with keeping pace with the ‘regular’ governor of time than with whether or not it gathers ‘some branch of wisdom or delight’ along the way.

Containers play their part, like the hours. But both the regular and the irregular – coupled with an ability to reflect and to ask ‘what am I doing and why am I doing it?’ – are essential elements whatever we’re talking about, wherever we are, and whatever we do.