I’ve only seen Midnight in Paris twice, so far. I’m not a fan of Woody Allen or of the theater where the film is showing. But, I broke my self-imposed boycotts
and went the first time, then had to go again. You surely know the plot, the romances, the historical characters, the incredible photography and costumes
and outstanding performances. No need to go into them here.

What I most loved was the message of time passing and our romantic view of what has come before us as we avoid, reject, or dangle in the present.

Salvador Dali

I had a birthday recently, always the start of my New Year. It would also have been our 46th anniversary if Jim had survived the last three years. My granddaughter started kindergarden.  Such is the way I have of measuring the time that passes. Landmarks,. Days on the calendar. Periods of
playing hermit. Shuttering my mind. Avoiding events, the telephone, leaving the house. Or speed-dialing along on full steam, participating fully, actively and
enthusiastically in what life brings and what I seek out.

Have you visited elderly friends as their minds retreated into yesterdays and the future held little or no promise? One friend was so delighted with the teenagers we’d brought along that she went to the piano in the dayroom and put it to use. She pounded out segments of songs from the ‘30s and ‘40s while the staff and other residents looked on in amazement. She’d lived there quite a while and no one had ever heard her play. For Bessie, time was now and she made the most of it.

It is too soon for me to withdraw from all that I love: family, writing, traveling, being with friends. As I write, today is Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year. A day of remembrance and judgment. And, I think, of hope. Time to take stock and look to the year ahead. What does it hold? What might I make of it?

I’ll start my new year with a road trip to Seattle for the Women Writing the West Conference. My traveling partner and writing friend, Anne, is coming along. We’re in the throes of planning the trip: what to see and do along the way, in Tacoma/Seattle and on to Victoria. There’s a stop in Battle Ground, Oregon for
tea with friends; the Richard Brautigan library in Vancouver, WA; the WA State Historical Museum in Tacoma; a great conference to attend; exploration of
Seattle’s underground and hills for nostalgia and research; and onto the ferry to Victoria in search of writer-artist Emily Carr, the totems and First
People’s culture.

Emily Carr: Kwakiutl House

Do you smell the adventure in the redwood and red cedar countryside, the grey skies and our sunny expectations? Do you feel the inspiration and joy about to settle on us? The opportunities to see old friends, make new ones and spin our dreams?  Without a doubt, it will be a time to store up remembrances, fill our senses with new energy.

I’ll journal and blog from the road.

How do you
celebrate your New Year?

What do you do
to mark your time and how it passes?


Filed under Emily Carr, Family, Nostalgia, Opinion, Reflection, Writing

12 responses to “TIME PASSES

  1. Love this, Arletta. So thought-filled.

  2. Thanks, Marlene. I always appreciate your comments of support.

  3. Happy New Year, Arletta! From one Jewish girl to another. Yes. My husband is Italian. (Toboni) I think I will remember the old year by lighting a candle. In my journal I will reflect on the blessings that came my way this past year. One of them is in the making of new friends like you! By the way, I loved Midnight in Paris. It is worth seeing twice.

  4. Hi Barbara,
    Nice to hear from you. Ah, but I’m not Jewish afterall. I thought I might be leaving that impression. “Some of my…” you know how that goes. Actuallly, I had to make sense of my father’s death in WWII as a child and read a very early version of “Diary of a Young Girl..” Then went on to read and learn so much more.
    Glad you’ve had such a great year…and I wish you many more.

  5. Penny

    About Midnight in Paris…once we have TMI about an artist, it is so hard to fully embrace their artwork again. I too boycotted Woody Allen and cannot shake from my mind that he is a private pervert. Nonetheless in art, he makes good movies. How can that be? It is one of life’s recurring puzzles that I cannot solve. Happy New Year, Arletta. I too will light a candle and I look forward to living a more open-hearted future. About marking time…cleaning out office file drawers recently I came across a forgotten folder of resumes that stretch back 40 years. Do I mark time’s passage by all the jobs I have held? Yes, for one long reflective moment. Then I threw it all in the recycle bin. I remain committed to Looking Forward.

  6. Hi Penny,
    So glad to have you visit here and sharing your thoughts. You’ve hit on why I don’t like Mr. WA.

    You’ve had a hard year and I’m thrilled you have the Looking Forward committment for it will take you far.

  7. Arletta,

    I too was rapt by “Midnight in Paris” for many of the same reasons you are. Life’s fragility and joy at its tenderness is a good feeling to keep close to our hearts.

    Janet Riehl

  8. Oh, Janet,
    I love your phrase about “Life’s fragility and joy at its tenderness…” It can be easy, at times, to lose our focus.Staying in touch with others brings that focus back.
    Thank you !

  9. Arletta Dawdy

    I also count the years by the age of my daughter at the time.
    Thank you,

  10. Hi Barb,
    Oh, yes, the years of our children, marriage when family members died, etc. All these mark the years of our lives and bring memories out of the dark.

  11. Thanks, Arletta! That is such a touching post. Especially about the lady at the care home pounding out songs on the piano for teenage visitors!

  12. Hi Robin,
    You are always such an enthusiastic reader. Thanks for sticking with me!

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