Wednesday, April 6, 2011

It's a New Day

"Finish each day and be done with it. You have done what you could. Some blunders and absurdities no doubt crept in; forget them as soon as you can. Tomorrow is a new day; begin it well and serenely and with too high a spirit to be encumbered with your old nonsense."

- Ralph Waldo Emerson

Barge Haulers on the Volga - Ilya  Repin, c.1870 -1873
Oil on canvas, The State Russian Museum, St. Petersburg.

Whoooeeee. Yesterday was grueling. I felt just like these poor men, tethered together with leather yokes, slogging through clay and mud, dragging barges up and down the coast of the Volga River. 
(This painting by Repin is iconic in Russia, and was very provocative for its time. Despite the czarist mentality that hard work for the state was noble, this is a realist's depiction of life at that time, a time when men would work like this merely for a meal a day and a place to sleep at night.)
Sheesh. Look at how hopeless and dejected they all look.
Okay, in my infinite ability to romanticize my existence, I may have exagerrated how awful my day was.  But I did feel as if I were slogging through mud. That part is exactly right.
My friend Steven (of the blog THE GOLDEN FISH) posted an essay by Herman Hesse that expressed it better than I ever could.
You can read it  HERE.
At odds with everyone including myself yesterday, I decided to go for a very long walk, probably too long for the time of year, as I now have an earache from the cold wind and blisters from hauling the barges  walking the path.
As I came around the heavily wooded part of the park, a huge heron lifted up from the ground in front of me and flew right across the path. My camera was in my hand, as usual, and I snapped this picture as he lazily flew around my head.
I took that to mean that tomorrow would be a better day. We can do that, right? We can interpret the signs around us as we see fit to interpret them, can't we? I say yes.
So last night, I luxuriated in a hot tub for a very long time (how lucky am I that I have the time to do that at the end of a hard day?) listened to my beloved Chopin, and went to bed. I slept well and had pleasant dreams of being showered with cherry blossoms. Tomorrow has morphed into today.
Oh, Yeah. Today is a new day. I'll let you know how it goes.
I wish you a day free from tethers, blunders, and absurdities. Carpe diem!
Music today is from Michael Bublé, who personifies cool. Oh, yeah, he knows how I feel.  I wish the last two minutes of cheesy banter wasn't at the end, but just go ahead and hit the little stop thingy after the song is over. I've already played it a dozen or so times, and it's still early in the day...Enjoy!


  1. I look forward to this, my day! I don't have to go into the office. The wind is not so aggravating. The temperature will be warm enough! I plan on being out in my yard with nature. Where else do I find such peace from mans chatter? No where! And yes, we can take those happenings and turn them into signs. I wish you a day filled with "less chatter", including yourself Jo. Maybe a day filled with nature to nourish you heart. God Bless .. May your day be much better!

  2. Thanks, Donna...enjoy your day today, escaping from "man's chatter." I'm with you.

    Love it!

  3. I definitely know that feeling of slogging through clay. The painting is worth a thousand words. Yikes. And YES I believe in looking for signs and portents, always.

    Sorry about the earache but I'm so glad you got out there to walk. I just came in from a long walk home from the Sufi acupuncturist's. Walking always helps.

    Thanks for the blessing and back at you. There are days when the only thing I can do is slog and/or tilt against everyone and everything (including myself). But those days pass. Thank God.

    Love to you!

  4. I try...really wake up every morning, stretch and purr... and thank the universe for a new chance to get it right. That is the beauty of a new day. Hang in there Jo. By the way, I've never heard this song before and I love it. New theme song and I'm going to I-tunes to buy it right now.

  5. Wow! Another amazing and perfect post. Thank God for new days. The weather is beautiful, the song is wonderful and the painting is so sad but today is better.

    Love you and sending healing thoughts to you dear friend...

  6. I'm sorry you had such a bad day. I KNEW something was off when I heard your voice yesterday. Wish I could have been there to give you a BIG hug. You don't deserve days like those. I hope today is better. I love you.

  7. well jo it might come as a shock to you but the work aspect of each of my last seven working days has been a slog. truly hard verging on unrewarding difficult painful hard work. but. it has led to a place. a place where i can ride home each night and see the clouds and marvel at them. see the little ponds in the woods and spend time looking at them as the masterpieces they are. i do think that struggle leads to goodness. it's hard to trust that process because so much of our culture veers in the other direction. only goodness can come from things that feel good. push on jo and make adversity and hardship a friend and introduce those friends to your hot tub as often as necessary!!! with hugs from steven

  8. Thanks so much, Reya. I guess we all slog through clay at times, eh? But as you say, thank God they pass, usually as quickly as they came.

    ...or you would soon tire of me complaining!

  9. Delana, I remember an interview I once saw with Stefanie Powers of the old TV show, "Hart to Hart" and she said she did the same thing each morning...stretch and purr like a cat. They DO live long, agile lives, don't they? I must try this.

    Glad you like the song. Nina Simone does a very cool version, but Michael's just gets me dancing every time. It's a GREAT theme song! ♥

  10. Thank you so much, Vicki. New days are a gift, aren't they? I am grateful for them and for friends who sympathize with me!

    much love,

  11. My sweet daughter, I don't deserve all the beautiful, magical days I've had, either, but we must accept what comes.

    You know me so well, and also know that I don't usually sweat the small the day had to be REALLY bad!

    Today was a million times better. You still owe me that hug, though. I love you, too.
    ♥ xoxo ♥

  12. Steven, you're right. That DOES come as a shock to me. You make it all look (and sound) so easy. Of course, it might be a bit easier if you rested a bit more. ;-)

    Some days, adversity and hardship ARE my friends. Some days, they seem pointless (just ask Hesse). I doubt they will ever be good enough friends to join me in the tub!

    Thanks so much for the hug. ♥

  13. I was so afraid that you would have the Volga Boat Song to accompany this piece!...I was ready for the 'Yo -oh, heave ho!'
    Michael Buble was a relief!
    Some days are so hard and some days are so light and easy - I wish you more of the latter as your grief comes and goes.

  14. LOL, Pondie! I actually ran through a few versions of "Volga Boat Song" but got so darned depressed I couldn't stand it!

    Today was a million times better than yesterday. thanks so much for the kind wishes. ♥

  15. Repin's (love his work, btw) painting reminds me of my old piano lesson days and John Thompson's "Song of the Volga Boatman"...yo ho heave ho!

    Oh my gosh. I just noticed Pondside said the same thing!!

  16. LOL! Tess, there are dozens of versions of that little ditty on YouTube...even one by Paul Robeson! Lots from Russian military chorales, too. Each one more ponderous than the one before.

    I just couldn't drag you down that far...
    Thanks for the chuckle this evening, Tess.


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