Merry Christmas! Happy Holidays!

Just popping in quickly to wish you a very Merry Christmas!

I suspect I won't really be here much in 2015. Blogging has changed. I've changed. I need something new and hopeful. Captial-B 'Blogger' has become a label I fight against rather than buy into. It's wonderful and admirable that there are many out there still fighting the good fight. But I need to move onto something not as fighty over what it is and whether it has sold itself out or can still be meaningful and interesting. To be frank, I spend enough of my day-job in this mode and I want to build something from a positive place, not a negative or contrary one.

But blogging has been an extraordinary experience. I've met so many wonderful people and I've been able to push my writing in very personal, and sometimes difficult, directions away from scrutiny or affiliation with media. The people who've read and who've cared to respond have been supportive and intelligent and at times challenging, but in ways that were kind and made me reflect and learn. None of us is perfect and that's always especially evident online. And I've seen my own imperfections painfully magnified here at times but people have always been generous. I think that's really reading and writing at its best; each person straining to be understood, to find meaning and truth in each other.

I'll miss blogging too. And I'll miss the connection with people, though it too has waned and migrated to other social media. Although I haven't been doing it much of late, the muscle memory to blog still there. It's been eight years (!) after all. But I know the difference between doing something from habit and it being right and having forward momentum.

If you care to follow me, I'm very active on Twitter and Instagram and, if I have new writing anywhere, I'll share links there (and likely update my Portfolio too).

Other than that: Just thank you. And much love for 2015.



Robert Spellman

I can't recall where I first saw the work of Robert Spellman, but I remember immediately recognizing these watercolours as pictures of home. It's funny how little can trigger recognition in that way.

People talk about the way places get under your skin, especially their places of birth, but they seldom explain where that feeling sits. One day, I'll have lived in Canada as long as I ever lived in Ireland. But unless I also leave Canada, I'll never know if it's etched under my skin the same ways that Ireland is. I suppose this feeling is something so magnified it needs to be viewed from a distance — in the way so many writers see a place more clearly when they write about it from afar.

But I wonder too if certain places just possess us more than others. Ireland does seem especially haunting for its diminutive size. Perhaps it's the way the Irish wrap their language around certain scenes and feelings that captures the resonance of the place long after you've left it. Or maybe it's something inherent in the very land itself, in rain on flinted rock, glancing light through hurried skies, the call of the wild green sea.

All images from the portfolio of Robert Spellman.

Just nice things

I'm guessing that we all suffer the proliferation of gift guides in similar ways: So much product being thrust at us; a mix of fatigue and occasional delight, the dreadful feeling that this season is already too expensive and it's going to get more expensive yet.

Still, I would be lying if I said I don't like looking at nice things. And these are some of the nice things I've liked looking at lately - whether considered in a gift or non-gift or self-gift context.

Products: Lavender Quartz Lamp from Score & Solder | Equinox Ring by Immortalia by ManiaMania | Dark Side Moon Phase from ABJ Glassworks | Moon Coasters from Karen Kimmel | Beauty Dust & Good Night Dust from Moon Juice Shop | Clay Chambray Facet Cushion from Susan Connor