N-N-1: The Colors of the New Year

When I participate in an N-N-1 I always feel like I’m part of a larger community that exists outside of my small home town which is inside a larger State which is inside of a nation. For some reason that makes me feel less alone. This time I get to host an international group from my second story bedroom in my grandparent’s house. There are pictures that come from places inside the U.S.A. as well as from the other side of the Atlantic Ocean and the other side of the Pacific ocean..

The first submission that I received is from Ashesh Mitra whose blog is asheshmitra.blogspot.com.

Last year the world needed Superman, but he was fighting Darkseid so that there could be a Milky Way galaxy for us to live in. The Fantastic Four were stopping Galactus for mostly the same reason.

And so we fell victim to COVID and hid in our homes as an unseen enemy marched across the world, rabid and ravenous…biting and biting away. First a thousand and then a million. Then ten million.

We found that superheroes wear white and we doffed our hats to doctors who braved COVID to save our children. A year passed. No Wonder Woman. No Captain Marvel. Just white coats.

And we wonder what the world will be like as the first few days of the new year hits. For although we don’t have the Green Lanterns, we do have the Blue Lanterns and their hope filled rings.

The color of the new year is blue, signifying hope.

Hope that the new year helps us remove masks and helps us appreciate what doctors do for us. Hope that Death takes a break and that COVID is defeated.

The sky is blue for a reason. Look up. Hope. Hope for a better tomorrow.

Mr. Norm of classicalgasbag.wordpress.com sent in his picture and words next.

There is a dusting of white snow on the ground, but the weather app on my phone tells me that we won’t get anymore snow this week. I’m not sure if I believe that. It isn’t the most reliable forcaster. I hope that it is right because the bright sunshine is great. It washes out the yellow of the bird feeder; yet it is so cheerful that you don’t notice the cold that would chill our bones on a cloudy day.

Let us hope that despite the weather, this sunny day will cheer us through this year no matter what comes our way. After all, things in general, if not personally, can’t get any worse than they were in 2020.

Let us also hope that the Covid-19 virus and all its variants are brought under control this year.

And while we’re at it, I also fervently hope that people realize that conspiracy theories grow out of somebody’s imagination and are not based in reality. Whatever happened to critical thinking? Are facts too dull?

Miss Barb writes the wonderful blog www.theviewfromadrawbridge.com. It is one of the more thoughtful blogs on the Internet.

I thought long and hard about what I wanted to submit for this N-N-1. The theme “Colors of the New Year”, at a time when there’s so much chaos and so much hope and so much lockdown boredom, is a hard thing to get a handle on. And then there’s the anxiety of not knowing what this year is going to look like. How do you plan anything when you’re not sure what you’ll be able to do, where you’ll be able to go, or how much violence you’ll be faced with when you get there?

2021 will not be a back to normal year by any means, but there is reason for optimism that it will be better than last year. The atmosphere already seems lighter. I feel like the stress has been somewhat lifted, even though we have a long way to go.

So, for the Colors of the New Year, I’ve chosen black and white. And yes, I know they’re not technically colors, but rather the absence of color and the inclusion of all colors. And while that isn’t as exciting as a rainbow, right now, in this time, it’s important on a lot of levels, and it’s enough.

I took this photo in Peace Park in Seattle. And it truly is my hope that peace will prevail on earth and in our homes and communities. And if you look closely, you’ll see that someone added a “defund the police” sticker, and that’s an important, albeit poorly worded consideration, too. We are living in complex times.

Peace.

Christopher LeCompte, like many of us, recently attended a funeral. This is his reflection on it.

Green lawns of manicured grass showcase a myriad of patterns, so vast and scattered as if fields with different crops. In one direction the divots contain names from years past. In another, a random assortment of monuments sprout from the ground with pleas for remembrance. A smaller field is home to identical memorials, standing at attention in perfect alignment and scribed in a foreign language. The tallest of all is a shrine for one whose star rose high and fell too soon, and whose fortune was seen by only those left behind. On this day the largest group of visitors are all crows.

Miss Anju, better known as Cupitonians, has the amazing blog https://thislabyrinthiroam.blog/. I have been a fan ever since I first read one of her posts. This one comes from Leeds, England.

We all spent 2020 looking forward to 2021. And when it came, it threatened to be just as mind-blowingly shocking as the previous year. An insurrection, a new strain of COVID-19, another lockdown, a storm called Christoph? But then I started observing things around me that had subtly changed even when every day can seem the same, and thanks to this theme, I started noticing colours. How blue is this blue sky? How vibrant that text? How magnificent that river? I have to say, I love the colours of this new year so far. I can’t wait to see what the rest of the year will bring. 

Anne, at primitivesoup.wordpress.com/ sent this picture along with optimistic words.

When I read the theme for this N-N-1 event, I was not sure what to submit at first. I am not going out that much unless it’s necessary like grocery shopping. So I thought I don’t have any “interesting” thing to share at the moment. I already submitted the best view I have around my apartment to the last N-N-1 event. Then the topic got me thinking about my 2020 and the previous years. I spent the last years finding myself and revisiting my past hobbies and interests. I got back to painting, drawing, journaling, and a little bit of calligraphy. The picture above is my current pen collection (a little disclaimer, I didn’t get these pens in one go). Anyway, going back to my past hobbies and interests added more color to my life. These were the colors of my 2020 and I intend to keep these colors this year too. I’m now more determined to find color in everything I see and everything I do. Of course, there are also days that are black and grey. Though it was hard, I am slowly learning to accept that those are parts of life too. My life is far from perfect nor close to it, but I’m slowly learning to be more hopeful and make the most of what I have and what I can do right now. I’m just someone trying to survive and at the same time trying to make my time here enjoyable. We may not have the same struggles in life, but I hope we all find something good and colorful in each passing time, hold on to that, and most of all keep going.

And then there is me.

This picture reflects my mood.

All blacks, whites, and greys.

I took it from Beatrice’s new apartment.

She invited me to visit so that we

Could talk and cry face-to-face

Rather than on the telephone.

 

I looked around her apartment

And I saw the bright, splashy acrylic paintings

She prefers to the more somber oils.

Then I looked out of the window again

And saw the whites, blacks and greys.

But being with a beloved friend changed me.

 

This is a new year with a new perspective

On life and relationships and goodwill

Towards even the people who dislike you.

This year I pledge to see more of the

Bright, splashy colors of life

And less of the blacks, whites, and greys.

I hope that the optimism shown by the various contributors from around the world will help brighten your thoughts. Please stay safe, and hopeful.

Passing on N-N-1 Information

A group of fellow bloggers were sent an email a few days ago concerning the the next N-N-1 (a group project of photos and words). You can check this blog for previous examples. If you think you would like to join our group, here is the email I received:

From: cupitonians <labyrinthiroam@gmail.com>

Hello, hello, hello, 

Summer is well and truly here, and so is the season for another glorious N-N-1 post! While we’re all suffering enjoying the high heat of summer, perhaps we could take time to take a photo in the first weekend of August? 

Days: 1st-4th August

Time: Any time you aren’t busy melting

I’ve left the days and times flexible as I understand most of us are living through a heatwave of sorts and so motivation could be up and down. The theme is also open! 

I will send you a reminder closer to the date. 

Have fun and let me know if you have any questions, 

This Labyrinth I Roam

N-N-1 Season Changes

I have been honored to offer this most recent N-N-1. Thank you to everyone who participated. I am already looking forward to the next one.

Princess Butter, whose blog is asplashofmylife.wordpress.com, has a short, but very sweet, entry for this N-N-1.

It could be spring, summer, or winter, for all I care. Right now, it is all about love for us. image1Here’s hoping for an everlasting season of happiness and cuddles. Occasional showers are permitted. 🙂

 

 

Barb Abelhauser has the wonderful blog theviewfromadrawbridge.com/ . She tells us about the change of season and of the change in her working conditions.

Seattle Opening DayAs a bridgetender in Seattle, the first Saturday in May is a pivotal one. This is the official opening day of boating season in the emerald city. Granted, you can boat all year ‘round, but today is a day of celebration. There are races and a boat parade, and thousands of Seattleites line the shores to celebrate spring.

It’s also the time of year when we start to have the spectacular weather that we try to keep secret from the rest of the country. So, yeah, people are out there on the water. I would be, too, if I had a boat instead of opening this bridge for them. They’re out there, and it seems as though they won’t touch dry land again until at least September.

As a bridgetender, two weeks ago I might have averaged 3 openings in a shift. Now, and for the next few months, it will be more like 10-15 openings. This is the time of year when I stop feeling guilty about my excellent pay and benefits, and actually start earning them. Talk about season changes!

This is a picture of today’s festivities from my perspective.

Miss Anju, also known as Cupitonian,  whose blog is thislabyrinthiroam.blog is in India. She sent this picture and writing:

cupitonian1It’s easy to assume that the tropics have just one climate – hot! But I remember the changing of seasons fondly. The trees in Bangalore would turn a vivid green; parakeets would start hosting family gatherings in them; the streets would smell like mangoes and the promise of rain; pink, red, yellow flowers would line the branches that hung over streets, sheltering children playing a game or two of cricket or kabbadi; the roads would fill with the sound of the ice cream cycle’s bell and kids running after him, screaming “ting ting uncle, ting ting uncle”. Every now and then you’d catch a glimpse of a mum calling for her kids to come in and hydrate – fresh lemonade, chilled watermelon, spicy buttermilk and the promise of endless afternoons spent reading under the shade of a tree! The houses would have their windows open, their carefree attitude leaking out or being sucked in, adding to the riot of colour and the feeling of total freedom. This week, I was able to capture that feeling of summer in a picture. And now, you get to share in it as well.

Mr. Norm who has the blog classicalgasbag.wordpress.com, sent this picture and writing:

20190503_131831

One of the things that I love most about the beginning of Spring is the trees that bring forth new leaves. There is something special about new leaves on a tree. They seem brighter than they do later in the year. Even on cloudy days, like this one, there is a brightness in the color of the leaves, almost as if there  is a light from within. I’ve thought about it and wonder if it is because the leaves are sparser on the limbs, and more natural light limns the leaves, or perhaps the air is cleaner, or maybe it is my imagination. Whatever the reason, I love it.

 

And now my submission:

Spring Comes to Stub Toe Creek

DSCN1460
Stub Toe Creek

Stub Toe Creek

Flows into The Little Elbow River

A few miles south of West Lumbago,

After meandering through woodlands

As well as making forays into and out of

Farmers’ drainage ditches.

 

Like the creek, my life has wandered

Through pretty places and bleak places.

I have nurtured a few friends

And have poisoned others

With the runoff that I’ve picked up.

 

I return to the pretty places, like the creek,

To cleanse my mind and body

Of the nastiness I’ve witnessed

And spread to others.

 

This Spring day is one of those days

Where I refresh my being

In the beauty of life.

How Are Your New Years Resolutions Holding Up? A Check-In! — This Labyrinth I Roam — Classical Gasbag

The wonderful Cupitonians once again allowed me to participate in N-N-1. Lately these excursions into collaboration have been the only inspiration that I have had to write. Maybe I’ll feel the urge again. Thank you, Cupitonians!

This is the most recent N-N-1 posted on This Labyrinth I roam, by one of my favorite bloggers. I like this one a lot! We’re almost at the end of the first month of 2019 (WHAT!!!). All of the carefully thought out goals, ambitions and resolutions are well underway. As part of this year’s first […]

via How Are Your New Years Resolutions Holding Up? A Check-In! — This Labyrinth I Roam — Classical Gasbag

Around The World In 3 Pictures

My thanks to Cupitonians for letting me in on this project. It was a chance for me to let me share my life with new people and to see what is happening in their lives.

This Labyrinth I Roam

I love the N-N-1 no matter how many entries we get in. All you need is one different perspective of the same date and the same time. I don’t really have the words to express the powerful emotions it evokes in me. I hope you enjoy this edition as much as I did.

I sought out a quiet place for my picture this time around. I love graveyards. There is a calm serenity that is hard for city dwellers to find. Though, truth be told, I would love a graveyard if I lived on top of a mountain. This is one of the Catholic graveyards in Lafayette. The Catholic ones tend to have more older trees and rolling landscape. It is almost enough to make me consider becoming Catholic and be buried rather than cremated. But the odds are that I shan’t. I wonder if I can find a graveyard…

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