Reflections 2009

“The golden moments
in the stream of life
rush past us
and we see nothing
but sand.

The angels
come to visit us,
and we only know them
when they are gone.”

-George Elliot


The year I created The Errant Aesthete, I christened the first salon “Reflections”. It seemed apt at the time as the end of 2007 was nearing, making way for 2008. A little of what I said then:

Welcome to the errant aesthete’s first salon.

A forum if you will, but ever so much more fun than if you were slumming on another blog of diminished style and sensibility. William Wordsworth once remarked that you should “Fill your paper with the breathings of your heart,” and I hope you’ll feel these salons the perfect place to do that. In lieu of paper — so passé mon cherie — I offer you the limitless outreaches of cyberspace.

With the end of the year fast approaching … what will you remember as the high and low points for the year? What will you consider gained and/or lost?

You can read the full text here. Sadly, this little forum went silent in 2008 when EA was still very small and mostly unnoticed, but this past year, the Errant Aesthete has taken flight, a small excursion to be sure, but one of significance to its creator.

I have been profoundly moved by many of the thoughts readers have posted throughout the year and I would think it an honor to have you pen your own reflections in this space. While I will be writing a reflection or two of my own in the coming days, I invite you to share in this year-end tradition with me. You can find the “Reflections” salon on the SIDEBAR to the right. It can be said in words or in art since many are more comfortable with the latter. And, of course, it can always be shielded anonymously. Something, of which, I know a bit about as evidenced in the recent purging of my own hesitant soul: “Noticed.”

While EA may be a singular odyssey, its richness and appeal, to my mind, is in the friendships and contributions of each one of you. When a comment comes in from somewhere half way across the globe or just down the street, I marvel at this experience that unites us. This wondrous little conclave of aesthetes, errant and otherwise, who fill these pages with insight and inspiration. My heartfelt thanks.


Artwork: An Hoang




~ by eaesthete on 12/27/09.

14 Responses to “Reflections 2009”

  1. “Happiness is like a sunbeam, which the least shadow intercepts. While adversity is often as the rain of spring.” (Chinese Proverb)

    2009 was a transformative year for the world, with the election of President Barack Obama. Taking this to the granular level, I have taken steps toward re-inventing myself as a practicing artist. Courage, my love.

    Given these challenging times, I am ever more grateful to have made the acquaintance of such ‘d’esprit’ as the Errant Aesthete.

    You have reminded me time and again that artful living is in our hearts, if we simply create, seek out and share the beauty around us. Leading by example, you do this and more.

    Optimism and beauty…

    2010, here we come!

    Vineca Gray said this on 12/27/09 at 02:12:37 | Reply (edit)

  2. Imitation being sincere flattery, I may try putting some of my images on my webpage sidebar, as they look so well on yours. Happy New Year and thank you for the gift of your website.

  3. Jamie here (sits down again). My lows came with two old friends I thought I’d have in my life forever decided that now I’ve moved a few hours away, no longer wanted to continue our friendship. It plagues me as for copious reasons, friends make me tick.

    In direct accordance with this, another friend who’s going nowhere helped stroke my head.

    And it’s at this time I think of the lovely new friends I have in my life and the ones who have stayed.

    Friends come, and go and the very best remain.

    The nicest image presented to my imagination came this year from my favourite writer Dodie Smith. Her soon to be beau brought her on her first date, a paper bag filled with apricots. This gesture will keep me warm for the rest of my days and I shall do my best to be believe and be content with the little things in life.

    Good luck finding yours…

  4. Many are happy to see this year, this decade, end. Eight years of George Bush, two wars, a severe recession, uncertainty at every turn. The corporations of the world keep on keepin’ on and we are just beginning to react to their greedy ways. Perhaps we’ll rally and refuse to accept the lack of regulation they enjoy. Perhaps we’ll demand more of our politicians instead of less. That being said, we’ve elected our first President of color, we are re-evaluating our lifestyles, spending habits and hopefully what is truly important. We are FINALLY acknowledging our environmental frailty and trying to reduce our carbon footprint. I don’t think the recession has been a bad thing. It’s a long overdue wake up call which may help us learn to save instead of spend and be more self sufficient. I really want to begin 2010 optimistically, looking forward to health care reform, a curtailment of the war in Iraq and, hopefully, a shorter stint in Afghanistan. Those are my hopes and my thoughts. Thanks for the forum.

  5. My God. I recognized my own entry from 2007. My friend with cancer continues to survive vibrantly; his wife was treated for an equally devastating cancer attack and survives beautifully as well. My beloved pooch could not defeat bone cancer; with her phenomenal spirit and heart intact but with a failing body, we laid her to rest in 2008.

    This is a year for gratitude. Grateful for good health, a roof over our heads, financial stability in the face of reduced work opportunities, family that successfully negotiates their many hurdles. The low points: a long, soul-grinding fight with Kaiser for responsible medical care for my mother; a painful court battle to free a family member from abuse. The highs: everyone’s ok; a new puppy just adopted a month ago; a new grandbaby on the way.

  6. Thanks for this post. I loved it all – the intriguing painting, with its odd colors, the George Eliot quote, your writing… And the name of your post!

  7. In 2009, I lost a lot of cynicism, a lot of sarcasm, and a lot of anger. In 2009, I (re)discovered the existence of God after having lived many years believing there was no such thing. With the discovery of faith, I have found joy, compassion, and a sweet gentleness that I never imagined lived within me.

    This gift of the spirit is the most amazing thing I have ever received, and I am so profoundly grateful for all of the losses, tragedies and devastation that brought me to this point that words cannot express the gratitude I feel.

  8. The thoughts that people have left here only reinforce my belief that EA is much more than a blog on style or aesthetics or the life well lived. There is a gentle spirit that reigns in these posts. It’s refreshing, it’s why I enjoy visiting.

    2009 has been one of the most mentally challenging years of my life. I’m surviving, my business is surviving (somewhat), my friends are surviving, but I’ve begun to question some of my most basic assumptions and menatally preparing once again, I fear, for a transformation. What form that transformation will take, I know not. I know, I know, we’re all supposed to embrace change. The tree that does not bend breaks, and all that. But it’s hard. Everyone’s lovely thoughts of hope posted here are soothing to read for a soul like mine.

    So we move forward towards 2010, sometimes with hope, sometimes with trepidation. May we all be surrounded by hope, happiness, goodness, and of course, wonderful aesthetics.

  9. I agree with California Girl above. The corrections we are seeing are long overdue but I fear the hate mongering spewings of the Republican Party and how they will spin their mess into Obama’s failure to solve it while they resolutely do everything to keep him from doing that. Insanity.

    On a personal level—as if politics isn’t—my goal is finish a few projects in my home and my garden, to have more order in my life and not be overrun with my creative excess, to volunteer more to causes I care about, to read more challenging works, to cherish my husband every day, to let go of people in my life who cannot or will not treat me with respect, to end each day as a small remembrance that life is uncertain, each day is a gift. I turned 60 this year, a year my beloved mother-in-law did not get to celebrate. All these years I have wondered what I would feel when I reached this moment. And what I feel is grateful, humbled, and hell bent on using each day the best way I can. Happy new decade, EA, I hope it brings you what you need.

  10. What to say. What to think. I no longer know. I feel like a top spinning and not in the smooth fluid way that creates little pangs of delight. It’s more like a teetering twirl, threatening to fall over on its side at any moment. The only certainty I know is all that I don’t know or understand any longer. The world seems so unfamiliar. I sometimes feel as though I’m living in a civilization I once read about in school where everything of any merit or meaning had collapsed, swept up in a tsunami of greed, corruption, untruths, and false Gods. What to make of this world no longer occupies my thoughts for its far too distressing to consider.

    I believe we owe a responsibility to ourselves to find meaning where none exists and to honor ourselves with love, appreciation and respect. I was reading something recently where a new way of thinking (post recession) has replaced the self-help healings of old, where at any given time, we were once just one self-help book away from perfection. The idiocy of that is staggering to me and maybe it is that very attitude that has contributed to our pathetic demise as a culture. Were it that easy.

    I find so much of what is restorative on these pages. I think someone else said in a comment recently about words and images that lull and lift. Wonderfully put. If the world wants to continue its mad scramble to obliteration, leave me be with my screen intact into a space of my own choosing. And leave me with the love I hold for beauty, gentleness, compassion, and the awe and appreciation of my own fleeting presence.

  11. I’m one of the witnesses who saw The Errant Aesthete take flight… and it’s mesmerizing. At year end, what better time to offer my heartfelt thanks and sincerest congratulations to you on a superb achievement. Amidst the ever increasing chaos and turmoil in our world, it’s all the more essential that we carve out a niche for beauty and contemplation. Herein lies the effect of your site. I wish The EA will continue to soar in the coming year. Have a most wonderful 2010!

  12. . . I wish they all could be California girls.

    (Happy New Year to everyone out there, and especially to the errant aesthete..keep up the excellent work)

  13. I have the impression you are a gay male. However, notwithstanding that, your site is pleasing in an arty and lightweight way. From an old British/European down-to-earth viewpoint I congratulate you on your aspiration to the “nuances” of culture in the new world, which is admirable in the face of the burger-bloated masses we see on the other side of the pond. I have book-marked your site for the time being, but anticipate your views on history, music, archaeolgy and technolgy in the year to come. I raise a glass to you, of an ancient single malt (“cocktails” are not, I am afraid, very “in” amongst the cognoscenti here) and wish you to prosper and survive 2010. My very best wishes to you.

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