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 (note to self: send underling for case of bubbly, tin of beluga and a few Cuban Cohibas), a time when we normally think on beginnings and endings, we might ponder the brightest and darkest moments of the last year.

For me, personally, creating the errant aesthete has been an enormously fulfilling venture, a nearly unimagined creation that somehow found its way into being. I’ve sampled some thrilling new cocktails that are as intoxicating to look at as they are to drink, traveled endless miles to new exotic destinations through the unimagined power of a click and savored a world so vast, rich and diverse, it humbles and inspires. As for losses or closures … that’s for the next salon.

As you leave 2007 behind, what will you remember as the high and low points for the year? What will you consider gained and/or lost? Introduce yourself. Let us and the world know you’re here and post for all to see. (A toast to new friends!)

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17 Responses to “Reflections”

  1. Watching my son start to talk and walk. Those first steps and words are great. I can’t wait to see him rip into his presents. Last year he was to young to know what to do.

  2. Hugh, how lovely. High points this year, without a doubt go to life itself. A dear friend has survived incurable, inoperable brain cancer AND the deadly treatment that goes with it. His original prognosis was 9 – 12 months; this holiday we will celebrate his 15th month since diagnosis. Also … my beloved dog disagreed with our vet’s diagnosis of a kaput liver and decided to enthusiastically recover. I think my low points are tied to both of these events, so I’m happy to focus on the high points. Happy New Year, everyone.

  3. I thank the higher power that the low points were meshed with the high points and all is well as I head into 2008. Good friends and good health are the center of everything. May the new year bring each of you your hearts desire.

  4. I for one am happy this year is over and think all of us should be treated for post traumatic stress disorder after living under this administration. Sorry to bring politics up at a time like this, but how can you not?

    Anyway, while the country may be in decline, my perseverance in redefining myself from a nine to fiver to a struggling, but happier, entrepreneur is paying off and for that — I am grateful! I still feel frightened and not at all sure of success, but realize I’ve already achieved it in breaking away from what was holding me back. I heard this the other day and it stuck with me as something I’d like to live by going into the new year: Life is so difficult, how can you be anything but kind. Cheers!

  5. I lost both my parents this year. One through illness, the other through a broken heart. I don’t know how to reconcile loss when I’ve never witnessed it before. Does it always come in huge heaves of sorrow?

  6. Great Sharing here….. Personally I had a very tough, challenging year… a downer in many ways…. filled with time-consuming, constant care taking and angst… seeing 2 people I love through to the end… to her death….. one through a serious back injury and surgery. I’m relieved the hardships are over, but years like this teach us so much about ourselves, who we are, what we are capable of…. and sometimes what we’re incapable of.
    On another note, I agree with Elizabeth…..We are indeed a nation in need of treatment for PTSD … a succinct way to sum up living under the Bush administration. I hope we get a chance to heal and repair the damage after the 2008 election. But good for Elizabeth for getting out of a 9-5 job into a happier life as an entrepreneur. Good Luck.
    Final thought…..I think we should be so much easier on ourselves than we are… myself included. As I told a friend recently, sometimes we need to redefine success….. it’s more often discernible in the small things we do….. following through, persevering, following our passions and bliss, being true to ourselves, knowing our true selves, and living from our insides outward….. living our mastery…..sharing our gifts and talents with the world… as The EA is doing. While it might be nice, success is definitely not always about $$money, or recognition, or accolades, or fitting other people’s images and expectations of what success is. It’s about living our lives close to our hearts and creative passions….as we see in such incredible, beautiful evidence on EA…. So EA viewers reset your sights, not your standards…. and live your success right now.

  7. Brightest points this year were the numerous people and things that feed my soul. Darkest were, well, holiday movies. Okay, I was doing the choosing, but Sweeney Todd? Atonement? What happened to the feel good holiday movie? Okay, Golden Compass could be that. Great art this time by the way. Happy, healthy, prosperous 2008 to all.

  8. “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!

  9. 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…

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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!

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. Yes, 2010 is going to be all about transformation. I urge you to view the drole little feature film ‘Withnail and I’,a story told in 1969, as the year was coming to an end. It is a Handmade Film, produced by the inimitable George Harrison.

    As was the case in 1969, everything has changed forever, and a new decade will define itself by the decisions each of us make in our lives.

    Peace to us all and Godspeed to Coalition Forces in Iraq and Afghanistan.

    Errant Aesthete, thank you for indulging me on this final point.

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