Thursday, September 4, 2008

Creature Comforts

My state of mind feels as fragile as this little flower these days. A soft blossom perched so delicately upon this tiny twig. But its petals are open and welcoming the light. I find myself trying to stay connected to what is most essential at this time...self care.

I find comfort in the simple things....

My camera is my most favourite means of escape. Exploring something through the lens takes me away from everything but the world I am peering into.

I love to watch people do things. When I was young, I used to pull up a chair and sit near the kitchen counter and watch my mom cook or bake...I still love to do this when I go to visit. I used to watch my dad build things. He had a large room downstairs that was designated entirely to his model railroads. I remember the smell of the steam that used to come out of the tiny engine. My brother and I loved to control those little trains, watching them go in and out of tunnels and pass through miniature towns. To this day, the smell of sawdust reminds me of my dad sawing up wood to make the base for these railroad systems. Now, as a grownup, I still feel like a kid when I get to just sit and observe someone make or build something.

Water, in any shape or form makes me feel at ease. Although the ocean is the most powerful draw for me, a bath, the rain, a raging river, a still pond or even a bog will have the same effect.

Not only do I find comfort immersed in a good story, but bookstores themselves are magical places to escape into. So many tantalizing titles whispering at me to pull them off the shelf. Sometimes I love to wander through the children's section and look at all the beautifully illustrated covers. You know you've found a good one when you want to step right into the world on the cover and make it your own.

Sometimes all I need is to just sit in silence. Exist at the amoeba level for a little while and quieten my mind. I wonder sometimes if that is how Taro (my bunny) exists from day to day. Just observing him can be comforting. The way he flops over on his side, loppy ears splayed out, stretching his large feet out behind him as he starts licking his front paw as though he is sucking his thumb...eventually falling asleep. Makes me smile everytime I see him do it. Some days I wish I could trade places with this peaceful happy creature.

So tell me....what do you do when you need to take a little bit of extra care of yourself? What brings you comfort?


  1. dearest jamie. this is a beautiful, touching my heart post.

    i have books, like you and i select them by their covers and titles. if those things draw me in. i like finding books that way. it tells me i am connected to the story in some mysterious way and i need to read it. to learn something to understand something. to change.
    comfort comes from books in the form of stories that reflect self determination, perseverance, and hope in the face of all things...hopelessness included.

    silence is a powerful force in my life. it gives me a deep kind of comfort.

    memory is beginning to have a different kind of place in my life and it is comforting to be able to go back farther and farther every year and remember good things. i used to remember bad things and now not so much. i like that about growing older.

    i smiled as you described taro laying there sucking his thumb and looking peaceful.


  2. My camera is bringing me lot's of happiness these days. You are so right about "peering" through the lens. I have found more peace in the past few days (the camera is new) taking photos and then playing around with the editing. I love to lose myself in something creative. I love the stillness I feel in all of this..

  3. 1. Books 2. Silence 3. My camera 4. Walking 5. Yoga

    All of these things bring me a sense of peace.

  4. Like you - my time with my camera is my most favorite thing. Looking thru my lens is more of a meditation than anything else. Swimming...walking...early morning quiet - all work to provide that inner peace that I so crave.

  5. Jaime,

    Your words are soul swelling words... where do they come from? how deep you've gone to search for them?
    In what lights have you filtered them?
    your heart alone can tell.

    or did they rather they come to you...when the eyes in your face looked with the eyes in your soul..and let the soul talk.

    Your gentleness should be sufficient to make beauty stand still.
    i have seen it before and i have seen it again.
    thankyou for this beautiful world you offer!


  6. Oh Jaime...your writing is so utterly enchanting...I truly understand this need for taking comfort in quiet...

    For me, sometimes I just need to steal away by myself...We have one little wooded grove around here that I like to go and reflect...

    I hope you have a wonderful weekend, and thank you for sharing this...:)


  7. Once again, a thoughtful post, full of words-as-pictures. Taro flopped on his side, your giggles as you watch him, the shushyness of bookstores, falling into background noise you don't even hear as you wander the aisles, reading wonderful titles that paint pictures in YOUR head, the many sounds of water.

    Your blog brings me comfort - away from politics and the television & traffic and work I should be doing (lol!), the silence surrounding me as I settle in here & begin to read. And I never say thanks - you never know, do you? So I say it now - thank you, Jaime, for a quiet spot in my day.


  8. you know what. as i read through this and thought about it. i really had to think about what brings me comfort.

    and that, in itself, was enough to stop me in my tracks. because right now i have to think about it. right now i can't really name a lot of things.

    always the ocean. when i can't sleep, i have a cd of just ocean waves that i put on. i grew up by the beach and still to this day, the sound of waves crashing on the shore is enough to make me feel okay. i remember pitching a tent just above high tide line on a beautiful secluded beach in new zealand a while ago. just three tents containing me and my friends. i slept about three feet above the high tide line and it was wonderful. my husband couldn't sleep as he was worried we weren't actually above the high tide line, but i slept so soundly that i didn't notice him at all!

    thanks for sharing your comforts with me. the more i know you, the more i want to know.

    thanks also for writing this for me to read, so i could pause and think. because i am now. about what it is that brings comfort to me.


  9. Funny I should read this now, sitting at Barnes & Noble where my son loves to come like other kids go to amusement parks.

    I've found reading blogs in the morning is one of the best forms of relaxation, people scattered all over the world, daring to post their thoughts, so much peace, lvoe, hope and compassion in the world!

    Next, I love writing the words of my own heart and playing music. If I could only find a way to spend all my days this way!

  10. I read, I walk, I sing, or I "hibernate" (cosied up in bed, warm and safe). Sometimes it's nice to take care of yourself.


  11. Anywhere I can go, usually alone, and see far and wide enough to feel smaller... the top of a mountain, bottom of a large valley, edges of oceans, centers of large fields, lost in views from an airplane window. I am comforted to know that everything is bigger than me from these places, and my worries are diminished to their right and proper size.

    I love Music; playing, listening, singing. Swimming in the perfect unknown swimming places. And that something about sitting around a fire that takes me away.

    Combining any of these things in anyway also helps!

  12. I love your post and all the wonderful comments. I also love synchronicity. I posted yesterday about nearly the same thing. About taking time for yourself. A few things that soothe me are:

    time alone

    time alone

    time alone

    Can you tell I haven't had much of this in a while? Happy Sunday!

  13. Nature tapes, I hear them in the car, everywhere. I have sounds of thunder, rain, ocean, Tibetan chants. In this hurried world, where you constantly have to be on, that is my comfort and relaxation.

  14. Such a soothing post - isn't it good to know what brings you ease?

    I have only to go out of doors to feel better, to walk in the meadow or the woods, to sit quietly and watch life going on around me with no help from me at all. It helps to put things that bother me into perspective.

  15. what brings me comfort?

    your beautiful words...
    to cuddle with M3...
    water..swimming...down below...
    kisses from a little boy...

    i miss you xx

  16. You have a bunny named Taro?!! *squeals*

    That's completely distracted me from answering your earnest question.

    I wish I had a bunny...

    On another note:

    *listening to Chopin's Nocturnes
    *taking naps
    *watching the SF fog roll in from my reading chair in the living room while holding a cup of tea and a good book
    *watching something beautiful like Rivers and Tides or something perfectly classic like Casablanca
    *walking at night or early in the morning
    *eating something succulent and salty, like fatty sushi
    *putting on my favorite perfume

    I hope you are taking good care of yourself.

  17. oh that photo is simply marvelous, sigh ...

    comfort for me is a quiet stroll with my camera, losing myself in the lens light or a good book and a yummy coffee, feet curled underneath me or a snuggled under a warm quilt on a cold day :)

  18. in the home,and peace and quiet for me. I have read a book on the Tao recently, and much of what you write about in this and previous posts ties in beautifully with this philosophy.Being absorbed in the moment, and the need for few words and being at ease.

  19. I do love this post.

    I also love watching people. I love sitting with a mug of hot chocolate on a comfy sofa in a cafe and watch people. Or sit in the sunshine on a bench. Walking into a bookstore is like walking into a magical garden. I also love looking through the children's book's section. They are the most inspiring and full of so many simple truths. I learn more from children's book's than book's from the self-help section. I love to light candles. I love to sit in nature. In the park. Look out at the ocean. I love rainforest's. I love pouring myself a cup of tea.

    Thanks for reminding me of what is important to me.

  20. your photography is stunning. I found your blog via... well actually i don't remember, just glad i did.
    Taking care of me? I'm doing a lot more of that lately now that my daughter is off at college. I enjoy a good book, a cup of Earl Grey tea, and a hammock right now, soon it will be the fireplace.