It’s been a while, I know. Again. It’s not that I was away doing something extra special or particularly nice, on the contrary, and it’s not that I forgot about the blog or blogging. Many things happened for sure, but even when there were breaks from the routine and when I tried to come up with something to say, I was confronted with that big scary blank page I couldn’t overcome. The roller coaster of negative emotions, illnesses and inability to deal with life as it is now for me affected my expression to a great extent. Whoever said that time alone heals, lies. I’ve also been trying hard to find any kind of paid job I could do online from home… the effort is without success, which is pretty discouraging and disappointing as well in a situation where there isn’t enough income. I tried writing a comeback story with highlights of the events from these past months, but I’m not succeeding in cutting a long story short or making it prettier to make it sound less like a rant. It will take me some more time, but I’ll complete it so that I could have a starting point for this comeback journey in which I’ll have to define a course this blog should take if I want to keep it in a more regular fashion. I want at least something to happily grow again in this sad life of mine filled with stagnation of everything I once did. The only thing I always do, every single day, is overthinking. I’m horrible at doing things in the physical world, while I could think and weave thoughts forever as it seems. There should be at least some use of it, at least there should be the joy of sharing them with the world.
Another comeback, just like another spring emerging out there in the fields, symbolized by these very first shy little daises. Hope.
I first found out about these flowers when the best friend of my grandmother brought them into my life – she used to grow big beautiful yellow chrysanthemums in her garden and it always fascinated me how this plant defied bad weather, first blows of frost and first flakes of snow. Flowers are associated with spring, with the first rays of early March sun, while in autumn everything shuts down and prepares itself for yet another long sleep. Almost everything, apart from chrysanthemums whose splendid colors explode to brighten up first gloomy days of October. They are such a pretty site, but you have to wait all year long to see them bloom for this short, late time. You have to be patient, the best and most beautiful things in life require perseverance and patience. Also, you have to be punctual, because if you miss them you’ll have to wait for another year to see them bloom again. And a year can be a very long time, once I used to say very casually and confidently that I would do something or go somewhere next year, it went without saying that the next year would come, then another next and all the other nexts after it. Today I’m much more cautious when I want to say a thing like that, now that I felt all the fragility and uncertainty of life in the closest possible proximity. Chrysanthemums will always remind me of it.
Today was one of four yearly memorial days for the dead in my culture, another occasion to visit and take care of my dad’s grave, bring flowers and relive the memories of one life that reached its end last year. Another reminder that the pain never goes away, you just learn to live with it. You simply survive because it’s the law of life, it’s still not your time. Rest in peace dear dad, as long as I live the memory of your life will live too.
Many things happened since I could last come actively here. I did try to blog from the phone, but that proved very challenging due to troubles with touch screen displacing and erasing things I wrote. It somehow didn’t seem meant to be, me and the WordPress. My mom was severely bitten by probably some spiders and developed a horrific reaction, we had a totally crazy tour of the clinics which would make a great story by itself. Now, almost 4 weeks later her leg seems a bit better, but it will obviously take a very long time to heal completely. My dog got bitten by two very mean dogs, the second time this year. My mom overdid with Easter preparations, but she wanted to do it as if dad were still here. It was somehow solemnly good, yummy and special, yet extremely sad. And on the top of it, tired like hell, I managed to cover half of the road to my dad’s garden by bus. Yep, I actually ENTERED the out of the city bus somehow. I don’t think I would have dared if my uncle who was spending Easter in the area didn’t mention that he would go half the way towards the city to by some fertilizers and that we could get of the bus and cut the road much shorter by his car. Having that as a chance to “escape” in case I panicked, I agreed – under sedation, there is no question about it. Every time I get there, my mind badly needs to pull my dad out of somewhere – out of his little wooden house, garden, from behind the trees… I watch and watch, but he’s nowhere to be found. Getting on the bus was hard also because my heart sinks when I see those little half broken buses, because in the last years my dad gave his best to use exclusively them to get to the garden and not the car in order to save. It was hard and strenuous, it is even for a much younger person, and I was nowhere to be found to help. And he had cancer, who knows for how long in these last years previous to the diagnose. Now I’m punished, he’s nowhere to be found. I constantly live in pain and have nightmares. I wouldn’t ask for any sort of help from him, just for his mere presence, to see him glad that I’m in the garden. That won’t happen, ever again, I’m punished for life. It’s been 7 months, and now I know – it will never stop hurting, as long as I live. It will just take many faces, that bundle of grief, some days will be a bit better, some much worse, but I will never be the person I was even just last July. We all change I know, even when nothing so extremely bad happens and we can never be who we used to be before, but my change is drastic. It affected so many areas of my life that I feel that I literally became somebody else, that I don’t belong to any of the places or among the people I once knew. I keep going in circles in the dark, searching for an answer who I am today and where and how to go from here. I so desperately want to understand, as if I could do something nobody alive ever managed to do – understand death.
There are many hurdles along this road and one of them is that nobody in my immediate surroundings want to talk about the dad or even just mention him. They feel that it is a wrong thing to do and that “distracting” me and my mom completely will help. Well, it doesn’t. It takes just one look in the mirror to remember, I am the infallible living proof that he existed. I want to talk, talking about him helps, it is all the part of the grieving process. Maybe some people feel better if they pretend nothing happened, keep it all inside and just go on minding their business when someone dies, but that’s not me. I need to verbalize emotions, to bring back old times, to remember things he said and did. People resist, I still say what is on my mind. Maybe they mean well after all, but they just don’t know how to talk about this kind of things. I know that they want an affirmative answer when they ask how I’m doing, but I’m not ok. Not even close. It’s all problems and pain. Saying that I’m ok won’t change that, but that’s all people accept to hear.
My aunt and uncle preferred to focus on the digital disaster part of the disastrous story, and as I explained that everything failed on me – computer, printer, scanner, phone charger etc. they remembered that they have an old laptop nobody uses which should still be in working state.
So we got this old, long asleep device going again, which caused many mixed emotions. I got used to not having a computer any more, so it both made me happy and sad somehow. It’s very old and half broken, but still it’s one of the nicest gestures towards me in months. I should have been happy when I got it going because that meant that I could blog again among other things and I accumulated ideas to talk about over time, but I was just blocked. Almost didn’t feel like coming back. Didn’t know what to say. If anybody would be interested. Also so much happens that I never have time for myself to properly concentrate on verbalizing thoughts. Then I came here and let the words flow, that was the best I could do. Also, I’m still getting used to this laptop, I can’t explain it, but things don’t seem the same from here, everything feels awkward, typing included. It has quite a bad screen, colors are very unreal which is not photo-friendly thing at all, but I still hung up a picture. Feels like having some form of color and contrast blindness, but who knows, maybe somebody out there will like it. It’s one of my dad’s peaches, I cried when I saw the bloom. He would love it. I wish I could know if he can see it.
Dad, they blossomed again, see how beautiful they are. It’s spring again, nature goes on as usual. Everything’s as it used to be, everything’s there where you left it, we just can’t find you… and we miss you so much, we would have so much to tell you. I hope you’re well, I wish I could just know you are. Love, Tanja
I know that I still have to finish that indoor photo blog of different plants, but I couldn’t wait to share with you some news. What news? Well… the camera went out! Yep, you heard well! 🙂 If someone’s here for the first time, they’ll surely wonder what can be so special about camera going out, cameras normally serve to be taken around and capture special moments… well, in my case, camera didn’t go out for years, so this is a major event. It’s not that it exactly hit the road on a wild tour, it just walked with me around the building several days ago, but it’s still a huge step. And we were lucky enough to be greeted by a fearless butterfly, proudly posing for our first outdoor photo! I couldn’t have asked for more… 🙂
We also had a very funny encounter with an elderly lady who arrived from the bus station and found me standing in deep grass, staring at something on the ground. I had already made a photo of the butterfly, but I wanted to make another one just in case… and he decided to tease me a little bit, closing his pretty wings on me, so I was waiting for them to open again. The lady approached me and said – Hey you, kid (I look quite younger than my age but I am rarely among people, so whenever this happens it reminds me of that funny age-look dissonance) what are you doing in that deep grass?? Ticks are dangerous… do you know what a tick is? :)) I almost started laughing like a madman, but I somehow refrained myself – I could have made her a long speech on Lyme disease and available treatments, percentage of infected ticks etc. and there she was, asking me if I know what a tick was! Maybe it would be better for my nerves if I actually didn’t know any of what I do, but I’m a very well informed hypochondriac among other things. So I just replied – yes I know what they are, no worries. And she objected again – But they are dangerous, get out of that grass! I repeated – It’s really ok, this grass is hit by totally boiling sun, and anyhow it’s not their season, but thank you anyway… That’s how we closed the tick subject, but she still wanted to know what I was doing in the grass :)) – when the butterfly suddenly opened his wings again! I grabbed the bag and took the camera out hastily, which scared the lady as she jumped away, and then started laughing… Oh you just want to take a grass photo… :)) (she failed to see the butterfly). Then she wandered happily away down the forest convinced that I am both tick safe and sane, and me and the butterfly completed our little shooting session.
I continued my walk making a circle around the building and taking some more photos of wild flowers – if you asked anybody round here about them, they would just shrug and say – those are flowers?? Just plain wild grass growing everywhere, they’d better mow it soon… yet look how beautiful they are! Sometimes I think that our neighborhood is not particularly nice, apart from having a lot of green areas. Photos like this make me change my mind. 🙂
Here I closed the full circle around the block, found another butterfly to my pure astonishment and ran into the lady again, because she went slowly the other way through the forest. She looked at me as if she never saw me before and said – Hello there, how are you today? 😀 That was such a perfect “Twighlight zone” effect, as I was wondering who’s crazy, me or her, but I decided not to contemplate too much on it. I just replied – Very well thank you, how are you? – to which she responded – I’m fine, too. See you tomorrow! Tomorrow?? Where? And who was she in the first place? Maybe I should better stick to indoor photography… 😀
There are more wild flower photos, I’ll post them soon – hope you’ll enjoy them!
For quite a while I thought that every moss rose story inevitably faded away with last leaves that fall off the trees in autumn. Three years ago I was offered a hanging variety, it lasts really long, the woman said. I am always for experiments when it comes to flowers so I was more than willing to give it a try, not knowing what to expect. I was positively surprised by these cute, small needle like pink petals opening everywhere along their green cascading branches, but I made a mistake of pulling them out of the earth when they seemed withered for good with the arrival of winter. Last year I was very happy to see them again at the market, noticing however that they cost a lot more than the normal variety. They were sold by one quite interesting fellow who spoke Serbian with strong Russian accent – he explained that these are called Mediterranean moss roses, that they always have this same color and most importantly, that they are – perennials, meaning that they typically last for more than one year! Mediterranean climate in winter is way milder that our continental one, but still the Russian said if I covered the withered sprouts and roots with leaves and if the temperatures didn’t fall too low, the plants should survive. I did as I was told, and this year’s spring invigorated them to grow triple in size in comparison to how they looked last year. Hopefully, they will be here to cheer up the atmosphere the next year as well. 🙂
Shooting these photos was quite challenging, as they hang in cascades over the balcony’s box and I live on the second floor 😀 I could have dived down right onto my head, but fortunately I both survived and got some decent shots! 😀 Can you believe that I don’t have prominent fear of heights? I know, seems incredible even to me, but certain phobias simply had to miss me somehow. 🙂 Happy day everybody!
My flower balcony 7 days photo blog diary stopped at day 4 – it took me quite a while to get back on the track, but I decided not to give up, especially because my geranium posts got a lot of likes. 🙂
Day 5 was supposed to be dedicated to moss roses which is really interesting English name by the way – in Serbian we call it PRKOS, challenging word for translation… something like innate willingness to oppose especially to hardships, stand for yourself, do something in spite of circumstances that don’t work for you. We are well know round here to do things in the best possible way especially when somebody or something blocks us or prevents us from doing something, so I think this is a perfect plant for me to continue this flower story. 🙂 If my computer had died irreversibly, these pictures would have disappeared… but here they are, against many if not all odds.
My southern balcony is usually horribly warm, hit by the strongest noon sunshine, so plants struggle to survive – one of the plants that has absolutely no problem with this terribly warm sunshine is moss rose, which is why I used to plant a lot of them over there in the past years. They come in many different bright color varieties and I am really sorry now that I didn’t take pictures for quite a long time, but anyhow the point is that normally a moss rose flower is uniform in color – pink, red, yellow, white… To my astonishment, this little plant unfolded its flower and I was really amazed to discover – multicolor petals! I don’t think that there was some special manipulation here as I paid a normal, very low price per that small plastic container, it was perhaps just nature that had some fun mixing orange, pink and yellow seeds to come up with this unique solution. 🙂
These flowers open up only if hit by bright sunshine, and one flower lasts typically just one day, then another one opens up. They are sturdy and strong, real warriors – that was how they earned their name in my language. The plant lasts one year, which means that with the arrival of a new spring they have to be cultivated again from seeds or bought as already developed seedlings.
Flower days, day 4 🙂 Have I already mentioned that I have many different geranium types? 😀 I couldn’t resist sharing some more nice pictures, hoping that you’ll like them, too. My southern terrace is in a good covered position so all the flowers and other plants survived tonight’s heavy rainstorm with lots of thunders and lightnings, which hopefully means that I’ll have more nice photos to share in the coming months. Tomorrow I’ll present a new plant… 🙂 Till tomorrow then, have a great day or night wherever you are!
Here comes the sequel of the geranium story – these varieties are more classic, easier to grow from sprouts, have bigger flowers, but are less resistant to hard direct sunshine… in spite of their stunning blossom colors, I somehow prefer those tiny velvet-white little flowers I shared with you yesterday. They are no bigger than a fingernail, yet so strong and really charming. 🙂
Today’s geranium beauties are blossoming very well this year because we’re having tons of clouds and rain, even now in July – temperatures rise and fall like crazy every single day which is extremely unusual here where I live, and also very challenging health wise. Nevertheless, I’m doing my best to focus on these beautiful images to help me go through each of these days. It will also be a wonderful reminder of the fruits of this year’s summer, once the autumn and winter set in, putting nature to one more temporary sleep. 🙂
Here I am, trying to maintain my 7 days photo promise 🙂
The star of today’s story are geraniums – if I learnt something about growing flowers in not very friendly weather conditions, then I’d definitely say that geraniums are in most cases pretty robust and easy to grow plants, you should just pick the right variety and take care not to water the leaves if possible, or at least try not to leave water rest for too long on the plant. Hanging varieties are definitely a choice for heavy sun conditions, and this one blossoms all spring and summer long. It should be some sub variety of pelargonium – (regal) geranium Martha Washington, with its nice velvet-white little flowers.
I had to hold a branch with one hand to get a better shot, and I like how it turned out. It looks as though I am giving away these two little flowers as a gift – may it be my gift to you to brighten up this day! 🙂