Monday, February 13, 2012

The Atoms of A Life

Virginia Woolf called them our "secret deposit of exquisite moments" -- all the trivial details that when collected together constitute the sum of who you are.
Virginia Woolf (née Stephen), by Lady Ottoline Morrell, June 1926 - NPG  - © National Portrait Gallery, London
(Virginia Woolf by Ottoline Morrell, 1926. Via here.)

From Mrs. Dalloway:

The hall of the house was as cool as a vault. The cook whistled in the kitchen. She heard the click of the typewriter. It was her life and, bending her head over the hall table she bowed beneath the influence, felt blessed and purified, saying to herself...how moments like this are buds on the tree of life (as if some lovely rose had blossomed for her eyes only).


What would the atoms of your life include?

A quiet morning?
(All photos by LBG.)

An especially good cup of coffee?

A colorful stack of freshly laundered quilts?

The day the tree bloomed?

A fruitless afternoon of fishing?

The well-worn welcome of a favorite chair?

The otherworldly gleam of a drinks tray as the late afternoon sun hits it?

The silence of the mountains?


If your Monday isn't shaping up to be exactly the way you hoped it would, stop right now and console yourself with this little thought: In the long run, it's not the big things you're going to remember.

25 comments:

Lily said...

looking through the prism of a peacock feather just at this moment and smiling...
Thank you for the reminder!

ps... tapping open the window to your world via this blog is also a very grand pleasure!

Lisa Borgnes Giramonti said...

Oh Lily! Thank you! xxxx

CarolynRenee said...

Very lovely thoughts, Lisa. Really enjoyed this. ~carolyn

Pamela Terry and Edward said...

SItting by a crackling fire with a big white dog's head resting on my feet.

WMM said...

Wonderful sentiments! It never ceases to amaze me how taking a moment to ponder the "atoms" inevitably leads one to see the whole, and I think that Virginia Woolf and Madeleine L'engle had a lot in common! I have had one of those days and your blog has cheered me immensely and reminded me that that lovely sanwich I just ate is exquisiteness itself!

Lisa Borgnes Giramonti said...

WMM: I am so glad!

Vava (aka Virginia) said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
pve design said...

Just washed our daily lettuce and herbs....and smelled the dill, the watercress and thought about making tiny sandwiches...and tea for Tuesday.
We shared some scrumptious slow cooked beef shanks and are about to make a fire and sift through the reams of newsprint.
Afterwards a nice warm bath and then to slumber.
pve

VictoriaArt said...

Sitting by the fire, hearing it crackling, the dog is snoring and I hear the voices of my children!
Hubby opposite me reading! Heavenly moments!
Thank you for a lovely post of reverence!

Susan said...

Thank you for a lovely post and the oh so necessary reminder in this frenetic world.

helen tilston said...

Hi Lisa
The image of Luca with friend in deep sleep and yet companionship is superb.
Listening to a pack of horses run to the barn for breakfast. The song of the cuckoo as she heralds spring time in Ireland. The smell of turpentine and linseed oil as one starts a new painting. Thank you for reminding me to continue to may "secret depsits of exquisite moments"

Happy Valentine's day

donna baker said...

A friend of mine, Lucinda of Cobalt Violet, had a saying posted the other day.... " How we spend our days, is how we spend our life," by Annie Dillard. Apropo methinks.

Michelle said...

As always, insightful and thought provoking ... Virginia would be proud. My atoms this week were a quiet, peaceful Sunday evening watching winter's first snow while my daughter and I cozied up in front of the fireplace and lost ourselves in Downton Abbey with a cup of hot tea and the perfect sliced pear. Also, I simply must know, what type of beautiful tree was that?

24 Corners said...

Wonderful, special sentiments and photos Lisa. My recent "little thing" was Miss. Ginger's sausage body lying along mine as I thoroughly enjoyed an Elizabeth Gaskell movie marathon ('North & South' was beautiful, and 'Cranford' absolutely delightful)...also, a little thank you drawing left for me to find by a sweet student...it thorougly touched and melted my heart.
xo J~

Emily said...

As I am reading this I am sorting through some trinkets to assemble a necklace while drinking tea and listening to the beloved cellist Zoe Keating. My idea of a perfect morning.

Jenny said...

Just beautiful!

mrs.fiorito said...

What a great reminder to pay attention to the small quiet moments in life.

Rocio said...

Oh Lisa, what a lovely post!! So true indeed, those little things....
Reading with my five year old in our bed on Valentine's day as "it is a special day", trying to fix in my retina those little hands holding her book....ask me in 20 years and I will describe every little inch.
Thank you!!

Heather Taylor said...

Absolutely beautiful!

arh. Iulia Toader said...

I really liked the whole idea...I sometimes feel small and unimportant, but when I look in my children's irises, I feel good, like my own unimportant universe is actually THE true miracle...

Maryl said...

What has made me serene, content and happy this week is my newly organized hallway closet. Wait, hear me out. I don't know why I think it's so beautiful; I even wrote about it on my blog. Martha Stewart won't be stopping by for a photograph but I've kept the doors open and I keep smiling. I think I'm allowed after reading your post. Thank you.

WMM said...

Lisa - you got a shout out in this month's instyle magazine! congrats!

Julie Anne Rhodes said...

What a great thought for the start of each day - I can make visual grateful list from the 30,000 + photos on my computer.

Jennifer said...

A beautiful sentiment. Thank you for a lovely post <3

Smart Other Blogs said...

Good another post :)
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