A sign of the times…

(This barn wall looks like a piece of mosaic art)

Sometimes when I can’t think of what to tell you at the end of a day I look at the pictures I’ve taken. I’m often surprised at what I see. In the moment when I take a picture it’s because something feels right. Plus, I always take more than one. To have six pictures on a blog I have to take at least three times that amount. Then I have a choice. Maybe not a choice of subject but a choice of angle or light or detail.

(The river)

I’m just using my phone so it’s not complicated, the most important part of the process is – take a picture. I know if I don’t have a picture on a particular day I can always use one of the spares from a previous day but it feels like a mistake. I imagine you will understand better what I’m saying if there’s a picture of the thing I’m talking about. I wonder if the blog is about pictures more than anything else.

(Can you see the two Christmas trees?)

Anyway, just now I was looking at a picture of an old signpost attached to a building in the town of Chaunay, where we stayed on Monday night. It turns out the picture tells a short story of our journey this season. Here’s the signpost:

(Signpost in Chaunay)

I took the picture because I love… old signs, the colour blue and the feeling I got when I saw it. There was a scaffolding around the building and the sign was up on the second floor but I didn’t climb the scaffolding… I stretched a bit instead. Then I walked on. Now as I’m looking at the picture I notice what it says…

(Still autumn, barely)

At the top it says, Vienne, the department. Next line says it’s the R10 road from Paris to Bayonne. Next line is the name of the town, Chaunay. Then there’s an arrow showing the direction and distance to the town of Chez-Fouché, 5.2 kilometers and the town of Couhé, 10.6 kilometers.

(Night sky in Chaunay)

As a signpost for modern travel it’s not much use, it’s too small, the font is minuscule, there’s too much information on it, it only gives the closest towns not the biggest towns, its flat on a wall so you’d have to stop to read it.

As a signpost for going slow and stopping to look at the little things, it’s perfect, Mairead.

(There’s Chaunay on the N10)

Little Signs of Creative Misery.


(Busy insect in Mount Usher gardens last week)

I’m immersing myself in creative things. Making and doing but also reading about the creative process and watching movies about creative people. And everywhere I turn I see more articles or books or movies about creativity. It’s almost like there’s a catalog of creative information following me around, showing me more and more. But why would it be following me around?


(View from the gazebo)

Maybe it’s true that when we decide we want something, everything around us conspires to give it to us? Conspires to show us it is possible (to have this thing we want) at every turn? To tell us there is a way and the way is not as difficult as we think? To pull us out of our habits and our normal thinking? Maybe we are too stubborn to notice? Too happy in difficult, troubled, heavy work? Too content in awful life? If I can just ignore the little signs, then I can continue to be content in misery. Ah, lovely misery!


(A place to rest?)

The Little Signs…. the project we can’t find time to do. The book we can’t find time to write. The painting we can’t find time to paint. The quilt we can’t find time to sew. The holiday we can’t find time to take. The blog we can’t find time to write. The photograph we can’t find time to capture.  When we wish we could do something but just don’t have the time to do it… it’s a sign. In fact, in general when I wish, it’s a sign. The signs draw me in, a reminder of joy, but if I just can’t pull myself away from the luxury of misery…..

Time to take a break from misery, Mairead.