Tuesday, December 31, 2019

Old year out, New year moving in.....

I do not make resolutions before or after the New Year. I have lived a life from birth to a much older age with many ups and downs; highs and lows. Did I cause the ups? And did fate cause the catastrophic downs? Or vice versa? Who knows? What I do know is that I agree with Oscar Wilde when he implies that News Year resolutions are basically dust before they are even imagined. Ever since I was very young, I have been on alert. Anf after the death of my father when I was a child; I soon leaned with each new year that followed; that a new year would likely offer scatterings of good events but also "out of the blue"painful things that can knock one sideways. So we can make resolutions all we want, but as Oscar Wilde says, "Good resolutions are simply checks that men/women draw on a bank where they have no account." Ogden Nash pretty much fits my view of every New Year.

Good Riddance, But Now What?
By Ogden Nash

Come children, gather round my knee 
 Come, children, gather round my knee;
Something is about to be.
Tonight’s December thirty-first,
Something is about to burst.
The clock is crouching, dark and small,
Like a time bomb in the hall.
Hark! It’s midnight, children dear.
Duck! Here comes another year.

There are other rather earnest people like G.K. Chesterton that write: no doubt, in all earnesty:

"The object of a new year is not that we should have a new year. It is that we should have a new soul."

Well, we know that fresh new souls are not just given away. Can one even buy a soul? Or does he mean if we try harder and harder our soul can be recycled or rebuilt into a better form. Against all odds I suspect that could be done - but events outside of us can alter our ability to hold the line.

Resiliency, humour, close friends and family and creative satisfying work that we love to do are an important part of accepting what each of us is about to face.

Here is another by Tennyson that might ring a bell....filled with resolutions that might go bad if not taken care of by ringing them OUT.....

Ring Out, Wild Bells 

By Lord Alfred Tennyson

Ring out, wild bells, to the wild sky,
The flying cloud, the frosty light:
The year is dying in the night;
Ring out, wild bells, and let him die.
Ring out the old, ring in the new,
Ring, happy bells, across the snow:
The year is going, let him go;
Ring out the false, ring in the true.
Ring out the grief that saps the mind
For those that here we see no more;
Ring out the feud of rich and poor,
Ring in redress to all mankind.
Ring out a slowly dying cause,
And ancient forms of party strife;
Ring in the nobler modes of life,
With sweeter manners, purer laws.
Ring out the want, the care, the sin,
The faithless coldness of the times;
Ring out, ring out my mournful rhymes
But ring the fuller minstrel in.
Ring out false pride in place and blood,
The civic slander and the spite;
Ring in the love of truth and right,
Ring in the common love of good.
Ring out old shapes of foul disease;
Ring out the narrowing lust of gold;
Ring out the thousand wars of old,
Ring in the thousand years of peace.
Ring in the valiant man and free,
The larger heart, the kindlier hand;
Ring out the darkness of the land.

Sunday, December 15, 2019

From my home to your home - have a merry little Christmas!

Photo of my kitchen Christmas decorations. Copyright Margaret Buffie

Have yourself a Merry Little Christmas,
Let your heart be light
From now on, your troubles will be out of sight

Have yourself a Merry Little Christmas
Make the Yuletide gay
From now on, your troubles will be miles away

Here we are as in olden days
Happy golden days of yore
Faithful friends who are dear to us
will be near to us, once more.

Through the years, we all will be together
If the fates allow....
Hang a shiny star upon the highest bow
And have yourself a Merry Little Christmas now.....

 Song by Hugh Martin and Ralph Blaine


Tuesday, July 2, 2019

Flying North.....

Soon heading northeast along the highway, under the last few straggling lines of Canada Geese above.

A summer ahead - one hopes of cool evenings, warm days, and for me,  hours and hours of my own solitary canoeing, hiking, and revisiting the hidden places so  I can meet again again the great gray heron, painted turtles, the families of beavers who allow me access to their lives for a few minutes on rare evenings and the families of busy baby mergansers and mallards following their watchful mamas all lined up in a swaying row. 

One more summer to search out unknown mushrooms, new wild flowers, and to walk the trails in the boreal forest we've made over the years - and off the trails as well, always exploring. Looking down, with pleasure and a little fear at the discovery of bear tracks or wolf tracks on  the damn marsh trails along with the safe and smaller comma shaped hoof marks of deers. 

A whole summer ahead; of time with my little family in our own cottage. Making more memories. Talking, laughing, reading, painting, creating, and bobbing around on floaties .... and sometimes even sharing  a wiener roast in the dying light of day when the larger family is there. 

I am so fortunate to have this place. It keeps me grounded. It heals me. No television, no computer access and no radio. Only a phone. We're off!

Have a super summer everyone!


Tuesday, January 22, 2019

Imagination is more important than knowledge.....

Imagination is more important than knowledge. For knowledge is limited to all we now know and understand, while imagination embraces the entire world, and all there ever will be to know and understand.
 Albert Einstein.


       - the faculty or action of forming new ideas, or images or concepts of external objects not present to the senses.

  1.  - the part of the mind that imagines things.

  2.  - the ability of the mind to be creative or resourceful.

 - an act or process of forming a conscious idea or mental image of something never before wholly perceived in reality by the one forming the images (as through a synthesis of remembered elements of previous sensory experiences or ideas as modified by unconscious defense mechanisms)

 - the ability or gift of forming such conscious ideas or mental images especially for the purposes of artistic or intellectual creation


  1.  relating to or involving the imagination or original ideas, especially in the production of an artistic work.

Note from Margaret: 
Knowledge deals with facts; through science, observations of actual events, etc while imagination is driven by "inventive creativity" that is, images and ideas that are not actually real, but which can present an original view of a person’s creative thinking. I believe that knowledge is also an important part of imagination, because we often use our learned knowledge to recreate, reinvent, and envision new things  


 - facts, information, and skills acquired by a person through experience or education; the theoretical or practical understanding of a subject.

- awareness or familiarity gained by experience of a fact or situation.

Fiction - Intellectual invention

-  invention or fabrication as opposed to fact.

- literature in the form of prose, especially short stories and novels, that describes imaginary events and people.

Fiction as an invention or fabrication and creativity can also translate into other art forms:

Visual Invention: Art

- the expression or application of human creative skill and imagination, typically in a visual form such as painting or sculpture, producing works to be appreciated primarily for their beauty or emotional power.

- also the various branches of creative activity, such as painting, visual arts, music, literature, and dance.

I think that knowledge can, at times, be an important part of imagination. Creative people often use their knowledge to recreate, reinvent, and envision new things using that knowledge.  Margaret Buffie 

Here is just one example of one artist using his own knowledge to express his own internal image.

Jarek Yerks, The Library Dam 

Quotes and art that can enlighten us about Imagination.....

"You can't depend on your eyes when your imagination is out of focus."
Mark Twain

Rene Magritte, The False Mirror 

"There are no rules of architecture for a castle in the clouds". 
Gilbert K. Chesterton

Jarek YerksSurreal Castle in the Sky

 "I saw the angel in the marble 
and carved until I set him free."

Michelangelo, Angel

"Why does the eye see a thing more clearly in 
dreams than the imagination when awake?" 
Leonardo da Vinci

Henri  Rousseau,  The Dream

"My imagination is a monastery and I am its monk."
John Keats

 Rembrandt, Titus as a Monk

Casper David Friedrich, The Abbey in the Oak Wood 

The tree which moves some to tears of joy is in the eyes of others only a green thing that stands in the way. Some see nature all ridicule and deformity... and some scarce see nature at all. But to the eyes of the man of imagination, nature is imagination itself. William Blake

Van Gogh, The Olive Tree

            Logic will get you from A to B. Imagination will take you everywhere. 
Albert Einstein

 Samy Charnine, Sea Inside

You see things; and you say, ‘Why?’ 
But I dream things that never were; and I say, ‘Why not’? 
 George Bernard Shaw

Illustration art by Beatriz Martin Vidal

Friday, November 24, 2017

Winter's promise ....

In the depth of winter
I finally learned that 
There was in me
An invincible summer
Albert Camus, poet

Snowfall at Long Pine
Oil on canvas, copyright, Margaret Buffie

Monday, October 2, 2017

There's something about the water.....

There's something about the water - that solitary kind of peaceful feeling. 
You're on Earth but not quite. 
John C. Reilly

Photo copyright Margaret Buffie

When you see a fish you don't think of its scales, do you? You think of its speed, its floating, flashing body seen through the water... If I made fins and eyes and scales, I would arrest its movement, give a pattern or shape of reality. I want just the flash of its spirit. Constantin Brancusi

Photo copyright Margaret Buffie

The sky broke like an egg into full sunset and the water caught fire.
Pamela Hansford Johnson

Photo copyright Margaret Buffie

I love to watch the movement of light on water, and I love to play in rivers and lakes...  Berlie Doherty

Photo copyright Margaret Buffie

Photo copyright Margaret Buffie

Clouds reflected in  water and a swirl from a Whirligig Beetle.
Photo copyright Margaret Buffie

 I will do water - beautiful, blue water. Claude Monet 
(famous for his lily pad paintings)

Photo copyright Margaret Buffie

Photo copyright Margaret Buffie

Photo copyright Margaret Buffie

Photo copyright Margaret Buffie

Nothing is softer or more flexible than water, yet nothing can resist it. Lao Tzu

Photo copyright Margaret Buffie

Photo copyright Margaret Buffie

 Photo copyright Margaret Buffie

 Study how water flows in a valley stream, smoothly and freely between the rocks.
Morihei Ueshiba
Photo copyright Margaret Buffie

 Photo copyright Margaret Buffie

If there is magic on this planet, it is contained in water. Loren Eiseley

I'm off to the lake for close-up of the cabin for the winter. Hope to take photos of autumn around the lake. 

To quote Claude Monet:
These lansdcapes of water and reflection have become an obsession.

All photos on this page are my copyright property. Please respect my rights. Thanks!

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

One Touch of Nature....

One touch of nature makes the whole world kin.  William Shakespeare

July Sunrise over the Bay
Photo copyright MargaretBuffie

I have been away most of the summer at my lake home in the boreal forest in North West Ontario. We don't receive internet there. And in a way, leaving it behind is always a secret relief for me. Cutting the strings to a world in turmoil is freeing and also healing. It also offers me time to refill empty chambers of creativity and allows me quiet spaces for reflective thoughts about the present and the future. They say that nature is restorative - without asking anything back from us - and this year, as always, nature offered me solace, and many moments of solitude to just sit and look around and breathe in everything around me -  and I am deeply grateful for it.

Also, without question, the beauty and the still unknown around me during those many days and nights and mornings full of curiosity and movement and stillness; whether in my canoe or walking along forest paths or sketching in my small art tablets, once again reminded me that it is up to every one of us to find a way to "touch" nature. Only in that way can we know that we must become the stewards of the environment we each live in.

It is always hard to close up the cabin and leave it alone to take on the winter snows and winds and the white and blue icy days.

So, for the next while, I will remember, again, the time I spent there in photos.

In the next week I will be adding more to my blog. I hope you enjoy seeing them. 

Trees and stones will teach you that which you can never learn from masters.  Saint Bernard de Clairvaux

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Quote of the Week

"A flowerless room is a soulless room, to my way of thinking; but 
even one solitary little vase of a living flower may redeem it."
Vita Sackville-West

I agree. This time, however, my house is filled with the smell of white lilacs. Our neighbour's tree bloomed while we were at our lake cabin and I will probably have only one day to enjoy them. But the fragrance alone is worth it.

White Lilacss
Painting:  Oil on Canvass, © Margaret Buffie