Saturday, 7 January 2012

Subscriptions and Alice Popkorn

Totally blown away by this picture by Alice Popkorn called Path of Life.  Love it, love it.

I came across it while checking out a new blog.  I almost never subscribe to blogs by email.  I enjoy (sometimes) reading Country Living magazine, so the Badger kindly gave me a subscription to it as a gift – I felt so pleased, looking forward to it arriving every month; and of course one saves a lot of money by taking out a subscription.  But as the months went by I found it wasn’t as I’d expected and imagined.  To my surprise, much of the pleasure had been not the magazine itself but the idea of it.  I liked looking in the newsagent wherever I happened to be, wondering “Is the new issue out yet?  Do they even stock it here?”  And the triumphant “Aha!” of pouncing on the new Country Living when I found a newsagent that stocked it.  Once I had the sub, I still thought “Oh, good” when it arrived – but it was indeed increasingly “Oh, good”, not “Oh, good!”   So when my dear Badger offered to renew the subscription, I said no.  He is a kind (even indulgent!) husband, so he bought it anyway, thinking I might be being frugal and self-denying.  The next year I got to the mail first and destroyed the reminder before he saw it.  Having it delivered every month actually kind of immunised me against Country Living, so that I don’t really enjoy it at all any more.

I have not long ago taken out a subscription to Resurgence because you can’t get it in the regular shops near me.  I will take it for a year then maybe have a rest from it.  I have a kind of love-hate relationship with Resurgence: as a publication it is heavily influenced (as you might expect) by the personality of its editor, Satish Kumar – but while part of me finds him inspirational part of me finds him intensely irritating, and reading his articles I often think the editor could do with rather more rigorous editing himself.  I used to subscribe to Resurgence years ago, until the irritation overwhelmed the inspiration, so I stopped it for a long while – but it really is one of its kind, unique and special.  The Badger has a subscription to Permaculture, which is a wonderful publication – brilliant, totally recommend.  He also has the Church Times which is jolly good and has the advantage of being printed on the kind of paper that’s suitable for lighting the fire.

But when it comes to blogs, I have an email subscription to Zen Habits which functions something like a Tent Inspection – the email alerts remind me that I’m doing my life all wrong even if I can’t always find the motivation to do anything about it.  I also have a subscription to Magdalena Perks’ blog Anglican, Plain, principally because Magdalena is one of the dottiest people I have ever met (I say this with affection); you can see it in her eyes, she has the gaze of a fox!  She walks the wild side of plain and intrigues me immensely.  That alone would not be enough to make me subscribe to her blog (I'd still read it because it's fascinating, but I wouldn't get the alerts); but I worry about her – that’s why I have the email alerts.  Magdalena has the courage and the individuality to pursue her path of choice against all the odds, despite her husband’s chronic health problems and the terrible allergies that dog her.  Her determination and vision are colossal, admirable, and I like to keep a check on how she is so that she can’t fall into any rows or disasters without my being alerted at least to pray and care.

But for the most part what I like is checking down the list in the sidebar here to see who’s posted something new; part of the pleasure is that hopeful moment when I come over here to Kindred of the Quiet Way, checking out what you’ve been up to over in your neck of the woods.  For some reason Julie’s blog (which is always worth reading) doesn’t take in terms of image and date of last post – but I click on it every time just in case she’s written something new.  If I subscribed to them all the irritation factor would kick in and I’d feel bombarded – but coming to see who’s posted what always feels like fun.

However – I have just taken out an email subscription to a blog;  Tess at Anchors and Masts has created a blog called Pilgrim’s Moon, which she describes as about “growing older on our own terms, a counter-cultural path for women.”  She says this about it: “[Pilgrim’s Moon] seeks to explore new ways of aging that move away from the main alternatives society gives us of looking abnormally young for as long as possible or fading into a blue-rinse twilight zone and shutting up.”

Anchors and Masts is an excellent website, and I really like the sound of Pilgrim’s Moon  (I’ll post a link in the side-bar here as well): when I went across to check it out, almost the first thing my eye fell on was the beautiful picture by Alice Popkorn called Path of Life up at the top of the post here.  I think her pictures are amazing.  Amazing.  AMAZING.  A.mazing.   I mean, just look at this one:

Or this one!

You can see a gallery of her work here.

Oh.  I got side-tracked!  I came here meaning to tell you some stories about mice, but that’ll keep till tomorrow.


365 Day 7 (if you don’t know what I’m talking about, see here)

Jesus (see this post).  He found a home!  When I took him round to Buzz’s place yesterday she confessed that when we had him in his manger at Christmas time she hadn’t looked at him properly, because she knew that if she looked at him she’d want to take him home.  ‘Once a mama…’ eh?

Anyway, he will be put to work helping run Buzz’s Tuesday group Bébé au Lait, which is for mothers with babies and toddlers and ladies expecting babies – a place to find out about slings (and arrows of outrageous fortune) and baby info – think about birth stories and gentle parenting, and be in an environment where both breast-feeding and bottle-feeding mothers can feel welcomed and accepted.  Jesus, being correctly sized and weighted for a newborn, will come in handy for demonstrating slings without bothering anyone’s actual baby, and for demonstrating breast-feeding positions etc.  Perfect.


Julie B. said...

The pictures are beautifully surreal - what a gift. Thank you for sharing, Ember. It's fun to learn about new sites from you!

About your Country Life subscription - sometimes it's the anticipation of things, the thinking about things, that is really the true joy, don't you think? It's odd - we know we need to live as fully present as possible in each moment we're given, yet often it's the looking ahead that brings the thrill. I honestly believe this points to the fact that we are eternal beings living slightly uncomfortably within the confines of time.

Thank you for including my little blog in your post today. :)

Ember said...

Hi honey x :0)

Bean said...

I too worry about Magdalena, especially when she doesn't post for a while. I keep her in my prayers, they have had a rough year.


Ember said...

Yes, difficult and brave choices, creative spirit.

Tess Giles Marshall said...

Ember, thank you so much for this link and I'm really delighted you're subscribing to my blog.
Yes, aren't Alice Popkorn's pictures amazing? I've spent many happy hours looking through them, and their recurrent themes of flight and journey - yes, pilgrimage - and magical moments never fail to amaze me.
On Resurgence, this is interesting. I've not had the same experience of feeling irritated, but I am also in a period of lapsed subscription right now. For me it's because the issues are so full of content I can't keep up. Once I've read the last three I shall resubscribe.
You're right to advise cautions in subscribing, both to magazines and blogs. Life can't be simple if we try to gobble too much information. In a way I think it's worse than too much food.

Ember said...

Hi Tess! Waving! My husband (on here, the Badger) is a publisher who wades through any number of manuscripts in the course of his working days. He took a look at the Pilgrim's Moon blog this morning while reading through in a catchup of my own posts, and he commented particularly on how well you write (I agree).

Tess Giles Marshall said...

Well... tell the Badger many thanks from me! And thank you too.

Ember said...