Saturday, April 27, 2013


and it's typical that I wait until the very end of the day to mention it. Once, when I held  back until the last moments of a workshop just as everyone was about to leave, to say I wanted to speak, the psychologist leading the group looked at his watch and said "Do you always wait until the last minute to ask for attention?" I admitted, yes, that's what I do. But he stayed, everyone stayed, and I had my turn and it was life-changing. 

That was thirty-eight years ago but I'm still convinced that time waits for me and that I can stretch it like elastic and that, somehow, I can get away with it. Just because. Because it's me. It's also the reason I avoid as far as possible answering the question "How old are you?" Call it denial, call it delusion, call it whatever you like but some stubborn little voice insists that I don't have to follow the rules of time and I'm not going to contradict that comforting and optimistic voice with stupid facts. 

Asking for attention (late) was, I suppose, the main reason I started this blog ten years ago and am continuing it, though less frequently. All sorts of other factors come into it but at the core was (and is) the perennial cry: 

Hey! I'm over here! Hello? Anyone there? 

Isn't that the cry heard all over the internet, with various degrees of intensity or diffidence? Expressed beautifully or poorly, patiently waiting or giving up when no echo is heard? We all want to communicate, to share, to eavesdrop, but I think that a basic human need is to be acknowledged, to be recognised. As in: oh, there you are! 

I AM. You ARE. That's what blogging is about, isn't it?

Serendipitously it was via one of my favourite blogs that I recently discovered someone whose thinking resonates profoundly with me, Professor Jacob Needleman. Lucy, of box elder fame, mentioned that Tom, her husband, has just started his own blog, gwynt, so of course I went to check it out and was not disappointed. Go there to savour for yourself his perfectly presented and nourishing food for thought. I was also intrigued, in his profile, by the list of Tom's favourite books and that's why I followed up Prof. Needleman on Google and then, excited, ordered his book Lost Christianity which I am currently enthralled by. 

But it's five minutes to midnight now so I'll be damned if I don't post this before my blogday celebration ends! No time to include an image...I'll do that tomorrow. Go ahead, congratulate me! 
Hey, anyone there?



Spongebelly said...

Of course, Natalie. We're all here. Congratulations on the anniversary, but mostly for sharing your wonderful outlook and creativity with us all.

Natalie d'Arbeloff said...

Oh thank you Greg! Glad to know it's not a big black emptiness out there.

Late last night there was an extraordinary full moon, surrounded by a bright blue ring. I've never seen that before - is it something that often happens? I took some photo, don't know if the ring will show up.

Peter said...

And I do congratulate you! And I agree entirely with you about why we blog, why we're on the Internet. And I love Lost Christianity. But, most of all, I congratulate you! I love your writing and your art, and I'm so glad you're here.

marja-leena said...

Happy 10th Blog Birthday, Natalie! I'm so glad for the internet and blogs for how else would I have ever met you!? Here's to many more years of sharing your wonderful work and bubbly enthusiasm.

Dave Bonta said...

Happy 10th blogday, Natalie! Glad you're still at it. (And I happen to share your delusion about the elasticity of time.)

Dick said...

Happy happy Blogday, Natalie! If you'd mentioned it last week I'd have brought you flowers! You're still here, I'm still here and so are most of the closer friends that we've made during the past 10 years. Onwards..!

Lucy said...

Happy birthday Blaugustine! So glad to be enriched not only by your talent and all its works but also by your kindness, humour and generosity.

In fact it was Peter, above, who got Tom into Needleman; I read his wonderful review of Lost Christianity some years ago and passed it on to him to read, which led him to get hold of the book and many others subsequently. So hooray for blogging connections, which go on and on and round and round...

Tom said...

May I add my congratulations and best wishes along with all the others. One can be in denial about time I suppose, but isn't time supposed to be somewhat illusory anyway, if not an out-and-out illusion? Incidentally, if Gwynt never serves any other purpose except to put you in touch with the writings of Prof. Needleman, it will have been worth it.

Rouchswalwe said...

Late to the party, but haPpY TenTh!! Glad to have discovered your blog through Lucy and Tom.

Rain Trueax said...

happy blog anniversary. :)

Jean said...

Happy tenth anniversary of blogging, Natalie - it's so amazing to have thus met you!

I'm not sure how far I agree with you that it's all about asking for attention, except insofar as all human communication is, of course, about that. But about so much more too. For me, blogging is all about finding like minds - for good or ill (both, I suppose), I've never been all that interested in the attention of minds that aren't.

Natalie d'Arbeloff said...

Peter, many thanks for being a loyal reader of the Blaug and now I know it was you who alerted Lucy then Tom then me (and no doubt many others who follow your blog) to Prof. Needleman's books, I must thank you for that inspiration too.

Marja-Leena, I appreciate your presence here so much and the joy your own work provides each time I visit your pages.

Dave,thank you! If a realist like you shares my time-delusion then it's no delusion at all. Bravo for confirming
my certainty that an infinity of time stretches before me still.

Dick, bring flowers next time! So glad we're solid survivors of the 'Goodbye Blogging' syndrome, even if we've sometimes been tempted to join the exiles. Let's surprise ourselves and still be here in another decade.

Lucy,I'm immensely grateful for those happy connections and coincidences and it seems that the more time passes, the closer and more fruitful these become.

Tom,thank you very much. I'm so glad you decided to start blogging and from your first posts you have captured my full attention because those matters you previously thought would be of no interest to anyone happen to be of deep interest to me.

Rouchswalve, thanks! I've seen you in the comments boxes of many blogging friends and am delighted to see you turning up here. Come in and take a virtual tour of my cyber-home, there are many rooms and you're welcome in all of them.

Rain, it's great to know you're still visiting here and I wish you weren't so far away geographically - I'd love to turn up at your farm one day and to sit down at your table for a long, live conversation. But I'm afraid it can only happen in imagination.

Natalie d'Arbeloff said...

Jean, yes, I too thank the cybersphere for introducing us to each other and I thank you for being here.

I would have said "attention from like minds" because that's mainly what I meant, but on the other hand, attention from unlike minds can be quite stimulating. In my life, minds which have been totally unlike mine, perhaps even opposed to mine, have taught me a great deal about myself - perhaps even more than I've learned from like minds. I'm not absolutely sure that agreement is necessarily essential.

Beth said...

Tried to post at the other blog but don't think it worked... OK, well, I'm late in doing so but dearest Natalie, huge and heartfelt congratulations on your tenth year of blogging. I know it's had its ups and downs but how happy I am that we met here ten years ago, and that you are still posting your amazing artwork and stories of your life to delight us and make us think more deeply about What It All Means! Your blog has been one of the most important to me, partly because of the interests we share, and partly because of your courage in putting yourself out there for us to get to know -- which is both why and how we became friends. You've always been willing to say how you felt, but not to sit there stagnating -- in every statement I've always felt there was a question, a sense that we don't arrive but continue to grow on this journey, and that you were determined to live your life that way. I admire your work and your life, and am inspired by them, but most of all by your irrepressible spirit which is both wise and childlike: a combination so few people achieve. So here's to the next ten, and to all the projects and adventures to come -- thank you so much for being You!

Natalie said...

Dear Beth, I'm so happy and grateful to have your presence at this blogday party, something feels wrong if you're absent! Thank you so much for your words, always heartfelt in their expression and in the way I receive them. Indeed we are friends and colleagues for life - I can't believe that it's only ten years since I've known you!

Pica said...

Natalie -- I am so sorry to be late to your blogday party, but hope you'll forgive my tardiness and accept some virtual cake.

Please don't stop. I love Blaugustine.

Natalie d'Arbeloff said...

Pica, you're always very welcome at my ongoing party and your cake will be entirely consumed. Thank you, my friend.