Category Archives: Life and living


Let Us Weep

…a grief
We could have averted
Had we not averted
Our own eyes… Continue reading


Left Behind

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It is all change
From birth to death
And all the years
In between…
Continue reading


Water’s Edge…

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Far off edges/ We see clearly/ Grow less defined/ As we move closer… Continue reading


And a New Year Begins – Again

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I wish we could go forward into the year to come like children, eyes wide open, looking around with wonder, looking forward to the adventures that await. Continue reading


Sky Fire

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The flaming heart/ Of the setting sun/ Lights fires in the sky… Continue reading

Water Drops

Drops, in the blue of dusk, Photo by Margaret Mair

Drops, in the blue of dusk, Photo by Margaret Mair

Water drop,
On my window.
Pulls colours
From light,
Turns them
Upside down.
Bends lines
We thought
We had made
Runs away
Rainy day greys, Photo by Margaret Mair

Rainy day greys, Photo by Margaret Mair

Written by Margaret Mair

Into The Blue…

Margaret Mair, Tumbling Water, Original Art

Margaret Mair, Tumbling Water, Original Art

I’m only one person, but there are many different aspects to my life. I am my own unique (and ever-changing) combination of knowledge, skills, desires and activities. As you are.

You never stop being all the things you are, but  there are times when you have to shift your focus. For me this is one of those times.

Soon I’ll be living on board our sailboat again. That means that right now I have to spend time working on that transition. There is furniture to send to new homes, books that need new readers, accumulated stuff to get rid of. There are things to clean, to move, to arrange and rearrange.

And that means that the time and energy that is usually focused here will be focused elsewhere for a little while. Though not for long…

Because art and writing are too deeply a part of me, too intertwined through every part of my life.

And because I know that if from time to time we must shift focus, that’s okay. It just means there’s a familiar place inside ourselves that’s waiting to welcome us back.

I hope you know that too.

Words and painting by Margaret Mair

Thank You, Mother Mine

Margaret Mair, Come With Me, Original Art

Margaret Mair, Come With Me, Original Art

It has taken me this lifetime to realize all that my mother gave me. Love, support, guidance, comfort. Encouragement to spread my wings, even when I didn’t feel ready. A place to leave, a place to come back to. And something more.

My mother was a very important part of my development as an artist.

Art covered our walls, artists and art lovers were among the people we knew. There were art books for looking at, art shows and exhibitions to visit. There was thoughtful commentary, and support for rising artists. My mother loved beauty, but she also loved work that made her think, awoke questions in her. Work that was not always comfortable to look at. She gave me a foundation for my own work, though I did not realize it at the time.

Later, after she saw some of my pictures (I was living far away), she encouraged me to keep working and learning, and hung one of my pastels in pride of place on the dining room wall. And she shared others’ appreciation of it with me. Encouragement which gave me courage to keep going forward.

Now, as I think about her, I am grateful for all this and so much more.

I am grateful that she encouraged me to explore, to stretch my wings even when I was afraid. That she taught me to be self-critical without being self destructive.

I am grateful that she shared more and more of herself as I grew older – including, to my initial surprise, a bawdy and irreverent sense of humour.

I am grateful that she taught me to look closely at the world around me, with an observant eye, an enquiring mind and an open heart.

I am grateful that she showed me that the world was full of many different people, good and evil, poor and rich, and that worth is a matter of character not circumstance. I am grateful that she let me see that talent achieves nothing without hard work, and that no-one succeeds by themselves.

Thank you, mother mine.


Margaret Mair, Between Earth and Sky, Original Painting

Margaret Mair, Between Earth and Sky, Original Painting

Spring is a busy time for me. We are getting our boat ready to sail, and the work spreads into and occupies all the time available. As time runs shorter other things are pushed aside. By the time we are ready to leave our winter resting place I am reminding myself that it’s all worth the time and effort.

The reward for all the work? Time spent on the water, reaching and exploring new places, seeing new things that will become part of my life and my work.

As happened with this painting.

We were in the Canaries, where volcanic rocks are rich with color, when I saw her – a young woman sitting, waiting, on a flat rock by the sea. Later I took what I had seen, and mixed in my own feelings about waiting, about being alone, about being by the sea…

We all need a place to breathe, a place where we can simply be ourselves. I breathe best by the water, or on it – in a place between the earth and the sky where the water stretches out before me, the sky arches high overhead, and the air moves freely.

Here I can think my own thoughts, dream my own dreams, contemplate and explore.

Here I feel in tune with the world. I can meditate with the sounds of water all around me, feeling the rhythm of the waves, the rhythms that give us life – and many other creatures too. I can feel the wave-beat in my body.

And I remind myself that a rock by the sea feels solid, as the earth seems solid. And yet the waves moving against it are washing that rock away. They are taking their time, doing their work patiently, whether we are there or not.

I think: we build our lives as if the foundation we have laid for them were as solid as that rock feels. Yet life itself, moving in its own rhythm, constantly changes us.

Rock slowly becomes part of the sea – and we, do we become part of the wider world around us?

Together We Soar

Margaret Mair, Butterfly Hands, Watercolor, original art

Margaret Mair, Butterfly Hands, Watercolor, original art

Today is International Women’s Day. It’s a day to celebrate how far women have come. It’s a time we can rejoice that so many can now make their own choices, can contribute their intelligence, skills and talents to building the world they live in.

It’s also a day to remember that around the world many women find themselves in difficult and dangerous situations simply because they are women.

When I think of us I think of butterflies, flying like dreams, like hope.  Before it soars the butterfly emerges from its chrysalis, spreads and dries its wings. Only when they are dry and ready can it fly.

Around the world we too need to emerge, spread our wings, and fly together. Imagine such a world, in which we accept and celebrate our similarities and our differences.  In which we give what we are capable of, no matter who we are.

International Women’s Day – a day to celebrate how far we’ve come and to imagine how much further we can go.