Driving I-95 S. With Whisk Brooms and Women.

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5:17 am. 25° F.  Rollin’ down I-95 South in light morning traffic, with other insomniacs and the red tail lights of the hulking convoys.

I roll the tape back to the scene last night.

“Wow!”
“Wow what?”
“How much did it cost?”
“$55.”
“$55?”
“$55.”
“$55 per eyebrow?”
“Really Dad?”
“What?”
“Eyelashes. Eyelashes Dad. And, who would get just one eyelash extended?”

I ponder that for a moment. She has a point there. [Read more…]

Lightly child, lightly.

light-portrait

People always said Ove and Ove’s wife were like night and day. Ove realized full well, of course, that he was the night. It didn’t matter to him. On the other hand it always amused his wife when someone said it, because she could then point out while giggling that people only thought Ove was the night because he was too mean to turn on the sun. He never understood why she chose him. She loved only abstract things like music and books and strange words. Ove was a man entirely filled with tangible things. He liked screwdrivers and oil filters. He went through life with his hands firmly shoved into his pockets. She danced. “You only need one ray of light to chase all the shadows away,” she said to him once, when he asked her why she had to be so upbeat the whole time. Apparently some monk called Francis had written as much in one of her books. “You don’t fool me, darling,” she said with a playful little smile and crept into his big arms. “You’re dancing on the inside, Ove, when no one’s watching. And I’ll always love you for that. Whether you like it or not.”

~ Fredrik Backman, A Man Called Ove: A Novel

Notes:

  • Photo: mwozniak
  • Prior “Lightly child, lightly” Posts? Connect here.
  • Post Title & Inspiration: Aldous Huxley: “It’s dark because you are trying too hard. Lightly child, lightly. Learn to do everything lightly. Yes, feel lightly even though you’re feeling deeply. Just lightly let things happen and lightly cope with them.”

It’s been a long day

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I remember too much;
I am like the air on a calm day
as it holds itself still,
letting nothing escape.
As the world holds it breath,
I keep memory in.

~ Colm Tóibín, The Testament of Mary


Notes:

But a man’s life comes full circle; you can learn

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Laddie was a useful dog on the farm for the next few years, and there were moments when he did good things and we understood each other— once we sorted two ewes that we needed for a show off a hundred others we didn’t need in a field and walked them home. But it was a rare moment, and I always knew he wasn’t as good as he should have been. Sometimes he’d run home when I lost my temper and shouted at him. He lost trust in me. I knew whose fault it was. Mine. I knew that I’d let him down. I look back and think he would have made a good dog if I had known a bit more. But a man’s life comes full circle; you can learn, and do better than your past. I am determined not to make the same mistakes again.

~ James Rebanks, The Shepherd’s Life: Modern Dispatches from an Ancient Landscape.


Notes:

Walking Cross-Town. With Rubik’s Cube.

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The First train arrives at Grand Central. 5:55 am.  I slide on my gloves and exit onto 48th.

I walk.

The Streets are free of the morning rush.  No horns. Light traffic. A handful of us are on the streets. One sneaks into a diner for a cup of coffee.  Another stands huddled along the wall, ember glowing from his cigarette, stomping his feet to stay warm. Millions sleep in the hulking towers looming above.

NYC, my kind of town, pre 6 am.

There boils the paradox. The craving for quiet, for stillness.  The Need for the warming salve of Solitude. And, yet, the wiring is to stay in Motion. A spinning top turning and turning and turning, only to teeter at dusk and collapse into bed. [Read more…]

Ove

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It’s a charming, page turning fable. An international bestseller.  A debut written by Swedish blogger Fredrik Backman.

Here’s Ariele Stewart with an excerpt from her book review: “If you like to laugh AND feel moved AND have your heart applaud wildly for fictional characters, you will certainly fall for the grumpy but lovable Ove.  Ove has staunch principles, strict routines, and a short fuse. People call him ‘the bitter neighbor from hell,’ but he’s just the type of man who puts his head down and gets his work done without help from “twitters” or “iPizzles” or whatever it is that people have their heads buried in these days. But while Ove is a taciturn, unsmiling curmudgeon of a man, his disapproving exterior hides an unexpectedly moving personal history–and the pain of his lost love for his recently deceased wife Sonia. Even now, it makes me teary to think of Ove’s beautiful love for his wife, his light leaving the world.”

There’s no single quote that I could find that catches the spirit or the rhythm of this story but this will capture a bit of the soul of Ove:

“Sonja said once that to understand men like Ove and Rune, one had to understand from the very beginning that they were men caught in the wrong time. Men who only required a few simple things from life, she said. A roof over their heads, a quiet street, the right make of car, and a woman to be faithful to. A job where you had a proper function. A house where things broke at regular intervals, so you always had something to tinker with. ‘All people want to live dignified lives; dignity just means something different to different people,’ Sonja had said. To men like Ove and Rune dignity was simply that they’d had to manage on their own when they grew up, and therefore saw it as their right not to become reliant on others when they were adults. There was a sense of pride in having control. In being right. In knowing what road to take and how to screw in a screw, or not. Men like Ove and Rune were from a generation in which one was what one did, not what one talked about.”

If you like to laugh AND feel moved AND have your heart applaud wildly for fictional characters, you will certainly love this novel.

A Man Called Ove: A Novel: Highly Recommended


Rain

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~ “Rain” by Raymond Carver


Source: Schonwieder

T.G.I.F.: Shut up and…


Source: Your Eyes Blaze Out

It’s been a long day

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Kafka said, “In man’s struggle against the world, bet on the world.”
Oh Yeah?
Do you agree?
No.
I’m with you.
People like us you bet on the man.
You most definitely bet on the man.

~ Ray Donovan, The Kalamazoo


Notes:

Lightly child, lightly.

red-paint-painting-drip

Grief is an amputation,
but hope is incurable haemophilia:
you bleed and bleed and bleed.

~ David Mitchell, Slade House

Notes:

  • Photo: via Mennyfox55. Quotes: Quotes From Books
  • Prior “Lightly child, lightly” Posts? Connect here.
  • Post Title & Inspiration: Aldous Huxley: “It’s dark because you are trying too hard. Lightly child, lightly. Learn to do everything lightly. Yes, feel lightly even though you’re feeling deeply. Just lightly let things happen and lightly cope with them.”
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