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:

Perspective of time and distance alter substance

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In the poems I have been thinking of and writing the last few years, I have grown aware that childhood is a subject somehow available to me all over again. The perspective of time and distance alter substance somewhat, and so it is possible to think freshly of things that were once familiar and ordinary, as if they had become strange again. I don’t know whether this is true of everybody’s experience, but at a certain point childhood seems mythical once more. It did to start with, and it does suddenly again.

~ Donald Justice, from an interview with The Missouri Review, quoted by Linda Pastan, “Yesterday’s Noise: The Poetry of Childhood Memory,” Writer (vol. 105, no. 10, 1992)


Credits: Art – Pascal Campion. Quote: Memory Landscape

 

Your turn. Go ahead. Light up your particle episode.

  
It is through the individual brain alone that there passes the momentary illumination in which a whole country-side may be transmuted in an instant…Man’s mind, like the expanding universe itself, is engaged in pouring over limitless horizons…The great artist, whether he is a musician, painter, or poet, is known for this absolute unexpectedness.  One does not see, one does not hear, until he speaks to us out of that limitless creativity which is his gift.

The flash of lightning in a single brain also flickers along the horizon of our more ordinary heads. Without that single lightning stroke in a solitary mind, however, the rest of us would never have known the fairyland of The Tempest, the midnight world of Dostoevsky, or the blackbirds on the yellow harvest fields of Van Gogh. We would have seen the blackbirds and endured the depravity of our own hearts, but it would not be the same landscape that the act of genius transformed. The world without Shakespeare’s insights is a lesser world, our griefs shut more inarticulately in upon themselves. We grow mute at the thought – just as an element seems to disappear from sunlight without Van Gogh. Yet these creations we might call particle episodes in the human universe – acts without precedent, a kind of disobedience of normality, unprophesiable by science, unduplicable by other individuals on demand. They are part of that unpredictable newness which keeps the universe from being fully explored by man.

Loren Eiseley, “Strangeness in the Proportion” from The Night Country


Image: eikadan

di·lem·ma (n)

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And it occurs to me that
there is a proper balance between
not asking enough of oneself and
asking or expecting too much.
It may be that I set my sights too high
and so repeatedly end a day in depression.
Not easy to find the balance,
for if one does not have wild dreams of achievement,
there is no spur even to get the dishes washed.
One must think like a hero to behave like a merely decent human being.

~ May Sarton, Journal of a Solitude


Notes: Image Source: Mennyfox55. Related posts: May Sarton

Saturday Morning: Standing in front of another new year

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[…]
Ocean, alive.
Earth, alive.
Sky, alive.
Air, alive.
Love, alive.
and here I was standing in front of another new year,
very much, alive.
And for the first time ever,
I could actually sense it,
in each one of my bones there was a whispering,
‘it’s going to be a good one,
dear.’

~ Sarah NorradA Poem to the New Year


Credits:

  • Sarah Norrad was born a Wild Woman in the rural and rugged forests of the Nimpkish Valley, on Vancouver Island, BC, a place where the mountains, forests and rivers speak louder than the People. She uses her body to teach Yoga, her mind to study Social Work, her soul to offer Community Counseling and her heart to write as a columnist for elephant journal.” Find her bio here: Elephant Journal
  • Poem Source: Thank you Make Believe Boutique.
  • Art: Gloria Petyarre “Bush Medicine” via Aboriginal Art World.  Petyarre is one of Australia’s foremost indigenous painters.
  • Don’t miss this painting in Blue.

 

Few lines and blocks of color carry an explosive and mystical power

georgia-o-keefe-red-canna

It is interesting to observe that what (Georgia) O’Keeffe wanted to achieve was achieved from the start, and has hardly changed— the reducing of a landscape, a flower, or whatever to essence, the isolation of a powerful image which she then enlarges. Sometimes the effect is merely pictorial, and becomes banal and even sentimental (the famous skull with roses), but at her best a very few lines and blocks of color carry an explosive and mystical power. These are paintings that expand the mind, and I imagine living with one very happily.

~ May Sarton, Journal of a Solitude


Source: The Red List: Georgia O’Keeffe, Red Canna, 1924

 

Sunday Morning. Only one possible prayer.

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There is really only one possible prayer:
Give me to do everything that I do in the day
with a sense of the sacredness of life.
[…]
Tomorrow the world crashes in again.

~ May Sarton, Journal of a Solitude: The Journal of May Sarton


Painting: Taras Loboda, Lady in Red 1961 (via Mennyfox55)

 

Who’s with me?

Kuoni_3


Artist: Malika Favre, a French artist based in London. “Her unmistakable style has established her as one of the UK’s most sought after graphic artists. Malika’s clients include The New Yorker, Vogue, BAFTA, Sephora and Penguin Books.” Check out her work here: Malika Favre, and on Instagram here.

 

Riding Metro North. With My Schwinn

image

5:40 am train to Grand Central.
50º F. Top coat-free morning.
Warm.

Morning papers.

Photo of the Day: Jogger in Beijing. Eyes visible. Face covered with a mask. Street flooded with smog. Mile 1 of apocalypse?

Climate change.
Trump
Fear.
Guns.
Grim.

Hoo-Ah!
Lt. Col. Frank Slade (aka Al Pacino) in Scent of a Woman: “there isn’t nothin’ like the sight of an amputated spirit.

Bend it. Bend it back.

Mid-summer. 1970’s. Billy’s out front. Brother Rich and cousin Jim tail far behind.  The fishing pole is in my right hand and bending in the wind. I’m griping the handle bars and pumpin’ my legs.  Up down. Up down.  We reach the final leg, a steep decline.  Heads are tucked down and in over the handle bars. The Schwinn accelerates.  We lean into the slow turn right. And then into the slow turn left. The white birches lining the road are a blur.

Metro North makes its first stop and rolls on.  I turn my gaze to the window.  Lights from lamp posts, street lights and apartments illuminate the darkness and whiz by.

I turn my right shoulder ever so slightly to cock the rod.  Out of my right eye are lush forests.  I cast. The floater and lead are suspended in the air. The worm is tucked in tightly on the hook. Towering above, the Cascade Mountains watch over. And the cloudless blue skies watch over all of us.  The Kootenay River, clear, clean and lined with moss covered stones, meanders down stream.

The train pulls into Grand Central. We spill out.

The floater, red and striped, is suspended.  Hanging, frozen in time.

Hold it.

Stop right there.

Don’t let me go.


Notes:

It’s been a long day

maryna-ignatieva-on-the-verge
Month by month
things are losing their hardness;
even my body now lets the light through;
my spine is soft like wax near the flame of the candle.
I dream; I dream.

~ Virginia Woolf, The Waves


Notes:

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