Walking Cross-Town. With Rubik’s Cube.

new-york-city

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…]

Walking in Woods. Clueless.

trees-woods-light-umbrella

2:30 am.
We’re back on the front seat of the insomnia bus.
Unfinished business from work is clanking around.
No. Don’t get up. Not yet. Keep your eyes shut.
It’s dark. It’s quiet. I listen through my eyelids.
The North winds whistle, and freezing air leaks through the window sills.
It’s cold. I pull the comforter up.  Zeke, at my feet, stirs.

It keeps coming back.
It’s mid-December.  A late Saturday afternoon.  Overcast.  Rain is threatening.  I grab the leash, call for Zeke and we walk.

Baker Park is a small suburban park, a brisk ten minute walk.  It’s adorned with a half-sized aluminum backstop, grassy fields and a small playground.  A wooded area rings the back end with paths carved by the Boy Scouts in a summer project.

Zeke bounds ahead, his feet stirring the leaves that layer the earth.

I pass the first. It’s a glance.
I pass the second. It has my attention.
I pass the third. I slow my pace.
I pass the fourth. I’m troubled now.
I approach the fifth. I stop. Don’t you dare move to the 6th.

[Read more…]

Reading in Sanctuary. With Chia.

chia

Susan comes in with a spray bottle. I lift my head, but otherwise don’t move, following her silently as she moves across the room. She waters a small green plant on a white marble end table. She leaves. I drop my head back to my reading.

I’m in the Sanctuary. Sunday mornings and the end of each working day. The bedroom door closed; I’m on the bed. Zeke, with his head between his paws, is snoozing and leaning into me. We’re in the decompression chamber.

I glance over to my right.
I have never seen that plant.
I have never seen that end table.

I’m in the middle of Patti Smith’s memoir “Just Kids” and recall a line that stuck: “Nothing is finished until you see it.” Thank God for me for that. There’s a lot left to See.

Susan’s on the ground floor. I send her a text.

“How long has that plant been there?”
“Really, Dave? It’s been there for over a month.”

One month? It’s five feet away. I didn’t know it existed. I send a follow-on text. [Read more…]

Lightly child, lightly

fly-wings-clouds-gaby-herbstein

[…]

And I have dreamed
of the morning coming in
like a bird through the window
not burdened by a thought.

the light a singing,
as I had hoped.

[…]

Wendell Berry, from “The Design of The House: Ideal and Hard Time” from New Collected Poems


[Read more…]

Feel as if the top of my head were taken off

In 1870, Emily Dickinson was said to describe poetry this way:

 “If I read a book and it makes my whole body so cold no fire can warm me I know that is poetry. If I feel physically as if the top of my head were taken off, I know that is poetry. These are the only way I know it. Is there any other way?”

 And, then you read a book, that does exactly that.

[Read more…]

Lightly child, lightly

raining-texture

To be held
by the light
was what I wanted,
to be a tree drinking the rain,

— Linda Hogan, “To Be Held” from Dark. Sweet.


Notes:

  • Poem Source: I Hear It In The Deep Heart’s Core. Photo: uiethma with Rain
  • 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.”

Driving I-95 S. Miracle? All of it. 

gif-driving-illustration

7 am.
Clear. 50° F. Blue skies.
I’m flowing down I-95 S.
I lower the windows and rest my arm on the door frame.
The gusts fill the cabin. November chill.

70s on 7 is spinning Neil Sedaka and Bad Blood.
Doo-ron, doo-ron, di di, dit, do-ron-ron

To hell with these nonsensical lyrics. I plug my own.

I do what I want to do.
I hear want I want to hear.
I See. Thank God I can See.
Good Blood. Good Blood. Good Blood.

And the brain train starts to pull,
the steel couplers snap between the rail cars,
the words begin to slide down the rails.
And here they come. [Read more…]

Lightly child, lightly

Benoit Courti

It’s just time:
the book I read,
the letter I write,
the window I look out of.
Just a sleeve I keep trying to mend,
the spool diminishing.
Just my one hand writing words,
my other hand weighing the silences between them.

Li-Young Lee, The Winged Seed: A Remembrance


Notes:

  • Quote Source: Memory’s Landscape. Photo:Benoit Courti  (via mennyfox55)
  • 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.”

 

Lightly child, lightly

minimalist-legs-knees-hands

Awareness is your refuge:
[…]
It’s very practical and very simple,
but easily overlooked or not noticed.
When you’re mindful, you’re beginning to notice:
It’s like this

~ Ajahn Sumedho, The Sound of Silence


Notes:

  • Quote Source: Mindfulbalance. Photo:mm by zezn (via Journal of a Nobody)
  • 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.”

 

I do not dare breathe / Or move

harvest-moon-wheat

The moon drops one or two feathers into the field.
The dark wheat listens.
Be still.
Now.
There they are, the moon’s young, trying
Their wings. […]
I stand alone by an elder tree, I do not dare breathe
Or move.
I listen.
The wheat leans back toward its own darkness,
And I lean toward mine.

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