Did you feel this too?


After great pain, a formal feeling comes—

The Nerves sit ceremonious, like Tombs—

In the days after Paris, Emily Dickinson’s poem kept ringing through my mind as I tried to figure out what I felt—and, surprisingly, didn’t feel. I did not, as the facts emerged and the story took its full size, feel surprised. Nor did I feel swept by emotion, as I had in the past. The sentimental tweeting of that great moment in “Casablanca” when they stand to sing “La Marseillaise” left me unmoved. I didn’t feel anger, really. I felt grave, as if something huge and terrible had shifted and come closer. Did you feel this too?


I feel certain that in the days after the attack people were thinking: This isn’t going to stop.

~ Peggy Noonan, Uncertain Leadership in Perilous Times

Image: The Economist

Lightning. Hit me.


At times the truth shines so brilliantly that we perceive it as clear as day. Our nature and habit then draw a veil over our perception, and we return to a darkness almost as dense as before. We are like those who, though beholding frequent flashes of lightning, still find themselves in the thickest darkness of the night. On some the lightning flashes in rapid succession, and they seem to be in continuous light, and their night is as clear as the day… By others only once during the whole night is a flash of lightning perceived… There are some to whom the flashes of lightning appear with varying intervals; others are in the condition of men, whose darkness is illumined not by lightning, but by some kind of crystal or similar stone, or other substances that possess the property of shining during the night; and to them even this small amount of light is not continuous, but now it shines and now it vanishes, as if it were “the flame of the rotating sword.” The degrees in the perfection of men vary according to these distinctions.

~ Moses Maimonides, a twelfth-century Jewish philosopher and astronomer in the The Guide for the Perplexed

Credits: Quote – Brainpickings. Photo: Andrew S. Gray (via Madame Scherzo)

Riding Metro North. Giving Up the Ghost.


Hump Day. Hump it was.

It’s the 9:06 pm train from Grand Central. A 15-hour day and it wasn’t over.

I sit with other weary commuters heading home. The train is silent.

I can’t get comfortable. I shift left, and then right and then lean against the window. I give up. I need to be horizontal, in my bed.

It’s Haunting. A Ghost. It’s Hilary Mantel’s Giving Up the Ghost:

The faintest movement, a ripple, a disturbance of the air. I can sense a spiral, a lazy buzzing swirl, like flies; but it is not flies. There is nothing to see. There is nothing to smell. There is nothing to hear. But it is motion, its insolent shift, makes my stomach heave. I can sense— at the periphery, the limit of all my senses— the dimensions of the creature. It is as high as a child of two. Its depth is a foot, fifteen inches. The air stirs around it, invisibly. I am cold, and rinsed by nausea. I cannot move. I am shaking. . . . This is the beginning of shame.

You are tired. You know that’s it.  Let it go Man. [Read more…]

When you were born they put you in a little box and slapped a label on it

“When you were born they put you in a little box and slapped a label on it. But if we begin to notice these categories no longer fit us, maybe it’ll mean that we’ve finally arrived—just unpacking the boxes, making ourselves at home.”

John Koenig, The Dictionary of Obscure Sorrow

Related Posts: The Dictionary of Obscure Sorrow

Got it


Source: Nikkie Lamb




Lightly child, lightly


The heavy things
have come so lightly lately.
But this was what momentum meant:
momentous moments sitting
lined up like shot glasses.
Throw your head back
and throw back your life.
This was predictable;
this is inertia.
Life was immovable,
till it moved.



  • Image Source: Mennyfox55
  • Poem Source: To Escape From the Commonplaces of Existence
  • 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.”

A Murmur. Yes, Maybe.


For once
the mocking, predictable voice
inside my head that says “No way”
is silent.
In fact, I think I can just barely make out
some other, quieter voice, whispering,

― Katrina Kenison, Magical Journey: An Apprenticeship in Contentment

Photograph: Anka Zhuravleva (“Ginger“)



Time to, Begin. Move the blood.


A new place.
Awakened eye
Seeing freshly.
What does that do to
The old blood moving through
Its channels?

~ Naomi Shihab Nye, Fresh from You & Yours

Notes: Poem: Thank you Whiskey River. Gif: bakabt from Sound! Euphonium

Courage. No. Excuse me. Real Courage.


The most beautiful flowers of courage
are not seen in the showy,
loose petalled bouquets of our leaders,
enormous gardenias perfuming whole banquet rooms.
No, they are blossoms like this:
a child-sized young woman with a homely face,
alone on a seat on the city bus,
eyelashes thick with mascara,
lipstick smudged onto her small, determined mouth.

~ Ted Kooser, July. The Wheeling Year: A Poet’s Field Book

Image Source: Ziemowit Maj