Driving I-95 S. With Small Gestures.

Katharina-Sieverding-face-eyes-close-up

He’s not there every day, but many days.
It’s a five-second human connection.
But like tree sap, the resin sticks, and it’s impossible to wash off.

I pull up to the security gate.
I swipe my card.
The gate lifts.
I glance to my left.

In winter, the door is shut, the glow of the lamp is a beacon in the pre-dawn hours. He’s there, head down, turning pages of the morning paper or a paperback. He’s approaching the end of his overnight shift.

It’s summer now, the door is open, he’s standing, motionless.

I used to offer a “Good Morning!
I gave up on him after a number of intermittent attempts.
He failed to reciprocate. I was left empty.  I refused to start my day in a ditch.

Now the morning contact is wordless.
One man’s eyes fixed on the other.
A Cold War.
But Not. [Read more…]

Saturday Morning.

edward-norton-wind-breeze-sea

One thing we’ve learned this summer is that a house is not an end in itself, any more than “home” is just one geographic location where things feel safe and familiar. Home can be anyplace in which we create our own sense of rest and peace as we tend to the spaces in which we eat and sleep and play. It is a place that we create and re-create in every moment, at every stage of our lives, a place where the plain and common becomes cherished and the ordinary becomes sacred.

― Katrina Kenison, The Gift of an Ordinary Day: A Mother’s Memoir


Painting: Edward Gordon, Wind from the Sea, via The Sensual Starfish

 

Blue Moon. Heavy boots.

blue-moon

Heat lightning: at the horizon,
July in heavy boots paces the hot floor of the darkness.
A bulb in a wobbly lamp jiggles.
Or is that you, my friend,
approaching across the firefly hills,
swinging a sloshing pail of moonlight?

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


Photo: Blue Moon by Masahiro Hiroiki taken on July 31, 2015 in Nanbu-Cho, Tottori, Japan.

 

5:00 PM Bell!

blues-brothers-1-gif blues-brothers-2-gif


Source: I post what i want

Suddenly it comes…

moab-utah-arch-sunrise

Well – the sun will be up in a few minutes and I haven’t even begun to make coffee. I take more baggage from my pickup, the grub box and cooking gear, go back in the trailer and start breakfast. Simply breathing, in a place like this, arouses the appetite. The orange juice is frozen, the milk slushy with ice. Still chilly enough inside the trailer to turn my breath to vapor. When the first rays of sun strike the cliffs I fill a mug with steaming coffee and sit in the doorway facing the sunrise, hungry for the warmth.

Suddenly it comes, the flaming globe, blazing on the pinnacles and minarets and balanced rocks, on the canyon walls and through the windows in the sandstone fins. We greet each other, sun and I, across the black void of ninety-three million miles. […]

That’s the way it was this morning.

~ Edward Abbey, Desert Solitaire


Photo: Stray Light Effect

T.G.I.F.: It’s been a long week

gif-water-slide


Source: gifak.net

 

Keep it together


“I was born 34 years ago in Oxford, Mississippi, to a sawmill father and a church piano playing mother. One taught me how to work and the other how to sing, and I try to do both as much as possible. Maybe the work isn’t as backbreaking as it was for me when I was younger and maybe the songs have changed, but I learned a lot in those day about what it takes to keep going, to not give up. I learned how to sing when my soul was down. Now I find that I just can’t quit. […] A little road worn and down, I took some time off in 2009 and 2010 and finished up a college degree I had long put aside. I read as many books as I could get my hands on. I took some poetry and fiction classes, trying to learn to write better. […]

I feel very fortunate. I don’t have to work at the sawmill anymore with my dad when I’m not on tour. My back doesn’t hurt like it used to. The lights are on and I had a decent lunch before writing this. I have learned to find the joy in these small things. I have learned to do what I have to in order to keep my energy up, because I love what I do and I want to keep doing it for as long as I can.”

Andrew Bryant, October 2, 2014

Note to Self: How good is he?!


Ripples outward and yokes circles of people in bonds of affection

gratitude-storm-clouds-breathe
[…] Most people feel grateful some of the time — after someone saves you from a mistake or brings you food during an illness. But some people seem grateful dispositionally. They seem thankful practically all of the time.  These people may have big ambitions, but they have preserved small anticipations. As most people get on in life and earn more status, they often get used to more respect and nicer treatment. But people with dispositional gratitude take nothing for granted. They take a beginner’s thrill at a word of praise, at another’s good performance or at each sunny day. These people are present-minded and hyper responsive. This kind of dispositional gratitude is worth dissecting because it induces a mentality that stands in counterbalance to the mainstream threads of our culture.[…]

Gratitude is also a form of social glue. In the capitalist economy, debt is to be repaid to the lender. But a debt of gratitude is repaid forward, to another person who also doesn’t deserve it. In this way each gift ripples outward and yokes circles of people in bonds of affection. It reminds us that a society isn’t just a contract based on mutual benefit, but an organic connection based on natural sympathy — connections that are nurtured not by self-interest but by loyalty and service.

We live in a capitalist meritocracy. This meritocracy encourages people to be self-sufficient — masters of their own fate. But people with dispositional gratitude are hyperaware of their continual dependence on others. They treasure the way they have been fashioned by parents, friends and ancestors who were in some ways their superiors. They’re glad the ideal of individual autonomy is an illusion because if they were relying on themselves they’d be much worse off. […]

If you think that human nature is good and powerful, then you go around frustrated because the perfect society has not yet been achieved. But if you go through life believing that our reason is not that great, our individual skills are not that impressive, and our goodness is severely mottled, then you’re sort of amazed life has managed to be as sweet as it is. […]

~ David Brooks, The Structure of Gratitude


Photo Source: mennyfox55

Lightly child, lightly

red-balloon-over-manhattan

Knot by knot I untie myself from the past
And let it rise away from me like a balloon.
What a small thing it becomes.
What a bright tweak at the vanishing point, blue on blue.

– Charles Wright, from “Arkansas Traveller” in The Other Side of the River


Credits:

  • Image Source: Michael Surtees (Looking forward from Empire State Building)
  • Poem Source: Lit Verve
  • 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 never happens like that

Heidi-Julavits
What I failed to mention, however, was my recent worry: As a writer, I have mistaken how to use words. I write too much. I write like some people talk to fill silence. When I write, I am trying through the movement of my fingers to reach my head. I’m trying to build a word ladder up to my brain. Eventually these words, help me come to an idea, and then I rewrite and rewrite and rewrite what I’d already written (when I had no idea what I was writing about) until the path of thinking, in retrospect, feels immediate. What’s on the page appears to have busted out of my head and traveled down my arms and through my fingers and my keyboard and coalesced on the screen. But it didn’t happen like that; it never happens like that.

~ Heidi Julavits, The Folded Clock: A Diary


Notes: Author Bio: Heidi Julavits.  Photo: Bustle.com