This beautiful short film (Inspired by Iceland) is wrapped in tune titled Lover’s Spit by Canadian indie pop band Feist.
I like it all that way
I like it all that way
I like it all that way
This beautiful short film (Inspired by Iceland) is wrapped in tune titled Lover’s Spit by Canadian indie pop band Feist.
I like it all that way
I like it all that way
I like it all that way
It’s dark. 5:40 a.m. I’ve got an early morning jump, and I’m high stepping it to the station. It’s October 14th and the weatherman is calling for mid-70’s. (And it’s damn humid before sunrise.)
I’m feeling Prime this morning. Another night of solid sleep. Something is working, exactly what, is unclear.
I strap on my earphones. I get off the train. I’m lost among the throng, and fidgeting with my ear pieces. (Apple.co can drag music from the clouds and shoot it into my head but can’t seem to get these earbuds to stick.)
I enter the main Grand Central terminal. The wall size Red, White & Blue greets me. O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave.
As do Police. Police Dogs. Bullet proof vests. And Guns.
I glance up as I exit the station. Nestled within a green leafy planter on a pole eight feet up is a sign: NYPD Security Camera. And surrounding the station are Police Cars. Police Vans. Unmarked Cars. And more German Shepherds.
I turn up the music to drown out the dark, and I continue down 42nd street. Fink is playing: Looking too Closely. Looking too close. No. No. No.
I pick up my pace. Everyone is standing still, or moving in slow motion; I’m passing them on my right, on my left. (The DK Express is hauling a**.)
With no safe jaywalking opportunity available, I wait for the Walk sign. Dark thoughts roll back several weeks. (Ocean Voung whisks in: “There’s enough light to drown in but never enough to enter the bones & stay.”)
It’s mid-morning, mid-week in August.
In fair weather,
the shy past keeps its distance.
Old loves, old regrets, old humiliations
look on from afar.
They stand back under the trees.
No one would think
to look for them there.
But in the fog they come closer.
You can feel them there
by the road as you slowly walk past.
Still as fence posts they wait,
dark and reproachful,
each stepping forward in turn.
~ Ted Kooser. February 16. An early morning fog.
Crickets. Birds. And me.
Humidity 90%, but cut by a cool morning, 57º. Running weather.
I check my exercise log. Last running entry: August 3rd. I scan the page. More white space than entries. Ray is down 36 lbs in 7 weeks. I’m, well, you know, Up. And, staring at white spaces.
I’m out the door.
It’s Thursday. Evening.
(Another) last supper with the kids before they depart. It’s a short week, I’m off from work on Friday. Heaviness lifts. Weariness lingers. Gratitude drifts in. A peaceful, easy feeling sets in over dinner. Family. Our family dines together.
It’s Friday. Morning.
Eric comes up to the attic. “Why are you a hermit, Dad?”
We exchange fist bumps. As he turns, I jump him from behind and we wrestle. He’s become unmanageable. I pull up before things break, on me.
It’s Friday. Early afternoon.
We’re in the car to JFK.
President Obama visits Weschester County on Friday afternoon – the same Friday kicking off the long Labor Day weekend. His security team has shut down I-95, 287 and all major thorough ways, snarling traffic. The result: A 2.5 hour drive to JFK. Purpose of the President’s trip: Fundraisers. [Read more...]
Here’s Eric with his Mom at 9 years old.
And here’s Eric with his Mom last night in front of the restaurant in Norwalk where we had dinner. He’s now 20:
We don’t read and write poetry because it’s cute. We read and write poetry because we are members of the human race. And the human race is filled with passion. And medicine, law, business, engineering, these are noble pursuits and necessary to sustain life. But poetry, beauty, romance, love, these are what we stay alive for. To quote from Whitman, “O me! O life!… of the questions of these recurring; of the endless trains of the faithless… of cities filled with the foolish; what good amid these, O me, O life?” Answer. That you are here – that life exists, and identity; that the powerful play goes on and you may contribute a verse. That the powerful play *goes on* and you may contribute a verse. What will your verse be?
~ Robin Williams as John Keating, Dead Poets Society (1989)
And I fallen in love where I wasn’t supposed to be
Right in front of me, talk some sense to me
Amber Run are a five piece band from Nottingham, UK formed in 2012. London Contemporary Voices is one of London’s leading non-traditional choirs. They specialise in work with established artists such as festivals, gigs and recording. They regularly put on their own concerts, covering a broad repertoire leaning towards contemporary popular and leftfield music. They are a young mixed-voice choir of 40 singers, all auditioned to a high standard.
I want to taste and glory in each day,
and never be afraid to experience pain;
and never shut myself up
in a numb core of non-feeling,
or stop questioning and criticizing life
and take the easy way out.
To learn and think:
to think and live;
to live and learn:
this always, with new insight,
and new love.
- Sylvia Plath, The Unabridged Journals of Sylvia Plath
Millions of thoughts slide in and out – – moments of significance, yet these seeds on the blooming dandelion blow away. This ordinary moment hangs on. Why?
She met me in the hallway in front of the elevators. We were both finishing our day. She looked fresher, wearing a blue skirt and jacket, standing with a colleague – offering up a “Hey, Dad.”
It’s early evening in Midtown. The humidity, stifling. Crowds are milling around the theatre ticket booths. Father and Daughter are out of the building looking to catch the 6:49.
We reach a “Don’t Walk” and I point down to 47th. She tugs at my suit jacket.
“Dad, I’ve timed it. It’s not faster to zig-zag. Just wait. Take it straight down. It’s faster.”
She’s timed it. It’s faster. [Read more...]
Joy is a meeting place, of deep intentionality and of self forgetting, the bodily alchemy of what lies inside us in communion with what formally seemed outside, but is now neither, but become a living frontier, a voice speaking between us and the world: dance, laughter, affection, skin touching skin, singing in the car, music in the kitchen, the quiet irreplaceable and companionable presence of a daughter: the sheer intoxicating beauty of the world inhabited as an edge between what we previously thought was us and what we thought was other than us.
~ David Whyte
Mom & Dad
6:30 pm. Saturday evening. Family sits for dinner.
Susan is sitting to my right. A hummingbird, fluttering her wings, spreading honey.
Rachel to my left. Her boyfriend Andrew, next to her. Rachel’s jabbering on about her first week of full-time work. She’s coming down, down from the high of college graduation, and seeing the next 30 year highway of her life. Commuting. Work. Exhaustion. Weekends. Loop it back and hard again. (Is that the gratitude Bus Rachel has pulled up for her Mom & Dad?)
Eric, is down at the end of the table. He’s sneaking glances at his phone. I glare. He puts the phone back in his pocket.
Zeke’s laying under the table. Hoping for something, anything to hit the floor.
And there’s The King, at the head of the table. Fork in the right. Scepter in the left. (Surveilling the landscape. Inhaling it deep into the lungs. Same somber script running. Eagles and Peaceful Easy Feeling is playing. Sand racing through the hourglass. How many of these do we have left?)
“Dad, look at Eric’s guns.”
“His biceps. They’re bigger than yours.”
I glance at Eric’s “guns.”
He looks down. And blushes. (Did I see a smirk?)
“But to preserve something is to delay that act indefinitely. Maybe preserves are where a historian’s urges meet a cook’s capacities. I wish that I could put up yesterday’s evening sky for all posterity, could preserve a night of love, the sound of a mountain stream, a realization as it sets my mind afire, a day of harmony, ten thousand glorious days of clouds that will instead vanish and never be seen again, line them up in jars where they might be admired in the interim and tasted again as needed. My historian’s nature regards with dismay that all these things arise and perish, though there will always be more clouds and more days, if not for me or for you. Photographs preserve a little of this, and I’ve kept tens of thousands of e-mails and letters, but there is no going back.”
—Rebecca Solnit, from The Faraway Nearby
“This is an uplifting story of one of those chance encounters that can radically change the course of someone’s life. Germain is a large and almost illiterate man in his fifties. He is unmarried and still lives with his mother with whom he has a fractious relationship. Margueritte is a tiny, elderly woman with a passion for the written word. There’s 40 years and 200 pounds’ difference between them and only one thing in common, a shared fondness for pigeons. When Germain happens to sit beside her on a park bench and Margueritte reads extracts from her novels to him, an unlikely and unexpected friendship develops. Under Margueritte’s tutelage, Germain discovers a love of literature and with it, a wisdom which confounds his friends at the bistro who have always treated him like an idiot. As Margueritte begins to lose her eyesight, Germain sees an opportunity to use his love for this sweet and mischievous grandma to improve both his own life and hers.”
Not always are love stories just made of love. Sometimes love is not named but it’s love just the same. This is not a typical love affair I met her on a bench in my local square. She made a little stir, tiny like a bird with her gentle feathers. She was surrounded by words, some as common as myself. She gave me books, two or three. Their pages have come alive for me. Don’t die now, you’ve still got time, just wait It’s not the hour, my little flower. Give me some more of you. More of the life in you.
If you have a passion for reading and books, you’ll enjoy this movie. A slow, gentle, feels-like-Disney-for-adults, fits-on-Sunday movie. French with English subtitles. Can be found on Amazon Instant Video for $2.99.
Some things can’t be left unchecked. No Sir.
My youngest Brother Lorne replied to my post “I came that way. D0K” with this:
That was funny but don’t feel sorry for you. On a weekly basis I go through this. First name Lorne. Loren? No. Lauren? No. Lauryn? No. Mark? Mark…WTF! And the other day…Thor! Really? How our parents allowed you and my other awesome brother to name me I will never understand!!
Kids are rustling me awake from my mid-morning nap in the backyard.
Dad, Dad, it’s time to open the gifts!
(A flash of Christmas mornings past. Wow, that was quite a nap, Rip. They’ve migrated up from cologne and neck ties. Hmmmm. Right pocket, left pocket, transfer of funds? All within Dad’s pant pockets? Not nice Dad.)
Thank you. Wonderful Gift!
Family sits together for brunch. Scrambled eggs, western style, bacon, sliced peaches, English Muffins (with jam, of course). (Family sitting around the table. Soul warming. How many of these moments are left?)
We head outside. 68º F. Low humidity. Wind gusts at 16 mph. Trees rustling overhead. Zeke is barking, while giving chase to the Frisbee flying to and fro overhead. The Kanigan family exercise for the Day.
I reach for my book. Zeke is sprawled out on the back stoop, basking in the sun, and watching Blue Jays pecking at seed in the feeder. Rachel and Eric shade their eyes from the sun, and their iPhones, as they check their texts. I settle in on the lawn chair with my book. (Front doors unlocked. Families sitting together for meals. Kid’s playing catch with Dad in the backyard, or playing outside with friends. Pick-up games. Fishing. Exploring the mountainside.)
Allman Brown and Liz Lawrence are London based singer-songwriters who have collaborated for Sons and Daughters.
And I’ll build a fire, you fetch the water and I’ll lay the table
and in our hearts, we still pray for sons and daughters
and all those evenings out in the garden, where we went
These quiet hours turning to years
And I, I’ll wrap myself around your heart I’ll be the walls of his heart
And I, I’ll keep light on, to call you back home…
“NBA Star Kevin Durant told everyone just how much his mom means to him — just days before Mother’s Day — by thanking her in a tear-jerking speech as he accepted the award for the NBA’s Most Valuable Player.”
Quote Source & Find More @ ABCNews.com
LIKED it. Enough to watch it 3x. Not sure why. And not sure I fully understood it…all interpretations welcome.
“I was born in and I am living in Bulgaria. Ever since I was a kid, painting has been my favourite way of expressing myself. After I graduated, I continued working in the field of architecture. For a year and a half I used to be the holder of a little art space, a gallery named Gluharche (Dandelion). At this point of my life, I am grateful that I have the opportunity to devote myself to what I dearly love. I believe every single person does need to express him/herself in his/her own way because the way we live and the energy we put in our work, influence the world and universe around us. The best we can do is to devote fully to what we are doing in every single moment of our lives. That is why I am happy I can share my art with you. I hope it will be a source of just the same positive emotion, that it has been created with.”
The collegiate alumni chairperson of Rachel’s sorority asked the parents of graduating seniors to write a letter to their daughter, which was read out loud to them by their little sister at the traditional Senior Send Off event for the sorority. The event was held this morning. Here was Rachel’s text to us.
Here’s our letter to Rachel:
Let’s just say that you were difficult from the get-go. Your Mom and Dad tried for 9 years (9 YEARS!), and we almost gave up. And then you just appeared. Voila! A tadpole on a monitor. Roll the tape forward 9 months plus 23 hours of labor (23 HOURS!) – – your Mother threw up her hands and Doc pulled out the scalpel.
They say that all babies are beautiful. Hmmmmm. The forceps stretched your head. Your eyes were disproportionately LARGE and bulging. You were WAILING. I had to double pump the scissors with my trembling hands to untether you from your Mother. I was flooded with images of E.T. – – “E.T. Go Home!” I needed assurances from Doc that all of this, this, was normal.
You had colic for 6 months. You started up when I arrived home from work and stopped during our long walks down Biscayne Blvd. You were strapped in a papoose tight to my chest. With the fronds on the palm trees clapping in the gentle evening breeze, there you were looking up at me. Sobbing, then sniffling, then quiet.
We’d come home. I’d turn on Annie Lennox – – “Walking on Broken Glass” – – and you would settle. I would slump down on the couch, exhausted, and let you sleep on my chest. The little hair that you had, was matted and glistening with sweat. Your cheeks and eyes, swollen and red. Your little fingers clenched my t-shirt. Your heart pitter-pattered on my chest. And your intermittent, puffs-puffs of baby breath – – you, all of you, a miracle.
And then the frames would pass. Minutes, days, weeks and years. All accelerating.
You left home to go to College. We cried on the long drive home.
You lit up sharing your experiences with Special Olympics, Habitat for Humanity and St. Jude Children’s Hospital – – freezing me in place as I listened to your Sunday night updates. I have yet to find my God, but I could feel something working me through you.
My chest swelled when you were named President of your Sorority. When you made Dean’s List. When you landed your Summer Internships. When you received your first job offer. (I just cut the cord. We just dropped you off for your freshman year. Where did it go? Sand slipping through my fingers.)
I know you are listening – listening to these words – sitting among your friends.
It’s time. Time for me to put on my headphones and play “Walking on Broken Glass” in a loop. And roll the time back to remember the beautiful moments in between then and now.
I can feel you.
I can feel your fingers clenching my t-shirt.
I can feel your puffs of breath.
I can feel your heart beating.
And when your heart beats, my heart beats faster.
Love you Honey.
Mom & Dad
“Mom, this might be my last chance to tell you I love you.”
- A text from a high school student who was aboard the ferry that capsized yesterday off South Korea’s southern coast. Four passengers were killed, 55 were injured and more than 280 are missing. (via latimes)
I have never wanted anything more than the wild creatures have, a broad waft of clean air, a day to lie on the grass at times, with nothing to do but to slip the blades through my fingers, and look as long as I pleased at the whole blue arch, and the screens of green and white between; leave for a month to float and float along the salt crests and among the foam, or roll with my naked skin over a clean long stretch of sunshiny sand; food that I liked, straight from the cool ground, and time to taste its sweetness, and time to rest after tasting; sleep when it came, and stillness, that the sleep might leave me when it would, not sooner … This is what I wanted,—this, and free contact with my fellows … not to love and lie, and be ashamed, but to love and say I love, and be glad of it; to feel the currents of ten thousand years of passion flooding me, body to body, as the wild things meet. I have asked no more.
~ Voltairine De Cleyre (1866-1912)
Charles Murray’s 5 Rules For A Happy Life:
#4: Now that we’re alone, here’s where a lot of you stand when it comes to religion: It isn’t for you. You don’t mind if other people are devout, but you don’t get it. Smart people don’t believe that stuff anymore. I can be sure that is what many of you think because your generation of high-IQ, college-educated young people, like mine 50 years ago, has been as thoroughly socialized to be secular as your counterparts in preceding generations were socialized to be devout…I am describing my own religious life from the time I went to Harvard until my late 40s. I still describe myself as an agnostic, but my unbelief is getting shaky…Start by jarring yourself out of unreflective atheism or agnosticism. A good way to do that is to read about contemporary cosmology. The universe isn’t only stranger than we knew; it is stranger and vastly more unlikely than we could have imagined, and we aren’t even close to discovering its last mysteries. That reading won’t lead you to religion, but it may stop you from being unreflective. Find ways to put yourself around people who are profoundly religious. You will encounter individuals whose intelligence, judgment and critical faculties are as impressive as those of your smartest atheist friends—and who also possess a disquieting confidence in an underlying reality behind the many religious dogmas.
Read all five rules here.
Valerie June, 32, is an American singer, songwriter, and multi-instrumentalist from Memphis, Tennessee. Her sound encompasses a mixture of folk, blues, gospel, soul, country, Appalachian and bluegrass. After self-releasing three albums, her debut album as a signed artist, Pushin’ Against a Stone, was released in August, 2013. The album was so titled to commemorate the story of her life. June said “I feel I’ve spent my life pushing against a stone. And the jobs I’ve had have been fitting for getting a true feel for how the traditional artists I loved came home after a hard day to sit on the porch and play tunes until bedtime.”
Find her album “Pushin’ Against a Stone” on iTunes here.
And if you missed the original, here’s “20 Strangers Kiss for the First Time“
And don’t miss today’s NY Times Article offering fascinating background on the original video: A Kiss Is Just a Kiss, Unless It’s an Ad for a Clothing Company (43.5 million views on YouTube and Vimeo and counting…”)
Thank you Lori for sharing.
“Pay attention to when the cart is getting before the horse. Notice when a painful initiation leads to irrational devotion, or when unsatisfying jobs start to seem worthwhile. Remind yourself pledges and promises have power, as do uniforms and parades. Remember in the absence of extrinsic rewards you will seek out or create intrinsic ones. Take into account [that] the higher the price you pay for your decisions the more you value them. See that ambivalence becomes certainty with time. Realize that lukewarm feelings become stronger once you commit to a group, club, or product. Be wary of the roles you play and the acts you put on, because you tend to fulfill the labels you accept. Above all, remember the more harm you cause, the more hate you feel. The more kindness you express, the more you come to love those you help.”
- David McRaney
Quote Source: Brainpickings – The Benjamin Franklin Effect: The Surprising Psychology of How to Handle Haters. Image from Amazon.
As I told your Mom in our wedding vows,
I promise to love you fiercely too.
One day, when you’re a Mother, you’ll know the kind of love that I am talking about.
A love that makes my eyes well up with tears of joy when you simply hug me.
A love that moves me to rise from bed and check on you at three in the morning mostly because I just miss you when you sleep.
A love that makes it hard for me to let go of your hand when you try to balance on something because I know you need to learn from your mistakes.
I promise to look you in the eyes when you come to me with a problem.
I’ll always want to fix it for you right then and there.
I promise to listen as to whether you’ll want a hand or just an ear.
I promise to drop you off at college and when I do, I promise to do my best to contain my excitement for you so that I won’t embarrass you in front of your new friends.
I promise to have a reputation amongst your friends as a Dad that intimidates your boyfriends.
I promise to raise you to be strong and independent.
I promise to cry when I let go of your hand when I let go of your hand at the alter…
…I want you to know that every time when you open the door when I come home from work you’ll see a smile on my face
My arms already open ready to catch you
I’ll always be ready to catch you…
For you, Rachel…
I can still remember how she looked. Black gown grey against the sky, clutching the scroll in the hand. So much hard work.
Did it mean anything when all paths led to the same end. You can extend the path you take. Choose the one less travelled. Be all the richer for it. But it is still a path, and all paths lead to the same end. If you have a Lover and a Dog waiting for you, you are one of the lucky ones. I don’t think there’s anything afterwards, outside the stories. if there is, how would that work?
She believed. She wasn’t a zealot or fundamentalist. But she believed. Enough to not get scared at the end. Vast thunder storms. Fat on the horizon. But she could still see the sun. All things shining.
Sometimes I do the impossible. Steal a glimpse of her out of the corner of my eye. Light and full of love. I don’t try to stop her. Tap her on the shoulder. Pull her home.
They ask me years later. Does it get easier as time passes or does it stay at the back of your mind.
No. It stays right at the front.
~ Jack Tasker
Dad didn’t like it.
Dad didn’t support it. (Story here.)
Dad gets rolled (ignored is a better word).
Daughter does it anyway.
Last night, Daughter as President, addressed Seniors and incoming Freshmen in her final official duty.
Daughter sends Mom and Dad two text messages last night.
“Everyone Loved it.”
“They all cried.”
Here’s a summary of her speaking notes:
Wonderful story by Chris Huntington in the New York Times on Learning to Measure Time in Love and Loss:
On regretting missed opportunities:
“I’m constantly aware of lost opportunities. I used to think such lost opportunities were beautiful towns flashing by my train windows, but now I imagine they are lanterns from the past, casting light on what’s ahead.”
“When you’re 20, five years is a long time, so they act out. I used to be like that. But now I’m two-thirds done, so every day is taking me closer to the door. When I think like that, I can get up in the morning and smile.”
On love and loss:
“Our son is from Ethiopia, where I once saw a dead horse on the side of the road that resembled an abandoned sofa. I asked a friend if we needed to do something about that, and he said the wild dogs would take care of it. We took our son far away from all of that five years ago, which may seem like a kindness, except it also hurts. I wish our son could know those dirt roads and the way they looked like chocolate milk in the rain, the way the hillsides were a delicate green, the way our driver would not go into the zoo because he was disgusted by the concrete ugliness of the lion cages. I wish my son’s birth parents could see him swimming. He’s such a good swimmer. I wish they could hear him reading books aloud. I wish he could know them. I wish our son could speak Oromo, the language of his birth. Our story, so full of love, is also full of loss.” [Read more...]
I used to think I knew everything. I was a “smart person” who “got things done,” and because of that, the higher I climbed, the more I could look down and scoff at what seemed silly or simple, even religion. But I realized something as I drove home that night: that I am neither better nor smarter, only luckier. And I should be ashamed of thinking I knew everything, because you can know the whole world and still feel lost in it. So many people are in pain-no matter how smart or accomplished – they cry, they yearn, they hurt. But instead of looking down on things, they look up, which is where I should have been looking, too. Because when the world quiets to the sound of your own breathing, we all want the same things: comfort, love, and a peaceful heart.
― Mitch Albom
Mitch Albom, 55, was born in Passaic, New Jersey. He is an American best-selling author of the blockbuster bestsellers Tuesdays With Morrie, The Five People You Meet In Heaven and For One More Day. His books have sold over 35 million copies worldwide. He was an acclaimed sports journalist at the Detroit Free Press and he is a frequent participant on the ESPN Sports Reporters. Albom has also achieved success as a screenwriter, dramatist, radio broadcaster and musician.
He grew up in a small, middle-class neighborhood from which most people never left. Mitch was once quoted as saying that his parents were very supportive, and always used to say, “Don’t expect your life to finish here. There’s a big world out there. Go out and see it.” Albom once mentioned that now his parents say, “Great. All our kids went and saw the world and now no one comes home to have dinner on Sundays.”
Neil Hilborn, a poet with OCD (obsessive compulsive disorder), performs at the Rustbelt Regional Poetry Slam in Madison, Wisconsin.
“The first time I saw her everything in my head went quiet. All the tics, all the constantly refreshing images just disappeared. When you have obsessive compulsive disorder you don’t really get quiet moments… When I saw her, the only thing I could think about was hairpin curve of her lips or the eyelash on her cheek, eyelash on her cheek, eyelash on her cheek.”
“I’d like to answer all my phone calls, return all emails in a timely manner and mean the how-are-yous; not hide my broken hallelujahs, not save my gratitude for characters in books. Put love on sale, like I should…I’d like to whisper to only a few souls under a blanket instead of shouting at hundreds over these virtual rooftops. I’d like to inhale people and exhale skin, explore huggability and memorize the art of breathing…I’d like to get up once a week with no other agenda than laziness in bed, no time, no musts or shoulds or have tos. Eat breakfast for dinner, juice for lunch, and talk to trees, and cry, walk backwards, love my solitude, and understand my doing by undoing.”
~ Andréa Balt
Maybe love is the Lord’s trap.
Maybe He sees us as
the tree leaning over the stream.
Perhaps He can’t experience
the difference between
and the heron flying
through the special silence at evening.
— Linda Gregg, closing lines to “The Center of Intent,” from Things and Flesh
Linda Gregg, 71, is an American poet born in Suffern, NY. She grew up in Marin County, California. Her first book of poems, Too Bright to See, was published in 1981. Her published books include Things and Flesh, Chosen By The Lion, The Sacraments of Desire, Alma, Too Bright to See, In the Middle Distance, and All of it Singing. Her poems have also appeared in numerous literary magazines, including Ploughshares, The New Yorker, the Paris Review, the Kenyon Review, and the Atlantic Monthly. She taught poetry at various schools and universities across the U.S. She has been living in New York City since 2006.
90 seconds to A Perfect Day
I had some dreams,
they were clouds in my coffee
clouds in my coffee,
~ Carly Simon, You’re So Vain
fame, nor wealth,
not even poetry itself,
could provide consolation
for life’s brevity,
or the fact that King Lear
is a mere eighty pages long and comes to an end
and for the thought that one might suffer greatly
on account of a rebellious child…
it has taken me
all of sixty years
that water is the finest drink,
and bread the most delicious food,
and that art is worthless
unless it plants
a measure of splendor in people’s hearts.
After we die,
and the weary heart
has lowered its final eyelid
on all that we’ve done,
and on all that we longed for,
on all that we’ve dreamt of,
all we’ve desired
hate will be
the first thing
Taha Muhammad Ali, (1931-2011), was a leading Arab poet. He was born in Galilee and fled with his family to Lebanon after their village came under heavy bombardment during the 1948 war. In the 1950s and 1960s, he sold souvenirs during the day to Christian pilgrims and self-studied poetry at night. His formal education ended after fourth grade. Despite his spare output and lack of formal education, Ali has become one of the most widely admired Palestinian poets. Ali’s vivid free verse conveys the moody resilience of his personality in treatments of the national grief of occupation, exile and the Palestinian Arabs’ “endless migration.” Often informed by symbols and structures from Arab tradition, Ali’s ironies stand alongside easily grasped, even universal, versions of lament: “We did not know/ at the moment of parting/ that it was a moment of parting.” Ali transmits humor, his way with a tale and his deep roots in “fatigue, hunger, vagrancy,/ debts and addiction to ruin.” Composed between the early 1970s and now, Ali’s poems are timely and affecting; his 1984 masterpiece, “The Falcon,” portrays the poet as a migratory bird indebted less to his companions than to his own “sadness… so much greater than I am.” A moving, richly poetic story, in which all the deprivations of Ali’s verse coalesce in a child’s desire for a pair of shoes, closes the collection. (Source: Amazon)
I asked an old man:
“Which is more important?
To love or to be loved?”
The old man replied:
“Which is more important to a bird?
The left wing or the right wing?”
~ Haughty Spirit
Moved. No words required.
Amy & Travis dance to James Vincent McMorrow’s rendition of “Wicked Games” in “So You Think You Can Dance.”
Credits: Thank you Susan for sharing her favorite dance of the season.
30 years ago today.
On a steamy afternoon in Northern Michigan.
They were married.
Her Yin to His Yang.
The Beauty. Gentle, kind and forgiving.
The Beast, less so.
She, the passionate Extrovert,
seeking comfort in conversation and friendship.
He, in constant retreat to solitude.
She, the Mother, a nurturer. Their Friend.
He, the Father, the rules enforcer, the Driver.
She, steady, firmly anchored in high winds and heavy seas.
He, bringing it in bits and pieces,
but giving the best he had.
And despite the pull and tug of opposing forces,
the sweet music plays on.
Happy Anniversary Pal.
Here’s to 30 more.