Sunday Afternoon: Dwindles to a wisp


When I was young, and for a long time afterward, Sunday afternoons were melancholy. I used to blame it on memories on my father retiring alone to his study to listen to classical music. I didn’t like classical music. It made me uneasy…I didn’t like the closed door.

But I think something else was going on. The span of a week is a reminder of the finite, even to the young. And powerful Sunday, which starts out fat and lazy, stretching endlessly ahead, dwindles to a wisp, and just like that, it’s over.

~ Abigail Thomas, Thinking About Memoir


I will remember this


“…This is what I wait for. Gray light before the sun rises. Waking up at the lake. Musty smoke from a campfire thick in your hair, on your skin, shaken from your sweater. Earth under your fingers. Green things growing. The sound of blueberry pancakes sizzling, crackling in a buttered skillet. Laughter, when you are incandescently happy. Finding a relic. Freckles. Grilled peaches and sweet corn and watermelon juices running down your skin. Light falling through tress on a pathway empty of anyone but you. Hearing the waves. Waking to a quiet house. Coffee stains. Lipstick marks on a cup. Your spot. Being recognized. Shadows. Alignment, like stars, alignment like sacred. Wonder and thinking you are something bigger and I don’t know, that somehow it will be alright. Being okay. Eating all the raspberries from the patch and going through the day with red fingers. Belief an iron rod in your spine. Someone’s touch on your hand, a someone who might be more than an anybody, a someone who might be a somebody, who might be yours. Beginnings. Not endings. Maybe endings sometime. Words like honeysuckle and diaphanous. Smells stirring a memory deep in your mind like a stick in thick muddy banks, stirring up the water. Mud under your toes and you are five. Clear water. Green water. Blue water. Gray water more light than liquid. Sitting on the front of the boat and closing your eyes to the spray on sunburnt skin. A perfect song. An imperfect memory. Fragments. Muscles and sinews. Hearing someone hum. Watching a time happen and thinking, I will remember this.”

~ Hannah Nicole, A List of Soft Things

Photo: Angela Lindvall by Mert Alas & Marcus Piggott for Pop f/w 2002 via Mennyfox55

My Truth


My editor turned it down. She wanted me to write a novel about that marriage, what went wrong, what went right, then friendship, illness, and death. But life doesn’t arrange itself conveniently into chapters – not mine, anyway. And I didn’t want to write a novel. My life didn’t feel like a novel. It felt like a million moments. I didn’t want to make anything fit together. I didn’t want to make anything up. I didn’t want it to make sense the way I understand a novel to make a kind of sense. I didn’t want anywhere to hide. I didn’t want to be able to duck. I wanted the shock of truth. I wanted moments that felt like body blows. I wanted moments of pure hilarity, connected to nothing that came before or after. I wanted it to feel like the way I’ve lived my life. And I wanted to tell the truth. My truth doesn’t travel in a straight line, it zigzags, detours, doubles back. Most truths I have to learn over and over again.

~ Abigail Thomas, Thinking About Memoir


Monday. Examine for a moment an ordinary mind on an ordinary day.


I think the British writer James Meek is accurate when he describes Light Years (1975) by the American novelist James Salter. […]

“There is no complete life. There are only fragments. We are born to have nothing, to have it pour through our hands.”

And this, again, is a common experience [from Virginia Woolf’s essay ‘Modern Fiction’ (1921)]:

“Examine for a moment an ordinary mind on an ordinary day. The mind receives a myriad impressions – trivial, fantastic, evanescent, or engraved with the sharpness of steel. From all sides they come, an incessant shower of innumerable atoms; as they fall, as they shape themselves into the life of Monday or Tuesday, the accent falls differently from of old; the moment of importance came not here but there; so that, if a writer were a free man and not a slave, if he could write what he chose, not what he must, if he could base his work upon his own feeling and not upon convention, there would be no plot, no comedy, no tragedy, no love interest or catastrophe in the accepted style, and perhaps not a single button sewn on as the Bond Street tailors would have it. Life is not a series of gig lamps symmetrically arranged; life is a luminous halo, a semi-transparent envelope surrounding us from the beginning of consciousness to the end.”

~ Galen Strawson, I am Not a Story

Art: Simon Birch (via Lost at E Minor)

Running. To 7:20 am.


It’s 2:44 am.
A Full Moon.
Its lambent lighting caresses the earth’s surface.

I trudge downstairs.
Hands greedily reach for ice water.

Eyes pan down to the second shelf.
I reach for the container and lift out two of the largest.
Driscoll’s Finest Raspberries from Watsonville, CA.
The tongue savors the sweet nectar from the red drupelets.

On to unfinished business.
A partially started, uninspiring mess of words following yesterday’s run.
Old fruit aging in the back of the crisper.
I drag the cursor down to select the entire passage.
And hit Delete to bury it.

It was 6:51 am. Yesterday.
I was half way through the run.
It came as a Mind-Pop.
I need to get back by 7:20 am.
But I’m too far out on this loop.
I must get back by 7:20 am. [Read more…]

Driving. Just another morning. Rollin’ down I-95.



Traffic is building.

I turn the corner to the I-95 on-ramp. Man in coveralls is standing next to his graffiti stained Seafood Delivery truck. He glances up at me, pauses briefly, and then continues to flick through a bulging wad of bills in his right hand. (You declaring that income, Friend?)

There’s a semi truck in front. A Friendly’s ad adorns its back door: “Eat More Ice Cream.” (What kind of cruel joke is this? You friend, need no more ice cream. Saliva begins to build up, quicker than the traffic flow. I’m worse than Pavlov’s dog. I could use a tall, thick Coldstone Vanilla shake. Right now. I’d skip lunch if I could indulge. I would. I might.)

I come up on a gargantuan, two-trailer Fed Ex semi. Driver sitting up high. The truck gleams in the morning sun.  (Bucket list: Need to drive a Semi cross-country. Is he delivering new iPhone 6+s to Manhattan Apple Stores? Gadget man starts to twitch.)

I pass downtown Stamford and see the RBS (Royal Bank of Scotland) logo towering over the city.  (Well laddies. Is it time to cut the cord from Mother England?) [Read more…]



The first look out of the window in the morning
The old book found again
Enthusiastic faces 
Snow, the change of the seasons
The newspaper
The dog
Taking showers, swimming
Old music
Comfortable shoes
Taking things in
New music
Writing, planting
Being friendly.

~ Bertolt Brecht, “Pleasures”


We want the spring to come


We want the spring to come
and the winter to pass.
We want whoever to call
or not call,
a letter,
a kiss —
we want more and more and then more of it.
But there are moments,
when I catch a glimpse of myself in the window glass,
say, the window of the corner video store,
and I’m gripped by a cherishing so deep
for my own blowing hair,
chapped face,
and unbuttoned coat that I’m speechless:
I am living …

~ Marie Howe


Related Post:

keta / KAY-tah / n

keta /KAY-tah/
n. an image that inexplicably leaps back into your mind from the distant past.

You are immersed in the passage of time. Sometimes you can feel the current moving. Sometimes you forget it’s there, only to be reminded again, another in a series of passing moments.  A moment is defined by its momentum.  It keeps moving.  We think of a memory as somehow dead.  As a memorial, anchored in its own time and place. A half buried reminder of what was once here.  You can’t just hang on to things. You have to let go. You have to move on.  It’s hard to imagine that certain memories are still alive. Still fighting against the current. Struggling to keep up.  That certain images still have the power to leap back into the present.  So you look across the room at someone you know.  Maybe they’re all grown up. Maybe they have children of their own.  Maybe you’ve known them for 50 years.  But in your eyes they are still the same goofy kid you once knew.  It’s not just the moments that we remember.  Not the grand gestures and catered ceremonies. Not the world we capture poised and smiling in photos. It’s the invisible things. In minutes. The cheap raw material of ordinary time.  These are the images that will linger in your mind, moving back and forth. Still developing.

~ John Koenig

Source: Dictionary of Obscure Sorrows
See more by John Koenig: Sunday Morning: Sonder

And what is more generous than a window

ordinary things-gratitude

Source: Thank you Read A Little Poetry via TheSensualStarfish