Are you ready this time?

black and white, close-up
Going too fast for myself
I missed more than I think I can remember
almost everything it seems sometimes
and yet there are chances that come back
that I did not notice when they stood
where I could have reached out and touched them
this morning the black shepherd dog
still young looking up and saying
Are you ready this time?

- W. S. Merwin, “Turning”


Credits: Photograph by Sharon Heron of German Shepherd Dog. Poem: Litverve

There is only one way to live your life. It’s all a miracle.

monarch-butterfly

The butterfly’s brain,
the size of a grain of salt,
guides her to Mexico.

~ Jim Harrison & Ted Kooser, Braided Creek: A Conversation in Poetry


Notes: Photo Source: nathab.com. Poem Source: Braided Creek: A Conversation in Poetry. Post title inspired by Albert Einstein’s quote: “There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle.”

Running. A bucket in the rain.

running-path-mountains

6:01 am.

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.
Departure Day.
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...]

Such raw being aches

feel-live-peace-art-woman

So often we run from feeling and yet it is only through feeling that we can know the depth of life. Only through feeling can we hold the smallest shell or bone and feel the tug of the Universe. Such raw being aches, for, as the Buddhists say, the bareness of being here is so full. I wake with this rawness and watching you sleep, I’m stopped before I start. Before I dress, I lose why I’m going anywhere. Yet wherever the day takes me- pausing to hold the groceries with the old man who packs them or seeing the neighbor’s child at the kitchen table doing homework as I walk our dog or pulling over to watch the small horse breathe his cloud over the fence- everywhere this bareness illumines. With no way to that bareness but through feeling and the listening that feeling opens. Some say I get lost in this feeling, this listening. But only if I think I know where I’m going, only if I think I know what I’m listening for. Through this bareness of being, we refresh our openness and enliven our innate connection to the one living sense. Through our unblocked, sincere response to life, we can tune our inner person with the great mysteries.

~ Mark Nepo


Credits: Thank you Make Believe Boutique, my daily inspiration, for the poem. Visual Art by Karolina Szymkiewicz via ufukorado.

Like an old dog

dog,sleepy,sigh

Like an old dog
I slowly lower and
arrange myself
in a heap of sighs.

~ Jim Harrison & Ted Kooser, Braided Creek: A Conversation in Poetry


Image Source: Kingray

Sunday Morning: I perfectly recall yesterday, the whale’s eye that blinked

eye-blink-gif

Zeke dreaming.
Our mid afternoon nap.
His paws twitching, his gentle whimpers.

The Yellow Goldfinch and his cousins.
Tiny claws clutching the perches at the feeder.
Beak on seed. Velvet hammer tap, tap, tapping.
Man still searching for a matching, lemon color palette.

Long Train Runnin’. The Doobie Brothers.
A 3.5 minute nostalgic carpet ride.
Foot tapping, lip syncing, and running the math.
40 years ago!

Family dinner.
Memories shared.
Melancolía filling the pauses.
Pending departures.

The Coldstone vanilla milk shake.
Thick gobs of deliciousness pulled through the straw.
Hit me.
Again and again.

Its lazy days.
Its hushed evenings.
August’s final murmur.

I perfectly recall the elephant’s eye and the whale’s eye that blinked.

I skipped counting individual drops in favor of the general feeling of rain.
[Read more...]

Saturday Morning

book-shoes-sweater-relax-saturday

Lost:
Ambition.
Found:
A good book,
an old sweater,
loose shoes.

~ Jim Harrison & Ted Kooser, Braided Creek: A Conversation in Poetry

 


Photo Source: weheartit. Poem: Braided Creek: A Conversation in Poetry

Silence of the morning rain

rain

After a long absence,
I put on a record of Bach,
inhale the fragrant earth in the garden,
I think again of poems and novels to be written
and I return to the silence of the morning rain.

— Pier Paolo Pasolini

 


Notes: Pier Paolo Pasolini Bio. Poem Source: YourEyesBlazeOut. Photograph: Jordi Gual via Yama-bato

Flat Tire on 47th

manhattan-new york-busy

Late afternoon meeting.  Location: Cross town.

83°F. Mid August. Sticky. Cotton dress shirt is clinging to my chest.

Take a Cab? Rachel suggests it’s 15 minutes point to point on foot. Cab? A crap shoot in cross town traffic.

I hoof it down 47th. Building construction has cut the sidewalk in half. 2 lanes, with a solid lane divider. No passing due to heavy oncoming traffic.

I’m closing the gap with a middle aged man in front of me. His head is down tapping on smartphone. My pace slows to crawl. I cut the gap to a few feet.

I try to pass on his right. Not enough room. I slow and trail behind him.

What’s the rush, right? Breathe a little.

He hasn’t lifted his head. Inconsiderate SOB is still tapping out texts. Oblivious to the growing conga line behind him.

[Read more...]

The Vacation

boat-river-Euphrates-Turkey

Excerpt from wsj.com: “Have You Twittered Away Your Summer” by Danny Heitman:

“…As a veteran journalist, I’d be wary of following Twain’s example in disregarding an editorial deadline. But his larger point—that savoring the sheer joy of travel is more important than documenting it—resonates with special urgency these days, as Twitter, Facebook and Instagram compel us to chronicle every moment of a journey in real time. Can this kind of reportorial obsession destroy the very moment we’re trying to capture? Wendell Berry, writing a generation ago, thought that it could. In “The Vacation,” a poem published in his 1994 collection, “Entries,” Berry considers a tourist intent on faithfully recording his seasonal getaway:

Once there was a man who filmed his vacation.

He went flying down the river in his boat

with his video camera to his eye, making

a moving picture of the moving river

upon which the sleek boat moved swiftly

toward the end of his vacation. . . .

And so the poem continues, with Berry’s exacting traveler translating each fleeting moment of his sojourn into the comfortable permanence of videotape. He’s so busy filming his day, though, that he forgets to live it. “With a flick of the switch, there it would be,” Berry writes of this homemade travelogue. “But he would not be in it. He would never be in it…”

Read more @wsj.com: “Have You Twittered Away Your Summer


Image Source: Travel & Leisure. Photo courtesy of @danielkrieger: Halfeti along the Euphrates river in Turkey

What’s the passion for?

ribbon-red-suspended

My own brain
is to me the most unaccountable of machinery -
always buzzing,
humming,
soaring
roaring
diving,
and then buried in mud.
And why?
What’s this passion for?

~ Virginia Woolf


Credits: Poem – Et in Arcadia Ego*

Monday Mantra

bird,tree

Woodpecker,
why so much effort
for such little gain?

~ Jim Harrison & Ted Kooser, Braided Creek: A Conversation in Poetry

 


Credits: Image: wikimedia. Poem: Thank you Steve Layman for pointing me to Braided Creek.

 

Ignite it. Let it come out to play.

face-paint-color

[…] Not just offering an object,
but the soul,
your life’s mission ignited and on fire,
burning with a thousand different flames,
all blazing and sparking together
in more than a lifetime
of sleepless nights and saturated days.
Your soul has something to say.
Let it come out and play.

~ Quaglia Cocco

 


Credits: Poem – Thank you makebelieveboutique.com. Photography: ThePalette.  About Quaglia Cocco.

Monday Morning Haiku

monday-morning-haiku-funny


Source: Kristina Krause

As you prepare your breakfast

candle-flame-light-dark

As you prepare your breakfast, think of others
(do not forget the pigeon’s food).
As you wage your wars, think of others
(do not forget those who seek peace).
As you pay your water bill, think of others
(those who are nursed by clouds).
As you return home, to your home, think of others
(do not forget the people of the camps).
As you sleep and count the stars, think of others
(those who have nowhere to sleep).
As you express yourself in metaphor, think of others
(those who have lost the right to speak).
As you think of others far away, think of yourself
(say: If only I were a candle in the dark.)

— Mahmoud Darwish, “Think of Others”

 


Credits: Poem – The Journey of Words from Darwish’s book Almond Blossoms and Beyond. Photograph: bdak89

Mistakes made by the selves we had to be

white,photography,arms crossed

Do you have hope for the future? someone asked Robert Frost, toward the end.

Yes, and even for the past, he replied, that it will turn out to have been all right for what it was, something we can accept, mistakes made by the selves we had to be, not able to be, perhaps, what we wished, or what looking back half the time it seems we could so easily have been, or ought…

The future, yes, and even for the past, that it will become something we can bear.

And I too, and my children, so I hope, will recall as not too heavy the tug of those albatrosses I sadly placed upon their tender necks.

Hope for the past, yes, old Frost, your words provide that courage, and it brings strange peace that itself passes into past, easier to bear because you said it, rather casually, as snow went on falling in Vermont years ago.

~ David Ray, “Thanks, Robert Frost.”

 


David Ray, 82, was born in Sapulpa, Oklahoma. Ray comes from a broken home that was thrown into upheaval when his father left the family by hopping on the back of a watermelon truck headed to California. After his mother’s next failed marriage ended in the suicide of Ray’s stepfather, he and his sister Mary Ellen were placed into foster care—a system that wasn’t kind to young children in the late 1930s and early 1940s. Ray’s classic “Mulberries of Mingo” steeps from memories of he and his sister being thrown out of a foster families home at dinner time – to fend for themselves eating the mulberries from a neighbor’s tree. The years that followed were dark and tragic as he and his sister were separated to face their separate nightmares of abuse. He is a distinguished award winner, and has lectured and read at over 100 Universities in England, Canada and the U.S. Graduating from the University of Chicago, BA, MA. Ray’s poetry varies from short, three to four lines pieces, to longer 30 lines poems. His work is also often autobiographical, providing unique context and insight to scenes of childhood, love, fear, sex, and travel. “Communication is important to him, and he has the courage, working with a genre in which simplicity is suspect, to say plainly what he means.” He and his wife, poet and essayist Judy Ray, live in Tucson, Arizona.

Studs Terkel: David Ray’s poetry has always been radiant even though personal tragedy has suffused it.” [Read more...]

In there is the question

woman-sleeping-black-and-white-close-up

Do you know how it is
when one wakes at night suddenly
and asks, listening to the pounding heart:
what more do you want,
insatiable?

— Czeslaw Milosz, from Farewell


Credits: Poem – Thank you Schonweider. Photograph: Lost in Vogue

Calling all English Majors: [...]?

excerpt

1) There’s: “
2) There’s: ” /
3) There’s: “[...]

or [Read more...]

To Live & Learn

taste-woman-art-painting-water

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,
new understanding,
and new love.

- Sylvia Plath, The Unabridged Journals of Sylvia Plath

 


Credits: Quote Source: Petrichour. Painting: Ufukorada

 

It, did. It had me.

Christine-Comyn

“From the beginning I had a sense of destiny, as though my life was assigned to me by fate and had to be fulfilled. This gave me an inner security, and though I could never prove it to myself, it proved itself to me. did not have this certainty, it had me.”

C. G. Jung, from Memories, Dreams, Reflections

 


Notes:

Riding MetroNorth. With a moment.

woman-painting
The moment, this moment has been orbiting. Gently closing in, then dimming, and working itself softly back into consciousness.

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...]

The touch of this silk, tender raindrops against the shoji

shoji-japanese

‘Always remember, child,’ her first teacher had impressed on her, ‘that to think bad thoughts is really the easiest thing in the world. If you leave your mind to itself it will spiral you down into ever-increasing unhappiness. To think good thoughts, however, requires effort. This is one of the things that need disipline –training- is about. So train your mind to dwell on sweet perfumes, the touch of this silk, tender raindrops against the shoji, the curve of the flower arrangement, the tranquillity of dawn. Then, at length, you won’t have to make such a great effort and you will be of value to yourself.’”

- James Clavell, Shōgun


Credits: Photograph: mlisowsk, Yoshijima-ke, Yoshijima heritage house, Takayama, Japan. Quote: The Poet Master

Believe

elephants-gif-flying
I saw a peanut stand,
heard a rubber band,
And seen a needle wink its eye
But I be done seen about everything
When I see an elephant fly
When I see an elephant fly

I’ve seen a front porch swing,
heard a diamond ring
I’ve seen a polka dot railroad tie
But I be done seen about everything
When I see an elephant fly

I saw a clothes horse rear up and buck
And they tell me that a man made a vegetable truck
I didn’t see that, I only heard
Just to be sociable, well, I’ll take your word

I heard a fireside chat, I saw a baseball bat
And I just laughed till I thought I’d die
But I be done seen about everything
When I see an elephant fly

But I be done seen about everything
When I see an elephant fly
When I see an elephant fly

~ When I see an elephant fly, From “Dumbo


Image Source: Gifak

 

Speed

woman-portrait-back-bird

[…]
Shooting the void in silence,
like a bird,
A bird that shuts his wings
for better speed.

~ Frederick Goddard Tuckerman, From ”Sonnet XXVIII”

 


Notes:

 

The sun is perfect and you woke this morning

hand-photography-black and white

The sun is perfect and you woke this morning.
You have enough language in your mouth to be understood.
You have a name, and someone wants to call it.
Five fingers on your hand and someone wants to hold it.
If we just start there,
every beautiful thing that has and will ever exist is possible.
If we start there, everything, for a moment, is right in the world.

~ Warsan Shire


Warsan Shire, 26, was born in 1988 in Kenya to Somali parents. She later emigrated to London. Shire thereafter began writing poetry as a way to connect with her Somali heritage and her roots in Somalia.


Credits:

Truth

gif-ink-pen-fountain pen

Print is predictable and impersonal,
conveying information
in a mechanical transaction with the reader’s eye.
Handwriting, by contrast, resists the eye,
reveals its meaning slowly,
and is as intimate as skin.”

—  Ruth Ozeki, A Tale for the Time Being


Now if only I possessed legible handwriting…


Credits: Image Source: THISISEVERYTHING. Quote Source: WordsNQuotes

 

Monday (Anti) Mantra. Always. Always this…

melon-light

how you can never reach it,
no matter how hard you try,
walking as fast as you can,
but getting nowhere,
arms and legs pumping,
sweat drizzling in rivulets;
each year, a little slower,
more creaks and aches, less breath.
Ah, but these soft nights,
air like a warm bath,
the dusky wings of bats careening crazily overhead,
and you’d think the road goes on forever.
Apollinaire wrote, “What isn’t given to love is so much wasted,”
and I wonder what I haven’t given yet.
A thin comma moon rises orange,
a skinny slice of melon,
so delicious I could drown in its sweetness.
Or eat the whole thing, down to the rind.
Always, this hunger for more.

Barbara Crooker, How the Trees on Summer Nights Turn Into A Dark River


Notes:


Ungraspable

galaxy-universe-travel-light


I’m outside with Zeke.
It’s dark. Still. Quiet.
We’re both calm.
I look up.
He’s sniffing.
Yes, I sense it too.
Something bigger, much bigger here.


In quietness,
the sound of eternity
can at times be heard—
the stars somehow closer and
a sense of the earth’s moving.

~ Michael Boiano


Milky Way Fact Source: Thank you Rob Firchau @ The Hammock Papers

Again I resume the long lesson: how small a thing can be pleasing

leaf-falling-gif
Again I resume the long lesson:
how small a thing can be pleasing,
how little in this hard world it takes
to satisfy the mind and bring it to its rest.

Within the ongoing havoc
the woods this morning is almost unnaturally still.
Through stalled air, unshadowed light,
a few leaves fall of their own weight.

The sky is gray.
It begins in mist almost at the ground
and rises forever.
The trees rise in silence
almost natural, but not quite,
almost eternal, but not quite.

What more did I think I wanted?
Here is what has always been.
Here is what will always be.
Even in me,
the Maker of all this returns in rest,
even to the slightest of His works,
a yellow leaf slowly falling,
and is pleased.

Wendell Berry


Notes:

Lightly child, lightly

bubbles


Credits:

  • Image Source: jaimejustelaphoto.
  • Other Lightly Child, Lightly posts: 1) Lightly child, lightly, 2) Lightly Child. Lightly.
  • 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.”

 

The quiet irreplaceable and companionable presence of a daughter

father-daughter-beach-walk
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


Notes:

  • For Rachel, on your Birthday today.
  • Sources: Poem/Quote – Thank you Makebelieveboutique.com. Photograph: dpf.peterFather & daughter walk along beachTofino, BC, Canada — Image by © Henry Georgi/Wave/Corbis

Sunday Morning

grass-dew-morning-sunny-light

It is a time of quiet joy,
the sunny morning.
When the glittery dew is on the mallow weeds,
each leaf holds a jewel which is beautiful
if not valuable.
This is no time for hurry or for bustle.
Thoughts are slow and deep and golden in the morning.”

~ John SteinbeckTortilla Flat


Notes:

The tick-tick-tick

fireworks

How can this human life
be anything other than astonishing?
The tick-tick-tick of pleasure’s ignition

~ Sigman Byrd“The Beginner” 


Credits:

For a moment life suddenly feels lighter

Gene-Kelly-1 Gene-Kelly-2
Gene-Kelly-3 Gene-Kelly-4
“I firmly believe in small gestures: pay for their coffee, hold the door for strangers, over tip, smile or try to be kind even when you don’t feel like it, pay compliments, chase the kid’s runaway ball down the sidewalk and throw it back to him, try to be larger than you are— particularly when it’s difficult. People do notice, people appreciate. I appreciate it when it’s done to (for) me. Small gestures can be an effort, or actually go against our grain (‘I’m not a big one for paying compliments…’), but the irony is that almost every time you make them, you feel better about yourself. For a moment life suddenly feels lighter, a bit more Gene Kelly dancing in the rain.”

Jonathan Carroll 


Notes:

But there is no going back

woman_back_black_and_white

“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


Notes:

Saturday Morning: Right Here. Right Now.

ocean-holiday-hotel-vacation-view

[...] the lightest touch,
a breeze arriving from nowhere,
a whispered healing arrival,
a word in your ear,
a settling into things,
then like a hand in the dark
it arrests the whole body,
steeling you for revelation.
In the silence that follows [...]

~ David Whyte, The Lightest Touch


Sources:

 

It trembles, liquid to the mind, then falls

water-drop-gif

Sometimes you linger days
upon a word,
a single, uncontaminated drop
of sound; for days

it trembles, liquid to the mind,
then falls:
mere denotation
dimming the undertow of language.

John Burnside, from “Like me, you sometimes waken” 


Notes:

 

 

What are you now? Air? Mist? Dust? Light? What? Give me something.

photo-child-eyes-soot


Image Source: Danielle Landry. Title: Dorianne Laux.

Welcome to 4 a.m.

Ocean-Streak-Jogjakarta-Java

Welcome to 4 a.m.

Where we lie in limbo,
waiting for the sun to come up,
the moon to go down,
the median between life
and whats left of the dark decay of lifelessness.
Where Your eyes open wide,
where your thoughts wander into the void of the infinite.
Where we wait to see the beginning,
the middle,
and the end.

~ Unknown


Photography: Hengki Koentjoro (Ocean Streak, Jogjakarta – Java, June 10, 2014) via Elinka. Poem from Wordsnquotes.

Whales sing the same song

whale-blue

[...] whales sing the same song,
all of them, across the globe
in the chill of the Arctic
and while lazing through the Pacific for a year
and suddenly change their tone,
all of them at once.
The first few hours of that new language
filling the ocean with sonic waves
that ricochet wildly,
finally accidentally intersecting in such a way that is
where have you been I’ve missed you so much.

Jenna Ogilvie, from “Rosetta Stone


Sources: Photo and Poem via Your Eyes Blaze Out

 

 

Now. Summer 2014. June 21. 6:51 a.m. EDT.

greece-summer-beach-vacation-bliss

It’s a memory I’ve hoarded for twenty-odd years
and still claim in moments of déjà vu when time stops,
its seed case cracks open, as a storm cracks open,

a whole summer happens in one hour, and I know again
what Plato’s paradise of souls awaiting rebirth is made of:

birdsong, thunder, green, cicadas, and heat.

— Margaret Holley, from “Walking Through the Horizon


Credits:

 


We are finite, separate and neurotic. We strive and go crazy to become more important.

cute-girl-baby-elephant-hugging

“We tend to think animals are lower than us, but all the scientists in the world couldn’t design and operate a bumblebee’s wing. We can’t jump or run very fast, and we can’t carry vast weights like an ant can. We can’t see in the dark and we can’t fly except crammed in a noisy tube like sardines, which doesn’t count. Humans compared to animals are almost totally deaf, and we can’t smell a fart in an elevator by their standards. We are finite and separate, and neurotic, while the consciousness of an animal is at peace and eternal. We strive and go crazy to become more important. Animals rest and sleep and enjoy the company of each other. We think we have evolved upwards from animals but we have lost almost all of their qualities and abilities. The idea that animals don’t have consciousness or that they don’t have a soul is rather crass. It shows a lack of consciousness. They talk, they have families, they feel things, they act individually or together to solve problems, they often care of their young as a tribal unit. They play, they travel, and medicate themselves when they get sick. They cry when others in the herd die, they know about us humans. Of course they have a soul, a very pristine one. We humans are only now attempting with the recent rise in consciousness to achieve the soul that animals have naturally.”

- Stuart Wilde


Credits: Photograph – Themetapicture.  Poem/Quote: Sensual Starfish


Monday Mantra

T.S. Eliot


Source: Rudyoldeschulte

M

black and white, photography,woman

Mnemiopsis, 
Mnemonist, 
Mnemonic,
Mnemosyne 

such elegance
I should be able to recall:
these words all begin with silence.

— Laura Glen Louis, from “M


Notes:

Screaming Into The Silence

scream-silence-photography-black and white

We go to bed tonight with another family losing their child and their loved ones in this horrific rampage of violence.

  • June 10. Portland OR: One high school student killed.
  • June 8. Las Vegas, NV: Two police officers and one civilian killed by “Patriots” at a WalMart.
  • June 7/8. Chicago, IL: 4 dead. 30 shot in a weekend shooting spree.
  • June 6thForsyth County, GA: Assault on county courthouse. 1 deputy shot.
  • June 5th. Seattle Pacific University: 1 student shot dead. 3 wounded.
  • May 23rd. IIsla Vista, California: 6 shot dead at U of Calfornia Santa Barbara. 7 more hospitalized.
  • Dec 2012. Newtown, CT.  20 children and 6 adults fatally shot at Sandy Hook Elementary School. There have been 74 school shootings since Dec 2012, roughly 1 every week

And after averting my eyes from the evening news, I turned to reading a few pages from Wiman’s “My Bright Abyss” seeking some solace.  And he about captures it…the devastation is reaching close, so close to our very streets: [Read more...]

Sunday Morning: The most blinding illumination

CT focus-poetry-foundation05.jpg

What you must realize, what you must even come to praise, is the fact that there is no right way that is going to become apparent to you once and for all. The most blinding illumination that strikes and perhaps radically changes your life will be so attenuated and obscured by doubts and dailiness that you may one day come to suspect the truth of that moment at all. The calling that seemed so clear will be lost in echoes of questionings and indecision; the church that seemed to save you will fester with egos, complacencies, banalities; the deepest love of your life will work itself like a thorn in your heart until all you can think of is plucking it out. Wisdom is accepting the truth of this. Courage is persisting with life in spite of it. And faith is finding yourself, in the deepest part of your soul, in the very heart of who you are, moved to praise it.

~ Christian Wiman, My Bright Abyss: Meditation of a Modern Believer

 


Credits:

Wow, I’m getting overheated

running-gif
I have never taken such care with anything. That is my problem with life, I rush through it, like I’m being chased. Even things whose whole point is slowness like drinking relaxing tea. When I drink relaxing tea, I suck it down as if I’m in a contest for who can drink relaxing tea the quickest. Or if I’m in a hot tub with some other people and we’re all looking up at the stars, I’ll be the first to say, It’s so beautiful here. The sooner you say, It’s so beautiful here, the quicker you can say, Wow, I’m getting overheated.

~ Miranda July, No One Belongs Here More Than You


Credits:

Listen, says ambition, why don’t you get going?

rain-gif-peace

Okay, not one can write a symphony, or a dictionary,
or even a letter to an old friend, full of remembrance
and comfort.

Not one can manage a single sound though the blue jays
carp and whistle all day in the branches, without
the push of the wind.

But to tell the truth after a while I’m pale with longing
for their thick bodies ruckled with lichen
and you can’t keep me from the woods, from the tonnage
of their shoulders, and their shining green hair.

Today is a day like any other: twenty-four hours, a
little sunshine, a little rain.

Listen, says ambition, nervously shifting her weight from
one boot to another — why don’t you get going?

For there I am, in the mossy shadows, under the trees.

And to tell the truth I don’t want to let go of the wrists
of idleness, I don’t want to sell my life for money,

I don’t even want to come in out of the rain.

- Mary Oliver, “Black Oaks” in West Wind

 


Credits:

Riding Metro-North. With The Gremlin.

train-gif

It’s Tuesday morning. A great night’s sleep. I’m Regenerated. I rise. I rise. I rise.

I walk to the train station to catch the 5:40. 62° F. The Air is still. The Birds are singing. Blue skies.

It’s Quiet.

The Train pulls up. 5:39am. Second train of the day. It’s packed.

I wedge past another commuter and take the window seat.

A Lady, mid-60’s, is facing me.  She’s in a 3-seater, on a full train, with her purse blocking the seat to her right and a bottle of Poland Springs water blocking the left.  “Prickly.” She has a cup of coffee in an unmarked styrofoam cup in her left hand and she’s pecking away on a crossword puzzle on an iPad. She does not lift her head as I pass.

It’s Quiet. The soft hum of the electric current powering the train. The clickety-clack of the tracks. And the Lady snorting and re-snorting phlegm up her nasal passages. Is she swallowing it?

The Conductor breaks the silence on the P.A.: Good morning! I have an important announcement. He pauses. The heads in the car all bob up to listen. Today’s Danny’s last day after 20 years with MetroNorth. He’s covering the middle cars. Danny, we all wish you good luck in your retirement. God Speed. [Read more...]

And Still I Rise

maya-angelou

I rise
I rise
I rise.

—  Maya Angelou (April 4, 1928 – May 28, 2014). RIP.


Notes: