T.G.I.F.: It’s been a long week!

funny-gif-fall-slip-TGIF-T.G.I.F.


Source: Babyanimalpics

Lightly child, lightly

Dancer-gif


Credits:

  • 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.”
  • Image Source: Daniele Pezzela via Your Eyes Blaze Out

 

15 Minutes of Fame

space-shuttle-launch

Monday:

It’s early afternoon. There are ripples. The wind picks up during the day. There are 9,000 blog views by bed time, 8,500 views for a single post, more than 10x my Total average daily views. (Not that I’m counting.) 

I ferret out the source of traffic: Facebook. I’m unsuccessful at locating the fire starter.

Monday EOD Count: 11,000 views

Tuesday:

I wake to find my blog with 18,000 new views.  18,000 views overnight!  No caffeine required.

I sneak peaks during the day to find post views are climbing at more than 5,000 per hour. Heart? Pumping.

The site traffic is picked up by two media sources who send an email requesting my permission to share the post on their site. They ask for my photo.  Oh No. No. No. No.  I reply with thanks, but no thanks.

I go to bed, and sneak a peak at the view count. 101,000. And counting.

Tuesday EOD Count: 125,000 [Read more...]

Guess.What.Day.It.Is?

camel-hump-day


Notes:

There’s that split second moment

photography,black and white

you know when someone asks you a general question like “how are you” or jokingly says something like “do you ever even sleep” and there’s that split-second moment where you consider actually telling them things

like whether they’re good or bad things whether they’re sad or happy or anything at all you just

think about telling them

everything 

but you don’t

~ jackfrost.co


Credits: Photograph - Drowned in Daydreams. Quote Source - mirrior.

8 of 10. Bam. On point.

grief, sad,hurt

In general, highly sensitive people tend:

  1. To be more sensitive to sights, smells, sounds, tastes and smells
  2. To be philosophical and more in touch with their spirituality
  3. To feel highly uncomfortable when being observed (e.g. by a teacher, a boss, during recitals and performances etc.)
  4. To have vivid dreams which they remember in great detail
  5. To have a deep appreciation for beauty, art and nature
  6. To be good readers of others, and of non-verbal cues
  7. To experience very powerful and intense emotions
  8. To find it difficult to rebound from strong feelings and emotions
  9. To be highly empathic and sensitive to others’ feelings
  10. To be hard on themselves, and unforgiving of mistakes.

~ Online Counseling College: “Qualities of Highly Sensitive People


Credits: Quote Source: Onlinecounsellingcollege. Photograph: Maeve:: To See You Like I Do by Reuben Wilson via Preciously Me.

Weekend Reflection

calvin-hobbes


Source: Just Sayin’

Monday Morning Wake-Up Call

funny-gif-horse-sleeping-tired


Source: themetapicture.com

Mur. Mur. Murmur. Magnificent.

starlings-murmuration

“Tens of thousands of starlings start their murmuration, with Criffel mountain in the background, as dusk fell last night (November 5, 2014) on the England and Scotland border near Gretna Green.”


 

Gate A-4

naomi_shihab_nye

Gate A-4 By Naomi Shihab Nye:

Wandering around the Albuquerque Airport Terminal, after learning my flight had been delayed four hours, I heard an announcement: “If anyone in the vicinity of Gate A-4 understands any Arabic, please come to the gate immediately.” Well— one pauses these days. Gate A-4 was my own gate. I went there.

An older woman in full traditional Palestinian embroidered dress, just like my grandma wore, was crumpled to the floor, wailing. “Help,” said the flight agent. “Talk to her . What is her problem? We told her the flight was going to be late and she did this.”

I stooped to put my arm around the woman and spoke haltingly. “Shu-dow-a, shu-bid-uck, habibti? Stani schway, min fadlick, shu-bit-se-wee?” The minute she heard any words she knew, however poorly used, she stopped crying. She thought the flight had been cancelled entirely. She needed to be in El Paso for major medical treatment the next day. I said, “No, we’re fine, you’ll get there, just late, who is picking you up? Let’s call him.”

We called her son, I spoke with him in English. I told him I would stay with his mother till we got on the plane. She talked to him. Then we called her other sons just for the fun of it. Then we called my dad and he and she spoke for a while in Arabic and found out of course they had ten shared friends. Then I thought just for the heck of it why not call some Palestinian poets I know and let them chat with her? This all took up two hours. [Read more...]

Sunday Morning: I’m here, where are you?


On many an occasion I’ve been camping in the Adirondacks, and one of my favorite periods is right at dusk when the lake becomes absolutely glass-like. The sun is setting but you can still see the silhouettes of trees, all these conical spires, beautiful reflection on the water for the last few bits of sunlight, and then you hear the wail of a loon. You’ll hear one individual of the pair give this long mournful wail, which is essentially saying, I’m here, where are you? Generally moments later you’ll hear the response from the other member of the pair giving its wail saying I’m over here. Loons are active at night. It can be out on a beautiful Adirondack lake after dark or a Northern Minnesota lake, and this is one of the characteristic evocative sounds you’re going to hear from that area; something that will stick with you for the rest of your life. It just punctuates the fall of night, and really sets the mood for what follows. The solitude, the peacefulness, it’s all wrapped up in that one vocalization.

~ Greg Budney, Macaulay Library Audio Curator


Source: Your Eyes Blaze Out

The Disease of Being Busy

omid-safi

The Disease of Being Busy by Omid Safi, recipient of the 2009 Teaching Award for Professor of the Year at Duke University:

I saw a dear friend a few days ago. I stopped by to ask her how she was doing, how her family was. She looked up, voice lowered, and just whimpered: “I’m so busy… I am so busy… have so much going on.” Almost immediately after, I ran into another friend and asked him how he was. Again, same tone, same response: “I’m just so busy… got so much to do.” The tone was exacerbated, tired, even overwhelmed.

…How did we end up living like this? Why do we do this to ourselves? Why do we do this to our children? When did we forget that we are human beings, not human doings?

…In many Muslim cultures, when you want to ask them how they’re doing, you ask: in Arabic, Kayf haal-ik? or, in Persian, Haal-e shomaa chetoreh? How is your haal? What is this haal that you inquire about? It is the transient state of one’s heart. In reality, we ask, “How is your heart doing at this very moment, at this breath?” When I ask, “How are you?” that is really what I want to know…

Don’t miss his entire post @ The Disease of Being Busy

or his follow-on post titled: The Thief of Intimacy, Busyness


Image Source: Duke University

 

T.G.I.F.: It’s Been A Long Week

vizsla-dog-pet-funny-gif


Source: gifak (*This is not our Viszla Zeke. He would have snagged this…)

What’s it gonna be today?

coin-flip-gif

Good Day. Or Bad Day.

(Who Chooses?)

Rush. Hurry. Spin. Pause.

(Who Chooses?)

Self-flagellation. Empathy. Gratitude.

(Who Chooses?)


Image Source: YourEyesBlazeOut

 

Words

sleep-dream-art
Looming and phosphorescent against the dark,
Words, always words.

— Charles Wright


Credits:

  • Image: Sleepless by Vanessa @ ésotérique
  • Poem: metaphorformetaphor from Charles Wright’s opening lines to opening lines to “Cryopexy,” The Other Side of the River (Vintage Books, 1984)

 

Psych2go

sleep-insomnia-agitation


I’m not sure whether I find this tweet to be:

(a) funny, because it is true, or

(b) beneficial, (incl free therapy) because it is true, or

(c) irritating, because it is true.

It’s settled.

It’s “c”.

I’m irritated.

No.

Let me re-phrase.

I’m fully agitated.


Source: To escape from the commonplaces of existence

Honor

veteran's day

No matter what your views on war, someone’s Father, Mother or child has put or is putting their life at risk for this country, for you, for me, for our families. Today, we honor those that serve and have served.

Former Georgia Senator and Governor Zell Miller :

“For it has been said so truthfully that it is the soldier, not the reporter, who has given us the freedom of the press. It is the soldier, not the poet, who has given us freedom of speech. It is the soldier, not the agitator, who has given us the freedom to protest. It is the soldier who salutes the flag, serves beneath the flag, whose coffin is draped by the flag, who gives that protester the freedom to abuse and burn that flag.”

Oliver Wendell Holmes:

Lord, bid war’s trumpet cease;
Fold the whole earth in peace.


Image Credit: Your Grace Is Enough

 

Plant myself at the gates of Hope

woman-portrait-hair-black-and-white

I have a friend who traffics in words. She is not a minister, but a psychiatrist in the health clinic at a prestigious women’s college. We were sitting once not long after a student she had known, and counseled, committed suicide in the dormitory there. My friend, the doctor, the healer, held the loss very closely in those first few days, not unprofessionally, but deeply, fully — as you or I would have, had this been someone in our care.

At one point (with tears streaming down her face), she looked up in defiance (this is the only word for it) and spoke explicitly of her vocation, as if out of the ashes of that day she were renewing a vow or making a new covenant (and I think she was). She spoke explicitly of her vocation, and of yours and mine. She said, “You know I cannot save them. I am not here to save anybody or to save the world. All I can do — what I am called to do — is to plant myself at the gates of Hope. Sometimes they come in; sometimes they walk by. But I stand there every day and I call out till my lungs are sore with calling, and beckon and urge them in toward beautiful life and love…

There’s something for all of us there, I think. Whatever our vocation, we stand, beckoning and calling, singing and shouting, planted at the gates of Hope. This world and our people are beautiful and broken, and we are called to raise that up — to bear witness to the possibility of living with the dignity, bravery, and gladness that befits a human being. That may be what it is to “live our mission.”

~ Victoria Safford, excerpt from “The Small Work in the Great Work


Notes:


Monday Gotta

woman-portrait-hand

You can change your clothes, but you gotta love your bones, baby.

- Jessica Blankenship, How To Not Fail At Your New Years Resolution


Notes:

 

Monday Morning Wake-Up Call

dog


Source: Gifak

Gray Hair and Silver Linings

long grey hair, woman

70 is the new 60.
60 is the new 50.
50 is the new 40.

Right.

These two NY Times Op-Ed pieces are beautifully written where ever you land with your math. I’ve chosen 2 excerpts. Be sure to click through to the full stories.

Frank Bruni turns 50 and writes Gray Hair and Silver Linings:

[...] There’s a point at which you have to accept that certain hopes and dreams won’t be realized, and 50 sure feels like it. I mean the lost margin for error. When you’re in your 20s and even your 30s, you can waste months, squander love, say yes to all the wrong things and no to all the right ones. And you can still recover, because there are many more months and loves and crossroads to come. The mistakes of youth are an education. The mistakes later on are just a shame. And I mean the lost people most of all: the ones from whom you’re separated by unmovable circumstances; the ones who’ve died. By 50 you start to see the pace of these disappearances accelerating. It’s haunting, and even harrowing. But there’s something else that you start to notice, something that muffles all of that, a muscle that grows stronger, not weaker. More than before, you’re able to find the good in the bad. You start to master perspective, realizing that with a shift in it — an adjustment of attitude, a reorientation of expectations — what’s bothersome can evaporate and what only seems to be urgent really isn’t…

Emily Fox Gordon, 66, with The Meaning of Fulfillment:

AT 66, I find myself feeling fulfilled. I didn’t expect this, and don’t know quite what to make of it…Fulfillment is a dubious gift because you receive it only when you’re approaching the end. You can’t consider your life fulfilled until you’re fairly sure of its temporal shape, and you can’t get a view of that until you’re well past its midpoint  [...]  At any rate, by now I’ve racked up enough achievements that I feel I can stop trying. Paradoxically, of course, I find I don’t want to stop. Now that not much is at stake, I’m more ambitious than ever, or at least more conscious of my ambition. Liberated from an anxiety I’ve struggled to suppress, I feel a new energy. What is fulfillment made of? Mostly relief…


Image Source: imgarcade

Sunday Morning: Life


Take one minute…and watch. Full stop.


Notes:

  • Inspiration – Albert Einstein: “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.”
  • Source for video share: Stepsonmysunlightfloor

We are vastly interconnected. Our fates are inseparable.

dance-wings-fly-jump

The first living cell came into being nearly 40 million centuries ago, and its direct descendants are in all of our bloodstreams. Literally you are breathing molecules this very second that were inhaled by Moses, Mother Teresa, and Bono. We are vastly interconnected. Our fates are inseparable. We are here because the dream of every cell is to become two cells. And dreams come true. In each of you are one quadrillion cells, 90 percent of which are not human cells. Your body is a community, and without those other microorganisms you would perish in hours. Each human cell has 400 billion molecules conducting millions of processes between trillions of atoms. The total cellular activity in one human body is staggering: one septillion actions at any one moment, a one with twenty-four zeros after it. In a millisecond, our body has undergone ten times more processes than there are stars in the universe, which is exactly what Charles Darwin foretold when he said science would discover that each living creature was a “little universe, formed of a host of self-propagating organisms, inconceivably minute and as numerous as the stars of heaven.”

So I have two questions for you all: First, can you feel your body? Stop for a moment. Feel your body. One septillion activities going on simultaneously, and your body does this so well you are free to ignore it, and wonder instead when this speech will end. You can feel it. It is called life. This is who you are. Second question: who is in charge of your body? Who is managing those molecules?…Life is creating the conditions that are conducive to life inside you, just as in all of nature. Our innate nature is to create the conditions that are conducive to life. What I want you to imagine is that collectively humanity is evincing a deep innate wisdom in coming together to heal the wounds and insults of the past.

Ralph Waldo Emerson once asked what we would do if the stars only came out once every thousand years. No one would sleep that night, of course. The world would create new religions overnight. We would be ecstatic, delirious, made rapturous by the glory of God. Instead, the stars come out every night and we watch television.

This extraordinary time when we are globally aware of each other and the multiple dangers that threaten civilization has never happened, not in a thousand years, not in ten thousand years. Each of us is as complex and beautiful as all the stars in the universe. We have done great things and we have gone way off course in terms of honoring creation. You are graduating to the most amazing, stupefying challenge ever bequested to any generation. The generations before you failed. They didn’t stay up all night. They got distracted and lost sight of the fact that life is a miracle every moment of your existence. Nature beckons you to be on her side. You couldn’t ask for a better boss. The most unrealistic person in the world is the cynic, not the dreamer. Hope only makes sense when it doesn’t make sense to be hopeful. This is your century. Take it and run as if your life depends on it.

~ Paul Hawken, You Are Brilliant and The Earth is Hiring


This is an excerpt from Hawken’s Commencement Address at the University of Portland in 2009 found in Paul Loeb’s book: The Impossible Will Take a Little While: A Citizen’s Guide to Hope in a Time of Fear. (Basic Books, 2014). Hawken worked with Martin Luther King, Jr., in Selma, Alabama; founded leading natural-foods wholesaler Erewhon and the Smith & Hawken garden supply company; and currently heads a thin-panel solar company . His books include The Ecology of Commerce (HarperCollins, 1993) and Blessed Unrest (Viking, 2007). Carbon, The Business of Life will be published in 2014. Hawken’s website can be found at paulhawken.com.


Credits: Photograph – Your Eyes Blaze Out

Saturday Susurrus

fall-autumn-leaves
  “susurrus [soo-sur-uhs]”

— (noun) As one of the most beautiful words in the English language, susurrusis defined as a soft, murmuring sound. It resembles the rustling symphony of the fallen leaves moving across the pavement or the whispers created by the branches of the trees on a windy, autumn day. Uttering susurrus also simulates the acoustics of nature’s effect; this is one of those rare words where its aesthetic, sound and feel coincide beautifully.


Credits: Photograph: Béatrice Lechtanski via Art Propelled. Quote: Thank you Rudy @ Et in Arcadia Ego*

Splitting an Order

cutting-sandwich

I like to watch an old man cutting a sandwich in half,
maybe an ordinary cold roast beef on whole wheat bread,
no pickles or onion, keeping his shaky hands steady
by placing his forearms firm on the edge of the table
and using both hands, the left to hold the sandwich in place,
and the right to cut it surely, corner to corner,
observing his progress through glasses that moments before
he wiped with his napkin, and then to see him lift half
onto the extra plate that he asked the server to bring,
and then to wait, offering the plate to his wife
while she slowly unrolls her napkin and places her spoon,
her knife, and her fork in their proper places,
then smooths the starched white napkin over her knees
and meets his eyes and holds out both old hands to him.

~ Ted Kooser, Splitting an Order


Image: Dreamstime

T.G.I.F.: It’s been a long week

TGIF-T.G.I.F.-funny-fire


Source: Bunsen

Lightly child, lightly

fly-bird-paper-magic


Credits:

  • 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.”
  • Image Source: Your Eyes Blaze Out

 

Throwback Thursday

marble


Source: Your Eyes Blaze Out

Guess.What.Day.It.Is?

caleb-camel-hump-day

Caleb visits the Pittsburgh Zoo. Check out his sweet Serape…

Check out his sexy legs in the frontal shot below: [Read more...]

Am I the light? The bulb? A bus? A lump of coal?

light-bulb

What am I?
Am I the bulb that carries the light,
or am I the light of which the bulb is a vehicle?

~ Joseph Campbell, The Power of Myth

Notes:

  • Had to think about this one for a bit. May be early.
  • Credits: Photography – Amy Andress. Quote - Schonwieder

4:30 (a.m.) on a starry morning…

newspaper

Four-thirty on a starry morning, and soon our Journal Star carrier will come roaring out of the east in his pickup, headlights like fists on the loose black reins of darkness, the road crunching under his tires, and slow down, stop, and drop the news in the dew-struck weeds under the mailbox. Without a pause he’ll wheel around, the gravel flying, headlights sweeping the yard and house, and roar back east. Such resentment he must feel for us, here at the far end of the news, this house hidden in trees with just one window lit, where someone is up early writing.

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


Credits: Photograph – Brenda Anderson

November 3rd. A BIG Day.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

National Sandwich Day! (Where’s the Jam?!?)


Source: Omnomnom!

Monday Morning Wake-up Call

funny-gif-panda-surprised-squirrel-damn


Source: themetapicture.com. Thank you Susan.

 

It is an issue of private shame

Hungry-Child

James Harrison, New Statesman: The Foodbank Dilemma:

“…A young clean-shaven man leads an older, grey-haired, battered-by-life-version-of-himself to where Tony stands. Tony greets them kindly and asks the younger man who referred them to the food bank. There’s a moment of startled silence. Then the younger man says gruffly, “It’s not for me, it’s for my dad”, and looks down at the floor. The colour flushing his face makes clear his embarrassment…”

“…School holidays are the hardest time because you have to feed your children three times a day. That’s why I am coming here now…”

“…Normally I eat porridge in the morning to fill myself up and then often I don’t eat at all myself in the evenings. But today is the start of the kids’ holidays and so they don’t get the school meals, they have to eat all their food at home and I just can’t manage…”

“…Not having enough food is a very private issue…It is an issue of private shame. People eat mostly within the home, and so what people eat, and the ways in which it is inadequate, people keep to themselves. And it is an issue of private suffering. If you are not getting enough food, or the right kind of food, you absorb the misery yourself. The cost is embodied by you. It is your body that becomes unhealthy…”

“…people turned to food aid as “a strategy of last resort”, when they have exhausted all other possibilities, including cutting back on food and turning to family and friends. No one I met used a foodbank lightly. Louise had been skipping dinners for months before she went to Coventry Foodbank. She finally attended so she could feed her children during the school holiday…”

“…I saw a young woman break down into floods of tears when the food was brought out. She was overwhelmed by the idea that she could feed her family properly that night…”

“…Another man, too shy to talk to me, told the volunteers he had walked miles across the city to get a referral and then a few miles more for his food that afternoon. He didn’t have enough money for the bus fare. He sat, exhausted, cradling a cup of tea, rocking backwards and forwards, before making the same trip home again. This time laden down with his bags of food…”

“…I am down to the last pound or so on my electricity card and I am really starting to worry about that. And so I have been going to bed really hungry for a week or so. It’s my second trip. I was really worried about coming the first time. I was ashamed, but everyone has made me feel so welcome, and told me not to worry. This time I feel more comfortable. I hope my benefit issues will get sorted out soon so I don’t have to come again…”

Read full article here: The Foodbank Dilemma:


Image Credit: shescribes.com

 

No more. No less.

blue-sky
NY Times Review of Rob Pruitt’s exhibition titled: “Multiple Personalities.

[Read more...]

Being lost to time, alone

reading-book

I woke this morning thinking about a friend who died three years ago of cancer of the brain. She spent her last months reading books, packing her painfully swollen head with words that she would soon be taking into silence. From under her turban her blue eyes shone. I thought it peculiar that she would use up what little time she had left on learning, that she didn’t want to be outside in the last of her seasons, an autumn and a winter, the cheerful yellow leaves, the immaculate snow, but I had forgotten— how could I have forgotten?— how much pleasure there is in being lost to time, alone with a book.

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


Photograph Source: Danielle Nelson

 

SMWI*: Come on Ursula. Nobody believes that. No pain…

black-cat

Perfection is “lean” and “taut” and “hard” — like a boy athlete of twenty, a girl gymnast of twelve. What kind of body is that for a man of fifty or a woman of any age? “Perfect”? What’s perfect? A black cat on a white cushion, a white cat on a black one … A soft brown woman in a flowery dress… There are a whole lot of ways to be perfect, and not one of them is attained through punishment.

~ Ursula Le Guin, on dieters and exercisers in Ursula K. Le Guin – On Aging and What Beauty Really Means


Notes:

 

5:00 PM Bell

snoopy-gif-tgif


Source: Your Eyes Blaze Out

T.G.I.F.: It’s been a long week

panda-gif


Day in the life of a leader…


Source: gifak (administering medicine to Panda)

It’s Been A Long Day

sun conure


Notes:

Lightly child, lightly

bubbles, blow bubble


Credits:

  • 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.”
  • Image Source: Your Eyes Blaze Out.

 

Guess.What.Day.It.Is?

camel-wednesday-hump-day-funny


Our morning ritual. My buddy reads me my Fan mail before we shower and take a long walk in the desert.


Notes: Source: themetapicture.com. Background on Caleb and the Wednesday Hump Day Posts: Let’s Hit it Again.

Whispering. Whispering.

red hair

Through pride we are ever deceiving ourselves.
But deep down below the surface of the average conscience
a still, small voice says to us,
something is out of tune.

~ Carl Gustav Jung


Credits: Quote – Thank you Eclecticity. Photograph: eikadan

The Last Frontier. Right Here. Right Now.

black and white

I think there’s still a small block of original quiet
that exists in the world.
3 a.m. to 5 a.m. —
a last natural wilderness,
time’s shrinking little Antarctica.

Steven Hall, The Raw Shark Texts

 


Credits: Quote - A Sea of Quotes. Photography: Mirellamel via youreyesblazeout

 

Monday Mantra

misty-mirror

What kind of mind is odder
than his who mists
a mirror and then complains
that it’s not clear.

- Sor Juana Inez de la Cruz, “You Foolish Men” 


Credits: Photo – aspiringmama. Poem: bostonpoetryslam via schwonwieder

The differences are at the 5% level. That’s pretty good.

Craig Newmark

What surprises me, in a way, is how almost universally people are trustworthy and good. There are problems, and sometimes people bicker, which is a pain in the ass, but people are good. No matter what your religious background, we share pretty much the same values. There are some minor differences that we disagree on, but the differences are at the 5 percent level. That’s pretty good.

~ Craig Newmark, Founder of Craigs List in Founders at Work


Quote: Brainpickings. Photograph: bigmarketingsmallbusiness

The righteous will cross the paper bridge

light

Remember the story you learned as a child: When the hour arrives for us to proceed to the next world, there will be two bridges to it, one made of iron and one made of paper,” Peretz intoned. His words were heavy, but his voice floated on rings of smoke, a breath of fire and ash that hovered over the room full of Hebrew and Yiddish books, as if waiting to descend and consume them. Der Nister swallowed, breathing in the master’s air. “The wicked will run to the iron bridge, but it will collapse under their weight. The righteous will cross the paper bridge, and it will support them all. Paper is the only eternal bridge. Your purpose as a writer is to achieve one task, and one task only: to build a paper bridge to the world to come.

~ Dara Horn, The World To Come


Notes:

Riding Metro North. With Massenet.

42nd-new-york-city

I’m on the first train. I’m with my commuters deep into the morning papers. The silence is broken for three short intervals - the conductor collecting tickets and two stops on the Express. Otherwise, a library. 55 minutes of heaven.

Yet, the silence is thundering.

EBOLA. Mid-term elections. School shootings. Shooting rampage in the Canadian Parliament. Ukraine. Work-budget-goals. Man attacks NYC cops with a hatchet. Markets tumbling. Afghanistan. Iraq. Syria. Hong Kong protesters. Millions of air bag recalls. Stepfather Charged After 3-Year-Old Girl Beaten to Death at Brooklyn Shelter. OMG. Turn the page. Turn the page. Turn the page. Unable to find something Good, I put away the news, close my eyes, lean my head against the window and drift into Grand Central.

I twist in my ear buds, first right and then left. I exit the train to 42nd street with hundreds of early morning commuters.

Zibby introduces Jesse to classical music in Liberal Arts; DK had no such Muse. Yet, the impact is no less Divine. The biting winds of darkness and doubt whistling through the skull are placed on Pause. My 12-minute cross-town walk is filled with ethereal beauty, a peace, a calmness, a lightness. The delivery trucks. The yellow cabs, honey bees buzzing in and out. The shop owner opening the gate. A construction worker taking a long pull on his cigarette. A student sipping coffee in an empty Diner. The leaves on a lonely tree rustling from the gust of a passing bus. All of it, a symphony. [Read more...]

Cpl. Nathan Cirillo

cpl-cirillo-dogs

That’s a photo of Cpl. Nathan Cirillo’s dogs waiting for him to come home. Unfortunately, he’s not coming home. Not today. Not ever.

He was near the end of an hour’s duty standing honor guard at the foremost monument to his nation’s fallen soldiers, the granite and bronze National War Memorial in central Ottawa, when a gunman shot and fatally wounded him on Wednesday morning.  He was a barrel-chested young man with a ready smile, a gym buff with a fondness for rescue dogs, and the very proud father of a sandy-haired boy who had just started kindergarten. (NY Times)

And be sure not to miss this short NBC news segment that ran last night on Canada’s tribute to Cpl Cirillo. As a fellow Canadian, I was MOVED but the response.

NBC Nightly News: Funeral Held for Canadian Soldier Killed in Parliament Shooting

And Michael Petrou captures the mood in his NY Times Op-Ed essay titled Shattering the Peace on Parliament Hill:

HERE in Canada’s capital, Parliament Hill is about as majestic as public spaces get. The Parliament buildings, somber and gothic, push into the sky above the river. An expanse of green lawn slopes down to Wellington Street with its tourists and a hot dog vendor. The whole place would be imposing if the locals treated it with deference. But we don’t. There’s no security stopping pedestrians from getting onto the hill. On any given day you’re likely to find people on the lawn playing soccer or doing yoga. There are almost always protesters of some sort — usually polite and not that obtrusive. Activists calling for marijuana legalization occasionally gather to smoke pot. I’ve always been proud of the relaxed feel of the place, its accessibility and, frankly, its lack of visible security. It fits with my ideal of a government that isn’t separate from or above the people it serves. You don’t see portraits of our prime minister in Canadian schools or public buildings, either. After all, he’s not our head of state, and the government is Her Majesty’s; he merely runs it. On Wednesday, a gunman exploited this openness at the heart of Canada’s democracy. After murdering the Canadian soldier Cpl. Nathan Cirillo at the nearby National War Memorial, he ran into the main Parliament building and was just outside members’ caucus rooms when he was shot dead

[...]As for Parliament Hill, it and downtown Ottawa had a far less placid atmosphere Wednesday. There were hundreds of armed men and women, dogs, sirens and, briefly, the faint smell of gunpowder. And yet the police were professional and respectful. Onlookers were calm. The hill may never fully return to what it was before, but I hope it comes close. Locked gates would seem out of place here.

 


Photograph: twitter

 

 

Saturday Morning

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I always forget how important the empty days are, how important it may be sometimes not to expect to produce anything, even a few lines in a journal. A day when one has not pushed oneself to the limit seems a damaged damaging day, a sinful day. Not so! The most valuable thing one can do for the psyche, occasionally, is to let it rest, wander, live in the changing light of a room.


Photographer: Heiner Luepke via Gabriel. Quote Source: Artpropelled