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.
Only in America do we equate workaholism with virtue and view time spent at the shore or in the mountains or in the desert as time wasted — as evidence of laziness. Americans feel guilty about taking time off and equate workaholism with virtue. That’s stupid.
Post inspired by the movie: “13 Conversations About One Thing“:
I’ve always thought of contentment
as a form of resignation.
Of accepting the status quo.
It means you’ve given up.
I’m not ready to surrender.
~ John Turturro in 13 Conversations about One Thing
Loved the movie. Here’s a trailer:
49 Signs You’re Addicted To Reading by Koty Neelis:
1) …People are cool but reading is your preferred social activity.
8) You carry a book with you at all times because you never know when you’ll have a spare minute to do some extra reading.
16) You legitimately don’t understand people who say they don’t read.
25) You honestly can’t think of a better way to spend a Sunday than reading a book and drinking coffee or tea.
29) You buy more books even if you have a stack of books that haven’t been read yet.
Read all 49 signs your addicted @ 49 Signs You’re Addicted To Reading
[...] 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
- Image - Stepsonmysunlitfloor.com.
- Poem: Thank you Carol @ Radiating Blossom. Find poem in David Whyte’s Book: Everything is Waiting for You
“Recognised for producing works of stirring psychological intensity, Cyrulla has brought a new dimension to contemporary Australian art. She neither glamorises nor romanticises her subject matter but does show an intense respect for the lives portrayed by acknowledging we all have private worlds filled with mystery.”
– Catherine Caines, September 2011, Wish Magazine The Australian
Find other fine works in her portfolio here.
Source: Thank you Your Eyes Blaze Out
~ Miranda July, No One Belongs Here More Than You
The weekday frenzy slows to a drip.
A quiet sets in.
Zeke jumps on the bed, curls once, twice and falls, leaning into me. And sighs.
Going Down. Down. Down.
The great Unwind commences.
Credits: Image – Lulufrost
“The paradox of Wu-Wei arises…”
The phone rings. I glance at my watch. 5:20 p.m.
We have a problem. We need your help.
Just one time, one time, it would be nice to get a different script at the end of the day. Dreamworks ~ The phone rings: “Hey DK, great news….”
My periscope is up and scanning the horizon. (Is the house burning or is it a pan on the stove that’s on fire? Fur is up.)
The interrogation commences.
Start from the beginning.
What options have you explored?
Did you check this? What about that?
Did you ask this? Did you ask that?
The team has done a thorough job in assessing the situation. (House is not burning. But it’s a large pan on the stove that’s smoldering.)
The anxiety is climbing. (Is that fear I’m smelling?)
The team, sensing a dead-end, is feeling out my receptivity for an exception approval. Meanwhile, I’m winding up the next series of questions and readying the cannon to fire:
~ Josef Albers
Josef Albers (1888 – 1976) was a German-born American artist and educator whose work, both in Europe and in the United States, formed the basis of some of the most influential and far-reaching art education programs of the twentieth century. In Poems and Drawings, first published in 1958, Josef Albers attempted to penetrate the meaning of art and life by the simplest, most disciplined means. This project was extremely important to Albers, who used its format to create complementary forms in both word and line that appear deceptively simple until they begin to disclose the author’s insights into nature, art, and life. Conceived as a kind of artist’s book, the publication features 22 of Albers’s refined line drawings alongside the same number of his original poems—each appearing in both English and German. (Source: Wiki & Google)
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)
…“Work-life balance” is a toxic distinction, inviting misery and stress, endless juggling and reconfigurations to try and get it “right,” where no right actually exists.
Maybe the hippies, the yogis, Einstein had it right when they say that everything is life – no matter what you’re doing, where you are, who you’re with – because everything is energy, vibration, movement. You can’t separate work from life anymore than you can separate water from a river.
The question, then, becomes more about where, energetically speaking, do you want to dwell? What sort of pulse and movement do you want to enjoy, through it all? Tortured and low, with the executives and the mind’s cruel categories, or up high, with the lovers, the synergists and the fools?
~ Mark Morford, Is “Work-Life” Balance a Lie?
Photograph Credit: Brooke Didonato
Most people have the hardest time relaxing. We were taught at an early age to ‘do,’ and now we are so addicted to doing that even if we take a break we think about what to do next. Very few ever realize that the priceless treasure in life is ‘Being.’
- Photograph: Thank you Brian Ingram. Note that Brian also kindly permitted the use of his photograph for my blog header.
- Quote: Thank you Karen @ Karen’s Korner.
New time of day.
A mid-day oasis.
A sabbatical from the morning crush.
No scramble to find a seat.
Tourists staring out the window.
Day visitors chattering.
Students with headphones bobbing their heads.
And a smattering of Suits.
The Sun beams through the windows overheating the railcars.
The train clacks Se détendre. Se détendre. Relax.
We pull into Grand Central at 3:51 pm, 10 minutes late.
The crowd meanders out of the car.
I zig zag around them.
I have a 4pm call and need to get out of the tunnels to get a cell signal.
The escalator to the Exit is out of order. I look up the stairs. Way up. And groan.
I take them. One at a time.
Counting them off.
I look up. Dear God. I’m only about half way there. Where the h*ll is the Oasis now.
Heaving now. Gasping for air. Middle age wheels are coming off.
I steal a peak at my watch. 3:58 pm. 2 minutes until the start of my call.
Pay attention. A toe stub would be a calamity, serious mellon damage.
A backward tumble is unimaginable.
3 steps left.
76.77.78. Could this be what a heart attack feels like?
I dig into my bag. And pair my bluetooth ear piece to my phone.
“Good afternoon everyone. I’m going to put my phone on mute. Please take the lead.”
Wow, I managed to get that out.
Superman leans against the sign post on Madison and 46th.
The chattering continues in his right ear
as he watches the yellow cabs flying by.
The delivery trucks.
All a symphony. An orchestra.
He waits for the Walk signal pondering the antidote to his Kryptonite.
And there it is.
Don’t fish? Don’t like fishing? Don’t care about fishing? No worries. This short film is so much bigger than that.
…It’s easy to stay inside when the weather isn’t pleasant. Sometimes convincing yourself to get out is the hardest part. And once you’re out, it’d easy to find an excuse to quit. But there are just some things you can’t see from the inside of your house. Some things you can’t feel and experience from the comfort of your warm home. Things your high definition TV can’t give justice to.
The woods are silent. And the water abandoned by the crowds who surrender to the cold. You fully appreciate the stream you fish, when you see it cycle through all its seasons. The dense thick green canopy is gone. And the stream runs crisp clean and bright. The sun touches water it only reaches a few month a year.
The pain of frozen extremities fades fast when you hook that first fish. And all of the sudden, it all seems worth it. You forget about all of your problems. You forget about the ice in your guides. The frozen hands. The problems at home. Troubles at work. It all fades.
At the end of a cold day of fishing you end up much more thankful than when began. Thankful for the motivation to get up and get out. Thankful for the lessons of the day. Thankful for the fish you may have been blessed with. And thankful to return home to the things outside of fishing.”
A good book
Pandora on loop
A Snow Day
Wood cackling in fireplace
Dog wagging tail
Pancakes with maple syrup
Tomato Soup and Grill Cheese
Hot chocolate with marshmallows
Piping hot chicken noodle soup
Hot Tea with honey
An unexpected call from a friend
Softness of skin after shaving
Hot apple cider
Long afternoon nap
Warm tropical winds
Poetry I understand
Poetry about spring
Mindless web surfing.
Saturday morning papers in bed.
Background music on Pandora.
Shower? Shave? No. Sweatpants.
Breakfast: French Toast with hot maple cream syrup.
Old episodes of “Cheers.”
Words with Friends.
Short walk with Zeke.
Lunch: Piping hot tomato soup and Grilled Cheese.
Curl up on couch in attic. Rain (forecasted) pattering on roof.
Samuel Beckett’s “Three Novels: Molloy. Malone. Unnamable.”
Drift into Long nap.
Gentle foreign film whisking me off to Paris.
In a place like Paris, the air is so thick with dreams they clog the streets and take all the good tables at the cafés. Poets and writers, models and designers, painters and sculptors, actors and directors, lovers and escapists, they flock to the City of Lights. That night at Polly’s, the table spilled over with the rapture of pilgrims who have found their temple. That night, among new friends and safe at Shakespeare and Company, I felt it too. Hope is a most beautiful drug.
— Jeremy Mercer, Time Was Soft There: A Paris Sojourn at Shakespeare & Co.
“I’m sick of watching the shirts with sleeves hang lonesome in my closet, I want to put them on and let you take them off. I want to wear the kinds of things that don’t slip off in an instant, the kinds of things with zippers and buttons and layers and depth. I want to feel soft, I want the comfort of a comforter, I want to spend Saturdays in bed with all the windows open.
I want to spend Sundays in cars with the windows open, too, driving to fields where apples and pumpkins grow. I want to taste the thick of fall in my mouth, in pies and brews and hot coffee. I want confusion over whether or not to wear a jacket and confusion over what hue that tree was three weeks ago, I want everything to change so that I can feel like there’s reason to be alert, like there’s a reason to wake up again.”
“…Did you know they have performed studies? Tests? Surveys and scientific trials into the idea of luck, into the phenomenon of good fortune? Of course they have. They are trying to answer why some people enjoy endless, seemingly effortless heaps of happy fortuitousness and serendipity, while others – do you know anyone like this? – are in a state of near constant, ass-clenched frustration because the world refuses to obey their narrow and twitchy expectations, and therefore they are always sick, broken, late, damaged, loveless and lost, and nothing good or happy or fortunate ever seems to happen to them. Don’t believe it? Just ask them…
It’s a dead-simple thing, really: Luck is a choice. Luck is a modality, a way of operating, a thing you can switch on in an instant and then enjoy its throb and heat and pulse forever and ever until you die, like a cosmic rabbit vibrator for your soul…
“Unlucky people are generally more tense than lucky people and this anxiety disrupts their ability to notice the unexpected. As a result, they miss opportunities because they are too focused on looking for something else. Lucky people, on the other hand, are more relaxed and open, which means they see what is there.”
See? Obvious. But there’s a catch: Despite its simplicity, it’s not at all easy to change modes and switch that luck energy on. After all, misery is addictive. Millions of people are deeply attached to their suffering, their haphazard convictions, their inability to see how their own nervous monofocus and attachment to particular goals or obsessive desires might be blocking out all manner of opportunity right here and now, in the white-hot immediate moment. [Read more...]
Balos Bay, Gramvousa, Crete,Greece
Two questions: Which one of the four below are you? (Assuming you are one of the four.) Which one is optimal?
- “A” > “B” = No “C”
- “A” < “B” = No “C”
- “A” + “B” = Some “C”
- “P” = “J” = No “C”
Where ‘A’= Time Spent On What You Love to Do.
Where ‘B’= Time Spent on Your Job.
Where ‘C’= Amount of Your Free Time.
Where ‘P’= What You Love To Do.
Where ‘J’ = Your Job.
Chart Source: Great Work Done From 5 to 9 @ Indexed by Jessica Hagy
In the journal entries recorded in subsequent weeks and months, we meet with no passages quite so ornate or imposing as this epiphany entered on August 13, today, in 1851…
Thoreau made the following entry under the heading “Drifting”:
“Drifting in a sultry day on the sluggish waters of the pond, I almost cease to live – and begin to be. A boat-man stretched on the deck of his craft, and dallying with the noon, would be as apt an emblem of eternity for me, as the serpent with his tail in his mouth. I am never so prone to lose my identity. I am dissolved in the haze.”
~ Professor Alan D. Hodder, Thoreau’s Ecstatic Witness (p.63). From Henry David Thoreau’s journal entries on August 13, 1851.
You’re always in a rush,
or else you’re too exhausted to have a proper conversation.
the long hours,
the broken sleep
have all crept into your being and
become part of you,
so everyone can see it,
in your posture,
the way you move and talk.
~ Kazuo Ishiguro, Never Let Me Go
Eric is four. Relentless. “Come on Dad. It’s time to go swimming.” Pulling on my hand. “Come on Dad. Dad, come on!”
The marble floor in the bathroom is cool and smooth on our bare feet. I watch him struggle tugging on his suit. His little white bottom contrasting against his milk chocolate tan lines. He lets out a whimper in frustration as he can’t pull on his swim shirt.
We step outside.
We had lived in Miami for four years. The sweltering summer heat was still a shock. Swallowing up oxygen. Mixing with the heavy pool chlorine…filling nostrils and lungs.
10am. 91F. And there is still August to go.