Lightly Child, Lightly.

Lizzie, 18, while reminiscing on the webb telescope photos


Notes:

  • Source: boudicca
  • 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.”

Guess.What.Day.It.Is?


Notes:

  • Photo: Maxim Yaroslavsky (via Unsplash)
  • Background on Caleb/Wednesday/Hump Day Posts and Geico’s original commercial: Let’s Hit it Again.

Miracle. All of it. (19 sec)


Notes: Source: Lunch Time @ Monterey Bay.  Post Title: 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.”

Monday Morning Wake-Up Call. (If you think your commute is too long…)

If you think your commute is too long, be glad you’re not a godwit.Each year around this time, tens of thousands of bar-tailed godwits migrate from Alaska to New Zealand and Australia. The 7,000-mile journey — the longest nonstop migration of any land bird — is completed in eight to 10 days of continuous flapping without stopping to eat, drink or rest.

The godwit’s ordeal is so extreme that, as one recent paper put it, it challenges “underlying assumptions of bird physiology.” Before the bird takes off, its organs shrink, its pectoral muscles grow, and it gobbles up insects, worms and mollusks to store fat for the long journey. One scientist called the godwits “obese super athletes.”

— Matthew Cullen, Evening Briefing, NY Times. September 20, 2022. 

A coloured cloud

As I wash the dishes I am filled with an invigorating emptiness and amuse myself with the soap bubbles. The water comes out of the tap with a rhythm that demands music. I accompany it with bursts of whistling and a phrase from a nondescript popular song. I play with the lather, which is like a cloud in which seasonal colours gleam then fade. I grasp the cloud in my hand and distribute it over the plates, glasses, cups, spoons and knives. It inflates as drops of water run over it. I scoop it up and make it fly through the air and it laughs at me, and my sense of having time to spare increases. My mind is blank, as indifferent as the noonday heat. But images of memories descend from afar and land in the bowl of water, neutral memories, neither painful nor joyful, such as a walk in a pine forest, or waiting for a bus in the rain, and I wash them as intently as if l had a literary crystal vase in my hands. When I am sure they’re not broken, they return safely to where they came from in the pine forest, and I remain here. I play with the soapy lather and forget what is absent. I look contentedly at my mind, as clear as the kitchen glass, and at my heart, as free of stains as a carefully washed plate. When feel completely sated with invigorating emptiness, I fill it with words of interest to nobody but me: these words!

Mahmoud Darwish, “A coloured cloud” in “A River Dies of Thirst


Notes:

Yep.


Notes:

  • Photo: DK @ Gull @ Daybreak. 42° F. 6:48 am. September 24, 2022. Cove Island Park, Stamford, CT. More photos from this morning here.
  • Quote Source: @jessecase (via Last Tambourine)

Autumn: October 13, 1946.


Thank you Kurt @ Cultural Offering.

Lightly Child, Lightly.

The answers were nearly always – light.

Light.

There.

The quick glow of a fierce sensation.

— Maddie Mortimer, Maps of Our Spectacular Bodies (Picador; March 31, 2022)


Notes:

  • Photo by DK @ Daybreak. 5:45 a.m. 60° F. September 17, 2022. Cove Island Park, Stamford, CT.  See more photos from that morning here.
  • 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.”

Guess.What.Day.It.Is?


Notes:

  • Photo: Basheer Alshammari (via Unsplash)
  • Background on Caleb/Wednesday/Hump Day Posts and Geico’s original commercial: Let’s Hit it Again.

Watch it


Series can found on Netflix. Must watch T.V. bringing light amid so much darkness. (Thank you Susan)

Monday Morning Wake-Up Call – “Heaven”, I suggest. “Yup.”

Jeff Bridges at 72 wakes early and lingers a while in bed. Since a battle with lymphatic cancer that began two years ago (“When they found a 9in by 12in mass in my stomach”) and a bad case of Covid he contracted on his local chemo ward (“It made the cancer look like a piece of cake”), rising in the mornings has been a struggle for the veteran Hollywood actor. “I really have to drag myself out of bed,” he says. When Bridges is finally up and about, he stretches, he does a daily breathing exercise so intense it leaves him trembling, he makes coffee, he reads. By the time he’s down in the garage of his Santa Barbara home, maybe noodling about on a musical instrument, or painting, he’ll be feeling and behaving more like the Jeff Bridges that movie-goers have come to know: that beautifully unpolished, scruffy-sweet, growly-squeaky figure, irresistible in deathless works that include The Fabulous Baker Boys, The Big Lebowski and True Grit. […]

Bridges pats his chest, a where-was-I gesture. Oh yeah, positivity. “What I learned from that whole experience in hospital was: life is constantly giving us gifts. They may be gifts that we don’t think we want. Who wants cancer? Who wants fucking Covid, man? Well it turns out, I did. Because dealing with your mortality, it makes things more precious. It’s a gift, man, to realise that I’ve got eyes to look at all this beautiful stuff in the world. I can feel the temperature of the day on my skin. I’ve got a wife who loves me, my kids, too, and I can bathe in that love. It’s all a gift.”

Bridges was born to Lloyd and his wife Dorothy at the end of the 1940s, “right after they’d lost a child to Sudden Infant Death Syndrome,” he adds. “Can you imagine? Your one-year-old? But they had me. They got back in the saddle.” He wound up being the middle of three kids, his older brother Beau going on to become a successful film actor, his little sister Cindy an artist. “Our mom loved mothering,” Bridges remembers. “We all got to benefit. She did this thing with her kids called Time. It was an hour every day with each of us, doing whatever we wanted. Pretending to be clowns. Space monsters. You never got the feeling of duty coming from her. She just dug playing.” […]

At one point in our conversation, Bridges tries to recall a younger actor he worked with on the 2013 action- comedy R.I.P.D., only to blank on his name. He snaps his fingers, reaching for it. “I just watched his recent movie, Free Guy.” Ryan Reynolds? I suggest. “Yes!” Bridges exclaims, relieved, troubled as well by the lapse.

“Isn’t that terrible? That’s embarrassing. To forget someone’s name when they’re dear to you It’s awkward. It feels weird to me.” Bridges shakes his head and says: “Memory, man. As I get older I ask my brain for a name, a word, and it says, ‘Are you kidding?’ My brain is flipping me fingers.” I ask about his return to work on his new drama, The Old Man, whether he struggled to remember lines on set. Ian McKellen, a decade older than Bridges, but still in regular work, once told me that actors die twice. The first death comes when they stop being able to memorise their dialogue. “I was pleasantly surprised to find that was not the case on The Old Man,” Bridges says. “Maybe it’s a short-term, long-term memory thing?” […]

Before his mother died, she wrote Bridges a poem in which she described the “honour” of reaching advanced age. I ask him what he thinks she meant by the word. “It’s interesting. New shit comes up constantly as you get older. But it’s not like you’re learning new shit, it’s more like you’re practising how you respond to life. You kind of get to practise what you are.” Bridges continues, “People don’t talk too much about it, but often, in old age? You’ll be going through the things that age offers us – closer proximity to death, a whole different way of dealing with sex, hormonal shifts that make you look at intimacy in a different way – and it almost feels like going through adolescence again. Think of being young. Think of asking a girl out on a first date. Think of how that feels.” Bridges, touching his heart again, issues a high-trembling bleat to express how it feels, as love, terror and hope intermingle. “You have versions of that in old age, too.” […]

At the beginning of our conversation, Bridges talked me through his morning routine, those aching grouchy wake-ups before he stretches and breathes and makes coffee. Now he explains how each day ends for him and Sue. “We sit and we eat dinner in front of the TV. We’re always hooked on some new show or another. Maybe we’re getting tired, maybe I have a wrestle with one of the dogs on the carpet for a bit. I’ll say to Sue, ‘I’m goin’ up.’ And she says to me, ‘OK.’ I get into bed while she does her teeth. She comes in, too. We huddle with our dogs. We go to sleep.”

Heaven, I suggest.

“Yup,” says Bridges, nodding slowly in agreement. “Yup.”

— Tom Lamont, excerpts from “‘Dealing with your mortality, it makes things more precious’: Hollywood legend Jeff Bridges on the gift of life after cancer” (The Guardian, September 18, 2022)

some peace to gather my addled thoughts….

So I have gone. There were days when I felt I had already gone and so all I wish for now is a cool, quiet room and some peace to gather my addled thoughts. I think I was good, although I could have been better.

—  Terry Pratchett, “I think I was good, though I could have been better’: Terry Pratchett and the writing of his life”. Pratchett had Alzheimer’s. Five months before he died, Terry Pratchett wrote five letters, sealed them in envelopes and locked them in the safe in his office to be opened after his death. This was the one he addressed to Rob Wilkins. Through the 1990s, Terry sold an average of 3 million books each year. Nobody in Britain sold more. (The Guardian, Sept 17, 2022)

Nothing you ever understand will be sweeter, or more binding / Than this deepest affinity between your eyes and the world.


Notes:

  • Post Title: From Mary Oliver’s “Terns” (Thank you Make Believe Boutique)
  • DK Photos: 6:15 to 6:40. 60° F. Cove Island Park, Stamford, CT. More photos from this morning here.

alone at water, its open eye, without seeming to move

I am always watching
the single heron at its place
alone at water, its open eye…
without seeming to move…
The bird is more beautiful
than my hand, skin more graceful
than my foot, my own dark eye…

Linda Hogan, from “The Heron” in “Rounding the Human Corners”



DK Photo: Great Blue Heron. 6:15 a.m. this morning. 50° F. Cove Island Park, Stamford, CT. More photos from this morning here.

Lightly Child, Lightly.

Your light does not come
from your successes.
Your light is not ignited
by perfection,
or achievement or body shape.
Your light is not fueled by
popularity or acceptance.
Neither is your light at any
risk of being put out,
when other lights around you,
are bright.
Your light is simply made of the
you-ness that makes you you,
the worries you have in the night,
the music which sparks your joy,
the books you had to read twice,
the memories stored safely
in your heart,
the people you love and the
people who love you.
Your light is never dependent
on how you look,
or how you perform.
It’s just there,
and it’s quite simply brilliant,
and it’s all yours.
And it lights up every room
you walk into,
whether you activate it or not.
What a wonderful thing.
Shine bright little fighter,
this dark world needs your glow.

~Donna Ashworth, “Your Light” in I Wish I Knew. Poems to Soothe Your Soul & Strengthen Your Spirit (Black & White Publishing, April 28, 2022)


Notes:

  • Poem: Thank you Make Believe Boutique
  • 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.”

 

Guess.What.Day.It.Is?


Notes:

Why it was that the morning quietened so curiously this way?


Notes:

  • Post title by: Maddie Mortimer, Maps of Our Spectacular Bodies (Picador; March 31, 2022)
  • Photo by DK @ Daybreak. 6:45 a.m. 70° F. September 13, 2022. Cove Island Park, Stamford, CT.  See more photos from this morning here.

Monday Morning Wake Up Call!

It would be so nice, wouldn’t it? If something as simple as a notebook could change our habits overnight. Those blank pages. The physical representation of our fresh start. It’s almost religious. A sense of being born again. And this time, I won’t screw it up (cut to credits).

But I always did: screw it up, that is. It didn’t take much, particularly with diet and exercise – an unplanned slice of office birthday cake, or a missed spin class. A week could go from “new me” to “write-off” in the blink of an eye, the remaining days a sordid opportunity to revel in my failure, until Monday rolled around and I could start again (again).

Perfectionism. Fresh startism. All-or-nothing. Perfectionists aren’t great at swimming through the murky grey of slow and steady self-improvement, the kind that leads to meaningful change. Where inertia or regression isn’t failure, and it doesn’t take a Monday to get going.

So we diet then binge, buy new stationery, sign up to a gym and swing wildly between our new and old selves, wondering when our real lives will finally begin.

It was a relief, honestly, discovering that I was simply a victim of my schema, lost in a sea of all-or-nothing thinking inspired by a problematic self-improvement discourse. That the shimmering, perfect-from-now-on self I was reaching for doesn’t exist, because her story keeps going after the credits roll. While change is possible, it’s rarely linear. Any pledge for self-improvement that assumes we can sever off our less desirable personality traits is a lie.

I finally finished my book, the one I wish I’d read as a teenager, about a girl who discovers imperfections are part of being human and learns to see the world with a little more nuance. The process of slowly but surely reworking the manuscript into something that isn’t perfect, but is wholly me, helped reframe my thinking about meaningful change.

Is there such a thing as a whole new me? I wouldn’t know. Most days, I’ve stopped searching for her.

— Miranda Luby, from “Where ever you go, there you are: the myth of the whole new me” (The Guardian, August 21, 2022).  Sadie Starr’s Guide to Starting Over by Miranda Luby is out now. 

Sunday Morning

 

Your dad, Lia asked, was he good?

He swallowed. Her eyes fixed on his Adam’s apple. It slid up his throat and back down as if propelling his answer out; Not really. Not for most of his life. I think he became good, though. Eventually…

So what changed? she asked.

On my eleventh birthday, he came into my room trembling.

Why?

He said he’d seen something, felt something. An experience.

Of what? Lia asked.

God.

Lia held her breath…

Have you had one? he asked. She wondered why this seemed suddenly like the most intimate question anyone had ever asked her. Why something was squirming and flipping and tangling within her like a silver fish caught slyly in the coarse nylon of a net. For she had hoped very privately all her life for a dazzling numinous moment – because how easy it would be to believe, she thought, when given a sign like that.

I don’t know, she said, honestly. Either I’ve had thousands or none…

There was a silence.

— Maddie Mortimer, Maps of Our Spectacular Bodies (Picador; March 31, 2022)


Notes:

  • Photo by DK @ Daybreak. 6:00 a.m. 68° F. September 11, 2022. Cove Island Park, Stamford, CT.  See more photos from this morning where I’ve either had thousands or nonehere.

Reunited…

Reuters: The heartfelt video captures the moment the mom tenderly reunites with her baby, bending down in what appears to be a hug. Fleeing the wildfires ravaging the region, the sloths arrived in Trinidad. According to reports, the mother and child were then temporarily separated after fleeing dogs. The mother and child have undergone vet check-ups and are in good health. They have been released to the Chuchini nature reserve.


Thank you Susan

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