Guess.What.Day.It.Is?


Notes:

the world is alive with such innocent progress

In feathers the color of dusk, a swallow,
up under the shadowy eaves of the barn,
weaves now, with skillful beak and chitter,
one bright white feather into her nest
to guide her flight home in the darkness.
It has taken one hundred thousand years
for a bird to learn this one trick with a feather,
a simple thing. And the world is alive
with such innocent progress. But to what
safe place shall any of us return
in the last smoky nightfall,
when we in our madness have put the torch
to the hope in every nest and feather?

~ Ted Kooser, “Nightfall” in Kindest Regards: New and Selected Poems (Copper Canyon Press, May 8, 2018)


Image (edited): featherthenest.com

Monday Morning Wake-Up Call

a-fresh-start

Here is your empty space.

What will you do with your own fresh start?

~ Jason B. Rosenthal (The New York Times, June 15, 2018)


Notes: 1) Don’t miss his Ted Talk: The Journey Through Loss & Grief. 2) Photo: “A Fresh Start” by Mary Jo.

this feeling…unspoken and unacknowledged and invisible

Michael Chabon, in his new collection of autobiographical essays, “Pops: Fatherhood in Pieces”…shares various insights into fatherhood…In one essay, he recalls a recent visit to his own father…The older man was recovering from an illness, and the two lay on a bed and watched a movie together in silence. It took Mr. Chabon back to his own childhood, when they often sat together quietly watching movies… The realization made him more conscious of the importance of sharing such time with his own children: Just being together was valuable. “That makes me look more mindfully at moments where I’m sitting on a couch with my daughter watching shows on HGTV,” he says. “I’m sitting here and she’s sitting there and she puts her feet up on my lap.”  “…this feeling,” he says, “that this is a way that I experience love…that is unspoken and unacknowledged and invisible.”

~ Alexandra Wolfe, edited from Michael Chabon Wants to be a Good Father (WSJ, June 8, 2018)

She addresses the cedar

She addresses the cedar, using words of the forest’s first humans. “Long Life Maker. I’m here. Down here.” She feels foolish, at first. But each word is a little easier than the next. “Thank you for the baskets and the boxes. Thank you for the capes and hats and skirts. Thank you for the cradles. The beds. The diapers. Canoes. Paddles, harpoons, and nets. Poles, logs, posts. The rot-proof shakes and shingles. The kindling that will always light.” Each new item is release and relief. Finding no good reason to quit now, she lets the gratitude spill out. “Thank you for the tools. The chests. The decking. The clothes closets. The paneling. I forget. . . . Thank you,” she says, following the ancient formula. “For all these gifts that you have given.” And still not knowing how to stop, she adds, “We’re sorry. We didn’t know how hard it is for you to grow back.”

~ Richard Powers, from “Patricia Westerford” in The Overstory: A Novel (April 3, 2018)


Notes:

A Division of Labor. A Promise Kept.

Saturday morning. Bird song, many species, ease softly through the window. The body, the bones and the mind at rest. The peace and sanctuary of Saturday morning. Bliss.

Until, it’s not.

For most, the smell of freshly cut grass conjures warm images of youth, of order, of parallel lines, or of a task completed. Or perhaps it’s the smell of rich, black soil, or the solidity of earth under one’s feet. Or perhaps a feeling of rebirth or growth.

For most.

But not for me.

This past, this dipping back into youth, of weekend chores, of hundreds of yards of uncut grass, of an aging push mower, of a hot sun bearing down, of a rush to finish – offers no such relief.

[Read more…]

And how good it feels, the heat of the sun between the shoulder blades


Photo: Delano Hotel, South Beach. Post title: Mary Oliver

I like how I am

Billy Bob Thornton also spoke about his marriage to Angelina Jolie.  As for why they split, Thornton said, “We just had different lifestyles. Hers is a global lifestyle and mine is an agoraphobic lifestyle,” he said with a laugh. “So that’s really, that’s the only reason we’re probably not still together, maybe. There was a different path in life we wanted to take.”

“I never felt good enough for her,” he shared, adding that despite his many years in Hollywood, he’s “real uncomfortable around rich and important people.”

And he wasn’t looking to change his ways.

“I like how I am,” he said.

~ Mike Miller, Billy Bob Thornton Says There Is Only One Reason He Is Not Still Married to Angelina Jolie (People, June 13, 2018)


Portrait of Billy Bob Thornton: Alan Amato

 

Riding Metro North. Walking backwards.

7:34 p.m. train. Grand Central station. Last peak hour train home. Standing room only. Heads down, glowing screens, wifi slow, thousands sucking on the same straw. Pages loading slowly, then stopping altogether. One head, after another, mine too, lifting in frustration.  Beach ball spinning, locked up. There’s a message in this. To thousands of us sitting on this train. Whether we are listening, now that is another story.

8:31 p.m. Walk home. Down the platform. Up the stairs. Across the bridge over I-95. Up the hill – and the last 1/4 mile stretch, before losing this tie, this shirt sticking to my back, and these leather shoes strapped around my feet for last 12 hours. Free me, please!

I see them in the distance. Two boys, 7 or 8 years old, kicking a soccer ball on front yard. Mom sitting on the porch reading. When’s the last time I’ve seen this? [Read more…]

Lightly Child, Lightly

Tell me a flashlight.
at 2:30 in the morning.
Here come sparklers.
Use them to trace letters of light in the darkness.

Tell me the world.
Here comes light, unspoken.
Light hooks a claw on the horizon, pulls itself into view.
Here comes water, saline, scattering single-celled organisms.
Land is a puppet. It climbs hydrothermal vents like stairs.
Lava congeals. Land rises.
Here comes land, hand-springing out of water.

Wind is a comma, pausing the day…

~ Rebecca Lehmann, edited from Natural History (Brooklyn State Hospital, December 19, 2015)


Notes:

  • Photo – Stefano GardelChasing Light. Poem: Thank you Beth @ Alive on all Channels
  • Prior “Lightly child, lightly” Posts? Connect here.
  • 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.”
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