Lightly Child, Lightly.

 
…If we surrendered
to earth’s intelligence
we could rise up rooted, like trees.
 
Instead we entangle ourselves
in knots of our own making
and struggle, lonely and confused.
 
So like children, we begin again…
to fall,
patiently to trust our heaviness.
Even a bird has to do that
before he can fly.
 
― Rainer Maria Rilke, from “How Sure Gravity’s Law,” Rainer Maria Rilke’s the Book of Hours: A New Translation with Commentary

Note:

  • Photo: DK @ Daybreak. February 8, 2023, 6:35 am. Cove Island Park, Stamford, CT. More pictures from this morning’s beautiful light show here.
  • Poem: Thank you Vale of Soul-Making
  • 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.”

Wally’s Great Adventures (42)

Wally’s Great Adventures (42). hello friends, wally here. more big news. mom and dad were in the other room, whispering, and telling secrets. little do they know that i can hear everything, and dad says blabbermouth mom tells everybody everything and word gets around the globe faster than the internet, whatever that is.  anyhoo, dad said that wally hasn’t shat or peed in the house for weeks, and mom said she thinks its been a month. A month! Dad said. Yep, mom said, i think our wally is advanced for frenchies. dad just stared in disbelief, and then said, advanced alright, advanced in walking on three legs, having curly cauliflower ears, and playing with hisself, almost, just almost show quality he said. Then dad whispered to mom, don’t you dare tell wally that wednesdays are hump day, i can only imagine what he’ll do next. i didn’t know what all that meant, esp hump day, but if it was about me and coming from dad’s mouth, it couldn’t be good. so i ran around the corner where they were whispering and barked at dad and told him that he wasn’t very nice. Anyway, I’m sharing some pictures, including one of me and my best friend monkey. i know what you are thinking, and it’s not very nice, monkey does not look like dad without a mustachio! have a great HUMP DAY everyone. Wally.

Monday Morning Wake-Up Call

Well, I tell you, one thing I would say about your film is that, what would be really interesting for people to see, is how beautiful things grow out of shit. Because nobody ever believes that. You know, everybody thinks that Beethoven had his string quartets completely in his head. They’d somehow appeared there and formed in his head. Before he, and all he had to do was write them down and they would kind of be manifest to the world. But I think what’s, what’s so interesting and what would really be a lesson that everybody should learn is that things come out of nothing. Things evolve out of nothing. You know, the, the tiniest seed in the right situation turns into the most beautiful forest. And then the most promising seed in the wrong situation turns into nothing. And I think this would be important for people to understand, because it gives people confidence in their own lives to know that that’s how things work. If you walk around with the idea that there are some people who are so gifted, they have these wonderful things in their head, but you’re not one of them, you’re just sort of a normal person, you could never do anything like that, then you live a different kind of life, you know. You, you could have another kind of life where you can say, where you say, well, I know that things come from nothing very much and start from unpromising beginnings, and I’m an unpromising beginning, and I could start something.

— Brian Eno, “Beauty” (Track 5) in “Here Is What Is” (via )


Notes:

the little things were everything


But after a couple of weeks of listing things I was grateful for, I came to see that the little things were everything. The little things were what I held on to at the end of the day. Single jokes that gave me the giggles. A beautiful flower arrangement, viewed through the window of a café. The fact that my cat came to cuddle me when she saw I was sad. These things gave me hope, pleasure, solace. Together, they added up to a fulfilling life. If a simple flower arrangement could make this world just a little more bearable, then perhaps my own small actions meant more than I was giving them credit for. Maybe when I made dinner, or listened to a friend rant, or complimented a woman on her incredible garden, I was helping make this world survivable for others. Perhaps that evening, when tallying up their own wins and losses for the day, someone would think of something I’d done and smile.

Stephanie Foo, What My Bones Know: A Memoir of Healing from Complex Trauma (Ballantine Books, February 22, 2022)


Notes:

Wally’s Great Adventures (41)

Wally’s Great Adventures (41). hello friends, wally here. dad must have been ill, he was gentle dad this morning, in a soft moment, a frequency of occurrence like haley’s comet, he said NOBODY gives him a full-body-wiggle-hello, NOBODY gives him a welcome home like I do. he said it warms him all up inside, yes, he said that. he said mom used to do it a long time ago – when she saw dad, she would wiggle her a** and other things, but he said she doesn’t do that anymore, and she just wiggles her finger at him, and complains about her bad back and her sore feet. so, each morning, i wait under the table for dad to come home from his walk, i hear the garage door open and here we go. look at dad and me dance. i love dad, he’s the best. have a great weekend everyone! Wally. (Volume Up on Video!)

Watch it…


If you liked “Bruge” and “Calvary“, you will love this.  If you are a fan of Colin Farrell and Brendan Gleeson, watch this. Set on a remote island off the west coast of Ireland, with spectacular cinematography. (Thank you Susan)

Wally’s Great Adventures (40)

Wally’s Great Adventures (40). hello friends, wally here. whoo hoo, big news today. it all started with mom reading all your comments on yesterday’s post accusing dad of puppy abuse by sending me out in the arctic tundra without a jacket. mom was horrified, and wanted you-all to know that I have grown so fast, my jackets don’t fit around my coochy belly. so mom and i went shopping today to a custom frenchie dress shop, and did we get some awesome stuff, new jackets with hoodies to cover my ears, new vests, fleece underwear gotchees just like dad has, so dad and i can walk around like twinners in the neighborhood like Boyz in the Hood. just check out the photos. dad saw mom and me come home with so many shopping bags and he said WTH is all that? mom said just you wait and see. he stared at both of us, shook his head and went back to work, mumbling something getting rash, having holes in his socks, while his dog is strutting around in custom outfits. it’s been a great day here! good night everyone. Wally.

Lightly Child, Lightly.

Come back to earth…

dwell on the shortness of life.

Lift up your dark heart and sing a song about

how time drifts past you like the gentlest, almost imperceptible breeze.

Jim Harrison, from “Cold Poem” in “Saving Daylight.”


Note:

  • Photo: DK @ Daybreak. January 26, 2023. 6:35 a.m.
  • Poem: Thank you Whiskey River
  • 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.”

Wally’s Great Adventures (39)

Wally’s Great Adventures (39). hello friends, wally here. i went outside to find light fluffy snowflakes falling from the sky, it was like magic, so beautiful. dad called it a christmas eve moment in february, so i asked him, where’s my gifts, where’s my new toys, where’s my new chewy bone. well, that just set dad off on another wild tangent. dad said when he was my age he used to get thick wool socks and oranges for xmas and wasn’t so rude like me asking for more toys, when i had so many toys already. i was getting bored with all this and i walked away cause i caught a whiff of some scat, and dad yelled at me, to stop right there, stop smelling the scat, and listen up. he told me to put my paw down, stop looking for birds, I’m not a bird dog and will never be one. i barked at dad and said that wasn’t nice. dad then asked me to look at his back, and then his knees, he said that all these body parts hurt from carrying my load, working day and night, to buy my dog food, pay my vet bills, pay for all these fancy jackets, and now all these toys. he said he’s not having it, he can’t work til he’s 90, and I had better start carrying my load, or mom and i are going to have to go to work. he said that I can choose, shape up or go find a job. It was my choice. dad saw my eyes bulge out, and he said, he’s not kidding. just at that moment the little, fluffy snow ended. dad, ever powerful, turned the christmas eve moment into freezing rain so i ran to the door to go inside. where’s mom, i love mom and I’m sure she won’t tell me to go to find a job. i’ll keep you posted. goodnight everyone. Wally.

Guess.What.Day.It.Is?

Water, Highly Commended: Romain Miot (France)

Location: Oualata, Mauritania

Caption: I met this salt caravan after a four-day expedition into the middle of the Sahara desert. No roads lead to this place, so we navigated by compass. Hundreds of dromedaries and their masters were present on this desert plain where nothing lives.

Two wells had been dug to water the camels before they left for Mali, Côte d’Ivoire and Burkina Faso to sell the salt. When I returned from the trip I realised that this image of a camel owner ordering the dromedaries looked like a conductor with an orchestra

Source: “The worldly winners and finalists of the 2022 Travel Photographer of the Year competition in dpreview.com, January 31, 2023


Notes: Background on Caleb/Wednesday/Hump Day Posts and Geico’s original commercial: Let’s Hit it Again.

Moved…

Travel Photographer of the Year 2022: Matjaz Krivic (Slovenia)

Location: Ol Pejeta Conservancy, Nanyuki, Kenya

Caption: Najin 33 one of the last two Northern White rhinos left in the world resting under a hot afternoon sun with her friend and caretaker Zachary Mutai in Ol Pejeta Conservancy.

The Northern white rhino is all but extinct. The two last males died several years ago. The two females are still with us, but too feeble to bear babies. In an Italian lab their eggs are now artificially fertilised by sperm from the late males, and kept at minus 196 celsius, in hopes that surrogate rhinos from another sub species can carry the northern white back from the brink.

Source: dpreview.com, January 31, 2023.

What we need most at the end of the day…

In a recent Times article, the reporter Emma Goldberg wrote about how the rise of social media and influencer power has made it such that young people, in particular, find their livelihood, success and sense of self inextricably entwined with an online presentation. She wrote, “With personal branding, the line between who people are and what they do disappears. Everything is content.” A strange, exhausting new twist in being human is that each day, each of us must decide how much of ourselves, our family life, thoughts, work, photos and feelings we will share with strangers online. Goldberg quoted Tom Peters, a marketing writer, who explained that, we are each “head marketer for the brand called You.”

To reduce ourselves to brands, however, is to do violence to our personhood. We turn ourselves into products, content to be evaluated instead of people to be truly known and loved. We convert the stuff of our lives into currency.

This new way of interacting with the world is driving institutional dysfunction, personal anxiety and the hollowing out of ourselves…Klein confessed that social media had made him hungry for validation. It offers us, he said, a steady drumbeat of “You exist. You are seen.” This longing to be seen and validated is universal, but this desire has been co-opted by technologists to capture more and more of our time and attention…

I have gotten letters from time to time from readers declaring me their pastor, and of course, I’m flattered and grateful. I hope to be of help to them, yet I cannot be their pastor. I cannot hold their hands and pray over them in the hospital. I cannot grieve with them after the loss of a loved one or rejoice when they land a job. A pastor and the work of local churches more broadly are tethered to a place, an institution and a particular people, with all the complexity, hilarity, struggle and mystery of their lives.

What we need most at the end of the day has nothing to do with influence or brands. We need quiet beauty and enduring truth that we share with those who walk this journey with us…

—  Tish Harrison Warren, from “The Temptations of the ‘Personal Brand’” (New York Times, January 29, 2023). Tish Harrison Warren (@Tish_H_Warren) is a priest in the Anglican Church in North America and the author of “Prayer in the Night: For Those Who Work or Watch or Weep.”

1000 consecutive (almost) days. Like in a Row.


Today makes it 1000 consecutive (almost) days in a row for my daybreak walk at Cove Island Park in Stamford, CT. No sun today, so Susan had to make her own. Photo credit: Susan.

T.G.I.F: Wally’s Great Adventures (38)

hello friends, wally here. dad says he’s agnostic but today has him spinning and wondering, must be sunday, date of Sabbath, could there really be a God, whatever all this means. what i do know is that, he seemed less angry at / irritated with me which is like huge progress. he said that one day in a row isn’t a miracle but as it pertains to me it’s damn climbing Everest, whatever that means. i’ve not eaten shat or scat, one day in a row. i’ve not shat or peed on the bed or in the house or under the kitchen table, one day in a row. i didn’t yank and yank and yank on my wee wee today, one day in a row.  I didn’t walk around on three feet, with one paw in the air looking up at the sky, like an idiot, one day in a row.  and, mom took me for a walk, i didn’t shake like a little kitten, again as dad emphasizes for God’s Sake. and i walked a full mile without my mommy holding me in her arms like a little girly puppy. dad watched the video with me walking, ‘hauling ass’ he described it, ‘champion little beast’ he called me, ‘show quality’ he whispered… and quickly added, for one day in a row. i could swear i saw a tear on dad’s cheek, i did see a tear, could he be proud of me? I barked at him, and asked him if he was crying and was that a tear? He walked away mumbling and told me to mind my own business. that’s it for today everyone, signing off, Wally, the Champion Little Beast! 

T.G.I.F: Wally’s Great Adventures (37)

hello friends, wally here. dad said one more day like today and i’m going back to where i came from, and mom is going with me.  it all started when I was sitting on the ottoman rubbing my wee-wee. dad asked mom what the hell was i doing. mom said she thinks i found willy world. dad said that’s not funny, and it just can’t be — he said that he had no words for what he was watching, yet he couldn’t stop watching. so I kept doing it because it felt good. dad said that we can add another huge black mark on the ever growing list of wally defects, and why mom got me in a Blue Light Special. dad went on to ask mom if she could imagine wally at the Westminster Dog Show pleasuring himself in the center of the ring. dad yelled at mom and said he would not humiliate himself with this creature that had no scruples. mom then said not to worry, she’s got this all on video. dad walked out and said he couldn’t bear it anymore, that with mom’s training i’m regressing at such a rate that he couldn’t even imagine what will happen tomorrow. burn the video he said, burn it. have a great week. signing out, willy, i mean wally. 

Lightly Child, Lightly.

Here is an amazement –– once I was twenty years old and in
every motion of my body there was a delicious ease,
and in every motion of the green earth there was
a hint of paradise,
and now I am sixty years old, and it is the same.

—  Mary Oliver, from “Am I Not Among The Early Risers” in West Wind: Poems and Prose Poems (Mariner Books, April 7, 1998)


Notes:

  • Image Credit. Andreas Kuehn.
  • 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.”

 

Wally’s Great Adventures (36).

hello friends, wally here. major major trauma around here.  dad asked mom what is going on with my ears, and why are they bending backwards, and that this is more evidence that i am not show quality, and why we got me on sale like stale bread. i didn’t understand all that, and he went on ranting about finding one defect a week. mom googled bendy ears and she found that it was normal esp around teething time. mom is so smart, as i have lost so many teeth this week. dad said this was total nonsense and asked mom if she believed everything she read on the internet and asked mom if her ears were bendy when she was losing her teeth when she was a baby. mom walked away and mumbled something about not engaging with the ignorant. dad told me that is what happens when i hang around mom so much and get babied, everything is bending backwards. Dad said i better start moving my ears back where they belong or he will tape them back with hockey tape to get them right. so i have a lot of work to do, will keep you posted.. have a great week. Wally. 

Scents I am able to recall…

i can bring back certain scents from memory

maybe you can too

yesterday in a hospital room i was explaining to mom that because of his septoplasty surgery three weeks earlier he has lost his sense of smell

but I was sitting eating a banana and he was able to smell it
same thing when I walked in with a cup of coffee

i could not say that some people have the ability to summon a scent from memory
because this has not been proven yet

List of scents I can summon on demand:

  1. The scent the stem of a rose bleeds right when it’s cut.
  2. The body odor of grandmothers.
  3. The honey-sweet scent of breast milk on a baby’s warm cheeks.
  4. A banana.
  5. Coffee.
  6. Mastic.
  7. Amaretto.
  8. Leather.
  9. Tobacco, pipe Tobacco.

every scent i am able to recall is associated with a pleasant memory
i an not able to recall a scent associated with a bad memory

~ last tambourine, take it all in while you can


Notes:

  1. last tambourine = Someone we know.
  2. Photo: Marta Dzedyshko (via Pixels)

Monday Morning Wake-Up Call

The point was that we both understood how easy it is to let your life pass along, totally in book, unless you take a risk, disrupt the expected patterns, and try to make something human happen.

—  CJ Hauser, The Crane Wife: A Memoir in Essays (Doubleday, July 12, 2022)


Notes:

  • Highly recommended. And if you can, listen on Audible.
  • A BEST BOOK OF THE YEAR: TIME, THE GUARDIAN, GARDEN & GUN
  • Guardian Book Review July 19, 2022: The Crane Wife by CJ Hauser review – frank and funny essays on doomed romances.

Wally’s Great Adventures (35).

Wally’s Great Adventures (35). hello friends, wally here. very quiet around here. eric is traveling. dana went home. hi dana! rachel and andrew went home. and my big bro & bff sully went home. mom and dad try to play with me, and they are nice and all but nothing like sully. i miss him. we wrestle, and he lets me win. he let’s me chew on his chewy bone. i lick all the slobber from his face, and lick his wee wee and dad yells at me and asks wth is wrong with me. Then after, i give sully so many kisses and we take long naps together. i’m not sure when he’s coming back, but i hope its soon. have a great week. Wally.

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