Walking. Swallowed up by Stegner…

172 mornings.

Today, 5:50 a.m., that’s 173.

Home to Cove Island Park, and back. Five mile loop.

Wallace Stegner (via Audible) has been keeping me company. The Spectactor Bird. Angle of Repose. Crossing to Safety. Remembering Laughter. All the Little Live Things.

And now, Stegner’s Recapitulation.

“Remembered habit created remembered reality. His needle ran in a groove.” (WS-R)

173 consecutive mornings. ~1,700,000 steps. I’d say that’s a groove.

As my feet pat the shoulder of the road, helicopters come whirling down from the red maples, illuminated against the street lamps. My mind lets go of the narration, I stop, and I watch, in silence. A warm gust of wind sends another troop of helicopters whirring down on me. Raining helicopters!

“That intense obsessed involvement, and then absence, silence.” (WS-R)

And then back to Stegner…and Recapitulation.

“Listen to those cottonwoods talking..Doesn’t that sound tell you, as much as any single signal in your life, who you are? Doesn’t it smell of sage and rabbit brush and shad scale? Doesn’t it have the feel of wet red ditch-bank sand in it, and the stir of a thunderstorm coming up over one of the little Mormon towns down in the plateaus? Just now, for a half second, it drowned me in associations and sensations. It brought back whole two people I used to love. When cottonwoods have been rattling at you all through your childhood, they mean home. I could have spent fifty years listening to the shamal thresh the palms in the date gardens of Hofuf, and never felt anything but out of place. But one puff of wind through those trees in the gully is enough to tell me, not that I have come home, but that I never left. Having let it surge through his head like the wind through the branches, he takes it back.” (WS-R)

And then, the aha moment.

My mind swimming in Stegner’s words for weeks.

Why so uninspired to write DK?

Try to follow behind that!

Forgettaboutit.


Notes:

  • WS-R = Wallace Stegner, Recapitulation (Penguin Books, November 1, 1997)
  • Photo: DK, Weed Ave, Stamford, CT. October 24, 2020. 6:26 am. 61° F.  Wind gusts: up to 13 mph.

Comments

  1. Mario D'Amore says:

    Hi Dave

    Hope all is well with you and your family. I recall a book you recommended with the subject relating to management.

    The book had a Grey and Orange cover with the title, to the best of my knowledge, started with the word “UP” or the Orange arrow pointed up.

    Any recollection of this book with it’s full title would be greatly appreciated.

    You remain, in my life, one of the most inspirational man I’ve had the pleasure of knowing.
    Thank you
    Mario D’Amore

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I have never read a better description of home, my home. Thanks.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Mario D'Amore says:

    Awaiting a reply when you’re able

    Liked by 1 person

  4. These take place of your “flying” or “walking” posts and are just as wonderful. So what if you write less of them? These are strange times affecting us in so many ways. 173 days… I would never have thought to count. And you always share how much pieces you are reading touch you and stay with you and swallow you up. I am so impressed by that. And stop comparing yourself to anyone. You do you.

    Liked by 3 people

  5. Nan Morrissette says:

    Sometimes you have to stop talking so you can hear yourself think. Then you’ll probably have things to say. We’ll still be here.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Wisdom. Thank you Nan. Reminds me of:

      “Sometimes, to get from where we are to where we are going, we have to be willing to be in-between…..Being in-between isn’t fun, but it’s necessary. It will not last forever. It may feel like we’re standing still, but were not. We’re standing at the in-between place. It’s how we get from here to there. It is not the destination. We are moving forward, even when we’re in-between. Today, I will accept where I am as the ideal place for me to be. If I am in-between, I will strive for the faith that this place is not without purpose, that it is moving me toward something good.”

      — Melodie Beattie, from “In Between” (January, 2018)

      Liked by 4 people

  6. Adding to Nan’s comment… and sometimes we have to stop thinking so we can hear ourselves feel.

    In your morning walks I have heard…

    The rustle of the camera strap as you strap it to your body.
    The door closing as you leave your house.
    Your feet on the pavement.
    The rustling of an animal crossing the road.
    The whir of helicopter blades.
    The wind whispering.
    The grasses stirring.
    The early morning silence.
    The stillness.
    The call of the loons
    The geese wings feathering the water’s surface.
    The ripple of waves against the shore.
    The beauty of the sun rising.
    The calmness of trees standing sentinel in the dark.
    The quiet of the hours before the dawn…

    And so much more…

    And through it all I have felt gratitude rising as effortlessly as the mists drifting along the surface of the water in the early morning light you’ve shared so beautifully.

    That’s a lot of beauty shared with all of us over 1,700,000 steps.

    Thank you.

    Liked by 4 people

  7. Reblogged this on It Is What It Is and commented:
    Quite the feat … 173 consecutive mornings … 1,700,000 steps. I’d say that’s a groove … “As my feet pat the shoulder of the road, helicopters come whirling down from the red maples, illuminated against the street lamps. My mind lets go of the narration, I stop, and I watch, in silence. A warm gust of wind sends another troop of helicopters whirring down on me. Raining helicopters!”

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Beautiful…

    Can’t believe I looked up ‘shamal’ from “the shamal thresh the palms in the date gardens of Hofuf”

    Liked by 1 person

  9. “..not that I have come home, but that I never left.” Wow.. I suddenly feel better about feeling out of place for 37 years. One large grievable loss is moot, if I simply toggle the laughing gulls, the stinky mudflats, the sparkling ripples, and the excitingly tugged lines where they already and always live. Thank you, WS and DK.
    🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  10. WLS…your writing, no matter the frequency, is a gift to all of us, pal. As Dale so wisely said, “You do you.” We’ll all be here cheering you on. (Though I would dearly love a ‘Early morning walk with the dog’ post…just sayin’. 😉)

    Liked by 2 people

  11. Hi Dave – I just finished teaching a workshop on inspiration and the breath. How is your breathing practice going? (Loved that James Nestor book BTW) According to Chinese medicine and Yin yoga there is a link between the fullness of breath and feeling inspired. It correlates with the Lung meridian and metal element at this time of year. Breathe deeply my friend, inhaling inspiration and Qi from above and exhaling to let go and create space. 💛

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Vera Kanigan says:

    Such beautiful writing…and about home…Thanks for sharing! Through your presence where you are we have experienced so very much more, of place, of thought, of spirit!

    Liked by 1 person

  13. No one who is caught up in the magic that was Stegner can feel like doing anything but reading more Stegner. He doesn’t put sentences together – he weaves them. That said, there are many (clearly) who find home in your posts, who touch something that might otherwise go ignored – so here’s a Mimi redux for you (how often have I written this sentiment to you over the years?) – stop selling yourself short – you’re a sound, long term investment.

    Liked by 1 person

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