Walking. Quiet with Highsmith.

6:00 a.m. Forget the preamble. Take my word for it. It’s cold.

I twist in my ear buds and cue up Patricia Highsmith’s 1000 page diary on Audible. I’m 900 pages in, the home stretch.  It’s late August, she’s living in France: “My French house is like my life and body. The garden represents work, very hard work, never perfect, never finished, and I find there is hardly one day a year when I can say, ‘It all looks nice.’

I think about this for a moment, nodding, in full agreement with the metaphor, and work.

I sit in the car, building up the energy to step out in the cold. And she continues, and has me twisting on a follow-on post: “Work is the only thing of importance or joy in life. Trouble begins when one pauses to consider what one has done.”  I noodle on both ends of this sandwich and get out of the car.  Too deep, too early in the morning.

I walk. Shuffling in my Sorel boots, counterclockwise around the park. The Connecticut-Chinook at my back.

The curtain is preparing to rise at 7:10.

It’s Quiet.

This has to have been a transforming practice – almost two years of quietness,” a friend on FB posits.

I stand looking out over the horizon. The blues. The oranges. The yellows. And all of it blending and shimmering on the water. A Rothko-looking exhibit.

And then I’m back to Highsmith in the 1970’s: “With greater universal education, there is paradoxically greater stupidity. One gets further from the land and nature, instead of being in harmony with it, as were our less educated forebears. We now read about pills and take them—and are afraid to give an honest belch.”

Transformation & Quiet & Harmony.


You know DK, you may have gotten this Thing right.


Note: (1) DK @ Daybreak. 6:36 to 6:50 am, January 27, 2022. 12° F, feels like 9° F. Cove Island Park, Stamford, CT. More of this morning photos here. (2) Rothko was described by Sawsan!


  1. Well now… with 100 pages to go, I have to assume this was a good listen.
    And I love how you do what you do.
    Now, regardless of the trick you shared with me. You must certainly bookmark the passages so you can get them later? I swear, listening to West With the Night, (thank you again) the whole damn book would be bookmarked.
    How. Do. You. Do. This? You have a gift. That’s it.

    Liked by 4 people

  2. I don’t know what that ‘thing’ is to get right… I just know it’s all right. Because with photos and words like this… it’s all all alright!

    Liked by 2 people

  3. *just heard an honest belch* 🙂

    Liked by 3 people

  4. Wait a minute – did you just give yourself a pat on the back?? Stop the presses – and can I hear an ‘amen’? Good on you, pal – took you long enough.😉

    Liked by 5 people

  5. Laughing…Mimi beat me to the punch. I read this and thought, “Well, I’ll be damned. DK just allowed himself an ‘attaboy.’ Yeah! ❤️

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Well, Patricia Highsmith is much better in her crime stories than writing about herself in her diary. Such a diary should be kept to oneself rather than published.
    Keep well
    The Fab Four of Cley
    🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  7. finally, you are in your own corner! glad you have seen your value along with that of the horizon.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. niasunset says:

    what a magnificent walking this is… words, memories, books, pages, thoughts, meeting with visuals, Patricia, with you, suddenly I found at my desk from my past readings, and yes, what a meeting with Rothko with your sky… I made a note for these colours I should me a header concept. Anyway, you are amazing blogger, and I love to be here, especially to read you. Thank you, have a nice day and weekend, Love, nia

    Liked by 2 people

  9. Good morning! A question for you. Where I come from in MN a chinook is a warm wind. Is a CT chinook different? An Alberta Clipper is a cold wind In the midwest.

    Liked by 1 person

    • You are totally correct. Chinook is cold and dry. CT chinook is totally made-up – nothing exists except in my head of a cold win – and here is it typically very wet. Thank you!


  10. “The curtain is preparing to rise.”, this brought contentment.

    Liked by 2 people

  11. Reblogged this on It Is What It Is and commented:
    I believe you … if it’s cold in Florida! … “6:00 a.m. Forget the preamble. Take my word for it. It’s cold.?

    Liked by 1 person

  12. And it IS cold in Florida!

    Liked by 1 person

  13. You have got whatever this thing is, right. Thank you Dave

    Liked by 1 person

  14. When it feels right for you and what you need. Nothing else matters. 🤗

    Liked by 1 person

  15. I think you’ve sold me on the diary!
    This morning in Toronto is -30 with the windchill (celsius) 🥶

    Liked by 1 person

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