Search Results for: "Miracle. All of it."

Sunday Morning (Miracle. All of it.)

Of all natural patterns, the one I think that moves me most, is the sight of a flock of wild geese.

A single goose passing high overhead carries with it a sense of freedom and adventure. “He is,” in the words of Hal Borland, “the yearning and the dream, the search and the wonder, the unfettered foot and the wind’s-will wing.”

But a complete formation of geese is, for me, the epitome of wanderlust. Each one leaves me, no matter what I happen to be doing, wondering how long it will take me to pack my bags. And it’s not just migratory restlessness, the knowledge that by dawn the flock will be in other climes. I don’t feel the same way about swallows. There’s something about the goose formation itself, that arrowhead symbol of limitless horizons, that hints at appropriate and meaningful adaptation. A sense not only of going somewhere, but of doing so together in the best possible way.

Observations of geese in passage, show that they invariably adopt a “vee” formation, flying on the same level, equally spaced out but not necessarily along arms of equal length. The important thing seems to be that the vee must have an apex – that the leading bird should always have others on either side.

It has been suggested that this characteristic formation is nothing more than a simple consequence of the fact that geese have immobile eyes on the sides of their head; and that, with the beak pointed forward, the best way to keep a neighbouring bird in full view is to take up a place just behind it, either to the left or right eye side. But direct measurement of flights of Canada geese shows that the angle between the arms of the vee formation varies even in a single species between 28 and 44 degrees, which doesn’t necessarily correspond with the fixed angle of clearest focus.

Another theory suggests that the vee formation allows one goose, presumably a stronger and more experienced bird, to lead the way, cleaving a path through the air for the others. But, once again, field studies show that the leadership changes constantly and that this position, far from being reserved for wise old ganders, is in fact shared out amongst the younger and weaker members of the flock.

The answer seems to be largely aerodynamic. A recent computer study shows that there is an upwash beyond and behind the tip of a moving wing that can be useful to other birds nearby. If the spacing between wings is optimal, this saving in energy can be considerable. For instance, a formation of twenty-five birds can, just by adopting the most favourable formation, increase their effective range by 71 per cent.

And this seems to be precisely what happens. Travelling geese usually fly in groups of around twenty individuals and invariably adopt a vee formation. If they flew in line abreast on a common front, the birds in the centre would enjoy twice as much uplift as the ones on the ends of the line. But as soon as the line is bent backwards, the ones at the rear begin to pick up additional upwash from all those in front, which effectively cancels out most of the disadvantage of their position. And as they travel, other small inequities which may exist are dealt with by regular and democratic changes of place.

Lyall Watson, Beyond Supernature: A New Natural History of the Supernatural


Notes:

  • Photo: DK @ Cove Island Park this morning. For other photos from this morning’s walk, click here and here.
  • 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.”

Big Red. Miracle. All of it.

It’s Sunday morning, post my Cove Island Park morning walk with Sully. I’m filling the car with gas at Conoco. Sully, all paws, ears and head is at the window urging me to hurry up, barking like a madman.  I lift my head and look across the street.

Here we are on Main St. in Stamford, a stone’s throw from Exit 9 on I-95.  The Red Barn is a failed drive-through grocery store. It sits empty, and presume it follows a succession of other failed retailers that occupied this high traffic location.

But overshadowing Red Barn is Big Red. A magnificent, giant Red Maple, in full bloom. Each year, he perseveres, bundling up in bone chilling winters, crouching down to avoid lightning, swaying to and fro to keep his balance in high winds, and spitting out polluted air and ground water. And, he somehow manages to survive Humans, a series of one new home owner after another, let him stand — and did not take a ax to him because his roots were breaking up sidewalks, driveways or foundations of their homes.

Here’s to Big Red.

May he outlive us all.


More pictures from the Sunday morning walk here.

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.”

Miracle. All of it. (Take 103)

The first shot of her was taken yesterday. Mid-morning. The others, from this morning.

I went back out yesterday after my daybreak walk, the winds were howling. Like I hadn’t had enough of this?

She was 50 yards out.  She spotted me, and there was no doubt of her intentions. Human, Food.  She tried to crawl up onto the ice and get to the shoreline. Unsuccessful.  I walked further down, she was in full pursuit, like she was panicked that I would leave. Come on Man, I’m hungry.  I kept walking. She followed. I had nothing on me. Nothing.

I turned, got into the car, didn’t look back. Couldn’t look back.  You do know that feeding them is wrong, right?

It was colder this morning when I went out. Much colder.

A large part of the cove was frozen over.

She was on my mind.  She hangs with a flock of Canada Geese. I haven’t seen her mate in months, likely basking in the Gulf of California.

And there she was.  Sleeping soundly. Ice solidly formed around her.

And I stand, watching.

She responds to a whistle, but I couldn’t disturb her.  Both hands in my pockets, the right scooping half a cup of itty bitty Nyjer seedlings, which I sift through my fingers.

Another day Girl. Another Day.


Notes:

  • Photos: DK @ Daybreak. 6:24 to 7:19 am, January 30, 2022. 9° F, feels like -2° F. Cove Island Park, Stamford, CT Other photos from this morning here. Related Swan posts: Swan1
  • 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.

Miracle. All of it. (Take 2)

…and there she sleeps this morning. No mate. Frozen ice surrounds her, and she rests undisturbed. At Peace.

I’m looking out at her. Mr. Canadian Tough-Guy.  Wearing T-shirt – – Sweater over T-Shirt – – Hoodie over Sweater – –  Northface Down Parka jacket over Hoodie – – Hood up – – Snowpants – – Long johns – – Sweatpants – – Smart Wool Socks – – Sorel Boots – – Smart Wool Gloves.

And I’m still shivering, yearning to get back in the car. A car that’s running, heater blowing.

How all this works?

Beyond my comprehension.

Miracle. All of it.

6:55 a.m. 15° F (- 9° C), feels like 1° F (- 17° C), wind gusts up to 28 mph. Cove Island Park, Stamford, CT.


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.

Miracle. All of It.


Notes: 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.

Miracle. All of it.

The next time you look into the mirror, just look at the way the ears rest next to the head; look at the way the hairline grows; think of all the little bones in your wrist. It is a miracle. And the dance is a celebration of that miracle.

Martha Graham, Blood Memory: An Autobiography


Notes:

  • Quote Source Credit via Alive on All Channels. Thank you Beth.
  • Photo: Alexander Yakovlev – Dancers Frozen in Flour via FreeYork
  • 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.

Miracle. All of it.

Dear Babies,

I now know that you are a boy and a girl. The girl is bigger than the boy now, by 12 percent, and you’re both over 2 pounds, and the boy is presenting first, head down. I had a dream that the boy came early but the girl stayed inside; and the boy didn’t want to breastfeed but instead asked for sausage and cheese, and I was impressed with his verbal abilities. I have been resting up and reading, hoping you stay in there for at least another couple of months. Most people come into the world by themselves, but you will (knock on wood) come into this world together. I hope you both feel safe and sound and cozy there together.

Love, Mama

I got my epidural. My doctor told me to hug him around the waist to reduce my shaking and increase the chance that the needle found its target. I threw my arms around him, grateful. I got my Pitocin drip. My husband and I watched basketball on television. I never watch basketball. Why were we watching basketball? At midnight time sped up, and they rushed us to the OR. Everyone in scrubs, just in case. My doctor put on his birthing mix tape. I think it began with “American Woman.” Looking into the face of my husband, I pushed William out. I heard a baby cry. “Is he all right? Is he all right?” “Yes, he’s perfect.” Then the doctor reached inside me, as he’d promised, and pulled Hope out by the legs. “Is she all right?” “Yes, she’s perfect.” The nurses laid Hope and William side by side in a crib and checked them. The nurse told us the babies were holding hands. Before they held the hands of their mother or father, they held each other’s hands. I began shaking.

Sarah Ruhl, from Smile: The Story of a Face. (Simon & Schuster, October 5, 2021)


Notes:

Miracle. All of It.

For the purposes of the book, Robin, who desperately believes in the sanctity of life beyond himself, begs his father for these nighttime, bedtime stories, and Theo gives him easy travel to other planets. Father and son going to a new planet based on the kinds of planets that Theo’s science is turning up and asking this question, what would life look like if it was able to get started here? And what would that change in our sense of who we are and where we’ve been dropped down?

And they make this journey across the universe through all kinds of incubators, all kinds of petri dishes for life and the possibilities of life. And rather than answer the question — so where is everybody? — it keeps deferring the question, it keeps making that question more subtle and stranger. And I wasn’t sure where I would go with this ultimately in the book. And one thing I kept thinking about that didn’t make it into the final book but exists as a kind of parallel story in my own head is the father and son on some very distant planet in some very distant star, many light years from here, playing that same game. And the father saying, OK, now imagine a world that’s just the right size, and it has plate tectonics, and it has water, and it has a nearby moon to stabilize its rotation, and it has incredible security and safety from asteroids because of other large planets in the solar system.

Imagine that everything happens just right so that every square inch of this place is colonized by new forms of experiments, new kinds of life. And the father trying to entertain his son with the story of this remarkable place in the sun just stopping him and saying, Dad, come on, that’s asking too much. Get real, that’s science fiction. That’s the vision that I had when I finished the book, an absolutely limitless sense of just how lucky we’ve had it here.

— Richard Powers, from Ezra Klein’s Podcast Interview titled “This Conversation With Richard Powers Is a Gift.” (September, 28, 2021, The New York Times)


Notes: (1) The podcast and/or transcript is long but worthy.  (2) 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. The other is as though everything is a miracle. (3) Photo Credit

Miracle. All of It.

Stop. If you’re inside, go to a window. Throw it open and turn your face to the sky. All that empty space, the deep vastness of the air, the heavens wide above you. The sky is full of insects, and all of them are going somewhere. Every day, above and around us, the collective voyage of billions of beings.

…There are other worlds around us. Too often, we pass through them unknowing, seeing but blind, hearing but deaf, touching but not feeling, contained by the limits of our senses, the banality of our imaginations, our Ptolemaic certitudes. […]

They had heard about the butterflies, gnats, water striders, leaf bugs, booklice, and katydids sighted hundreds of miles out on the open ocean; about the aphids that Captain William Parry had encountered on ice floes during his polar expedition of 1828; and about those other aphids that, in 1925, made the 800-mile journey across the frigid, windswept Barents Sea between the Kola Peninsula, in Russia, and Spitsbergen, off Norway, in just twenty-four hours. Still, they were taken aback by the enormous quantities of animals they were discovering in the air above Louisiana and unashamedly astonished by the heights at which they found them. All of a sudden, it seemed, the heavens had opened.

Unmoored, they turned to the ocean, began talking about the “aeroplankton” drifting in the vastness of the open skies. They told each other about tiny insects, some of them wingless, all with large surface-area-to-weight ratios, plucked from their earthly tethers by a sharp gust of wind, picked up on air currents and thrust high into the convection streams without volition or capacity for resistance, some terrible accident, carried great distances across oceans and continents, then dropped with the same fateful arbitrariness in a downdraft on some distant mountaintop or valley plain. […]

On August 10, 1926, a Stinson Detroiter SM-1 six-seater monoplane took off from the rudimentary airstrip at Tallulah, Louisiana. […] [O]ver the next five years, the researchers flew more than 1,300 sorties from the Louisiana airstrip […].

They estimated that at any given time on any given day throughout the year, the air column rising from 50 to 14,000 feet above one square mile of Louisiana countryside contained an average of 25 million insects and perhaps as many as 36 million. [Read more…]

Miracle. All of It.

Long. But worthy. And esp. don’t miss the scenes @ 11m 33 sec.


Notes:

  • 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. The other is as though everything is a miracle.

Miracle. All of It.

I know already that I will return to this day whenever I want to. I can bid it alive. Preserve it. There is a still point where the present, the now, winds around itself, and nothing is tangled. The river is not where it begins or ends, but right in the middle point, anchored by what has happened and what is to arrive. You can close your eyes and there will be a light snow falling in New York, and seconds later you are sunning upon a rock in Zacapa, and seconds later still you are surfing through the Bronx on the strength of your own desire. There is no way to find a word to fit around this feeling. Words resist it. Words give it a pattern it does not own. Words put it in time. They freeze what cannot be stopped. Try to describe the taste of a peach. Try to describe it.

—  Colum McCann, Let the Great World Spin


Notes:

  • Photo: Bianca Nakayama. Quote via seemoreandmore
  • 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. The other is as though everything is a miracle.

Miracle. All of It.

The complex human eye harvests light. It perceives seven to ten million colors through a synaptic flash: one-tenth of a second from retina to brain. Homo sapiens gangs up 70 percent of its sense receptors solely for vision, to anticipate danger and recognize reward, but also — more so — for beauty. We have eyes refined by the evolution of predation. We use a predator’s eyes to marvel at the work of Titian or the Grand Canyon bathed in the copper light of a summer sunset.

— Ellen Meloy, The Anthropology of Turquoise: Reflections on Desert, Sea, Stone, and Sky


Notes:

  • Photo: DK @ Daybreak. 5:40 am, June 6, 2021. 69° F. Norwalk, CT
  • 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. The other is as though everything is a miracle.
  • Quote via Brain Pickings. Thank you Lori for sharing.

Miracle. All of It.

Yes

It could happen any time, tornado,
earthquake, Armageddon. It could happen.
Or sunshine, love, salvation.

It could, you know. That’s why we wake
and look out – no guarantees
in this life.

But some bonuses, like morning,
like right now, like noon,
like evening.

— William Stafford, “Yes” in “The Way It Is


Notes:

  • Photo: DK @ Daybreak. 6:33 am, March 24, 2021. 39° F. Norwalk, CT
  • 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. The other is as though everything is a miracle.

Miracle. All of It.

My eyes graze his binoculars and without a word he passes them over. And like that the birds are no longer smudges, but elegantly detailed and purposeful and real. They steal my breath as they always do, these creatures who think nothing of having wings.

Charlotte McConaghyMigrations: A Novel (Flatiron Books, August 4, 2020)


Notes:

  • Photo: Cormorant. Spirit Bird. Sept 7, 2020. 6:48 am. The Cove. Stamford, FT
  • Back Story: Walking. In Search of my Spirit Bird.
  • 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. The other is as though everything is a miracle.”

Miracle. All of It.

It’s 5:52 a.m., yesterday morning.

I’m done with The Cove Park portion of my 5 mile walk, and it’s the last 7/10s of a mile in the home stretch. On asphalt. Through the side streets. Heading home.

I’m tired. I’m dragging. And my head has shifted to Work.

I slip the cap on the lens while I’m walking (because one cannot waste precious minutes).  I tuck the camera into the sling, zip up the bag, and swing it over my shoulder. I accelerate my pace. And practice my breathing as instructed by James Nestor. (Because he’s so deep into my consciousness, I can’t take 10 breaths without thinking about his instruction.)

I round the corner onto Anthony Lane and hear a rustle.

And there they are. The two of them. Staring at me.

I freeze.

They freeze.

Please. Please don’t move. I slide my sling from back to front, and start unzipping the bag. I don’t take my eyes off them.

Please. Please don’t move. I don’t know anything about shutter speed. Continuous bursts. Or whatever-the-Hell-else I need to catch you in motion.

I grab the camera. My hands shake, the lens hood flies off and hits the ground. The lens cap follows and rolls a foot or two on the shoulder. My God Man. Get a Grip. You’re going to blow this.

Jack turns to his brother: “Is this amateur hour?  Can you believe this guy?”  “No sh*t. I’m getting tired of posing here.”

I raise the camera.

I see a thin film through the view finder. OMG, the humidity is fogging up the lens.

It clears.

And then comes the camera shake. I tuck my elbows in tight to my body. My breaths are short and quick, hot little puffs.

I move my index finger to the shutter, ever so gently.

I zoom in on my targets.

Now!

And Bam! I got it!  And another. And another. And another. And another.

They turn to walk to the woods.

I watch them disappear.

Wow, so Beautiful.  Miracle, all of it.


Notes:

  • Photos: Mine! A Miracle! July 27 2020.
  • Post Inspired by Kiki. She told me that if I didn’t share this story, she would send the Dale and Sawsan posse after me. So here it is.
  • 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. The other is as though everything is a miracle.”

Miracle. All of it.

The bar-headed goose can fly at almost thirty thousand feet, allowing it to migrate over the Himalayas before sweeping south. Pairs of them have been spotted over Mount Makalu, the fifth-highest mountain on earth. In certain villages the birds are caught and the names of the dead are written in dark ink on the underside of the birds’ bellies. The geese are said to bring news of the dead to the heavens.

~ Colum McCann, Apeirogon: A Novel (Random House, February 25, 2020)


Notes:

  • Bar Headed-Goose Photo: “Bar-Headed Geese Slow Their Metabolism to Soar over Everest” from the Scientist
  • 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. The other is as though everything is a miracle.”

Miracle. All of it.

The frigatebird is dark and stealthy, with a hooked beak and a deeply forked tail. It belongs to the family of seabirds found in tropical and subtropical oceans. Their wings can span up to eight feet. They cannot dive beneath water or even rest on its surface since their feathers will absorb moisture and they will drown. They are known to swoop beneath cumulus clouds where the rising currents of warm air pull them into the heart of the vapor. In the currents they simply open their wings as if in the tube of a sky vacuum, a thunderous swirl of air. As they ascend they sometimes sleep. They are hauled upwards, thousands of feet, like hollow-boned gods through the narrowing gyre. High in the air they finally break from the current and flap out of the envelope of cloud. For a moment the buffer shakes them, but then the turbulence ends. In the still air they can glide horizontally downwards for up to forty miles without even flapping, finishing often with an annihilating drop. While still in flight, they stay alive by robbing other seabirds for food, or skimming the ocean surface for fish and squid, snatching their prey from the water with their long razor-sharp bills.

A frigatebird can stay aloft for two whole months without touching down on either land or water…

~ Colum McCann, Apeirogon: A Novel (Random House, February 25, 2020)

 


Photo: Sian Ka’an

Miracle. All of It.

 Human beings are creations more profound than human beings can fathom…

That’s one of the proofs of God…

there’s no other explanation.

Niall Williams, “This Is Happiness” (Bloomsbury Publishing; December 3, 2019)


Notes:

  • Art.  Finger painter (by default). Artist Mary Jane Q Cross (New Hampshire) with “Breath of Heaven” (via Mennyfox55)
  • 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. The other is as though everything is a miracle.”

Miracle. All of It.

“There is a beauty in falling in love with a language—the strangeness of its sounds, the awe of watching the sea-surf of a new syntax beating again and again the cement of your unknowing. Learning to speak again can be erotic—the unfamiliar turn of the tongue, the angle of the mouth, the movement of lips.”

~ Ilya Kaminsky, from an interview conducted by Edward Clifford in the Massachusetts Review titled “(Not Quite) 10 Questions for Ilya Kaminsky”


Notes:

  • Quote via Violent Waves of Emotion. Photo: Biancaa.R with mouth.
  • 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. The other is as though everything is a miracle.”
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