MLK

martin-luther-king-mlk

…Almost 50 years after his death, we remember MLK as the transcendent figure who helped lift the South out of Jim Crow. We also remember him as almost preternaturally calm in the face of great pressure and danger. […] He was a young man, still in his 30s—foisted onto the national stage with actors many years or decades his senior, suspect in the eyes of both younger and older civil rights leaders—and the burdens of leadership took their toll on him. […]

Since the age of 26, King had lived a mercilessly public life. He spent as much time, if not more, in airports and hotel rooms as he did at home with his wife and children. He faced relentless pressure to raise money, mediate internecine disagreements within the movement, speak before local civil rights groups and act as the national spokesman and government liaison for the black freedom movement. It was not the life that he chose. Rather, it was the life that chose him.

On his birthday, Americans celebrate King’s accomplishments and commemorate his martyrdom. It bears remembering, too, that he struggled with the role he played. And that he willingly surrendered life’s comforts—small and large—to give himself wholly to a country that didn’t, in his brief time here, fully appreciate him.

~ Joshua Zeitz, excerpts from The MLK History Forgot


Cover Source: The New Yorker by Kadir Nelson, a Los Angeles-based artist who painted this week’s The New Yorker cover, a tribute to the civil-rights leader. “My image is a celebration of Dr. King and his vision. What happened to his dream of racial and economic equality, and what is the impact of non-violent resistance over half a century later? It’s a conversation between the past, the present, and the future.”

Running. Born Blue to Run.

blue-art-sky

I’m less than mile in, on a planned five-miler. It’s not good. The worm flips the stomach over, and over, and over. Nausea. This will pass, don’t stop, run through it.

It doesn’t pass.

Bile backs up the throat, coats the molars and scurries forward. The gag reflex is triggered. I hunch over, hands clutch the knee caps. OMG. 

I stand upright, soldier-like, arms and hands hang. Eyes shut, tears slide down both cheeks, I make no effort to clear. I need this moment. Just a moment to re-grip. 

I grab the water bottle, gargle, and spew. Most clears, too much does not. A thick stream runs down the zipper line of the coat. Puking, on yourself, nice. 

I re-start. The north wind gusts and makes contact, tear ducts gush water, the track in front is a blur. Whoa. Easy does it. [Read more…]

Monday Morning Wake-Up Call (Long Walk. Breathe Deep. Taste the Air.)

patty-maher-the-quiet-storm-photography

Take a long walk.
Breathe deep.
Taste the air.
Keep your eyes open.
Try not to think.
Wet your lips with your tongue.
Tilt your head slightly into the wind.
Separate the sound of a single stone
cracking under your boot.
Feel the difference in weight
between a milkweed seed and a blackbird’s feather.
Stray from the road on your way home
until you are waist high in wet corn.
Approach your house from the back.
Whistle for the dog with the white mark
like a crescent moon on his chest.
Look your children in the eyes when they speak to you,
and raise your eyebrows, and smile when they smile.
Notice your son’s mouth curves up on one side,
and his fingers are long and squared-off at the tips like his father’s.
Search your daughter’s right heel for the star-shaped scar
where they tapped her for blood when she was two days new.
Drop everything when your husband gets that soft, glazed look
and presses his palm into the small of your back.
Think to yourself how like the spreading roots
of a silver maple
are his hands.

Marcella Remund, How to Practice Poetry


Notes: Poem – The New Poetry. Photography: Patty Maher (The Quiet Storm)

SuperMoon

full-moon-snoopy-charlie-brown


“On Monday, 14 November, the moon will be the biggest and brightest it has been in more than 60 years. So long as the sky is clear of clouds, it should be a great time to get outside and gaze at it or take some photos…At 8:09PM GMT, the moon will pass by the Earth at a distance of 356,511km – the closest it has passed the Earth since 1948. As it does so, it will be a full moon, making it a particularly big supermoon. Supermooons are roughly 30% larger in area and 30% brighter than the smallest full moons – full moons that happen when the moon is at its furthest distance from Earth: at “apogee”. In terms of diameter – the width of the moon – it will be about 14% wider than the smallest full moons. (Read more at The Guardian: Supermoon science: November 2016 moon biggest and brightest in 60 years)


Art: Dark Hall Mansion

Saturday Morning

tree-still

In November,
the trees are standing all sticks and bones.
Without their leaves, how lovely they are,
spreading their arms like dancers.
They know it is time to be still.

– Cynthia Rylant, In November

 


Notes: Photo – Anna Williams. Poem Source: Your Eyes Blaze Out

Saturday Morning

sleep-dream-jpg

What I see in dreams
makes me breathe
shallow
like golden trout
floating just beneath
the skin of water
warmed by
late autumn’s
ticklish light

~ M.J. Iuppa, opening lines to “Something Brief, But Bright,” Small Worlds Floating: Poems

 


Notes: Art Source: mennyfox55. Poem Source: Memory’s Landscape

It’s been a long day

friendly-monster-tired


Notes:

Sunday Morning

human-body-woman-beautiful

To be on the level with the dust of the earth,

this is the mysterious virtue.

~ Marion Milner, A Life of One’s Own (1934)

 


Notes:

  • Inspired by another passage by Marion Milner:

I thought: this ‘inner fact’ – is it really so mystical? Isn’t it just the astonishing fact of being alive – but felt from the inside not looked at from the outside – and relating oneself to whatever it is?

~ Marion Milner, A Life of One’s Own

Saturday Morning

cat-stretch-fall-autumn

Complete relaxing never happened all at once. I found that it was a matter of at least five or ten minutes before the body would reach a profound repose. So I made a rule for myself, that as long as I felt an impulse to get up or turn over, then I had not lain long enough, but as soon as I felt I had never wanted to move again, then it was all right to get up at once. But I usually did not, I lay still for a little longer, lay still, while all the cells of my body came alive, like parched earth after rain. And then I discovered the most fitting end to my rest – a long cat-like stretch, which leaves one so at peace with the world, smooth and shining like wet sands, that it is worth indulging in deliberately, even when not prompted by a natural impulse.

~ Marion Milner, A Life of One’s Own (First Published, 1934)

 


Notes:

T.G.I.F.: the chatter of blind effortful thought

balloon-tgif-let-go

People had often told me to ‘let go’ more, to give myself up to music or impulse, or rest, and I had always thought it meant a passive plunging in to the oblivion of my blind thought. But always, when given its head, my blind thought had carried me away into hot, fussy anxieties or long-winded scheming for things it wanted, some plan or another which would not let me rest. And this state had spread from my mind to my body, so that my muscles were always taut with the effort to get what I wanted. Now, however, when I had at last learnt the restraining act which was real ‘letting go’, the chatter of blind effortful thought dwindled from an exhausting distraction to the far-away twitter of sparrows high up in the eaves.

~ Marion Milner, A Life of One’s Own (First Published, 1934)

 


Notes:

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