Running. With light that falls.

6 a.m. Friday morning.

I’m running. Down the hill, around the corner, and down the sidewalk on Post Road.

I adjust my stride to miss the cracks between the concrete slabs. Grass sprouts up from the cracks, asparagus colored green, bushy clumps – it was a Simone Weil moment: “Only the light that falls continually from the sky gives a tree the energy to push powerful roots into the earth. The tree is actually rooted in the sky.”  How? How does this grass push its way through the concrete? The light, roots the grass to the earth, pulls it upward to the sky.

The street is empty but for a big city bus a few hundred feet up the road. Its body is dark, a hulking silhouette, its interior beams, illuminated. It’s odd to see a large bus in our small town, so early, so far from Manhattan. The bus is full, passengers lean their heads against windows, their mornings started in darkness some time earlier followed by…

A long walk to the bus stop.
A long wait for the bus, delayed.
A slow tip of the hand to release coins into the dispenser for the fare.
A long ride on the bus to work, seats worn, cushions flat, flush to metal.
A long walk from the bus stop to work. 
And do it all over on the return at the end of the day.

It’s a few feet from our back door to the garage to my car. The gas tank is full.  I push the button for ignition, the cool air conditioning envelopes me in the cabin. I adjust my position in the soft leather seat. Always have a seat. Never a long walk. Never a need for coins.

I pass a bus on the street on my drive to work. Passengers look down, with blank-eyed stares.

Yes, Simone. Yes. The light. The sky. The trees. The roots. The earth.

And…The Lottery.


Notes:

  • Post inspiration: “I honestly believe that…things can change in an instant, and made it key to my philosophy of life: neither money nor my work define me. I like them, they allow me to do many things I enjoy, but if I did not have them, I know I would be able to find something else to do, I would be able to survive, I could be happy…I never take anything for granted, and I never forget how lucky I have been, and am.” ~ Alan Cumming, Not My Father’s Son: A Memoir
  • Photograph: Skogrun
  • Related Posts: Commuting Series

I’m always in quest of the holy grail of books

I’m always in quest of the holy grail of books, the perfect book that explains it all, the book whose beauty is as fierce as lightning and whose meaning points to true north, so I dip into thousands of books for a moment and note that this, too, is not it.

~ Rebecca Solnit, in “Rebecca Solnit: By the Book” (NY Times, August 16, 2018)

 


Portrait: sfweekly

T.G.I.F.: It’s been a long week


Photo: (via Newthom)

Lightly Child, Lightly


Ms Green didn’t believe her mind
was a dark room full of poisons—
a room cluttered with rags
pills, torn tinsel, perfume
in lavender glass. She got stuck sometimes
inside her mind like a bit of lint
caught in a web meant for a fly…
But today Ms Green learned to reach inside
and touch her own mind, lightly—
her mind more like
a stalled record player playing
one song in deep-grooved vinyl—
today she learned to pick up the needle
and move it a little to the right—

~ Amanda Beth Peery, from “A Poem About Anxiety


Notes:

  • Photograph by Paul Brumit with Sony Turntable
  • Prior “Lightly child, lightly” Posts? Connect here.
  • 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.”

Guess What Day It Is?


Dallol Ethiopia, January 22nd: A camel caravan carrying salt mined by hand is led across a salt plain in the Danakil Depression on January 22, 2017 near Dallol, Ethiopia. The depression lies 100 metres below sea level and is one of the hottest and most inhospitable places on Earth. Despite the gruelling conditions, Ethiopians continue a centuries old industry of mining salt from the ground by hand in temperatures that average 34.5 degrees centigrade but have risen to over 50 degrees. (Photo by Carl Court/Getty Images) Thank you Christie!

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

 

Monday Morning Wake-Up Call: Breakfast!


Elephants eat fruits and vegetables at the Wingabaw Elephant Camp on World Elephant Day in Bago Region, Myanmar. (U Aung, Zinhua, wsj.com August 12, 2018)

It’s been a long day

the hour sinking into the emptiness of my

closed eyes

— Alejandra Pizarnik, from “the hour sinking,” The Galloping Hour: French Poems


Notes:

Lightly Child, Lightly

When I first came out to the country
I knew nothing. I watched
as people planted, harvested, picked
the berries, explained
the weather, tended the ducks and horses.

When I first came out to the country
my mind emptied and I
liked it that way. My mind was like a sky
without clouds, a summer sky
with several birds flapping across a field
on the eastern horizon.

I liked the slowness of things. The empty
town, the lake stillness,
the man I met who seemed contented, who
sat and talked in the dusk
about why he had chosen this long ago.

I did better dreaming then. the colors
were clear. I found something
important in myself: capacity for renewal.
And at night, the sky so intense.
Clear incredible stars! Almost another earth…

~ Lou Lipsitz, from “Blackberry Authorities” in Seeking the Hook


Notes:

  • Photograph: (via Maybe You Need This). Poem via 3 Quarks Daily
  • Prior “Lightly child, lightly” Posts? Connect here.
  • 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.”

 

Guess.What.Day.It.Is? (60 Sec)


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

This August Day

This August day, reader, is a rose window glowing with heat.

I make you a gift of it, it is yours.

One o’clock. I am going back to the village for lunch. Strong with the silence of the pines and the chestnut trees.

I walk without flinching through the burning cathedral of the summer.

~ Violette LeDuc, La Bâtarde


Notes: Quote: Nemophilies. Photo: Franiuk (via Your Eyes Blaze Out). Inspired by: High today – 91° F. Lisbon: 111.2° F

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