Lightly Child, Lightly

The classical elements are earth, water, air and fire, and this old idea feels right at a sensory level. I start to think that a combination of two is primal and powerful: rain on soil, fire in the wind, sunlight on stone. A combination of three is poetry: the sea washing the moonlight into the cliff, a rainbow.

— Amy Liptrot, The Instant (Canongate Books, March 3, 2022)


Notes:

  • Photo: DK @ Daybreak. ~5:00 am, June 12, 2022. 60° F. Cove Island Park, Stamford, CT. Other pictures from Sunday morning 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.”

Walking. With Apophenia.

56° F. Heavy fog.

Daybreak walk at Cove Island Park.  723 consecutive (almost) days. Like in a row.

I’ve finished Amy Liptrot’s book “The Instant.”  A book where I wasn’t feeling it, not feeling it, nothing here, time to put this down, wait now, here’s a line, and now two, and then down the chute we go on the luge track.  Reminds me of a tweet by Tracie Collier after reading “Bomb Shelter” by Mary Laura Philpott: “She writes in a way that makes me want to hurl my laptop over a cliff.”

Back to Liptrot.  Who knew that I had Apophenia. Well, hold on. It’s not even clear that I’m adept at Apophenia. I’m probably better assessed by a psychologist (if I had one), as a lame, half-assed Apopheniac.  But we digress.  Here’s Liptrot:

Apophenia is the tendency to find patterns. It can be a disorder but, for me, finding patterns is sustaining. Unbidden, certain objects glow with relevance. I find the moon everywhere. This heart-shaped box contains not just a few shells but all the weeks and conversations and regrets of a friendship. We are meaning-making machines. I use all these little personal myths and totems to hold myself together: things to search for when I’m faced with overwhelming choice and freedom.

I use all these little totems to (try to) hold myself together. Yep. About right.

I’ve turned right at the Park, walking counterclockwise. Noting that I’m walking counterclockwise. Again. Did you know that you always walk counterclockwise around the park?  723 days, and you walk in the same direction every time.

I keep walking.

Have you ever seen anyone else walking clockwise in the park?  Come to think of it I have not.  Not one time? Not one time. Maybe because you are a half-assed Apopheniac.

I stop walking. [Read more…]

I’ve run away but I find the moon everywhere I go

I’ve been getting text messages from the moon. A note flashes on my phone, asking if the moon can track my location, and I consent.

I have moved to a new city but the moon is following me around. It texts to tell me when it will be out. Through the windows, there is just a parallelogram of sky at the top of the courtyard, only a small space to catch the passing moon on certain clear nights…

The app uses my location to tell me the moon’s phase, direction, distance at all times. Right now, the moon is 384,012 miles away from my hand, which is holding my phone close to my heart, as I sit at the table in the narrow kitchen of this flat with tall windows in an old-style apartment block, stinging nettles by the front door. I’m just home from work, vibrating with tiredness. The moon is waxing gibbous and is 25.2 degrees above the horizon, almost due east. It rose just after midday and will set around 3 a.m…

The internet is hectic and I go to the moon to relax, opening new browser tabs for the moon’s Wikipedia page and Google Maps of its surface. I follow new lunar developments from NASA. I learn that the moon was probably once part of the earth, sheared off by an asteroid. B, who moved from Scotland to Tasmania, tells me that there is a different moon in the southern hemisphere: it waxes and wanes in the opposite direction. I learn that the moon is slowing down the earth’s rotation. The moon is holding on to us…

I’ve run away but I find the moon everywhere I go…

The lunar cycles are almost all I have in my diary for the year. My future is blank but I know what the moon will be doing…

People in this town can’t commit to anything, but the moon is always orbiting and the months pass relentlessly. I don’t speak the language but I know ‘der Mond’. My attachment to the moon grew during the years I’ve been lonely and so did the moon’s attachment to me. The moon, I tell B, is my boyfriend.

Amy Liptrot, from her Prologue titled “February Hunger Moon” in The Instant (Canongate Books, March 3, 2022)


Notes:

  • Waning Crescent Moon (25%). DK @ Cove Island Park, 37° F. 5:33 a.m. Sunday, March 27, 2022. More Photos from this morning here.
  • Book Review of “The Instant” in The Guardian
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