Why I Wake Early

There are things you can’t reach. But
you can reach out to them, and all day long.
The wind, the bird flying away. The idea of God.
And it can keep you as busy as anything else, and happier…
I look; morning to night I am never done with looking.

Looking I mean not just standing around, but standing around
as though with your arms open.

And thinking: maybe something will come, some
shining coil of wind,
or a few leaves from any old tree —
they are all in this too.
And now I will tell you the truth.
Everything in the world
comes.

At least, closer.
And, cordially.

Like the nibbling, tinsel-eyed fish; the unlooping snake.
Like goldfinches, little dolls of gold
fluttering around the corner of the sky

of God, the blue air.

~ Mary Oliver, from “Where Does the Temple Begin, Where Does It End?” in  Why I Wake Early


Notes: Poem from Alive 0n All Channels. Photo: okdavid

Saturday Morning

In theory, for example, sleep is a negative thing, a mere cessation of life. But nothing will persuade me that sleep is not really quite positive, some mysterious pleasure which is too perfect to be remembered. It must be some drawing on our divine energies, some forgotten refreshment at the ancient fountains of life. If this is not so, why do we cling to sleep when we have already had enough of it; why does waking up always seem like descending from heaven upon earth? I believe that sleep is a sacrament; or, what is the same thing, a food.

— G.K. Chesterton, Lunacy and Letters


Quote: WhiskeyRiver. Art via Mennyfox55

Running. Without Tiger.

gif-water-ocean

Preparations started the night before.  Running jacket, shoes, pants, shirt, socks, hat, watch, ear buds – all placed near the front door to minimize obstructions and maximize propulsion, Out-The-Door.

4:30 am. I trudge down the stairs. I step out the door, barefooted, in shorts and a short sleeved white tee-shirt. A soft wind carries the smell of a black and white, a skunk, pre-dawn smelling salts. I inhale to clear the lungs, 39° F bites.

The Tiger clutches the cymbals with both hands, opening his arms wide and slams.  The noise, ear-splitting. He repeats and repeats.  Crashing. Slamming. Piling on.

Stay at it. Slow it down. Breathe. Quiet the Mind. Chant.
“Tame-the-Ti-ger.”
“Tame-the-Ti-ger.” 
“Tame-the-Ti-ger.”
“Tame-the-Ti-ger.”

Tiger separates from the body and ebbs higher, higher, and higher until reaching a crest. Salt kicks up in the mist where I stand, separate, still. The ebb makes its last gasp, the fight now gone, sighs and then releases. [Read more…]

Monday Morning Wake-Up Call

fireflies-japan-yellow-light

Like when you squeeze lemon into black tea
and the black tea starts brightening all over.
Her fatigue was gradually brightening.
Without any fatigue whatsoever, incidentally.
The way a firefly lights up.
Since she was no longer tired,
she’d get up and get dressed.
It was time to start.

~ Clarice Lispector, “The Imitation of the Rose.” The Complete Stories


Photo: Fireflies by m hamajima via Mostly Japan

 

My offering

Woman-holding-coffee-cup-002

I take my morning mug of coffee in both hands
and lift it ever so slightly toward the sky.
I am alone;
there is no one to see.
This is my private gesture
— my acknowledgment,
my offering,
my moment of thankfulness
for the gift of this awakening day.

Kent Nerburn, ‘Of Coffee Mugs and Monks‘ from “Small Graces: The Quiet Gifts of Everyday Life“.


Photo: Aegyptiacus

How could I have looked him in the face?

art-face-awake-sleep

The millions are awake enough for physical labor; but only one in a million is awake enough for effective intellectual exertion, only one in a hundred millions to a poetic or divine life. To be awake is to be alive. I have never yet met a man who was quite awake. How could I have looked him in the face?

~ Henry David Thoreau, Where I Lived, and What I Lived For


Sources: Quote – Brainpickings. Art: Distant Passion

Awakening

photography,black and white

How heavy it is, this bucket
drawn out of the lake of sleep
with a dream slipping over,
so heavy that on some mornings
you can’t quite pull it free
so let it slip back under,
back into the darkness where
the water is warm, even warmer,
but the dream, like a minnow,
has swum away and is merely
a flash in the murky distance,
and the weight of waking up
seems even heavier. But somehow
you lift it again, its handle
biting into your fingers,
and haul it out and set it down
still rippling, a weighty thing
like life itself, in which you dip
the leaky cup of your hands
and drink.

~ Ted Kooser, “Awakening“, Splitting an Order.


Image Source: Michalina Wozniak

keta / KAY-tah / n


keta /KAY-tah/
n. an image that inexplicably leaps back into your mind from the distant past.

You are immersed in the passage of time. Sometimes you can feel the current moving. Sometimes you forget it’s there, only to be reminded again, another in a series of passing moments.  A moment is defined by its momentum.  It keeps moving.  We think of a memory as somehow dead.  As a memorial, anchored in its own time and place. A half buried reminder of what was once here.  You can’t just hang on to things. You have to let go. You have to move on.  It’s hard to imagine that certain memories are still alive. Still fighting against the current. Struggling to keep up.  That certain images still have the power to leap back into the present.  So you look across the room at someone you know.  Maybe they’re all grown up. Maybe they have children of their own.  Maybe you’ve known them for 50 years.  But in your eyes they are still the same goofy kid you once knew.  It’s not just the moments that we remember.  Not the grand gestures and catered ceremonies. Not the world we capture poised and smiling in photos. It’s the invisible things. In minutes. The cheap raw material of ordinary time.  These are the images that will linger in your mind, moving back and forth. Still developing.

~ John Koenig


Source: Dictionary of Obscure Sorrows
See more by John Koenig: Sunday Morning: Sonder


Called out of ourselves by the scent of a wild rose, the stunning yellow spike of goldenrod – and we answer back

Laura Sewall

“Crickets call to the east. A chopper ratchets a mile to the west. I sit in the middle, my left ear seduced by the soft cadence, the evershifting song of crickets in spring. My right ear is hollowed out, hard, both braced against and invaded by the clipped din of machinery. I am beginning to cry. I have felt the breath and nudge of the Dreamtime and know that it is beyond my threshold of perception, just beyond my reach, just a slip of consciousness away. I long for my serpentine thirst to be quenched by the dreaming, long for the look and feel of ultimate belonging and the sensuous play of being embedded, in bed with the world, dug in and dirty. But the phone rings, my endless list of things to do nags, haunts, and fills my consciousness. I too perceive the invisibles. In this case, they are mostly petty preoccupations- the trip I must make to Safeway, the phone calls I must return, the mail piling up- and the fact of my father, growing old, alone, 3,000 miles away. A phone call to him does not appear on my list. I feel such sadness as daily obligations fill my badgered view. I go blind in order to forget. The daily demands of our lives cause us to narrow our field of vision, shaping and minimizing our view to match a preoccupation with phones and texts or a long list of tasks that are never complete.Then in unconscious defense against the onslaught of modern business as usual, we further minimize the sensations we receive with self-inflicted doses of numbing. Most of us, I dare say, are numb to varying degrees, and for good reasons. This state of being is what James Hillman calls ‘anesthesia.’ Anesthetized, we no longer gasp in sudden wonder, inspire or become inspired as the beauty of the world enters us, for we are artificially numbed. David Abram calls this state ‘collective myopia,’ implying that we see little beyond our comfortable and constrained personal environments, we lack depth perception. When awakened, perception is motivated, like a hunger of the body. And like lovers, our sensing and sensual bodies are fed on sound and scent, feasted by late afternoon light. Because we hunger for the eroticism such sensation affords our bodies, we are pleased to be called out of ourselves by the scent of a wild rose, the stunning yellow spike of goldenrod- and we answer back.”

~ Laura Sewall

[Read more…]

Sunday Morning: Awaken


From the beaches of Fort Myers and Sanibel on the west coast of Florida…

Good Sunday Morning


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