My mind chattering, lay hold of me. Lay hold.


Remember the giant whooping crane on the county highway
whose mate had been hit, stretched out dead at the center
of the road? She stood by him, wings open and flapping, shrewd
voice anxious, screaming, her dark red crown bowing in her descent
through the rim of despair. With each oncoming car she took a short
running flight to get our of the way, pacing the side of the road until
she could return to him. The next day, when still there, exhausted,
wings tattered and brown, we scraped what left of her lover
off the asphalt with a snow shovel, and laid the body on the low,
dry treadgrass by the embankment. The birds had come that July
to our swill, which had filled with monsoon rain. She stood there
close to us, in the still, yellowing grass, her interminable legs wobbling
underneath her body. The long toes of her feet twitching. That
shallow silver dish of my mind chattering, lay hold of me. Lay hold.

~ Elizabeth Jacobson,”Lay Hold of Me,” The American Poetry Review (July/August 2016)

Notes: Poem – Memory’s Landscape. Photo: Simone Sbaraglia

I have heard, in that fierce embrace, even the gods speak of God


It doesn’t interest me if there is one God
or many gods.
I want to know if you belong or feel
If you know despair or can see it in others.
I want to know
if you are prepared to live in the world
with its harsh need
to change you. If you can look back
with firm eyes
saying this is where I stand. I want to know
if you know
how to melt into that fierce heat of living
falling toward
the center of your longing. I want to know
if you are willing
to live, day by day, with the consequence of love
and the bitter
unwanted passion of your sure defeat.

I have heard, in that fierce embrace, even
the gods speak of God.

— David Whyte, “Self Portrait” from Fire in the Earth

Source: Poem – Whiskey River. Photo: Precious Things

all of a sudden in a supreme moment of light


Yesterday I had a beautiful letter from Eugénie about old age (she is in her seventies).

Ici la vie continue égale et monotone en surface, pleine d’éclairs, de sommets et de désepérance, dans les profondeurs. Nous sommes arrivés maintenant á un stade de vie si riche en apprehensions nouvelles intransmissibles aux autres âges de la vie – on se sent rempli á la fois de tant de douceur et de tant de désespoir – l’énigme de cette vie grandit, grandit, vous submerge et vous écrase, puis tout á coup en une lueur suprême on prend conscience due “sacré.”

“Here life goes on, even and monotonous on the surface, full of lightning, of summits and of despair, in its depths. We have now arrived at a stage in life so rich in new perceptions that cannot be transmitted to those at another stage – one feels at the same time full of so much gentleness and so much despair – the enigma of this life grows, grows, drowns one and crushes one, then all of a sudden in a supreme moment of light one becomes aware of the “sacred.”

~ May Sarton, March 3rd,  Journal of Solitude




Don’t give up on this one.  The underwater footage begins a the 1 minute mark.  The Humpback calf comes on a 1:42.  And you may  wish you stopped watching a wee bit before the finish.  No spoiler.  (But don’t say you weren’t warned)

More on the background of this clip below.

“Hannah Fraser stars in ‘Betrayal,’ a conservation-themed video that features a ‘life-changing’ encounter in the South Pacific.  Fraser acts as a betrayed woman who has fallen into deep despair. She plunges into the dark ocean and is about to give up when she receives a visit by a humpback whale calf. The human and mammal bond as they perform what appears to be a choreographed dance, and the amazing encounter restores the woman’s hope and faith. ‘The woman rediscovers hope and love, dancing with joy as she experiences a profound connection, and comes face to face with this incredible being,” says Heinrichs, an award-winning cinematographer.

Humpback whales, like most other species of whales, were hunted to the brink of extinction during the whaling era. There is mounting pressure by some nations to have them removed from the endangered species list so they can resume hunting.

The footage is unique and remarkable because Fraser was able to get so close to the young humpback, whose mother was nearby, for an extended period. In the video, the mother ultimately arrives and reclaims her calf.

‘The fact that these whales can choose to interact with us so freely, when they can swim away in an instant, and considering our species drove their species to the brink of extinction … to spend time in their company is both humbling and a life-changing experience,’ Fraser says.”

Source: GrindTV

Sitting in Judgment

I find hope in the darkest of days, and focus in the brightest. I do not judge the universe.
– Dalai Lama

And that’s why he’s the Dalai Lama.  And I sit stewing in judgment.

Sources: Image – Quote: swiss-miss


black and white, pondering, thinking, think, thoughts, hope, aspirations, fear

Why am I afraid to dance, I who love music and rhythm and song and laughter?
Why am I afraid to live, I who love life
and the beauty of flesh and the living colors of earth and sea and sky?
Why am I afraid to love, I who love?
Why am I afraid, I who am not afraid?
Why must I pretend to scorn in order to pity?
Why must I hide myself in self-contempt in order to understand?
Why must I be so ashamed of my strength, so proud of my weakness?
Why must I live in a cage like a criminal, defying and hating, I who love peace and friendship?
Why was I born without a skin? Oh God, that I must wear armor in order to touch or be touched.”

~ Eugene O’Neill, The Great God Brown and Other Plays

Eugene O’Neill (1888-1953), was an American playwright who won the 1936 Nobel Prize in Literature “for the power, honesty and deep-felt emotions of his dramatic works, which embody an original concept of tragedy.”  His plays involve characters who inhabit the fringes of society, engaging in depraved behavior, where they struggle to maintain their hopes and aspirations but ultimately slide into disillusionment and despair.  O’Neill wrote only one comedy (Ah, Wilderness!): all his other plays involve some degree of tragedy and personal pessimism.

Source: Thank you Whiskey River for quote.  Wiki and goodreads for bio.  Black and White for image.

Lightly Child. Lightly.

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. I was so preposterously serious in those days, such a humorless little prig. Lightly, lightly – it’s the best advice ever given me…So throw away your baggage and go forward. There are quicksands all about you, sucking at your feet, trying to suck you down into fear and self-pity and despair. That’s why you must walk so lightly. Lightly my darling, on tiptoes and no luggage, not even a sponge bag, completely unencumbered.

Aldous HuxleyIsland  


Credits: Image Source: amisfitlikeme. Quote Source: creatingaquietmind

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