Walking. With #1 Son.

383 consecutive days. Like in a Row. Morning Walk to Cove Island Park. You’ll say, impossible. I’m telling you, you don’t understand the Wiring. Only 1 day during the streak that put it in jeopardy, and that’s a story for another day.

Back to this morning’s walk.  Eric’s on My Mind.

We set up a makeshift office for him in the attic.  A white IKEA desk. A desk chair from Staples. A floor mat under the chair from Amazon. A small single bed against the wall.  And there he hibernates. 

Late night, he shifts in the chair, the floorboards creak, his office directly above the Master bedroom. His chair directly on top of me, sleeping. He’ll be editing his photos, the same photos for hours. Days. The penguin from South Africa, that one up top, took weeks. Deliberate. Meticulous. Punctilious. Like a Professional.

He crawls into bed at ~3 a.m. About the time when his Dad, me, stirs, getting ready for his Daybreak walk. [Read more…]

Saturday Morning

But being lonely and being alone are not the same, and Bishop recognized from a young age that there was something special, even salvific, about the latter. “There is a peculiar quality about being alone, an atmosphere that no sounds or persons can ever give,” she wrote in the 1929 essay. “It is as if being with people were the Earth of the mind, the land with its hills and valleys, scent and music: but in being alone, the mind finds its Sea, the wide, quiet plane with different lights in the sky and different, more secret sounds.” I understood this sentiment well, the special beauty of the blue hours when you are, by choice, alone, and the candle of your self burns in a way it never quite can when you are with someone else…

Yet, as Bishop wrote in 1929, being alone…is unimpeachably special, sacrosanct. The art of being alone, especially in a world where our identities all too often feel coterminous with what we post on social media or achieve publicly and how people react thereto—and where desiring privacy can seem a cause for suspicion—feels increasingly hard to master. But it’s one of the most exquisite, and, to me, most necessary, arts to master, lest we lose too much of ourselves by forgetting—or never knowing—how to be beautifully alone, buoyed by the ocean-music of silence.

~ Gabrielle Bellot, from “Alone with Elizabeth Bishop,” The New York Review of Books (September 20, 2018)


Photo by Marta Bevacqua

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