Saturday Morning

My desert cactus has five spindly branches spread untidily in the pot. Each time I water that cactus I wonder why. I see no progress in how it looks; I water it all the same along with the other potted plants around it. It maintains a nonchalant brownish, greenish, and trace of yellow that appears anemic, as if on the verge of turning brown all over and withering up, if not for my regular water. Once afternoon, I pass it and what catches my eye makes me stop in my tracks and look again at the source of that stimulus. There on the end of one of the five tentacles of the cactus is an enormous flower, yellow with dozens of bristling stamens, and layers inside like a catacomb in miniature. I take photos with my phone, I call everyone from the house to come and see the miracle of a flower where I thought no such thing could occur. Thank goodness I kept watering that cactus after I dismissed it as ugly and unproductive or at least unresponsive to my care of it. The cactus flower proves me wrong. Nothing else in the garden comes near that flower’s majesty. By evening it shrivels and lies limp on the end of the thin branch of cactus. Next morning I give it an extra drink and apologize to it, and encourage my dear, ugly, surprising cactus to keep on doing whatever it does and to ignore me.

—  Fred D’Aguiar, Year of Plagues: A Memoir of 2020 (Harper, August 3, 2021)


Photo: Mike Grant, Desert Bloom, Phoenix, AZ

Walking. And Self Medicating.

4:20 a.m. 61° F.  Wind gusting. Dark Sky signals cloud cover @ 100%. Rain in an hour.

I walk.

Cove Island Park. 424 consecutive mornings. Like in a row.

Why so groggy? 

Mind scans the pre-bed time routine.

  • Shower.
  • + 2 Advil PMs. Essential for 6 hours of sleep.
  • + 2 Advil Dual Action Acetaminophens. ‘Now get up to 8 hours of powerful relief…lower back pain…’ It ain’t eight hours of relief. It’s like four. And I’m now on Amazon’s monthly, serial subscription ordering plan.
  • + 1 little blue pill. To keep the pipes running. TMI.
  • + Sugar, throughout the day up to bed time. In the form of handfuls of Hersey’s nuggets, bags of Welch’s Fruit Snacks (they are small bags), and the latest addition — Swiss Miss Premium Rich Chocolate Hot Cocoa. With a handful of mini marshmallows sprinkled on top.

There was a time. No flu shots. No aspirin. No cold medication. No allergy medicine. No Anything. A diesel engine that would just keep running. Middle age Plus = Wheels coming off this bus.

I walk. Limping. Left, lower back in a bad place.  Internal parts, bones, blood, arteries, nerve endings, all sloshing in a sugar bath.

Nope. I don’t want scolding, coaching or gentle persuasion from you Sugar-Free Vegan’s out there. No. Don’t want to hear it. This isn’t a Cocaine problem, or an Oxycontin problem (yet).

I walk. Back is loosening up. [Read more…]

One of My Favourite Things

One of my favourite things about in person conversation…..watching someone become more and more comfortable making eye contact with you. You’re watching a soul unfold, like a flower.

~ lilcowgirl7


Photo: “Cleome” on Morning Walk. 6:10 am. July 16, 2020. Hollow Tree Ridge Road, CT

“Our Lily”, “Arum Lily” and “Lily, Derailed”….

Saboyemichele: with “Our Lily” and “Arum Lily”. “The images above appeared in Lilliput Pocket Omnibus 1937/38 which was a humorous publication produced by Stefan Lorant, a photojournalist, author, and filmmaker. The magazine was known for Lorant’s juxtapositions of images for political or aesthetic effects. The left photo of the dancer was taken by Dr. Krohn from Praha (Prague). The photo on the right was taken by Felix Man. The synergy between these two pictures is visually stunning!

In search of DK’s Lily:

  • 1 hour searching on web to determine what type of lily the Arum Lily was.
  • 1 hour of searching through local garden shops after identifying lily type. (Full Disclosure: Co-Pilot Susan owned this.)
  • $10.50 worth of Calla Lilies.
  • 1.5 hours of photographing bought lilies over 2 days (and trying to get them to stand upright while taking shot. 100+ Lily shots.)
  • 5 minutes to set up this blog post, and 3 seconds to realize that I had misidentified the Lily species. (What type of lily is Arum Lily?)
  • The Lily Journey: Priceless.

 

Spring

And the scent of mock orange
drifts through the window.

How can I rest?
How can I be content
when there is still
that odor in the world?

Louise Glück, from “Mock Orange” in The Triumph of Achilles 


Notes:

real beauty, always unintentional



Notes:

  • Post title from Valeria Luiselli, Lost Children Archive: A Novel.
  • Images: Levitae, Rik Oostenbroek via Behance. “Ever since seeing Avatar by James Cameron, for the first time I’ve been amazed by the night scenes in the woods of Pandora. As a artist I never really payed attention to sculpting more realistic things, but this idea kept knocking on the door for over 6 months. It’s a 50/50 combination of Adobe photoshop and Maxon Cinema 4D. All colors are real life painted canvasses and used as color map to make the color transitions more natural.”
  • Rik Oostenbroek is a 22 year old self-taught Dutch freelance artist, designer and art director based in Hilversum, The Netherlands. For four years, Rik has worked as a freelancer on some of the biggest brands in the world including Nike, Mazda, ESPN and Viacom and his work has been used in advertising the world over: from Hong-Kong to New York, London to Paris, Amsterdam to Milan. Find him on Instagram here: rikoostenbroek

Spring

Spring is like a perhaps hand
(which comes carefully
out of Nowhere) arranging
a window, into which people look (while
people stare
arranging and changing placing
carefully there a strange
thing and a known thing here) and

changing everything carefully

E. E. Cummingsfrom “Spring is like a perhaps hand” in The Complete Poems: 1904-1962


Notes: Poem – Thank you Whiskey River. Photo: Floating by Chris A (Ain, Rhone-Alpes, France)

Sunday Morning

Until we can comprehend the beguiling beauty of a single flower, we are woefully unable to grasp the meaning and potential of life itself.

~ Virginia Woolf


Photo: Padma Inguva (via Aberrant Beauty). Quote: via Memory’s Landscape

Monday Morning Wake-Up Call

Turning to the head of his bed, he noticed a single camellia blossom that had fallen to the floor. He was certain he had heard it drop during the night; the sound had resounded in his ears like a rubber ball bounced off the ceiling. Although he thought this might be explained by the silence of the night, just to make sure that all was well with him, he had placed his right hand over his heart. Then, feeling the blood pulsating correctly at the edge of his ribs, he had fallen asleep. For some time, he gazed vacantly at the color of the large blossom, which was nearly as large as a baby’s head. Then, as if he had just thought of it, he put his hand to his heart and once again began to study its beat. It had become a habit with him lately to listen to his heart’s pulsation while lying in bed. As usual, the palpitation was calm and steady. With his hand still on his chest, he tried to imagine the warm, crimson blood flowing leisurely to this beat. This was life, he thought. Now, at this very moment, he held in his grasp the current of life as it flowed by.

~ Natsume Sōseki, “And Then” (1909)


Photo (edited): commorancy with Pink Camellia, Hakone Japanese Gardens

Lightly Child, Lightly.


Notes:

  • Photo: Hans Hammarskiöld (via newthom)
  • 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.”

 

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