Monday Morning Wake-up Call

What I meant was, some people stand in front of a tree and the first thing they notice is the trunk. These are the ones who prioritize order, safety, rules, continuity. Then there are those who pick out the branches before anything else. They yearn for change, a sense of freedom. And then there are those who are drawn to the roots, though concealed under the ground. They have a deep emotional attachment to their heritage, identity, traditions …’ ‘So which one are you?’

Elif Shafak, The Island of Missing Trees: A Novel (Bloomsbury Publishing; 1st edition (November 2, 2021)


Notes:

Monday Morning Wake-Up Call

It crossed his mind that maybe one of the most telling differences between the young and the old lay in this detail.

As you aged you cared less and less about what others thought of you, and only then could you be more free.

Elif Shafak, The Island of Missing Trees: A Novel (Bloomsbury Publishing; 1st edition (November 2, 2021)


Notes:

You have to love a nation…

“You have to love a nation that celebrates its independence every July 4th, not with a parade of guns, tanks, and soldiers who file by the White House in a show of strength and muscle, but with family picnics where kids throw Frisbees, the potato salad gets iffy, and the flies die from happiness.  You may think you have overeaten, but it is patriotism.”

– Erma Bombeck


Photo: DK @ Daybreak. 4:43 am. July 4, 2021. 59° F. Cove Island Park, Stamford, CT.

Monday Morning Wake Up Call

There is nothing more liberating than to realize you don’t have to live up to anything anymore.

— Betty Broderick, Dirty John (Netflix, S2:E6, The Twelfth of Never)


Photo: Esquire

Walking. Under the Red Maple.

Cove Island Park Walk. At Daybreak. 394 consecutive days. Like in a Row.

A handful of days after the long Memorial Day weekend. Reader: Hold that thought.

4:36 a.m. Dark Sky app is calling for 100% cloud cover, 50% chance of rain. Ugh.

I’m out the door.

I arrive at the park. Cloud cover ~60%. No rain. Not a hint of rain. Take that Dark Sky A.I.

Two loops around the park and I’m heading back to the car.

I’m 500 feet from the parking lot and I notice the tree.

Was this beautiful little tree here before? No chance. I would have seen it, for sure. Almost 400 consecutive days in a row, and I missed it?

Look at the fresh soil build up around the base. Could a tree this large have been transplanted?

What kind of tree it this? Red Maple? Could you possibly be this clueless? A Canadian who doesn’t know his trees?

I glance at my watch. Time to get home.

I quickly snap a shot of the tree and keep walking. And note that I couldn’t even get the entire tree within the frame. Really!?!

No.

I stop.

This tree is pulling me back.

I walk back. [Read more…]

T.G.I.F.: Freedom

“I was reading Kierkegaard while waiting to pick up my children from school. I wished I could wave some mother out of her idling vehicle and show her the passage. Reading, however, is a kind of private freedom: out of time, out of place.”

~ Yiyun Li, Dear Friend, from My Life I Write to You in Your Life

 


Photo: Elena with Reading

With you Rachel

The water in the creek is often surprisingly warm. After the first shock, it is easy to stay in. It is perhaps thirty metres long and I swim fast and methodically up and down. I don’t like to talk or mess around when I’m swimming; or it might be more accurate to say that I can’t imagine being able to mess around, can’t imagine being free from my own rules and ambitions, and more accurate still to say that I’m frightened of what might happen if I were. Instead I set myself a target and count the lengths. My husband dives in and swims for a little while, slowly, without particular direction. Then he turns over and lies on his back and floats, looking at the sky.

~ Rachel Cusk, in Coventry (Farrar, Straus and Giroux. September 16, 2019)


Note: Photo Gif via poppins-me

T.G.I.F.: It’s been a long week


Photo: Giraffes gaze from their enclosure at the Alipore Zoological Garden, in Kolkata. (Dibyangshu Sarka, Agence France, wsj.com June 7, 2018)

Saturday Morning

Make some room for yourself, human animal.
Even a dog jostles about on his master’s lap to
improve his position. And when he needs space he
runs forward, without paying attention to commands
or calls.
If you didn’t manage to receive freedom as a gift,
demand it as courageously as bread and meat.
Make some room for yourself, human pride and
dignity.
The Czech writer Hrabal said:
I have as much freedom as I take.

~ Julia Hartwig, Demand It Courageously, from In Praise of the Unfinished


Notes:

it kept running back and forth, trembling and chattering

 Alexandra Bochkareva

A summer day — I was twelve or thirteen — at my cousins’ house, in the country. They had a fox, collared and on a chain, in a little yard beside the house. All afternoon all afternoon all afternoon it kept—
_______

Once I saw a fox, in an acre of cranberries, leaping and pouncing, leaping and pouncing, leaping and falling back, its forelegs merrily slapping the air as it tried to tap a yellow butterfly with its thin black forefeet, the butterfly fluttering just out of reach all across the deep green gloss and plush of the sweet-smelling bog.
_______

— it kept running back and forth, trembling and chattering.

~ Mary Oliver, from “Staying Alive” in Upstream: Selected Essays

9alexandrabochkarevafoxredhead


Photos: From Autumn and Winter series by Alexandra Bochkareva (via My Modern Met). The dichotomy between the Mary Oliver excerpt and the photographs is that the fox (Alice) is trained and domesticated. Don’t miss the backstory and additional photos at My Modern Met.

They hover as a cloud of witnesses above this Nation

A pedestrian carrying an umbrella walks through a Memorial Day display of United States flags on the Boston Common in Boston, Massachusetts. See other Memorial Day Photos here: These Emotional Photos Show The Real Reason for Memorial Day

Post Title: Quote by Henry Ward Beecher (1813-1887)

 

Take a moment

eagle-veterans-day-honor


Source: Alan ShapiroPaying Respects to our fallen heroes on Veteran’s Day (via milsotherapy)

Riding the 7 Train. And the Moscow Metro.

Moscow-subway

I’m gripping the rubber handrail of the escalator that is creeping down, way down, into the bowels of the NYC subway system at 42nd and Grand Central, the second busiest station in the city. This, a ride down the shaft of a deep, underground coal mine. Black dust, airless and layered with noxious fumes. This, a visible symbol of America’s decay, its infrastructure crumbling.

There is no welcome mat out for the timid, or, for any bics: the acrophobics, the claustrophobics or the mysophobics. The incline is steep. The crowd thick and wary. The noise deafening. Even the Earth shivers from fright under Gotham when the trains rumble by.  Here, here. The richest city in the richest country in the world, and here we are. The Suits. The Homeless. The Helpless. The Pick-Pockets. The Cons. The Certifiable. And the Artists, the canaries in this coal mine – their instrument cases open, serenading the masses with Bach or Mendelssohn, a thin stream of light amid this train wreck (no pun intended).  Add the pungent stench of urine and this here is a petri dish of trouble.  Grade? A Dump.

I’m waiting for my cross-town train and the mind drifts back, way back.  [Read more…]

It’s Been A Long Day (Keep Me Silent)

photography,josephine cardin KeepMeSilent_JCardin_08-josephine-cardin

New York-based photographer Josephine Cardin created the work ‘Keep Me Silent‘ as a series of self-portraits exploring the weight of the dark secrets, emotions, and experiences we harbor throughout our lives.  Josephine Cardin explains: “Weighing us down until we free ourselves from the burden of keeping them hidden, these hardships inevitably dictate every aspect of how we live and the decisions we make. Like most of my work, at first glance there is a sense of a beautiful, almost dreamlike state, but when one looks closer there is an evident darkness and sadness to be discovered. I wanted to give the illusion that the subject wanted nothing more than to float and be free, all the while not being able to let go of this burdensome weight holding her back. Until she finally lets go, forcing the suitcase open, her heavy cloud is lifted and vanishes away. As stated in one of my favorite quotes by Jim Morrison, ‘Expose yourself to your deepest fear; after that, fear has no power, and the fear of freedom shrinks and vanishes. You are free.'”

Don’t miss other photos in this series at Ignant.de: “Keep Me Silent

Find the photographer’s website and gallery here: CardinPhotography.com

Honor

veteran's day

No matter what your views on war, someone’s Father, Mother or child has put or is putting their life at risk for this country, for you, for me, for our families. Today, we honor those that serve and have served.

Former Georgia Senator and Governor Zell Miller :

“For it has been said so truthfully that it is the soldier, not the reporter, who has given us the freedom of the press. It is the soldier, not the poet, who has given us freedom of speech. It is the soldier, not the agitator, who has given us the freedom to protest. It is the soldier who salutes the flag, serves beneath the flag, whose coffin is draped by the flag, who gives that protester the freedom to abuse and burn that flag.”

Oliver Wendell Holmes:

Lord, bid war’s trumpet cease;
Fold the whole earth in peace.


Image Credit: Your Grace Is Enough

 

Happy Birthday America

fireworks-gif-fourth of July


Source: Totally Transparent

Find the Cost of Freedom


Daylight again, following me to bed
I think about a hundred years ago, how my fathers bled
I think I see a valley, covered with bones in blue
All the brave soldiers that cannot get older been askin’ after you
Hear the past a callin’, from Ar- -megeddon’s side
When everyone’s talkin’ and noone is listenin’, how can we decide?

(Do we) find the cost of freedom, buried in the ground

Mother earth will swallow you, lay your body down
Find the cost of freedom, buried in the ground
Mother earth will swallow you, lay your body down
(Find the cost of freedom buried in the ground)


In his house slippers dancing alone in his bedroom, humming step over step

paul celan

“In his youth, he worked in a factory, though everyone said he looked more like a professor of classical languages than a factory worker. He walked to work as if moving under water. He was a beautiful man with a slender body which moved in a mixture of grace and sharp geometrical precision. His face had an imprint of laugher on it, as if no other emotion ever touched his skin. Even in his fifties, the nineteen-year-old girls winked at him in trains or trolley-busses, asking for his phone number. Seven years after his death, I saw Celan in his house slippers dancing alone in his bedroom, humming step over step. He did not mind being a character in my stories in a language he never learned. That night, I saw him sitting on a rooftop, searching for Venus, reciting Brodsky to himself. He asked if his past existed at all.”

— Ilya Kaminsky on Paul Celan in “Traveling Musicians”


Paul Celan (1920 – 1970) was a Romanian poet and translator becoming one of the major German-language poets of the post-World War II era.

Poet Ilya Kaminsky was born in the former Soviet Union city of Odessa. He lost most of his hearing at the age of four after a doctor misdiagnosed mumps as a cold, and his family was granted political asylum by the United States in 1993, settling in Rochester, New York. After his father’s death in 1994, Kaminsky began to write poems in English: “I chose English because no one in my family or friends knew it—no one I spoke to could read what I wrote. I myself did not know the language. It was a parallel reality, an insanely beautiful freedom. It still is.”


Image Credit. Quote Credit: ounu via Schonwieder. Bios: Wiki and Poetry Foundation.


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