Monday Morning Wake-Up Call

Where to go from here?

—  Delia Ephron, Left on Tenth: A Second Chance at Life: A Memoir (Little, Brown and Company. April 12, 2022)


Notes:

T.G.I.F.: You inhale the soft cool night

7/15/44 [New York.] You have to enjoy the weather always. Walking home from Sixty-First Street on Second Avenue, eleven beautiful black blocks. (The moon is not, the lights are, you are, your feet with the spring in them, this is youth, now!) You inhale the soft cool night, you gaze on the lighted bar doorways fondly. Your shoes, for once, are comfortable. Your head is filled with a number of things… with the youth’s grudging appreciation of the splendid night, and with the consciousness of health, future, potency. Breathe deep! Your lungs are still functioning perfectly, your thighs do not shake too much, your calves are resilient, your toes eager. Every muscle is obedient (taut for an instant, then couchantly relaxed), every dream will come true.

 Patricia Highsmith, “Patricia Highsmith: Her Diaries and Notebooks: 1941-1995.″ Anna von Planta (Editor). (Liveright, November 16, 2021)— Patricia Highsmith, Her Diaries and Notebooks: 1941-1995


Photo: Mike Kononov via unsplash

Monday Morning Wake-Up Call

I always peek into baby buggies when I walk home, because I love to look at the little children who are lying asleep with upstretched hands on a ruffled pillowcase. I also like to look at people who in one way or another give expression to their feelings. I like to look at mothers caressing their children, and I willingly go a little out of my way in order to follow a young couple who are walking hand in hand and are openly in love. It gives me a wistful feeling of happiness and an indefinable hope for the future.

—  Tove Ditlevsen, Youth: The Copenhagen Trilogy (FSG Originals, January 26, 2021)


Highly Recommended. And the trilogy has been recommended as a Best Book of the Year in 2021.

Monday Morning Wake-Up Call

Five years ago, you were teacher of the year and now this.

All this would be fine—well, not exactly fine but manageable—if you were not due at this faculty meeting in half an hour. You look at the other drivers—some passing you, and some you are passing. You look at their faces and wonder how great the gap is between who they are and who they know they could be. You’re on Interstate 10. The I-10 is known to locals, depending on your direction, as the San Bernardino Freeway or the Santa Monica Freeway. Freeways here, true to the romantic nature of the West and its ever-hopeful revision of the life that came before, are made for movement and the future and they’re named for where you’re going—not where you’ve been.

The past, well, that’s for when you turn around. Where you’ve been is only important in the context of where you are. And if where you are this moment is good, the past makes sense and every moment of horror and dread seems worth it. If where you are is terrible, the past just seems like an accumulation of data that confirm you were on this path all along.

How things end up matters.

Rob Roberge, Liar: A Memoir (Crown, February 9, 2016)


Photo of Santa Monica Freeway (10)

Lightly Child, Lightly.

I have also, I think, learnt what it is to love: being capable, not of ‘exaggerated’ initiatives, of always going one better, but of being thoughtful in relation to others, respecting their desires, their rhythms, never demanding things but learning to receive and to accept every gift as a surprise, and being capable, in a wholly unassuming way, of giving and of surprising the other person without the least coercion. To sum up, it is a question simply of freedom. Why did Cézanne paint the Montagne Saint-Victoire at every available moment? Because the light of each moment is a gift.

So, despite its dramas, life can still be beautiful. I am sixty-seven, and though it will soon be over, I feel younger now than I have ever done, never having had any youth since no one loved me for myself.

Yes, the future lasts a long time.

Louis Althusser, The Future Lasts Forever: A Memoir


Notes:

  • Painting: “Paul Cézanne: La Montagne Sainte-Victoire” via Culturium
  • Quote via “Alive on All Channels
  • 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.”

Monday Morning Wake-Up Call

Sometimes now I envy those people who are at the beginning of the long road of the lives they’ll make, who still have so many decisions ahead as the road forks and forks again. Imagining their trajectories, I picture a real road, branching and branching, and I can feel it, shadowy, forested, full of the anxiety and the excitement of choosing, of starting off without quite knowing where you will end up…

I have no regrets about the roads I took, but a little nostalgia for that period when most of the route is ahead, for that stage in which you might become many things that is so much the promise of youth, now that I have chosen and chosen again and again and am far down one road and far past many others. Possibility means that you might be many things that you are not yet, and it is intoxicating when it’s not terrifying.

— Rebecca SolnitRecollections of My Nonexistence: A Memoir (Viking, March 10, 2020)

Monday Morning Wake-Up Call

There is no trace where we were.

No arrows pointing to the place we’re headed.

We are the trackless beat, the invisible light, the thought without a word to speak.

Poured water, struck match.

Before the nothing, we are the moment.

Louise ErdrichThe Bingo Palace: A Novel


Notes: Quote source – Thank you Whiskey River. Photo found @ Match

Change it up, please.

A change of scene,

of air,

of people.

Amazing.

~ Sylvia Plath, from The Unabridged Journals of Sylvia Plath


Photo: via poppins-me. Quote via Anne Sexton Appreciation

It’s been a long day

It is dusk. The birds sweep low to the lake and then dive
up. The wind picks a few leaves off the ground
and turns them into wheels that roll
a little way and then collapse. There’s nothing like branches
planted against the sky to remind you
of the feel of your feet on the earth, the way your hands
sometimes touch each other. All those memories,
you wouldn’t want them over again, there’s no point.
What’s next, you ask yourself.
You ask it ten thousand times.

~ Roo Borson, “Ten Thousand” from  Night Walk: Selected Poems


Notes:

 

Walking Cross-Town. With little ones.


3:30 a.m. yesterday. Saw this photo and froze.

This THIS is the world our children live in today.

Look at her. Those eyes. Those little shoes.

Precious is tucked in close to Dad who is buying tickets for the show.

And then the scene darkens, a conjoining of rivers with Catherine Abbey Hodges’ closing lines in “How to Begin“: “You’re a strand of dark thread sticking a word to a river. Then another.

Manchester. 22 dead. Women, children, soft targets. UK terror threat raised to Critical. 1000 troops deployed.

Dear Ms. Hodges, is the question How to Begin?

Or is it, How does it end? [Read more…]

Saturday Morning

dog-pet-cute

O let me lift it, ever so slightly.
It hangs before me—ever—heavy, motionless—
this curtain which veils the future.
Let me just hold a corner up and peep beyond.
Then maybe I shall be content.

~
Katherine Mansfield, dated Sept 2, 1907 from Delphi Complete Works of Katherine Mansfield

 


Notes: Quote: The Value of Soul Making. Photo: Kulturtava

Are you listening?

Sad, sobering but beautiful.  “The photographer and filmmaker Katy Grannan travels around America to capture the nation’s mood in 2016.”

Lightly child, lightly.

rob-woodcox-surreal-angel
perhaps one day
we’ll understand:
why it hurts to be here,
and there,
and then.

— Kimberly Grey, from “Conjugating in The Opposite of Light: Poems


Notes:

  • Sources: Poem – Hidden Landscape. Photo – Rob Woodcox from Surreal
  • 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.”

 

Monday Morning: Flashflashflashes

choose-balloons-anka-zhuravleva

The light beyond my eyes flashflashflashes
with a hundred futures for me.
Doctor.
Ship’s captain.
Forest ranger.
Librarian.
Beloved of that man or that women or those children or those people who voted for me or who painted my picture.
Poet.
Acrobat.
Engineer.
Friend.
Guardian.
Avenging whirlwind.
A million futures –
not all pretty,
not all long,
but all of them mine.
I do have a choice.

— Laurie Halse AndersonWintergirls


Notes:

Lightly child, lightly.

close-up-face-eye-freckles-portrait
It
Troubles me that time should make things sweeter, that
Instead of learning to perceive things as they are I’ve
Learned to lose them, or to see them as they disappear
Into the insubstantial future. Everything here is mine,
Or lies within my power to accept. I want to find a way
To live inside each moment as it comes, then let it go
Before it breaks up in regret or disillusionment.

~ John Koethe, from “Between the Lines,” North Point North: New and Selected Poems


Notes:

  • Photo: via Mennyfox55. Poem: The Distance Between Two Doors
  • 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.”

Sound of the drums / Beatin’ in my heart / I’m Thunderstruck

storm-art-pursuit

Joan of Arc was not stuck at a crossroads…
she chose a path,
and went down it like a thunderbolt.

~ G. K. Chesterton, Orthodoxy


Notes:

  • Credits: Quote Source: Thank you Mme Scherzo. Image: Mennyfox55
  • Post title Inspired by AC/DC’s Thunderstruck: I was caught / In the middle of a railroad track. (Thunder) / I looked round / And I knew there was no turning back (Thunder) / My mind raced / And I thought what could I do (Thunder) / And I knew / There was no help, no help from you (Thunder) / Sound of the drums / Beatin’ in my heart

Here. But There.

Robert-creeley-poem-there

~ Robert Creeley,  Pieces in The Collected Poems of Robert Creeley, 1945-1975, Volume 1


Source: invisiblestories.

Bangbangbangbangbang

woodpecker

A very small woodpecker is beating his brains out against a piece of metal on the telephone pole across the street. Bangbangbangbangbang. I stand underneath. “There are no bugs in there,” I call up to him, “you’re going to blunt your beak,” but he keeps hammering away. We have a lot of woodpeckers. Great big ones, and the noise they make is very loud. Maybe this poor baby thinks he’s doing it right. There’s a lesson in this somewhere, and I hope I’ve already learned it.

~ Abigail Thomas, What Comes Next and How to Like It: A Memoir


Notes:

holding it at arm’s length, clutching its shoulders

photography,black and white

You’ve seen the way in which a woman chooses a dress from her closet, then stands before a mirror, holding it at arm’s length, clutching its shoulders as if it were a son she is sending to war, looking him up and down and then drawing him close and pressing him against her breast. And then she sees herself embracing him, and smiles, the two of them looking so perfect together, full of such hope, facing the future.

~ Ted Kooser, The Wheeling Year: A Poet’s Field Book


Photograph:  Drowned in Daydreams

Lightly child, lightly

woman-back-black-and-white

I am a prophet of the past.
And how do you see and foresee the future?
As when a man sees a woman with a beautiful body
walking before him in the street
and looks at her with desire,
but she doesn’t turn to look back,
just smooths her skirt a little,
pulls her blouse tight,
fixes the back of her hair,
then without turning toward the man’s gaze
quickens her step.
That’s what the future is like.

Yehuda Amichai,  section 5 of “I Foretell the Days of Yore,” Open Closed Open


Notes:

  • Yehuda Amichai (1924 – 2000) was an Israeli poet. Amichai is considered by many, both in Israel and internationally, as Israel’s greatest modern poet. Find his book on Amazon: Open Closed Open
  • Poem Source: The Journey of Words. Image Source: sexykinkyfunny&curly.
  • 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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