Monday Morning Wake-Up Call

sleep-tired-fatigue-monday-morning-stephen-shore

“Insanity is ‘doing the same thing over and over, expecting different results.’

That’s writing poetry, but hey, it’s also getting out of bed every morning.”

Mary Ruefle, Madness, Rack, and Honey, Collected Lectures


Notes: Mary Ruefle Quote: Austin Kleon. Insanity Quote – Albert Einstein. Photograph: Stephen ShoreUncommon Places via this isn’t happiness

 

We might lose this child

boy-clouds-reach-light

The team knows and I know that we are running out of time. The anesthesiologist looks up at me and I see the fear in his eyes. . . We might lose this child. Cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) is like trying to clutch-start a car in second gear—it’s not very reliable, especially as we are continuing to lose blood. I am working blind, so I open my heart to a possibility beyond reason, beyond skill, and I begin to do what I was taught decades ago, not in residency, not in medical school, but in the back room of a small magic shop in the California desert. I calm my mind. I relax my body. I visualize the retracted vessel. I see it in my mind’s eye, folded into this young boy’s neurovascular highway. I reach in blindly but knowing that there is more to this life than we can possibly see, and that each of us is capable of doing amazing things far beyond what we think is possible. We control our own fates, and I don’t accept that this four-year-old is destined to die today on the operating table. I reach down into the pool of blood with the open clip, close it, and slowly pull my hand away. The bleeding stops, and then, as if far away, I hear the slow blip of the heart monitor. It’s faint at first. Uneven. But soon it gets stronger and steadier, as all hearts do when they begin to come to life. I feel my own heartbeat begin to match the rhythm on the monitor. Later, in post-op, I will give his mother the remnants from his first haircut, and my little buddy will come out of the anesthetic a survivor. He will be completely normal. In forty-eight hours, he will be talking and even laughing, and I will be able to tell him that the Ugly Thing is gone.”

~ James Doty, MD, from “Into the Magic Shop: A Neurosurgeon’s Quest to Discover the Mysteries of the Brain and the Secrets of the Heart


Notes:

Listen . . . Listen . . .

hair-red-close-up

Tune to the frequency of the wood and
you’ll hear the deer, breathing; a muscle, tensing;
the sigh of a field mouse under an owl.
Now listen to yourself —
that friction — the push-and-drag,
the double pulse, the drum.
You can hear it, clearly.
You can hear the sound of your body, breaking down.
If you’re very quiet, you might pick up loss:
or rather the thin noise that losing makes — perdition.
If you’re absolutely silent and still,
you can hear nothing but the sound of nothing:
this voice and its wasting, the soul’s tinsel.
Listen . . .
Listen . . .

~ Robin Robertson, Tinsel from Sailing the Forest: Selected Poems  (Farrar, Straus and Giroux. 2014 )


Notes:

1/2 ounce and a beacon in the darkness

The NY Times has an average circulation exceeding 2,000,000 readers daily. And the story that ranked as “Most Popular” yesterday, amidst a deluge of daily news bleakness, was this one:

NY Times: Painted Bunting, a Rare Visitor to Brooklyn, Gives Birders Cause to Stare

painted-bunting-bird

“The object of fascination was a male painted bunting, an avian connoisseur of grassland never before seen in Brooklyn — and rarely found much north of Arkansas — that has drawn crowds of bird-watchers to Prospect Park since its discovery on Sunday.

“…for 30 breathtaking seconds, he put on a show, no binoculars necessary, flitting up into a bare serviceberry shrub, then darting right across the path to land in a patch of orange winterberries until a mockingbird swooped in and chased him off.  Scott Schulman, the manager of LeFrak Center, who happened to wander up the hill just in time, looked around in wonder.

“That was remarkable, to say the least,” he said. “Wow.”

painted-bunting-bird-2


Image Credits: #1 – Kirsten Luce.  #2: Daisylanepaul

There’s the eagle’s world, and there is mine. Let’s Fly.

eagle-close-up-eyes-beak

As I watch the eagle rise above the bay, I let myself drift out beyond an edge, as though I were moving across the edge of sleep…I am filled with the same disdainful surge that releases him from his perch, feel the strain of air trapped in the hollows of his wings…The eagle sweeps away in great, lazy arcs, drifts against the corniced peaks, and soars up toward the smooth layer of cloud…At three thousand feet, the feathered sails flex and shake against a torrent of wind…I can feel the lash of gusts as the eagle planes above the mountain, gaze through his eyes at the fissured, snow-laden peak, and share the craving that draws him more deeply into the island’s loneliness…I have flown, however artificially, and have looked down over the island and the strait. But I can never know what the eagle sees with those blazing eyes, what are the shapes of mountains and shores amid the maze of detail that leaps into his brain.

There is the eagle’s world, and there is mine, sealed beyond reach within our selves. But despite these insuperable differences, we are also one, caught in the same fixed gaze that contains us. We see the earth differently, but we see the same earth. We breathe the same air and feel the same wind, drink the same water and eat the same meat. We share common membership in the same community and are subject to the same absolutes. In this sense, the way we receive what surrounds us is irrelevant: I have the eagle’s eyes and the eagle has mine.

~ Richard Nelson, The Island Within

Notes:

Every stub. Every whisker. Every mole. Every freckle. Every eyelash.

bald eagle

The bird cranes his head down to watch me, so the plumage on his neck fluffs out. HIs head is narrow, pinched, tightly feathered; his eyes are silver-gold, astringent, and stare forward along the curved scythe of his beak. Burned into each eye is a constricted black pupil, like the tightly strung arrow of a crossbow aimed straight toward me. What does the eagle see when he looks at me, this bird who can spot a herring’s flash in the water a quarter-mile away? I suppose every stub of whisker on my face, every mole and freckle, every eyelash, the pink flesh on my eyelid, the red network of vessels on the white of my eye, the radiating colors of my iris, his own reflection on my pupil, or beneath this reflection, his inverted image on my retina. I see only the eagle’s eye, but wonder if he sees down inside mine. Or inside me perhaps.

~ Richard Nelson, The Island Within

Photograph: Fairy-Wren

T.G.I.F.: It’s been a long week!

seal-gif-ocean-water-t.g.i.f.


Source: poppins-me (struggling to keep head above water)

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

For years we grasp and grasp

fist-bump-baby-father

In the baby’s fist is the first thing he owns, a little ball of air, but soon he tires of this and grabs another, then another after that. So early in life we learn about more, and having more. In more it seems we have eternity, and for years we grasp and grasp, until one day we find that we have less. And then life goes and goes, it floats away, and at the end we find our hand is empty, but for one small ball of air.

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


Photograph: John Mueller

Monday Morning Wake-Up Call

bird-sing-camera


Source: touchn2btouched

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