Sunday Morning (Miracle. All of it.)

Of all natural patterns, the one I think that moves me most, is the sight of a flock of wild geese.

A single goose passing high overhead carries with it a sense of freedom and adventure. “He is,” in the words of Hal Borland, “the yearning and the dream, the search and the wonder, the unfettered foot and the wind’s-will wing.”

But a complete formation of geese is, for me, the epitome of wanderlust. Each one leaves me, no matter what I happen to be doing, wondering how long it will take me to pack my bags. And it’s not just migratory restlessness, the knowledge that by dawn the flock will be in other climes. I don’t feel the same way about swallows. There’s something about the goose formation itself, that arrowhead symbol of limitless horizons, that hints at appropriate and meaningful adaptation. A sense not only of going somewhere, but of doing so together in the best possible way.

Observations of geese in passage, show that they invariably adopt a “vee” formation, flying on the same level, equally spaced out but not necessarily along arms of equal length. The important thing seems to be that the vee must have an apex – that the leading bird should always have others on either side.

It has been suggested that this characteristic formation is nothing more than a simple consequence of the fact that geese have immobile eyes on the sides of their head; and that, with the beak pointed forward, the best way to keep a neighbouring bird in full view is to take up a place just behind it, either to the left or right eye side. But direct measurement of flights of Canada geese shows that the angle between the arms of the vee formation varies even in a single species between 28 and 44 degrees, which doesn’t necessarily correspond with the fixed angle of clearest focus.

Another theory suggests that the vee formation allows one goose, presumably a stronger and more experienced bird, to lead the way, cleaving a path through the air for the others. But, once again, field studies show that the leadership changes constantly and that this position, far from being reserved for wise old ganders, is in fact shared out amongst the younger and weaker members of the flock.

The answer seems to be largely aerodynamic. A recent computer study shows that there is an upwash beyond and behind the tip of a moving wing that can be useful to other birds nearby. If the spacing between wings is optimal, this saving in energy can be considerable. For instance, a formation of twenty-five birds can, just by adopting the most favourable formation, increase their effective range by 71 per cent.

And this seems to be precisely what happens. Travelling geese usually fly in groups of around twenty individuals and invariably adopt a vee formation. If they flew in line abreast on a common front, the birds in the centre would enjoy twice as much uplift as the ones on the ends of the line. But as soon as the line is bent backwards, the ones at the rear begin to pick up additional upwash from all those in front, which effectively cancels out most of the disadvantage of their position. And as they travel, other small inequities which may exist are dealt with by regular and democratic changes of place.

Lyall Watson, Beyond Supernature: A New Natural History of the Supernatural


Notes:

  • Photo: DK @ Cove Island Park this morning. For other photos from this morning’s walk, click here and here.
  • Post Title: Post title Inspired by Albert Einstein’s quote: “There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle.”

The Greatest

People without arms using touchscreen phones. A deaf mother whose watch lets her know that her baby is crying. A blind man whose phone tells him not just that a door is in front of him, but what it says on the door. These are the days of miracles and wonders.

Steven Aquino, writing at Forbes:

Of course Apple wants you to use their products, but so too does Amazon and Google and Microsoft and others. There exists a deeper message: the point is not whether Apple is subliminally advertising to people; the salient point is Apple is overtly advertising a disabled person’s basic humanity.

What this short film expresses so clearly is that these accessibility feature don’t merely allow people with serious disabilities to use Apple devices, but to thrive with them.

—  John Gruber, ‘The Greatest – Short Film From Apple Celebrating Accessibility Features‘ (Thursday, December 1, 2022)

VOLUME UP!

Lightly Child, Lightly.

It sometimes sweeps through him in quick glimpses like an illumination and yes, yes, then he’s filled with a kind of happiness and he thinks that there might be a place somewhere… what if everything could be like that? … He thinks about a place like that, which is obviously no place, he thinks, he falls into a kind of sleep that isn’t like sleep but more a bodily movement where he’s not moving… everything’s heavy and hard and there’s a place in the big heaviness that’s an unbelievably gentle shining light, like faith, yes, like a promise.

Jon Fosse, The Other Name: Septology I-II.


Notes:D

  • DK Photo @ Daybreak. 67° F, with light rain. 6 am. November 12, 2022. Cove Island Park, Stamford, CT.
  • 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.”

Lightly Child, Lightly.

I saw a man once, I waved to him and he did not wave back; I felt very self-conscious, partly because of how often I was walking this road. I walked until I got to the small cove we had driven past the first day we came here that had thrilled me so quietly; it still gave me a quiet sense of awe… And then I would walk back again.

— Elizabeth Strout, Lucy by the Sea: A Novel (Random House, September 20, 2022)

Notes:

  • Elizabeth Strout’s words spoke to me, this 905th consecutive day (almost, like in a row) on my morning walk at Cove Island Park.
  • Photos from yesterday’s morning walk @ Cove Island Park. More photos from yesterday’s walk 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.”

TGIF: Burn…

…if the world was on fire, you might as well burn bright.

— Celeste Ng, Our Missing Hearts: A Novel (Penguin Press, October 4, 2022) 


Photo: DK @ Daybreak. 38° F. 6:55 am. October 21, 2022. Cove Island Park, Stamford, CT. For more photos from this mornings walk at Cove Island Park, click here.

Lightly Child, Lightly.

“It helped that my life slowed down. Quitting my media job played a big part in that, then Covid, then my cat’s sickness, and then eventually it felt like a choice—to invest more in my immediate surroundings, to learn to cook, to read more, to post less, to dream differently. The relief in that shift was recognizing how much the little stuff always mattered, even when I treated it like a nuisance. These days I really do believe that chores give my life meaning. Not just because they present texture and struggle and a necessary counterpart to rest (all true), but because maintenance is in itself profound. Caring for ourselves, for other people, for our homes, for plants and other animals—these are the unfinishable projects of our lives. We do them over and over not to conquer them, or for personal gain, but to maintain and nourish them, with no greater expectation. Given how swayed humans are by the pursuit of growth, wealth, ownership, and power, I think this is very sweet and pure. Almost spiritual.”

— Haley Nahman#118: Mark this off your to-do list (Maybe Baby, October 18, 2022)

 


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.”

A rare experience of a moment at daybreak, when something in nature seems to reveal all consciousness…


Notes:

  • Daybreak. 36° F. 6:15 am. October 9, 2022. Cove Island Park, Stamford, CT. More photos from this morning here.
  • Post Title: Charles Ives, “Essays Before a Sonata

Lightly Child, Lightly.

Hanif Abdurraqib, from an Interview with Krista Tippett titled “Moments of Shared Witnessing” (Onbeing, April 29, 2021)


Notes:

  • Source: weltenwellen
  • 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.”

Lightly Child, Lightly.

Lizzie, 18, while reminiscing on the webb telescope photos


Notes:

  • Source: boudicca
  • 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.”

Lightly Child, Lightly.

The answers were nearly always – light.

Light.

There.

The quick glow of a fierce sensation.

— Maddie Mortimer, Maps of Our Spectacular Bodies (Picador; March 31, 2022)


Notes:

  • Photo by DK @ Daybreak. 5:45 a.m. 60° F. September 17, 2022. Cove Island Park, Stamford, CT.  See more photos from that morning here.
  • 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.”

Watch it


Series can found on Netflix. Must watch T.V. bringing light amid so much darkness. (Thank you Susan)

Monday Morning Wake-Up Call – “Heaven”, I suggest. “Yup.”

Jeff Bridges at 72 wakes early and lingers a while in bed. Since a battle with lymphatic cancer that began two years ago (“When they found a 9in by 12in mass in my stomach”) and a bad case of Covid he contracted on his local chemo ward (“It made the cancer look like a piece of cake”), rising in the mornings has been a struggle for the veteran Hollywood actor. “I really have to drag myself out of bed,” he says. When Bridges is finally up and about, he stretches, he does a daily breathing exercise so intense it leaves him trembling, he makes coffee, he reads. By the time he’s down in the garage of his Santa Barbara home, maybe noodling about on a musical instrument, or painting, he’ll be feeling and behaving more like the Jeff Bridges that movie-goers have come to know: that beautifully unpolished, scruffy-sweet, growly-squeaky figure, irresistible in deathless works that include The Fabulous Baker Boys, The Big Lebowski and True Grit. […]

Bridges pats his chest, a where-was-I gesture. Oh yeah, positivity. “What I learned from that whole experience in hospital was: life is constantly giving us gifts. They may be gifts that we don’t think we want. Who wants cancer? Who wants fucking Covid, man? Well it turns out, I did. Because dealing with your mortality, it makes things more precious. It’s a gift, man, to realise that I’ve got eyes to look at all this beautiful stuff in the world. I can feel the temperature of the day on my skin. I’ve got a wife who loves me, my kids, too, and I can bathe in that love. It’s all a gift.”

Bridges was born to Lloyd and his wife Dorothy at the end of the 1940s, “right after they’d lost a child to Sudden Infant Death Syndrome,” he adds. “Can you imagine? Your one-year-old? But they had me. They got back in the saddle.” He wound up being the middle of three kids, his older brother Beau going on to become a successful film actor, his little sister Cindy an artist. “Our mom loved mothering,” Bridges remembers. “We all got to benefit. She did this thing with her kids called Time. It was an hour every day with each of us, doing whatever we wanted. Pretending to be clowns. Space monsters. You never got the feeling of duty coming from her. She just dug playing.” […]

At one point in our conversation, Bridges tries to recall a younger actor he worked with on the 2013 action- comedy R.I.P.D., only to blank on his name. He snaps his fingers, reaching for it. “I just watched his recent movie, Free Guy.” Ryan Reynolds? I suggest. “Yes!” Bridges exclaims, relieved, troubled as well by the lapse.

“Isn’t that terrible? That’s embarrassing. To forget someone’s name when they’re dear to you It’s awkward. It feels weird to me.” Bridges shakes his head and says: “Memory, man. As I get older I ask my brain for a name, a word, and it says, ‘Are you kidding?’ My brain is flipping me fingers.” I ask about his return to work on his new drama, The Old Man, whether he struggled to remember lines on set. Ian McKellen, a decade older than Bridges, but still in regular work, once told me that actors die twice. The first death comes when they stop being able to memorise their dialogue. “I was pleasantly surprised to find that was not the case on The Old Man,” Bridges says. “Maybe it’s a short-term, long-term memory thing?” […]

Before his mother died, she wrote Bridges a poem in which she described the “honour” of reaching advanced age. I ask him what he thinks she meant by the word. “It’s interesting. New shit comes up constantly as you get older. But it’s not like you’re learning new shit, it’s more like you’re practising how you respond to life. You kind of get to practise what you are.” Bridges continues, “People don’t talk too much about it, but often, in old age? You’ll be going through the things that age offers us – closer proximity to death, a whole different way of dealing with sex, hormonal shifts that make you look at intimacy in a different way – and it almost feels like going through adolescence again. Think of being young. Think of asking a girl out on a first date. Think of how that feels.” Bridges, touching his heart again, issues a high-trembling bleat to express how it feels, as love, terror and hope intermingle. “You have versions of that in old age, too.” […]

At the beginning of our conversation, Bridges talked me through his morning routine, those aching grouchy wake-ups before he stretches and breathes and makes coffee. Now he explains how each day ends for him and Sue. “We sit and we eat dinner in front of the TV. We’re always hooked on some new show or another. Maybe we’re getting tired, maybe I have a wrestle with one of the dogs on the carpet for a bit. I’ll say to Sue, ‘I’m goin’ up.’ And she says to me, ‘OK.’ I get into bed while she does her teeth. She comes in, too. We huddle with our dogs. We go to sleep.”

Heaven, I suggest.

“Yup,” says Bridges, nodding slowly in agreement. “Yup.”

— Tom Lamont, excerpts from “‘Dealing with your mortality, it makes things more precious’: Hollywood legend Jeff Bridges on the gift of life after cancer” (The Guardian, September 18, 2022)

Why it was that the morning quietened so curiously this way?


Notes:

  • Post title by: Maddie Mortimer, Maps of Our Spectacular Bodies (Picador; March 31, 2022)
  • Photo by DK @ Daybreak. 6:45 a.m. 70° F. September 13, 2022. Cove Island Park, Stamford, CT.  See more photos from this morning here.

Sunday Morning

 

Your dad, Lia asked, was he good?

He swallowed. Her eyes fixed on his Adam’s apple. It slid up his throat and back down as if propelling his answer out; Not really. Not for most of his life. I think he became good, though. Eventually…

So what changed? she asked.

On my eleventh birthday, he came into my room trembling.

Why?

He said he’d seen something, felt something. An experience.

Of what? Lia asked.

God.

Lia held her breath…

Have you had one? he asked. She wondered why this seemed suddenly like the most intimate question anyone had ever asked her. Why something was squirming and flipping and tangling within her like a silver fish caught slyly in the coarse nylon of a net. For she had hoped very privately all her life for a dazzling numinous moment – because how easy it would be to believe, she thought, when given a sign like that.

I don’t know, she said, honestly. Either I’ve had thousands or none…

There was a silence.

— Maddie Mortimer, Maps of Our Spectacular Bodies (Picador; March 31, 2022)


Notes:

  • Photo by DK @ Daybreak. 6:00 a.m. 68° F. September 11, 2022. Cove Island Park, Stamford, CT.  See more photos from this morning where I’ve either had thousands or nonehere.

Reunited…

Reuters: The heartfelt video captures the moment the mom tenderly reunites with her baby, bending down in what appears to be a hug. Fleeing the wildfires ravaging the region, the sloths arrived in Trinidad. According to reports, the mother and child were then temporarily separated after fleeing dogs. The mother and child have undergone vet check-ups and are in good health. They have been released to the Chuchini nature reserve.


Thank you Susan

Feeding on all of Earth’s beauty, making everything of its light*


Notes:

  • Post Title from: Maddie Mortimer’s Maps of Our Spectacular Bodies (Picador; March 31, 2022). * Modified from the original “Feeding on all of Earth’s beauty, making nothing of its light.”
  • Other photos from this morning’s walk here.

You will say Fake! I will say No!


DK Photo: Flying to the Moon. 5:36 a.m. 71° F. Cove Island Park, Stamford, CT. More luna pictures here.

T.G.I.F. Now. And Now. And Now.

Stony silence as we cross the bridge into Manhattan [Cove Island Park] and the streets [paths] begin slipping past. Every moment of your life brings you to the moment you’re experiencing now. And now. And now. I’ve never have been on the streets [paths] this early [many times], predawn, and the driver [DK] agrees that it’s eerie and perfect.

Jo Ann Beard, Festival Days (Little, Brown & Company, March 16, 2021) (DK-EDITED)


Photos: DK @ Daybreak. 5:04 & 5:15 am, August 5, 2022. 76° F. Cove Island Park, Stamford, CT. Other photos from this morning here (landscape) and here (swans).

 

 

Walking. With those unheard are sweeter?

4:50 a.m. Late jump. Scrambling to get out before sunrise. 816 consecutive (almost) days on my daybreak walk at Cove Island Park. 816 days, like in a row.

I walk.

Cloud cover is heavy, humidity is heavier. Twilight is patchy.

I was up late last night reading Seán Hewitt’s memoir All Down Darkness Wide.  He shares an excerpt from a Keat’s Poem: ‘Heard melodies are sweet, but those unheard / Are sweeter.’ And Hewitt continues…”And what of them.”

And what of them.

I didn’t find Keats, or poetry, until late in life. And like the toddler scrambling to catch his parent who lurches ahead, I’m still playing catch-up.  I thought I understood the lines, but lacked confidence to say, yep, that’s right, you got it DK.  So, I shut down my Kindle, and googled the lines for an interpretation by Meursault to validate my understanding:

This line from “Ode on a Grecian Urn” is an example of Keats arguing that the power of thought, the imagination and anticipation is often greater than the act itself. Music and “melodies” that are imagined and anticipated are always in tune. They are played perfectly. A melody composed in the mind, cannot possibly be played badly or incorrectly. There is no possibility of error or an imperfect note. Therefore, Keats believes that imagining something brings more fulfillment and contentment than a “real” version ever could. He thinks that anticipation and expectation often outweighs the copy in the real world and that something real can only be disappointing compared to the imaginary.

I re-read the interpretation again, paused, shut down my Kindle, and fell asleep noodling the unheard.

So, back to this morning.

I walk.

…the imagination and anticipation is often greater than the act…they are played perfectly…therefore, Keats believes that imagining something brings more fulfillment and contentment that a “real” version ever could..

To my right, there’s a Great Blue Heron.  His long legs, and webbed feet slide across the ever-so-green algae.

To my left, there’s an Egret, ever-so-white as fresh snow.  Her feet in ankle-deep, cyan (?) tinted water, pausing from fishing for a moment. Go head DK, here’s my good side. I’ll wait for you to get your focus just right.

My imagination bringing more fulfillment and contentment than this?

Sorry.

That’s bullsh*t.


Notes:

  • Photos: DK @ Daybreak. 5:24 a.m. July 30, 2022. 74° F. Cove Island Park, Stamford, CT. More photos from this morning here  (birds), and here (landscape)
  • Meursault (John Keats Forum, April 16, 2009)

Walking. With air kisses in the palm of the hand.

3:30 a.m. 809 consecutive (almost) days on my daybreak walk at Cove Island Park. 809 days, like in a row.

Here we go. (Again)

I walk.

Even for me, today’s early. Too early.  The normal shot-clock is exactly 1 hour prior to scheduled sunrise.  And we jumped the gun.  Mistake was checking Dark Sky App before bed.  Clear skies = clear shot at a crescent moon. So, there we were, 3:45 a.m., my date with camera and Luna.

I take a few shots and walk.

Rebecca Solnit in her book Wanderlust: A History of Walking talks about walking as the intentional act closest to the unwilled rhythms of the body, to breathing and the beating of the hearther thoughts were in themselves a form of locomotion. I thought about all this for a moment.  Well, I’m certainly breathing, and the heart is beating, but that’s about it. My a** is dragging. Rhythm? Locomotion? Nothing happening here.

I walk.

In the past month, there have been 3 incidences. A serendipitous meeting of man and a white-tailed deer popping out from behind a tree. Jesus, Bambi, how about a little heads up? I near crapped myself.

The second event earlier this week, I’m looking out for him, and, he’s waiting for me. He takes a few steps onto the shoreline, and then spins, once and then twice in the soft sand, and turns to stare at me.  See? Be happy! I watch this in disbelief. Did that really happen? Lori, what’s the damn word. App…? Appart..? Aprit…?  He prances down the shoreline, legs on giant steel springs, and disappears. [Read more…]

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