Lightly Child, Lightly

I notice something, a feeling in my chest. Lightness. Joy. Or something that tastes like it. That flicker you get, of a déjà vu. A place you were once, even though you can’t say where or when. I used to feel like this.

Jillian HortonWe Are All Perfectly Fine: A Memoir of Love, Medicine and Healing (HarperCollins Publishers, February 23, 2021)


Notes:

  • Portrait of and story on Jillian Horton via edialogue: “Reclaiming Herself”
  • 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

Drifting, what am I like?

A gull between earth and sky.

—  Du Fu, (712- 770). “Thoughts While Traveling At Night”, trans. by Vikram Seth, in Three Chinese Poets: Wang Wei, Li Bai, and Du Fu


Notes:

  • Photo – DK @ Cove Island Park on March 21, 2022. Quote via antigonick
  • 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 have a favorite sound.

To be precise, it’s not a singular sound but a multitude.

Have you ever stood in the presence of a tree and listened to the wind pass through its leaves? The roots and body stand defiant and unmoved. But listen. The branches stretch out their tongues and whisper shhhhh.

Trees make symphonies without their trunks ever moving, almost as if the stillness of their centers amplifies their sound. The tree may appear still, but if you look closer, you’ll see that each leaf flails with breath. The tree may seem alone, but plow deep and you’ll unearth its secret gnarled roots—the grotesque and the beautiful—creeping in the soil, reaching toward the ancestors.

Thomas Merton said, “No writing on the solitary, meditative dimensions of life can say anything that has not already been said better by the wind in the pine trees.” I hold this close.


Notes:

  • Photo:  DK @ Daybreak 6:54 am August 29, 2021.
  • 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

But I also say this:

that light is an invitation to happiness,

and that happiness, when it’s done right,

is a kind of holiness, palpable and redemptive.

~ Mary Oliver, from “Poppies” in New and Selected Poems, Volume One.


Notes:

  • Photo: DK @ Daybreak. Daybreak. 5:45 am, March 8, 2022. 38° F, feels like 27° F, winds up to 40 mph. Cove Island Park, Stamford, CT. . More pictures from this morning here.
  • Poem from Make Believe Boutique.
  • 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

Through no fault of your own, there never seems to be enough stillness —

enough cool, clear space —

for you to stop and think.

— Johann Hari, “Stolen Focus: Why You Can’t Pay Attention–and How to Think Deeply Again” (Crown, January 25, 2022)


Notes:

  • Photo: DK @ Daybreak. 6:19 am, March 2, 2022. 34° F. Cove Island Park, Stamford, CT. More pictures from yesterday morning 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.”

Lightly Child, Lightly

Light glorifies everything.

It transforms and ennobles the most commonplace and ordinary subjects.

The object is nothing; light is everything.

Leonard Misonne (Belgium landscape photographer, 1870 – 1943)


Notes:

  • DK @ Daybreak. 6:30 am, Feb 17, 2022. 44° F. Cove Island Park, Stamford, CT. More pictures from this morning 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.”

Lightly Child, Lightly

Twilight can gift us some of the most spectacular atmospheric displays, a riot of shifting colours that punctuate the end of a day, or announce the arrival of a new morning.

The palate and quality of shadowless light has inspired artists, composers and authors from time immemorial and can induce feelings of awe, but also serenity.

These dazzling displays are brought to us thanks to the conjunction of the Earth’s orbital and atmospheric characteristics.

Twilight is the time, at the end of a day, between the sun setting below the local horizon and before the beginning of the night.

It is also the time between the end of the night and the sun rising above the local horizon, that marks the beginning of a new day.

From a meteorological perspective, twilight is further subdivided into three categories: Civil twilight, Nautical twilight and Astronomical twilight. These are based on how far the sun is beneath the horizon, with light and colour draining from the skies as night approaches… (Read on…)

—  Chris Fawkes,  from “Did you know there are three kinds of twilight? (BBC.co.)


Notes:

  • Quote: Thank you The Hammock Papers
  • Photo: DK  @ Daybreak. 7:22 a.m. Thursday, January 6, 2021. 36° F  (2C), feels like 29F (-2C). 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

He felt at peace only in the hour before dawn, when the darkness seemed to give way slowly to a mist, and it was at this hour that he would wake and sit by his window.

—  Peter Ackroyd, from Hawksmoor (Hamish Hamilton, May 25, 2010)


Notes:

  • Quote: Thank you The Hammock Papers
  • Photo: DK  @ Daybreak. 6:35 a.m. Sunday, August 25, 2021. 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


What then are we to do
with all those moments
when the eye stops
the heart

That gesture there, that glint
of beauty going by

And the thought, Who will remember it
if I don’t?

That daub of heaven
on a half-lowered eye-
lid

—  Vasiliki Katsarou, “A Dab of Blue Paint” in Memento Tsunami (Ragged Sky Press, January 1, 2011)


Notes:

  • Photo: DK – Moon @ Daybreak. 6:30 a.m. Sunday, November 21, 2021. 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

What is it
about this twilight hour?
Even the sound
of a barely perceptible breeze
pierces the heart.

Izumi Shikibu, (976 A.D. – 1030) from The Ink Dark Moon: Love Poems

 


Notes:

  • Photo: DK – Moon @ Daybreak. 7:10 a.m. Wednesday, October 31, 2021. Cove Island Park, Stamford, CT.
  • Quote via Memory’s Landscape
  • 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.

What I want is the other world in this world. What I want is the way up and the way down, the way in and the way out. What I want is the poem that rears up like a mythic creature from the dark place of origins, only to transform into the holy, unrepeatable faces of the living. What I want is the mythic wings still thrumming inside them.

—  Joseph Fasano, from “Supernovae and Dark Stars: Some Notes on Universality in the Lyric Poem,” American Poet (no. 50, Spring/Summer 2016)


Notes:

  • Photo: DK – Moon @ Daybreak. 6:18 a.m. Wednesday, October 20, 2021. Cove Island Park, Stamford, CT.
  • Quote via Memory’s Landscape
  • 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.

In Vienna there are shadows. The city is black and everything is done by rote. I want to be alone. I want to go to the Bohemian Forest. May, June, July, August, September, October. I must see new things and investigate them. I want to taste dark water and see crackling trees and wild winds. I want to gaze with astonishment at moldy garden fences, I want to experience them all, to hear young birch plantations and trembling leaves, to see light and sun, enjoy wet, green-blue valleys in the evening, sense goldfish glinting, see white clouds building up in the sky, to speak to flowers. I want to look intently at grasses and pink people, old venerable churches, to know what little cathedrals say, to run without stopping along curving meadowy slopes across vast plains, kiss the earth and smell soft warm marshland flowers. And then I shall shape things so beautifully: fields of colour…

Egon Schiele, as quoted by Reinhard Steiner in Egon Schiele, 1890-1918: The Midnight Soul of the Artist.


Notes:

  • Photo: Angelika Horschlager, “we made no sound…and deep in the forest we get lost.” Taken in Lichtenau im Muhlkries (Austria)
  • Quote via The Vale of Soul-Making
  • 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.

…And I should mention the light

which falls through the big windows this time of day

italicizing everything it touches…

Billy Collins, from “Old Man Eating Alone in a Chinese Restaurant” in Ballistics: Poems (Picador; June 18, 2009)

 


Notes:

  • Photo: DK @ Daybreak. 6:30 am, October 7, 2021. 55° F. 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.”

Bewilderment

Forget the critics.  Read this book.

Richard Powers, Bewilderment: A Novel (W. W. Norton & Company, September 21, 2021)


NY Times Book Review: “In ‘Bewilderment,’ Richard Powers Smothers Nature With Piety.

Lightly Child, Lightly.

The mind’s eye had two bafflements: coming out of the light and going into it.

—  Richard Powers, Bewilderment: A Novel (W. W. Norton & Company, September 21, 2021)


Notes:

  • NY Times Book Review: “In ‘Bewilderment,’ Richard Powers Smothers Nature With Piety.
  • Photo: DK @ Daybreak. 6:10 to 6:46 am, September 22, 2021. 72° F. 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.

Soft the dove-hued shadows mingle,
Color fades, sound droops to sleep.
Life and motion melt to darkness
Swaying murmurs far and deep.
But the night moth’s languid flitting
Stirs the air invisibly:
Oh, the hour of wordless longing;
I in all, and all in me.

Twilight—tranquil, brooding twilight,
Course through me, serene and smooth;
Quiet, languid, fragrant twilight,
Flood all depths, all sorrows soothe,
Every sense in dark and cooling
Self-forgetfulness immerse,—
Grant that I may taste extinction
In the dreaming universe.

Fyodor Tyutchev, from Twilight; (Translated by Avrahm Yarmolinsky). Written in 1835.

Notes:

  • Photo: DK @ Twilight. 5:45 am, September 12, 2021. 67° F. Cove Island Park, Stamford, CT. (Yes, this shot is the dawn side of Twilight, not in alignment with this beautiful poem)
  • 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.

And maybe that’s better. It makes me feel that rather than worrying and theorising about the state of the world, which helps no one, I should put my energy into living and being happy. When I try to picture for myself what a happy life might look like, the picture hasn’t changed very much since I was a child—a house with flowers and trees around it, and a river nearby, and a room full of books, and someone there to love me, that’s all. Just to make a home there… Never to move, never to board a plane again, just to live quietly and then be buried in the earth. What else is life for?

Sally Rooney, Beautiful World, Where Are You: A Novel (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, September 7, 2021)


Notes:

Lightly Child, Lightly.

Some days I wish I could go back in life.

Not to change anything, but to feel a few things twice.

— Shivangi Pandey, from “Yearning For the Past” in “How It All Began” (Book Squirrel Publication, 2020)


Notes:

  • Quote: Thank you Make Believe Boutique
  • Photo Credit – The Atlantic: The People Who Can Control Their Goose Bumps
  • 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.

Sometimes I get tired of the everythingness of everything, so I retreat to my bed and read. I read and let time fly like a bird that’s hit by a truck, and I’m in a place where peace is timeless. I overthink about doing everything that I need to do all at once, that I drown in the anxiety of heaviness. Reading is coming up to the surface to breathe, and I am learning to perceive before I judge. I am learning to refine my mind before taking action, and I am learning to think with my heart. Because literature, fantasy, and getting my mind caught in the clouds … these are the things that inspire me to live better in reality. And so I close my book, draw the curtains and let the light in everything I’m supposed to do and let the chapter of today be enough.”

— Juansen Dizon, “A Diary Entry about Reading” from The Boy Who Cries Wolf


Notes:

  • Quote: Thank you Beth @ Alive on All Channels
  • Photo Credit
  • Post inspired by: “There is no better use of my time than to write, second only to reading. As I write, sequential time alters. The usual clock face of seconds marching into minutes, and those minutes adding up to hours, fails to operate in that way for me. Time takes on elasticity and springiness. It seems to stretch so much that I lose track of those passing seconds. It seems to jump from its linear march so high and so far that one moment it is such and such a time, and the next an entire hour has elapsed.” —  Fred D’Aguiar, Year of Plagues: A Memoir of 2020 (Harper, August 3, 2021)
  • 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 am trying to teach my mind
to bear the long, slow growth
of the fields, and to sing
of its passing while it waits.

The farm must be made a form,
endlessly bringing together
heaven and earth, light
and rain building back again
the shapes and actions of the ground.

~ Wendell Berry, from “From The Crest” in “Quest for Place. The Poetry of Gary Snyder and Wendell Berry.”


Notes:

  • Quote: Thank you Make Believe Boutique
  • Photo: Aleksander Kanizaj via Expressions-of-Nature
  • 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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