Monday Morning Wake-Up Call

if only you could see
how heaven pulls earth into its arms
and how infinitely the heart expands to claim this world,
blue vapor without end.

~ Lisel Mueller, from “Monet Refuses the Operation” in Second Language


Notes: Photo: Blue Ridge Mountains by Richard Terpolilli.  Poem: Poetry Foundation

Monday Morning

Keith-carter-nevermore-1948

Another yawned,

another gazed at the window:

…The blaze of promise everywhere.

~ Mark Strand, from “Always; For Charles Simic” in Collected Poems

 


Photo: Nevermore – by Keith Carter (1948), USA – Source: keithcarterphotographs.com (via Your Eyes Blaze Out). Poem: via 3quarksdaily

Monday Morning Wake-Up Call

blue-sky

Begin afresh, afresh, afresh.

~ Philip Larkin, from The Trees


Photo: Cendrillon, de Joël Pommerat. (via see more)

Monday Morning Wake-Up Call

When Aleksander Doba (70) kayaked into the port in Le Conquet, France, on Sept. 3, 2017, he had just completed his third — and by far most dangerous — solo trans-Atlantic kayak trip. He was a few days shy of his 71st birthday…He’d been at sea 110 days, alone, having last touched land that May at New Jersey’s Barnegat Bay. The trip could have easily ended five days earlier, when Doba was just a few hundred feet off the British coast. But he had promised himself, when he left New Jersey, that he would kayak not just to Europe but to the Continent proper. So he stayed on the water nearly another week, in the one-meter-wide boat where he’d endured towering waves, in the coffinlike cabin where he spent almost four months not sleeping more than three hours at a stretch, where he severely tried his loved ones’ patience in order to be lonely, naked and afraid. Then he paddled to the French shore…

 “The more you don’t believe in Polish people, the more determined we are. To prove themselves, Polish people will endure everything. If you aren’t willing to suffer, you can do nothing. You can sit and die. This is the only one thing you can do.”

Doba’s physicality is sui generis. His body appears to be assembled from parts belonging to people of vastly different ages. His skin looks 71. His chest looks 50. His hands and forearms look 30, straight off a Montana roper. His hair and beard appear to be taken from a Michelangelo painting of God.

Doba has a deep, almost performance-art-like sense of this. You can be made small by life or rage against it. “Nie chce byc malym szarym czlowiekiem,” he told me. “I do not want to be a little gray man.” This is a common expression in Poland — and a good motto for us all.

~ Elizabeth Weil, excerpts from Why He Kayaked Across the Atlantic at 70 (For the Third Time) (NY Times, March 22, 2018)


Thank you Rachel

Monday Morning Wake-Up Call

whale-tale

Come and see if ye can swerve me. Swerve me? ye cannot swerve me, else ye swerve yourselves! man has ye there. Swerve me? The path to my fixed purpose is laid with iron rails, whereon my soul is grooved to run. Over unsounded gorges, through the rifled hearts of mountains, under torrents’ beds, unerringly I rush! Naught’s an obstacle, naught’s an angle to the iron way!

~ Herman Melville, Moby-Dick or The Whale (Modern Library, 1992, originally published by Harper & Brothers, 1851)


Photo: sebastião-salgado, Southern Right Whale, Patagonia, Argentina (via see more)

Monday Morning Wake-Up Call


Photo: (via Your Eyes Blaze Out)

Monday Morning Wake-Up Call


Photo: Matt Cowell (via Cheetah Camp). “Got into this mass/pod/gathering of hippo in the southern Serengeti – as the river was drying up, so these animals amassed together in a soup of old water and faeces. It was interesting to note that despite there being over a hundred grouped together, there was little friction and there seemed to be a quiet patience and understanding, all were waiting for the rains, not just for the river to rise, but also the grasses to flush again on the plains so they didn’t have to wander so far at night for food. Until then each was forced to wait, and while waiting so use their neighbour as a leaning post as they lazed through the hot hours of the day…”

Monday Morning Wake-Up Call


Photo: Jacek ŻbikowskiChiffchaff (via Elinka)

Tuesday Morning Wake-Up Call (post 4-day weekend)


Travis Louie with Lemur Wisdom.  Louie lives in Red Hook, NY.  His paintings come from the tiny little drawings and writings in his journals. He has created his own imaginary world that is grounded in Victorian and Edwardian times. It is inhabited by human oddities, mythical beings, and otherworldly characters who appear to have had their formal portraits taken to mark their existence and place in society. The underlying thread that connects all these characters is the unusual circumstances that shape who they were and how they lived. Some of their origins are a complete mystery while others are hinted at. A man is cursed by a goat, a strange furry being is discovered sleeping in a hedge, an engine driver can’t seem to stop vibrating in his sleep, a man overcomes his phobia of spiders, etc, … Using acrylic paint washes and simple textures on smooth boards, he has created portraits from an alternative universe that seemingly may or may not have existed.

 

 

Monday Morning Wake-Up Call

If there is a problem somewhere,” he said with his dry chuckle, “This is what happens: Three people will try to do something concrete to settle the issue. Ten people will give a lecture analysing what the three are doing. One hundred people will commend or condemn the ten for their lecture. One thousand people will argue about the problem. And one person—only one—will involve [himself or herself] so deeply in the true solution that they are too busy to listen to any of it.” Now asked gently, his penetrating eyes meeting each of ours in turn, “which person are you?”

Elias Chacour, recounting a seminary professor’s challenge to him in seminary from “Living Mission: The Vision and Voices of New Friars” by Scott A. Bessenecker


Portrait: Inside the Living Stones

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