Monday Morning Wake-Up Call

We ought to ask ourselves again and constantly: Why fill our lives with such effort and torment, when we know that we will be here only once and when we have such a brief and unrepeatable time in this indescribably beautiful world?

— Semezdin Mehmedinovic, My Heart: A Novel. (Catapult, March 9, 2021)


Notes:

Monday Morning Wake Up Call

She felt along the solid green marble of the day for the hairline crack that might let her out. This could not be forced. Outside, the air hung swagged and the clouds sat in piles of couch stuffing, and in the south of the sky there was a tender spot, where a rainbow wanted to happen.

Then three sips of coffee, and a window opened.

Patricia Lockwood, No One Is Talking About This: A Novel (Riverhead Books, February 16, 2021)


Portrait via Esquire: “In the Face of Tragedy, Patricia Lockwood Found the Real World Again. In her first novel, No One Is Talking About This, the poet laureate of Twitter engulfs readers in “internet poisoning”—and memorializes someone she loved and lost.” Lockwood is the author of the acclaimed 2017 memoir, Priestdaddy.

Monday Morning Wake-Up Call

Look within and life, it seems, is very far from being “like this.” Examine for a moment an ordinary mind on an ordinary day. The mind receives a myriad impressions–trivial, fantastic, evanescent, or engraved with the sharpness of steel. From all sides they come, an incessant shower of innumerable atoms; and as they fall, as they shape themselves into the life of Monday or Tuesday, the accent falls differently from of old; the moment of importance came not here but there….

Virginia Woolf, from “Modern Fiction” in The Common Reader 1925)


Notes:

  • Quote via Whiskey River. Portrait via The New Yorker
  • Inspired by: “We live through myriads of seconds, yet it is always one, just one, that casts our entire inner world into turmoil, the second when (as Stendhal has described it) the internal inflorescence, already steeped in every kind of fluid, condenses and crystallizes—a magical second, like the moment of generation, and like that moment concealed in the warm interior of the individual life, invisible, untouchable, beyond the reach of feeling, a secret experienced alone.  ~ Stefan Zweig, Confusion (NYRB Classics; Tra edition (July 25, 2012) (via The Hammock Papers)

Monday Morning Wake-Up Call

How much space for remembering is there in a day? How much should there be? I think about this in my poetry. I don’t want to be a nostalgist. Yet I feed on memory, need it to make poems, the art that is made of the stuff I have: my life and the world around me. I am grateful for the tug of the day that gets us out of bed and propels us into our lives and responsibilities; memory can be a weight on that. And yet, in it floods, brought willfully, or brought on by a glimpse, a glance, a scent, a sound.

Elizabeth Alexander, “The Light of the World: A Memoir.

 

Monday Morning Wake-Up Call


Daybreak. December 21, 2020. 6:45 to 7:46 am. 34° F. Cove Island Park, Stamford CT

Monday Morning Wake-Up Call

You have stood before some landscape, which seems to embody what you have been looking for all your life … All the things that have deeply possessed your soul have been but hints of it–tantalizing glimpses, promises never quite fulfilled, echoes that died away just as they caught your ear. But if it should really become manifest–if there ever came an echo that did not die away but swelled into the sound itself–you would know it. Beyond all possibility of doubt you would say ‘Here at last is the thing I was made for.’

— C.S. Lewis, The Problem of Pain


Notes:

  • Quote: Thank you Vale of The Soul-making
  • Photo: Today, 6:34 a.m. Cove Island Park, Stamford, CT. 28° F feels like 24° F.

Monday Morning Wake Up Call

Ordinary isn’t the enemy but instead something nourishing and unavoidable, the bedrock upon which the rest of experience ebbs and flows. Embrace this — the warm water, the pruned hands, the prismatic gleam of the bubbles and the steady passage from dish to dish to dish — and feel, however briefly, the breath of actual time, a reality that lies dormant and plausible under all the clutter we pile on top of it. A bird makes its indecipherable call to another bird, a song from a passing car warps in the Doppler effect and I’m reminded, if only for a moment, that I need a lot less than I think I do and that I don’t have to leave my kitchen to get it.

– Mike Powell, An Ode to Washing the Dishes (NY Times Magazine, June 4, 2019)


Notes: Quote Source: Extraordinary Routines. Photo: Medium

Monday Morning Wake-Up Call

Or is this what being home is like: home as a place from which the entire world is suddenly possible?

Hisham MatarThe Return: Fathers, Sons and the Land in Between


Image: Let’s Eat Cake

Monday Morning Wake-Up Call

We must be done with cruelty especially to ourselves,

to start again beaming like the sun;

fresh.

— Alice Walker, Taking the Arrow Out of the Heart; The World Rising

 


Notes: Photo: DK, Monday, Sept 14, 2020, 6:26 am. The Cove. Stamford, CT.  Quote: via korraled

Monday Morning Wake-Up Call


Notes:

  • Daybreak. August 31, 2020. 5:59 to 6:08 am. 60° F. Humidity 70%. Wind: 6 mph. Gusts: 7 mph. Cloud Cover: 32%. The Cove, Stamford, CT
  • Inspired (again) by Helen Macdonald: “I kept trying to find the right words to describe certain experiences and failing. My secular lexicon didn’t capture what they were like. You’ve probably had such experiences yourself – times in which the world stutters, turns and fills with unexpected meaning. When rapturousness claims a moment and transfigures it. The deep hush before an oncoming storm; the clapping of wings as a flock of doves rises to wheel against low sun; a briar stem in the sun glittering with blades of hoarfrost. Love, beauty, mystery. Epiphanies, I suppose. Occasions of grace. — Helen Macdonald, Vesper Flights (Grove Press, August 25, 2020)

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