Miracle. All of It.

For the purposes of the book, Robin, who desperately believes in the sanctity of life beyond himself, begs his father for these nighttime, bedtime stories, and Theo gives him easy travel to other planets. Father and son going to a new planet based on the kinds of planets that Theo’s science is turning up and asking this question, what would life look like if it was able to get started here? And what would that change in our sense of who we are and where we’ve been dropped down?

And they make this journey across the universe through all kinds of incubators, all kinds of petri dishes for life and the possibilities of life. And rather than answer the question — so where is everybody? — it keeps deferring the question, it keeps making that question more subtle and stranger. And I wasn’t sure where I would go with this ultimately in the book. And one thing I kept thinking about that didn’t make it into the final book but exists as a kind of parallel story in my own head is the father and son on some very distant planet in some very distant star, many light years from here, playing that same game. And the father saying, OK, now imagine a world that’s just the right size, and it has plate tectonics, and it has water, and it has a nearby moon to stabilize its rotation, and it has incredible security and safety from asteroids because of other large planets in the solar system.

Imagine that everything happens just right so that every square inch of this place is colonized by new forms of experiments, new kinds of life. And the father trying to entertain his son with the story of this remarkable place in the sun just stopping him and saying, Dad, come on, that’s asking too much. Get real, that’s science fiction. That’s the vision that I had when I finished the book, an absolutely limitless sense of just how lucky we’ve had it here.

— Richard Powers, from Ezra Klein’s Podcast Interview titled “This Conversation With Richard Powers Is a Gift.” (September, 28, 2021, The New York Times)


Notes: (1) The podcast and/or transcript is long but worthy.  (2) 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 other is as though everything is a miracle. (3) Photo Credit

Sunday Morning

I love the natural world and I never ceased to see it. The beauty of trees and fields, of hills and streams, of the changing colours, of the small creatures so busy and occupied. My long hours walking or sitting in the field with my back against the wall, watching the clouds and the weather, allowed me some steadiness. It was because I knew all this would be there when I was not that I thought I could go. The world was beautiful. I was a speck in it.

Jeanette Winterson, Why Be Happy When You Could Be Normal? (Grove Press, March 6, 2012)


DK @ Daybreak. 6:00 to 7:05 am. September 19, 2021. 68° F & Breezy. Nantucket, MA.

It is a one-way trip

It is a one-way trip.

Each moment of life is a an irreplaceable jewel. If we could carry death on our left shoulder the way Carlos Castaneda suggests and treat every moment as the treasure it is, we would never waste our lives being angry, or petty. We would treat each encounter with a person or a place as the last one. Life continues to change, and with that change we evolve into something new. It doesn’t make what was before wrong but it is gone forever…

I think living here has for me been an opportunity to see this cyclic nature of seasons and yet every season is different. Certainly, I am different with each season.

At the end of my long life what I have discovered is that there are no ordinary days.

—  Jean Aspen, Arctic Daughter: A Lifetime of Wilderness (2018)


Find Documentary Video on Amazon Prime Video

T.G.I.F.

Turn off the lights. Go outside. Close the door behind you.

Maybe rain has fallen all evening, and the moon, when it emerges between the clouds, glows on the flooded streets and silhouettes leafless maple trees lining the curb. Maybe the tide is low under the docks and warehouses, and the air is briny with kelp…Starlings roost in a row on the rim of the supermarket, their wet backs blinking red and yellow as neon lights flash behind them. In the gutter, the same lights redden small pressure waves that build and break against crescents of fallen leaves.

Let the reliable rhythms of the moon and tides reassure you. Let the smells return memories of other streets and times. Let the reflecting light magnify your perception. Let the rhythm of rushing water flood your spirit. Walk and walk until your heart is full.

Then you will remember why you try so hard to protect this beloved world, and why you must.

Kathleen Dean Moore, from Moral Ground: Ethical Action for a Planet in Peril 


Notes:

Sunday Morning


DK @ Daybreak. 5:03 to 5:36 am, June 13, 2021. 59° F. Cove Island Park, Stamford, CT.

Saturday Morning

Sometimes you are privileged with a glimpse of the other world, when the light shines up from the west (or the East) as the sun sets (or rises) and dazzles something wet. The world is just water and light, a slide show through which your spirit glides.

— Fanny Howe, The Wedding Dress: Meditations on Word and Life


Notes:

  • Quote from Whiskey River. Thank you. (Quote edited by me to include “or East” and “or rises’)
  • DK Photo @ Daybreak May 22, 2021. 5:48 a.m. Calf Pasture Beach, Norwalk, CT. More photos from this morning here.

Sunday Morning

In the silence the soothing sights and sounds of the marsh, the waving grasses flecked with butterflies, the distant soughing of the sea, the trailing ribbons of birdsong and the calls of the geese and gulls, could come into focus. ‘It’s good to sit and watch this gentle world,’ L said. ‘We tire ourselves out so.’

— Rachel Cusk, Second Place: A Novel (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, May 4, 2021)


DK Photo @ Daybreak. 4:52 to 5:34 am, May 3, 2021. 39° F. Cove Island Park, Stamford, CT.

Walking. 365 days. Like in a row.

Good morning.

I looked back at my blog post on May 5, 2020. Clear skies. 42° F … “Nippy for May” is how I described it.  Didn’t know at the time that I’d be on this sustained journey.  This 365 consecutive day morning walk to Cove Island Park at daybreak. 365 days, like in a row.

I was surprised to see that a year ago, I was monitoring the nesting of yet another Canada Goose. And this year, I’m at it again. Same one? Who knows?  On the drive to the park this morning (and every morning since gestation started), I’m unsettled, uneasy — until I pull up, and verify that everything is as it should be. Life is as it should be. In order. No cruelty. No tragedies. Tracking to nature’s time. Hesse: But I need to feel beautiful and holy things around me, always…I need it, and I refuse to give it up…That’s my fatal flaw.

Mother Goose was curled up in her nest. Her mate, was strolling up and down the pier a few yards away.  Beth described me as their Midwife, and that sounds about right.

And despite Daniel’s prognostication that Mother Goose may bless me with the birth of a little one on my Anniversary, it didn’t happen. Not today.  Not yet anyway. I can wait.

And Him (or Her, more likely) way way upstairs, didn’t bless me with a glorious sunrise to honor my Anniversary.  No multi color light show in the sky. No wow shots.  But to be fair, He’s given me far, far more days of majesty than days of overcast, by a wide margin.

The rain, this morning, a super fine mist — somewhere in size between dust motes and very light rain. And it continued for my entire walk. A cool, light, fresh touch.

No one ventured out in the rain this morning. In a city of 130,000, I was alone. My Park. My Time.

It was high tide and water was gushing into the Cove.

The flags flying high above the Cove Island Snack shop (badly in need of paint) rustled gently in the breeze.

Waterfowl were awakening, cormorants were fishing.

A light fog hangs over the water.

And a lightness hangs over me as I’m driving home thinking that it’s time for a morning Break. A sabbatical of sorts.  Sleep in for a day or two, and then consider my next steps.

And then what? Replace it with what?

With what that could possibly be better? 


DK @ Daybreak. 5:08 am, May 5, 2021. 50° F. Light misty rain. Cove Island Park, Stamford, CT.

Walking. You Would Never Break the Chain.

Morning Walk. 348 consecutive days. Like in a row. 

This morning, 6:00 a.m. Calf Pasture Beach in Norwalk, CT.

I’m at the end of the Pier.

I wait. Sunrise @ 6:11 a.m.

And wouldn’t you know it, my playlist flips to The Chain, by Fleetwood Mac.

…Listen to the wind blow / Watch the sun rise…

I reach for the iPhone and press repeat.  And turn the Volume up.

And, I stand, and wait.

Because they don’t disappoint. My Canada Geese.

They’re out in the distance.

I turn the volume down, their call, barely audible over Stevie Nicks.

They turn slightly left, heading my way.

I hoist the camera up.  Steady DK, Steady. Breathe.

Here they come.  Come on Team, keep coming. Stay your course.

They’re in my viewfinder.  Bearing down straight at me. Now DK. Now!

I put camera down to watch.

Entire flock honking, wings beating.

So much sky. So much land. And they pass directly overhead. Over MY head.  Goosebumps.

I turn volume back up.

…I can still hear you saying / You would never break the chain…


Notes:

Lightly Child, Lightly.

“There are two different ways of looking at the world. You can walk on the path, or you can walk through the hedge. And I think that’s the beauty of art, that it just makes you step aside, off the normal way of walking or looking…”

There’s this wonderful sort of tension in the wind — that moment when you’re held there suspended is a very beautiful moment … a moment of clarity in a very chaotic situation. … It’s like a shaft of light that penetrates.

—  Andy Goldsworthy, from “Leaning Into the Wind” (1987)


Notes:

  • Andy Goldsworthy (born 26 July 1956) is a British sculptor, photographer and environmentalist who produces site-specific sculptures and land art situated in natural and urban settings. He lives and works in Scotland.
  • Quotes via The Hammock Papers.
  • 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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