Monday Morning Wake-Up Call

9/ 12/ 71. What troubles the small and the great is the difficulty of reconciling their personal dramas with such things as the moon in its course, the strength of the sea… Everyone feels so small, yet his problems shake him with the force of hurricanes. It does not make sense.

Patricia Highsmith, “Patricia Highsmith: Her Diaries and Notebooks: 1941-1995.″ Anna von Planta (Editor). (Liveright, November 16, 2021)


Photo: DK @ Daybreak. 6:24 am, January 30, 2022. 9° F, feels like -2° F. Cove Island Park, Stamford, CT

Walking. Quiet with Highsmith.

6:00 a.m. Forget the preamble. Take my word for it. It’s cold.

I twist in my ear buds and cue up Patricia Highsmith’s 1000 page diary on Audible. I’m 900 pages in, the home stretch.  It’s late August, she’s living in France: “My French house is like my life and body. The garden represents work, very hard work, never perfect, never finished, and I find there is hardly one day a year when I can say, ‘It all looks nice.’

I think about this for a moment, nodding, in full agreement with the metaphor, and work.

I sit in the car, building up the energy to step out in the cold. And she continues, and has me twisting on a follow-on post: “Work is the only thing of importance or joy in life. Trouble begins when one pauses to consider what one has done.”  I noodle on both ends of this sandwich and get out of the car.  Too deep, too early in the morning.

I walk. Shuffling in my Sorel boots, counterclockwise around the park. The Connecticut-Chinook at my back.

The curtain is preparing to rise at 7:10.

It’s Quiet.

This has to have been a transforming practice – almost two years of quietness,” a friend on FB posits.

I stand looking out over the horizon. The blues. The oranges. The yellows. And all of it blending and shimmering on the water. A Rothko-looking exhibit.

And then I’m back to Highsmith in the 1970’s: “With greater universal education, there is paradoxically greater stupidity. One gets further from the land and nature, instead of being in harmony with it, as were our less educated forebears. We now read about pills and take them—and are afraid to give an honest belch.”

Transformation & Quiet & Harmony.

Hmmmm. 

You know DK, you may have gotten this Thing right.

 


Note: (1) DK @ Daybreak. 6:36 to 6:50 am, January 27, 2022. 12° F, feels like 9° F. Cove Island Park, Stamford, CT. More of this morning photos here. (2) Rothko was described by Sawsan!

Sunday Morning

September 16, 1943.

How smart and understanding nature is, always leading us to the most beautiful!

 Patricia Highsmith, “Patricia Highsmith: Her Diaries and Notebooks: 1941-1995.″ Anna von Planta (Editor). (Liveright, November 16, 2021)


DK @ Daybreak. 7:20 am, January 23, 2022. 20° F, feels like 10° F. Calf Pasture Beach, Norwalk, CT. More photos from this morning here.

Walking. Who but an imbecile?

5:00 a.m.  Glance at weather app. 10° F, feels like Hell frozen over. Wind gusts up to 30 mph.  Every ligament and nerve ending in the body is screaming, No! Stay under the covers.

But Duty calls. That magnetic pull. To what, for what, God only knows. But it pulls.

I’m sitting in the car at Cove Island Park, and, yes, the heater blows on my feet.

I twist in my ear buds and cue up Patricia Highsmith’s 1000 page diary on Audible. I’m 800 pages in and she grumbles: “Who but an imbecile would have chosen such a hard way?

I step out.  A wind gust greets my start. Both eye balls gush water in defense. And they keep draining. Must be another one of these old age blessings, sh*t leaking oil from all orifices.

Bela called it. “It can be below zero, and I can go out in crocs if it’s dry…But if there’s moisture in the air, you can never warm up below 30F.” Yep, Bela. Here we stand.  Frigid wind (Chinook the Albertan’s call it, except wet) blowing off Long Island Sound, and it’s ripping right through my North Face gear. I’m coated with 3 layers from head to toe, except for the face which is exposed. Face-lift, no charge, God-Styling.

I walk.

I take the loop with the wind at my back. (I’m not a total imbecile.) [Read more…]

Walking. As a floating, fluffy daisy seed.

6:25 am. 5° F, feels like Antarctica. Wind gusts up to 31 mph. Dorothy Parker’s: “What fresh hell is this?

Cut me some slack people, I know that I’ve used her line many times in my posts, but it’s the only jingle that captures this moment. Many moments these days actually.

You know the drill. Cove Island Park morning walk. @ Daybreak.

I pull into the parking lot. And there I Sit, with the car running, the heater blowing.

I give myself a little pep talk. “Come on DK. Come on. A couple of snaps and back in the car. “ A wind gusts slam the car. I shift in my seat.

I see my middle-aged runner friend in the distance. She sees me in the car, and waves. Good God Man. Have you no pride? I yearn for those days when little would stop me.

I admire the 4’ Something Mighty-Mite, and her short choppy strides as she pushes her way against the polar wind.

And there’s me. 3/4s of the way through Highsmith’s Diary. “As Merely a floating, fluffy daisy seed. Now you have it, now you haven’t, now you have. No, it’s gone.”

I can’t get out. I just can’t.

I check my watch. 30 minutes to sunrise.

I pull out of the lot and drive to Calf Pasture Beach. Seeking inspiration.

And I find it.

I walk out to the end of the boardwalk.

The sun rises, urging the mist up over the water.

Frostbite circles my fingertips. And I snap, and snap and snap.

The floating, fluffy daisy seed. Now you have it. And it. And it. And it.

Hold that Moment.


Notes:

  • Photos: DK @ Daybreak. 7:18 to 7:45 am, January 15, 2022. 5° F (-15 C), feels like -9° F (-23 C). Calf Pasture Beach, Norwalk, CT. See more photos here.
  • Thank you Val. Thanks for checking in. You inspired this post this morning.

Sunday Morning

…Gentle… It comes when twilight comes. It is hardly worth mentioning. But it is as strange as the stirring of one leaf on a tree, when there is no wind.

 Patricia Highsmith, “Patricia Highsmith: Her Diaries and Notebooks: 1941-1995.″ Anna von Planta (Editor). (Liveright, November 16, 2021)


Photo: DK @ Daybreak. 7:19 am, December 26, 2021. 38° F. (3° C). Rowayton, CT

as difficult to attain as a pair of wings and a halo

9/13/42. The most spiritual and “beautiful” literature has already been written—in the Bible, in the Greek dramas, in their philosophies. What we have to attain is at best the material representation, a poor substitute for the eternities we cannot logically hope to emulate. Spirituality in our day is as difficult to attain as a pair of wings and a halo.

 Patricia Highsmith, “Patricia Highsmith: Her Diaries and Notebooks: 1941-1995.″ Anna von Planta (Editor). (Liveright, November 16, 2021)


Photo: DK @ Daybreak. December 20, 2021. 22° F, feels like 16° F. Cove Island Park, Stamford, CT.

Walking. On the Edge…

+ 6:10 a.m. Saturday. 41°. Calm, light drizzle. Cove Island Park Walk. + The Body is pulled to this part of The Cove, and it softens along the gentle, sloping embankment at the estuary of the Noroton River and the Long Island Sound. There is Something about this spot that’s magic. William Stafford in his book “Even in Quiet Places“, in his poem “Time for Serenity, Anyone?“, describes it: “It stretches out there shivering toward its own creation, and I’m part of it. Even my breathing enters into this elaborate give-and-take.” And there I stand. Soft rain falls on me, the Mind rests, and I breathe it all in.  + Speaking of breathing, COVID cases have surged in Connecticut, up 50%. This in a state where vaccinations and masks are religion. Fodder for the idiots spouting that masks and vaccinations don’t work, ignoring that 75% of hospitalizations are among those not fully vaccinated. NY Times front page story this morning: “Despair Sets In As Cases Bury Hospital Staffs. Medical Workers Feel Crisis Has No End.” Hospital workers back living on the edge… Aerosmith’s Living on the Edge: “There’s something wrong with the world today / I don’t know what it is / Something’s wrong with our eyes / We’re seeing things in a different way / And God knows it ain’t his… / The light bulb’s getting dim.” + I near the end of my walk. Gulls stand in low tide, in ice cold water, preening.  Something about this act of their preening that soothes me. These beautiful creatures, with their little heart beats, and wings that keep them aloft. Yet here we are. Seemingly grounded, as the world burns.  Patricia Highsmith: “Such is the human mind with no hand on the steering wheel.


Notes:

  • Photo: DK @ Daybreak. 6:23 a.m. & 7:05 a.m. & Cove Island Park, Stamford, CT. 41°. Calm. Light Drizzle.
  • Stafford quote, thank you Whiskey River.

Monday Morning Wake-Up Call

December 29, 1941.

I’m at the age where I cease to reform my tastes:

I accept what I find—within—without shame.

Patricia Highsmith, “Patricia Highsmith: Her Diaries and Notebooks: 1941-1995.″ Anna von Planta (Editor). (Liveright, November 16, 2021)


Notes:

  • Side Note: Patricia Highsmith was 20 years old when writing this in her diary entry. 20 years old! And here I am…still workin’ it…
  • New York Times: 9 New Books We Recommend This Week
  • Photo credit

Monday Morning

5/24/41…

After all that, the change … was like the sudden, unwelcome awakening from a glorious dream. An awakening on a Monday morning when, with one’s castle and clouds and the silver sea dissolved into a sordid room, one realizes that one has to get up and dress in the cold night in a few minutes and plod through a weary day.

Patricia Highsmith, “Patricia Highsmith: Her Diaries and Notebooks: 1941-1995.″ Anna von Planta (Editor). (Liveright, November 16, 2021)— Patricia Highsmith, Her Diaries and Notebooks: 1941-1995


Photo: DK @ Daybreak. 6:52 a.m., November 22, 2021. 48° F & Rain. Cove Island Park, Stamford, CT. Related Swan posts: Swan1

Monday Morning Wake-Up Call

2/24/41. We must think of ourselves as a fertile land on which to draw. And if we do not, we grow rotten, like an unmilked cow. And if we leave something unexploited it dies within us wasted. But to tax one’s powers always at their maximum potentiality—this is the only way to live at all, in the proper sense of the word.

Patricia Highsmith, “Patricia Highsmith: Her Diaries and Notebooks: 1941-1995.″ Anna von Planta (Editor). (Liveright, November 16, 2021)


Notes:

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