Walking. Day After Tomorrow.*

4:25 a.m. I’m off.  791 consecutive (almost) days (like in a row) — my daybreak walk at Cove Island Park.

Never could read a map, coupled with a lousy sense of direction.  But, I could feel it. A gentle breeze from some direction at 5 mph. Just enough to keep the pesky gnats from feasting on me.

65° F.  Breezy. No humans. Quiet. A perfect morning.

Yet, despite this magnificent start, I should have known. It was still dark out, but it got darker, fast.

I pull into the parking lot, turn off the ignition and sit and look around me.

Plastic forks and plates. Plastic Bags. Cans. Bottles. Disposable hibachi charcoal grills, empty charcoal bags. Face masks. Soiled diapers. Potato chip bags. Remains of potato salad. Toys (broken).  Cans of empty pork and beans. Watermelon rinds.  A total desecration of a place that should be sacred, hallowed ground.

I stare out of the windshield, pondering whether I should just fire up the car and head home. Sigh. This is all in full alignment with the documentary last night.

Eric tuned into a Disney documentary on a family of sperm whales in Dominica, with spectacular underwater shots of the gentle creatures, mothers’ nursing their babies, the click, click, click of whales communicating with each other.  And all of this magnificence threatened by discarded gill nets, hits from boat propellers and swallowing toxic plastics thrown overboard.

So the nerve receptors were switched on high as I’m taking in the parking lot scene.  Like Alice Walker in “Moody” in “Her Blue Body Everything We Know“:

I am a moody woman
my temper as black as my brows
as sharp as my nails
as impartial as a flood
that is seeking, seeking, seeking
always
somewhere to stop.

Enough DK. Let it go. I’m sure this mess is due to park overcrowding after 2 years of COVID quarantine and a shortage of garbage cans, or… raccoons tipping trash cans. Has to be. [Read more…]

Sunday Morning


George & Grace @ Daybreak. 5:35 a.m. July 3, 2022. 72° F. Cove Island Park, CT. More pictures from this morning’s walk here.

Walking. In Pursuit of Stalker.

4:40 a.m. Daybreak walk at Cove Island Park. 788 consecutive (almost) days. Like in a row.

Yesterday, Eric (#1 Son; #1 on most days) and I were at the kitchen table having lunch.  Popeyes Spicy Chicken Sandwiches (and Cajun Fries). If you haven’t tried it, it is absolutely the best.  (And yes, it easily tops Chick-fil-A, Shake Shack, McDonald’s and Wendy’s. I know.)

Now, what isn’t as easily digested, are the calorie counts.  Chick-fil-A @ ~ 500 calories.  Popeyes sandwich tops 1200 calories. Add 800 calories for the fries, and what you have here is FDAs maximum calorie intake for an entire day, in a matter of < 10 minutes.

So, I step on the digital scale this morning…flashing, flashing, flashing, measuring, measuring, measuring, weighing, weighing, weighing…an interminable wait, that couldn’t have been more than 2 secs,….Then boom it locks in: + 2 lbs, day over day. WTH!

Mind races through yesterday’s meals.  Ah yes, Popeyes. Plus, 1760 mg of Sodium in the fries.  Another 1460 mg of sodium in the Chicken Sandwich = 3220 mg in < 10 minutes, a whopping 1000 mg over what FDA recommends daily.

That’s what we have here. An, old, fat, nearly retired, giant Salt Lick.  Disgusting.  Disgusted. So, was it worth it? You work so hard to cut weight and then blow it all up in < 10 minutes of food porn lust. 

I think about this while I’m standing on one leg, balancing, wondering if I have another 5 years to live. Yep, I’d have Popeyes again today for lunch, identical order. Saliva builds.

So, back to yesterday’s lunch.  Eric tells me that his Buddy was chatting with a friend of his who happened to mention that she walks at Cove Island Park each morning to catch the sunrise.  Buddy proceeds to tell her about his best friend’s Dad and his daybreak walks at Cove Island Park.  Eric, continues, “I think she said something like: ‘You know, I see this older guy at the park every morning. Backpack. Camera gear.  Doesn’t ever say anything. Really keeps to himself. Strange guy.'”

“She said that? Exactly that?” [Read more…]

Sunday Morning (Images that stick)


Notes:

  • Backstory on Human Sleeping on Bench: “Walking. With Moment that Sticks“.
  • Geese swimming in a row. (“Ducks in a Row“)
  • Last Photo Inspiration: “I want to believe that if humans really leaned into this impulse to mother one another, it would be stronger than the impulse to tear one another apart.” —  Mary Laura Philpott, Bomb Shelter: Love, Time, and Other Explosives (Atria Books, April 12, 2022)
  • Photos: DK @ Daybreak. 4:40 to 5:07 am, June 26, 2022. 67° F. Cove Island Park, Stamford, CT.

Walking. T.G.I.F.

Good morning.

4:23 am. Day 780 at Cove Island Park. 780 consecutive (mostly) days on my morning walk. Like in a row.

Beautiful morning. 60° F. Soft, gentle breeze.

I walk.

Images in front of me at the Park are repeats. I’m tired. This view is tired. All of it, uninspiring.

And that’s all that this Mind needs, just a sliver of darkness, and it’s match-to-gasoline.  Supreme Court strikes down New York Gun law, expanding concealed carry rights. Jan. 6 panel. Flood of pardon requests. Ukraine. Uvalde. Putin. Afghanistan earthquake kills 1000. New Mexico wildfire. Abortion rights. Gas Prices. Climate Change.

And then, a hardening, the shoulders tensing up, the thighs tight and stiffening, anger rolls up the torso like an incoming storm. Come DK. Snap out of it.

I walk.

I’m on the shoreline. And there they are. He’s embracing her.  They sit quietly and stare out over Long Island Sound.

This image prompts a softening.

Where I see Repeats, they see beauty.  The world awakening.

The image gives me hope.

They give me hope.

We need hope.

Halldór Laxness: “All the same…she was not too old once more to view the future in a dream; in a new dream. To be able to look forward is to live.

Photos from this morning walk here.

 

Guess.What.Day.It.Is?


Notes:

Walking. With Frost’s Road Not Taken.

4:16 a.m. Day #774, consecutive (almost) daybreak walks at Cove Island Park. Like in a row.

I’m on I-95 heading North, mixing it up this morning and heading to Calf Pasture Beach.  It’s a big deal for this Plow Horse to shift one step to the left, or shift one step to the right, the plow cutting the same furrow deeper. No chance of surprises when one is going straight, and straight down.

Back to I-95. It’s me, the Truckers, and hopefully not the drunks.  I’m in the speed lane, a giant tandem tractor-trailer to my right, driver has his window open taking in the cool morning breeze.  I glance over. I do everything in my power not to pump my fist in the air with the trucker salute to prompt a blast of his air horn.  Apparently it’s a dying tradition. Jesus, how old are you. And for all I know, it could be mistaken for a proposition. Keep your bloody hands down.

I approach the parking lot, it’s full, and cars line the shoulder.  And this being 4:29 a.m.  Irritated. WTH is this?

I pull up on the sidewalk, shut down the ignition, and watch. High School. Graduation parties. Sunrise. God, how long ago was that for me? OK. This wasn’t meant to be.  Just go home. No, you came this far. Come on. Just take a few shots and then you can go.

I watch kids pour out of their cars. Boomboxes blaring Rap. Peaceful easy feeling. (Not.)

I walk down the street and around the crowd that’s building on the shoreline.  I take one shot. That one above, and head back to the car. Not interested in tangling with some drunk, testosterone raging teen. Just like the smart-a** idiot you were then.

I’m in the car and back on the road, and the mood sinks. Road less taken, turns to be a bust. Let’s go home. Eat half a dozen glazed donuts. That’ll bring some joy for a moment. Palahniuk: “A moment was the most you could ever expect from perfection. You wake up, and that’s enough.And then the mountain of regret torpedos you for the rest of the day. [Read more…]

TGIF: Come Collect Me

I think the trees are firework taxidermy.
A steady reminder of celebration and light.
How quiet. I’m a collaps-
ing house. Come collect me.

—  Dalton Day, from “Stepping Out of Sorrow,” published in Souvenir: a Journal. Fall 2015


Notes:

  • Photo: DK @ Daybreak. 4:43 a.m. 68° F. June 17, 2022. Other pictures from this morning’s walk here.
  • Poem via The Vale of Soul-Making)

Walking. In Strawberries.

4:23 a.m., or so.  Yesterday morning.

It’s been 772 consecutive (almost) days on my daybreak walk at Cove Island Park. Like in a row.

And, I’m walking.

This is after moon shots at 1:43 am, 3:35 am, and now – – all posted yesterday in Let us taste the Strawberry MoonWhy, am I still up? Because Christie told me about the Strawberry Moon. And when my WordPress friends tell me to do something, I do it. So I chased her.

Who’s Christie? Mimi from her post last night: “There are people who I have followed (or who have followed me) on WordPress for years. Never met them, never spoke to them, and would likely not recognize them if we passed on the street. And yet, they are my friends…We commiserate in comment sections, check in with each other on email, rail at times, commiserate other times and occasionally marvel at our common ground. Ground that we walk in figurative step, covering invisible miles through the ether, yet as firm under my feet as the street. There is wonder in this.”

There is wonder in this. I’m nodding my head in agreement. Yet another awesome Human who can put into words, what I can’t, and so beautifully.

I walk. Bleary-eyed. Bone tired. Exhaustion fully set in.

I can see her out of the corner of my eye. She’s Giant, my Strawberry Moon, hovering, and whisper quiet as she hangs overhead, illuminating the earth in her warm glow.  All, I’m sure, to protect me from taking a header as I make my way to the North point of the park.

I walk.

I twist my Air Pod snugly into my right ear, and then my left.  I cue up a Chill playlist, randomly selected by another giant fruit, Apple.

I walk. My feet are moving under their own propulsion, on the same track that I have now passed hundreds of times.  “Siri, turn up the volume.”  Henry Green in “Shift” …I feel movements under my skin…” [Read more…]

Lightly Child, Lightly

The classical elements are earth, water, air and fire, and this old idea feels right at a sensory level. I start to think that a combination of two is primal and powerful: rain on soil, fire in the wind, sunlight on stone. A combination of three is poetry: the sea washing the moonlight into the cliff, a rainbow.

— Amy Liptrot, The Instant (Canongate Books, March 3, 2022)


Notes:

  • Photo: DK @ Daybreak. ~5:00 am, June 12, 2022. 60° F. Cove Island Park, Stamford, CT. Other pictures from Sunday 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.”

Guess.What.Day.It.Is?


Notes:

Let us taste the Strawberry Moon


Notes:

  • Photo: DK of Strawberry Moon. 100% illumination. #1 – 1:43 a.m. from backyard in Darien. #2: 4:27 a.m. Cove Island Park.  And then on cue, pink sky rolled in at 5:19 am @ Cove Island Park.  More on background of Strawberry Moon here. Thank you Christie for the heads up on tonight’s moon show.  (And keeping me up at this ungodly hour!)
  • Post Title from Poem by Lorna: “Let us taste the Strawberry Moon / Wrap us in the light of / The pink dawn-at-night moon / Let’s pretend that June’s perfection / Never ends / That the strawberries and cream of June / Will serve to mend / And to our troubled thoughts / A peace lend.

 

Lightly Child, Lightly

I dream through a wordless, familiar place.
The small boat of the day sails into morning,
past the postman with his modest haul, the full trees
which sound like the sea, leaving my hands free
to remember. Moments of grace. Like this.

Carol Ann Duffy, from Moments of Grace in “Mean Time” (Pan Macmillan; January 1, 2018)


Notes:

  • Photo: DK @ Daybreak.  Cove Island Park. June, 4, 2022. 5:34 a.m.
  • Poem: Thank you Beth @ Alive on All Channels)
  • 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.”

Guess.What.Day.It.Is?


Notes:

Get your ducks in a row…

Will never look at birds swimming the same again. (Why Do Ducks Get in a Row?)


Note:

  • Photo: DK @ Cove Island Park, 4:45 a.m., 58°F. June 7, 2022. More photos from this morning’s walk here.
  • Post Title: Thank you Mary Ann.  Where did the term “Get Your Ducks In a Row” Originate. Read here.

Why Do Ducks Get in a Row?

The River Thames is beautiful in early summer, and the stretch just upstream of central London is full of birds: motionless herons watching for fish, bustling moorhens poking around the submerged plants, and watchful flocks of preening swans. But as my canoe club paddles along the river, we’re always looking out for our clear favorites: the mother ducks with a fluffy cluster of ducklings tagging along behind.

When they’re lingering at the shore, it all looks slightly chaotic, with baby birds dawdling and exploring as the mother duck keeps an eye on them. But when it’s time to move on, chaos shifts into order as the ducklings line up behind the adult and the convoy moves off together quickly and in perfect formation. It’s mesmerizing to watch, and it’s not accidental. This is all about saving energy.

Swimming is hard work, because water is dense and slightly viscous. At the surface, a large part of the resistance to movement comes from the waves that are produced behind whatever is moving: its wake. This is the familiar wedge-shaped wave pattern that we see behind ships, canoes and ducks alike, and all of those waves carry energy. If you move along the water surface, those waves are always continually generated and so the swimmer needs to put in enough energy to create them. This energy cost is felt as a resistance to movement. There’s also resistance because the water touching the ship or duck is pulled along too, creating additional drag. [Read more…]

And if the wind is right…

Well, it’s not far down to paradise
At least it’s not for me
And if the wind is right you can sail away
And find tranquility
Oh, the canvas can do miracles
Just you wait and see, believe me…

Well, it’s not far back to sanity
At least it’s not for me
And if the wind is right you can sail away
And find serenity
Oh, the canvas can do miracles
Just you wait and see, really, believe me

Sailing
Takes me away to where I’ve always heard it could be
Just a dream and the wind to carry me
And soon I will be free

— Christopher Cross, from “Sailing” (1980)


Photo: DK @ Daybreak. 4:52 am, June 5, 2022. 53° F. Calf Pasture Beach, Norwalk, CT. More photos from this morning here @ Calf Pasture Beach and here @ Cove Island Park

Walking. For A Thousand Years.

Here we go again. Daybreak walk at Cove Island Park. 760 consecutive (almost) days.  Like in a row.

The narrator @ Audible is pumping “Independent People” into my head, a novel that won the 1955 Nobel Prize for Halldór Laxness.  Not sure what’s up with my fixation on Iceland and Icelanders: Laxness, Ólafur Arnalds, Of Monsters and Men. Something going on here…  Something.

So, I’m walking, and listening to Laxness…

Had the brook lost its charm, then? No, far from it. Clear and joyful it flowed over the shining sand and pebbles, between its banks white with withered grass, its joy eternally new every spring for a thousand years; and it told little stories, in its own little tongue, its own little inflections, while the boy sat on the bank and listened for a thousand years. The boy and eternity, two friends, the sky cloudless and unending.”

Thousand years the brook flowed.  Thousand years, the tide I’m staring out at, receded, and then rolled back in again. Thousand years of nights, twilights, and sunrises…

Laxness continues: “Nothing in life is so beautiful as the night before what is yet to be, the night and its dew.”

I walk.

It’s 5:01 a.m., twilight (aka near dark), and I notice the tracks. Tracks running from the shoreline to the top of beach. WTH is that?  I walk to the top, wary of what I’ll find; God knows, it could be a badger from New Hampshire that lost its way — hiding behind the bushes waiting for its next victim. [Read more…]

Guess.What.Day.It.Is?


Notes:

Monday Morning

The plan is obvious. Earth will become more and more beautiful until I can’t stand it. Then I will vanish.

—  D. Nurkse, from his poem ‘A Clearing on Ruth Island’, published in Sangam House, March 2022


Notes:

  • Photo: DK @ Cove Island Park @ Daybreak. 5:03 am. 59° F. May 30, 2022.  See more photos from today’s glorious morning here.
  • Poem Source: indeskidgepoetry
  • And a final thought…the biggest thought fluttering around (more like cutting) —  today being Memorial Day, a day we remember and honor those who sacrificed everything for our freedoms – – those Patriots who vanished before they were able to see another moment of our Earth’s beauty.  I am grateful for them and honor them today. And perhaps there is a bigger, grander plan, for the wars, for the children slaughtered at elementary schools, for the incomprehensible racist killings at our neighborhood grocery stores – – because I can’t see any plan that includes killing fields in schools and grocery stores.  Thomas Friedman: “But with every passing day, every mass shooting, every racist dog whistle, every defund-the-police initiative, every nation-sundering Supreme Court ruling, every speaker run off a campus, every bogus claim of election fraud, I wonder if he can bring us back together. I wonder if it’s too late. I fear that we’re going to break something very valuable very soon. And once we break it, it will be gone — and we may never be able to get it back…We are staring into that abyss right now.”
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