Walking. In place inaccessible to unbelief.

5:05 am. I peek at the weather app: 27° F, feels like 15° F, wind gusts up to 32 mph.

Camus: “In the midst of winter, I found there was, within me, an invincible summer.”

Hmmmmmm, not feelin’ it.

Everyone in the house sleeps, snuggled under their comforters. Wally snores peacefully. I slide my hand onto his belly, and it moves up and down with his inhale and exhale. What joy this creature has brought, this little ball of life.

I get out of bed. Sigh. Thick wool socks. Smart Wool, long underwear. Hoodie. Snow pants. Lined Boots. Come on Arctic blast, hit me, give me your best shot.

I walk.

Not a soul in the park. No runners. No walkers. No dredgers, who are off for the long weekend. And here I am, 985 consecutive (almost) days on this daybreak walk at Cove Island Park. Like in a row.

Surprised, I am, at the ebbs and flows. 12 years here at this blogging thing, and it’s ebbing, a low tide that ebbs 1 day, and ebbs 2 days and ebbs 3 days, followed by a shoulder shrug. Time with Wally. Time with book. Time with Netflix. [Read more…]

TGIF: I slowed & succumbed…

The sun crests, a molten slice of fire that gets bigger and rounder by the second. There is extraordinary beauty occurring; all she has to do is turn her head to see it, but she doesn’t. To admire is to slow and to slow is to succumb.

Lily Brooks-Dalton, The Light Pirate (Grand Central Publishing, December 6, 2022)


Notes:

  • Photo: DK @ Daybreak this morning. 37° F. 7:30 am. December 30, 2022. Cove Island Park, Stamford, CT. More amazing sunrise views from this morning, here and here.

Lightly Child, Lightly.

“Memorize places,” his uncle had told him. “Settle your eyes on a place and learn it. See it under the snow, and when first grass is growing, and as the rain falls on it. Feel it and smell it, walk on it, touch the stones, and it will be with you forever. When you are far away, you can call it back. When you need it, it is there, in your mind.”

Tony Hillerman, The Ghostway


Notes:

  • Photo DK @ Daybreak. 32° F. 7:00 am to 7:31am. December 28, 2022. Cove Island Park, Stamford, CT. More pictures from yesterday morning’s walk here.
  • Quote: Thanks 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.”

Walking. ’tis the season.

955 consecutive (almost) days. Like in a row. Forecast is for rain, and more rain. I can hear it tapping on the gutters and the hood of the car. Wally is sleeping, he looks up out of the corner of his eye, no chance i’m going out in this, no chance. You’re on your own dad.

We’re now 45 days from 1,000, and duty calls. I trudge downstairs out the door, and drive to Cove Island Park.

I’m sitting in the parking lot, car is running, heater blows. Wind gusts up to 44 mph splash buckets of rain against the car, the wipers slapping from side to side struggle to chase it all off the windshield.

I need to find something, anything to record that I was here. You did it. You were here. But, it’s not letting up and there’s no chance I’m going out in this.

I cue up George Winston’s December, and like the magic of the season, it turns the soul to a softer place.

I turn the heat up to 71° F and sit and listen, to the heater blowing, the music, and the wind and rain. Krouse: “Nothing is more comforting than the sound of rain when you’re not in it.”

[Read more…]

Lightly Child, Lightly.

A year never passes without me thinking of them. India. Erica. Their names are stitched inside every white coat I have ever worn. I tell this story to stitch their names inside your clothes, too. A reminder to never forget. Medicine has taught me, really taught me, to accept the things I cannot change. A difficult-to-swallow serenity prayer. I’m not trying to change the past. I’m telling it in order to lay these ghosts to rest.

You paint feverishly, like Mama. Yet you got the steadfastness of Daddy. Your talents surely defy the notion of a gene pool. I watch you now, home from college, that time after graduation when y’all young people either find your way or slide down the slope of uncertainty. You’re sitting on the porch nuzzling the dog, a gray mutt of a pit bull who was once sent to die after snapping at a man’s face. In the six years we’ve had him, he has been more skittish than fierce, as if aware that one wrong look will spell his doom. What I now know is that kind of certainty, dire as it may be, is a gift.

The dog groans as you seek the right place to scratch. I wish someone would scratch me like that. Such exhaustion in my bones. I will be sixty-seven this year, but it is time. I’m ready to work in my yard, feel the damp earth between my fingers, sit with my memories like one of those long-tailed magpies whose wings don’t flap like they used to. These days, I wake up and want to roll right over and go back to sleep for another hour. Yes, it is time.

Dolen Perkins-Valdez, opening lines to “Take My Hand” (Berkley, April 12, 2022) 


Notes:

  • 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.”

Flight C570 Air Goose


DK Photo: Dec 11, 2022, 7:15 am. Cove Island Park, Stamford, CT

Walking. With skin still porous.

950 consecutive (almost) days. Like in a row. The morning walk @ daybreak at Cove Island Walk.

I’m up. 5 a.m. Grab iPhone, tap Dark Sky app, forecast: 98% overcast, 32° F, feels like 26° F. Too damn cold.

I feel Wally at my feet, it’s warm here in bed. Lay here. Cozy with Wally. Skip today. Skip today. Skip today. But with the 1000th day like right there, there can’t be a break of the chain. Yes, 1000 days, an artificial milestone, no significance vs. 950, 500, 437 or any other damn number.  Alan Burdick, from Why Time Flies: “Only the clock moves, its tick steady, unhurried, relentless. At these moments I have the clearest and most chilling understanding that time moves in one direction only.”

I get up.

I look back at the bed. Susan asleep. Wally under the covers stirring, but even he knows better not to get up at this hour in December.

It had to be around 1 am. I felt him. I was out, 2 Advil PMs out, and felt him crawling up the length of my body. He gets to my head, and tucks his head into the crevice of my neck. He shifts left, right and left to find just the right Wally spot, and he drifts off. I could feel his breath, and hear the soft whistle of his nose. And feel his little heart beat slow. It’s been 1.5 months, and he’s now Family, and he’s taken over the bed. And the moment left me wondering why it took so long to get Wally.

I’m out the door.  Wind gusts up to 25 mph. Goosebumps huddle for warmth on top of each other.

There’s no traffic. No humans out. No sane humans anyway.

Speedometer clocks me at 25 mph, slow for me, a sign that the body, and my foot on the accelerator is resisting, this morning habit of mine that is beginning to fray, and fray me at the edges.

And, right then, out pops Peter Cottontail. The road narrows, no place to swerve. They’re fast. I’m sure he skooched safely to the other side. A near miss. Sigh.

I pull into my parking spot, unreserved, but mine for the last 950 days. I sit in the car, heater running. Go ahead, drop your window, snap a few shots, say you did it and call it a day.

I sit for another minute or so, the heater blowing on my feet, and get out.

I walk. [Read more…]

Lightly Child, Lightly.

Not far from the city I had a secret refuge, a small cove that I liked to visit at the kindling of the morning star. At that hour there was nothing more translucent under heaven than the shallow sea between the rocks. The seabed was everywhere visible and the water, blue as an eye, grew lighter the closer you got to the surface, until it turned green, then vanished—and I breathed it in.
It was there that the god found me.

– Sjón, The Whispering Muse


Notes:

  • Quote: Thank you Sawsan for sharing. 942 consecutive (almost) days in a row on this morning walk in my almost “secret refuge, a small cove that I liked to visit at the kindling of the morning star.” These words magic, capture it.
  • DK Photo @ Daybreak. 6:14 am. 48° F. December 8, 2022. Cove Island Park, Stamford, CT.  More pictures from this morning’s walk 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.”

Lunar Eclipse Blood Moon

A solid half an hour spent trying to capture a non-blurry blood moon shot in pre-twilight. Failed! Gear not up to the task. Incredibly frustrating if it wasn’t so beautiful. And if that wasn’t enough, as I took my second lap around the park, I was treated to meteor falling straight from the sky. And, no, I wasn’t fast enough to catch that beauty either. Happy Tuesday!


DK Photo: Lunar Eclipse. Beaver Blood Moon. 45° F. 5:02 to 5:20 am. Cove Island Park, Stamford, CT. November 8, 2022. (Better seen in person than these blurry shots!)

It’s like falling in love. The magic can’t last.

Autumn is sneaky. Although I’m always on the lookout for it, always primed for it, it bursts into its ephemeral majesty so quickly that I’m always startled by it, too. A tree that I remember as green from yesterday’s walk is crimson today. A tree that I don’t remember at all has taken up residence on some tantalizing band of the color spectrum between orange and pink. My eyes widen and my heart swells — it’s like falling in love. It has that same seed of sadness, that same prickle of death. The magic can’t last.

I’ve lived in places where there’s little change in seasons, where the mercury moseys slightly upward or subtly downward but the landscape doesn’t refashion itself. There’s an argument for such modesty. It doesn’t demand as varied a wardrobe.

And to have the kind of autumn that I savor here in North Carolina means to be plunged into a winter with just enough cold on the worst days to test your mettle, to denude those trees and turn them skeletal. I have neighbors behind me whose house I can barely make out in July. In January, though, I can almost watch the football games on the big-screen television in their lavishly windowed great room.

But that’s January. This is early November, when the leaves that haven’t yet lost their grip are making a brilliant statement, taking a final bow. Autumn in places that have a real autumn teaches you to live in the moment, to open yourself to the world around you, to pay homage, to pay heed. Fail that lesson and you just might miss the whole spectacle, which can retreat as suddenly and stealthily as it arrives. You’re left with regret. It’s a sorry cousin to remembrance.

— Frank Bruni, from “On a Personal Note” (NY Times, November 3, 2022)


Photo by DK @ Daybreak. 59° F. 6:30 to 6:50 am. November 1, 2022. Cove Island Park, Stamford, CT. More photos from Tuesday morning’s walk here.

Indefatigable Drone Chaser

Photo: Eric Kanigan.  Model: Sully, Drone Spotter aka Indefatigable Drone Chaser.

Monday Afternoon Wake-Up Call

A day so happy.
Fog lifted early, I worked in the garden.
Hummingbirds were stopping over honeysuckle flowers.
There was no thing on earth I wanted to possess.
I knew no one worth my envying him.
Whatever evil I had suffered, I forgot.
To think that once I was the same man did not embarrass me.
In my body I felt no pain.
When straightening up, I saw the blue sea and sails.

—  Czeslaw Milosz, “Gift” from New and Collected Poems, 1931-2001( Ecco; April 4, 2017)


DK Photo @ 6:15am on October 23, 2022. More photos from yesterday’s morning walk at Cove Island Park here.

TGIF: Burn…

…if the world was on fire, you might as well burn bright.

— Celeste Ng, Our Missing Hearts: A Novel (Penguin Press, October 4, 2022) 


Photo: DK @ Daybreak. 38° F. 6:55 am. October 21, 2022. Cove Island Park, Stamford, CT. For more photos from this mornings walk at Cove Island Park, click here.

Sully’s Great Adventures (VI)

5:45 a.m. Grandpa had to roust me from bed this morning. i was so sleepy. it was so warm under the covers. while he was getting ready, i crawled back in my little bed in his office. Grandpa picked me up and took me downstairs and put on my rain jacket.

i ran into my crate hoping he would change his mind about this walking thing. it’s way too early. Grandpa never changes his mind. he is always right. so, off we went. Grandpa took me off leash and told me “if there was any funny business, i would be locked in my crate all day.” I looked up at him and gave him my sad eyes. He would never do that to me. i went running down the beach ahead of Grandpa. Grandpa saw me limping and asked what was wrong. i tried to pull out the thorn that lodged itself in my paw with my teeth. I couldn’t get it. Grandpa grabbed my paw and tried to pull on it. he asked me if “it was a thorn or a body part that should be attached.” i told him not to be silly. i barked at him to tell him to pull harder. Grandpa reefed on it so hard, i thought he tore my paw from the rest of my body. i walked a bit and didn’t feel the needles pricking at me anymore. i felt great and i barked at Grandpa to tell him “good job Grandpa.” i love my Grandpa. he’s my hero!


For more photos from this morning’s walk with Sully, click here.

Sully’s Great Adventures

Sully’s Day 3 with Grandpa. (Grandpa is still recovering from Day 2. Story pending.)

Off-leash.

Sully’s olfactory receptors gone wild.

Before I could catch him he was into it.  All of it.

Bird Poop + Rotting Fish Heads + Found Egg Yolks = Dry Heaves = Vomit.

Here’s Sully now, purring like a kitten, while Grandpa gets ready for work.


Notes:

1) More pictures from this morning’s Cove Island Park walk here and here.

2) Sully backstory here.

Walking. With Sully. (Part 1.)

4:45 a.m. Here we go again.  Cove Island Park Morning Walk.  Well, not exactly.  Sully and I are driving Susan to the airport, and then we’re off to the park.

The House will be cleared out. For an entire week!  Sully’s parents are on Honeymoon.  Sully’s Grandma is going to visit her Mother. It’s now just the Boys, batching it for a week. Nobody nagging us on excessive treat consumption. Or our roughhouse play. No need to pick up our toys.  Just the Boys, Home Alone.

We’re five miles from home on our return from the airport.  I glance to my right, and Sully doesn’t look right. He’s staring up at me, his big brown eyes signaling distress. Oh, no, Sully.  Not here. Not now.  We’re on I-95, no exit for three miles.  Sully, please, just hold on. We’re almost home.

Sully now has the dry heaves.

We’re two miles out.

Sully, good Boy that he is, jumps down into the footwell, because he’s done this before, got yelled at, and he’s learned you just can’t puke on the car seat.  Footwell is ok, but not on the seat.

I’m watching him and keeping an eye on I-95.  He’s trying to get his footing, the car is moving 65 mph, his Grandpa is racing to get home.

One mile out.

Out comes the vomit, a thick stream of a white foamy, chunky substance, which begins to ooze up and down the floor mat. Thank God this is Susan’s Car.

Sully gently lifts one foot and then the other as the vomit coats his little foot pads.

He looks up to the car seat, and then to me, preparing to jump back up onto the seat.

No! You stay right where you are.

Sully turns his attention to the vomit. Sniffs it. Paws it. And then sniffs it again.

No! Don’t you dare eat it.

He’s frozen in place, as we take the exit ramp home.

Home Alone.

Boys’ Week.

Batching it.

Right.


DK Photo: Sully on Breakwall. 46° F. 6:30 am. October 10, 2022. Cove Island Park, Stamford, CT.

A rare experience of a moment at daybreak, when something in nature seems to reveal all consciousness…


Notes:

  • Daybreak. 36° F. 6:15 am. October 9, 2022. Cove Island Park, Stamford, CT. More photos from this morning here.
  • Post Title: Charles Ives, “Essays Before a Sonata

So let the darkness shape you, let it reform you, let it cradle you…


Notes:

  • DK Photo: 5:45 a.m. 54° F. Monday, October 3, 2022 @ Sconset Beach, Nantucket, MA. Remnants of Hurricane Ian. Wind Gusts up to 35 mph. See more photos from yesterday’s morning walk here.
  • Post inspired by: “It is only when we are truly alone, without someone else to lean on, left with our own inner solitude that we can undergo a process of change. The introspection that is needed to bring out the light that has dwindled down to ash and reignite the fire of our being. So let the darkness shape you, let it reform you, let it cradle you and birth you into a new life. Let the spark flame again, in the darkness is where you will find it.” —  L.J. Vanier, Ether: Into the Nemesis (via Make Believe Boutique)

A coloured cloud

As I wash the dishes I am filled with an invigorating emptiness and amuse myself with the soap bubbles. The water comes out of the tap with a rhythm that demands music. I accompany it with bursts of whistling and a phrase from a nondescript popular song. I play with the lather, which is like a cloud in which seasonal colours gleam then fade. I grasp the cloud in my hand and distribute it over the plates, glasses, cups, spoons and knives. It inflates as drops of water run over it. I scoop it up and make it fly through the air and it laughs at me, and my sense of having time to spare increases. My mind is blank, as indifferent as the noonday heat. But images of memories descend from afar and land in the bowl of water, neutral memories, neither painful nor joyful, such as a walk in a pine forest, or waiting for a bus in the rain, and I wash them as intently as if l had a literary crystal vase in my hands. When I am sure they’re not broken, they return safely to where they came from in the pine forest, and I remain here. I play with the soapy lather and forget what is absent. I look contentedly at my mind, as clear as the kitchen glass, and at my heart, as free of stains as a carefully washed plate. When feel completely sated with invigorating emptiness, I fill it with words of interest to nobody but me: these words!

Mahmoud Darwish, “A coloured cloud” in “A River Dies of Thirst


Notes:

Yep.


Notes:

  • Photo: DK @ Gull @ Daybreak. 42° F. 6:48 am. September 24, 2022. Cove Island Park, Stamford, CT. More photos from this morning here.
  • Quote Source: @jessecase (via Last Tambourine)
%d bloggers like this: