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!

Guess.What.Day.It.Is?


Notes:

Monday Morning Wake-Up Call

There is Something about being out and about and walking @ Daybreak as light snow falls.

And in a city of ~130,000, not a single set of tracks on any of the footpaths.

Just fresh fallen snow, silence, and me.

The snow has quietness in it; no songs, no smells, no shouts or traffic. When I speak my own voice shocks me.” (Anne Sexton, All My Pretty Ones.)


DK @ Daybreak. 6:32 am, January 24, 2022. 25° F, feels like 15° F. Light Snow. Cove Island Park, Stamford, CT. More shots from this morning’s walk here.

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…]

Guess.What.Day.It.Is?


Notes:

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.

Guess.What.Day.It.Is?


Notes:

 

Miracle. All of it. (Take 2)

…and there she sleeps this morning. No mate. Frozen ice surrounds her, and she rests undisturbed. At Peace.

I’m looking out at her. Mr. Canadian Tough-Guy.  Wearing T-shirt – – Sweater over T-Shirt – – Hoodie over Sweater – –  Northface Down Parka jacket over Hoodie – – Hood up – – Snowpants – – Long johns – – Sweatpants – – Smart Wool Socks – – Sorel Boots – – Smart Wool Gloves.

And I’m still shivering, yearning to get back in the car. A car that’s running, heater blowing.

How all this works?

Beyond my comprehension.

Miracle. All of it.

6:55 a.m. 15° F (- 9° C), feels like 1° F (- 17° C), wind gusts up to 28 mph. Cove Island Park, Stamford, CT.


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.

Saturday Morning


DK @ Daybreak. 6:32 to 6:46 am, January 8, 2022. 19° F (-7 C), feels like 7° F (-14 C). Cove Island Park, Stamford, CT.

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