It’s been a long day

germany

Don’t be afraid to suffer—take your heaviness
and give it back to the earth’s own weight;
the mountains are heavy,
the oceans are heavy.

– Rainer Maria Rilke, from The Poetry of Rilke; “Sonnets to Orpheus


Notes:

It’s been a long day

DSC_5311_sf. Nepal, 11/2013. Young boy is resting on a cow.

People who dream when they sleep at night know of a special kind of happiness which the world of the day holds not, a placid ecstasy, and ease of heart, that are like honey on the tongue.

~ Isak Dinesen, from Out of Africa


Notes:

Zoned Out

There are the lucky few who zone out their windows and stare at brinks. The faraway intrigue of a forest— how it conspires— or the streaked lines of an ocean fringed by its horizon, or a city with more sky than scrapers, or even the informality of a backyard at dawn. But there are those— my friend and I— who can zone out, quite easily, to whatever’s right in front of us, no matter how unspectacular. A poorly painted wall. Its cracks. The ceiling fan’s chop. A woman on the C train pulling her ponytail through its tie, not once or twice, but six times. Six complete loops; her fingers closing into a claw each time. It’d been months since I’d been to a museum, but watching this woman mechanically tie her hair was softly enormous.

~ Durga Chew-Bose, from “Heart Museum” in Too Much and Not the Mood: Essays


Image: deryhana

It’s been a long day

God has mercifully ordered that the human brain works slowly;
first the blow,
hours afterwards the bruise.

Walter de la Mare, from the The Return.


Notes:

It’s been a long day

Endurance comes only from enduring.
With a flick of the wrist I fashioned an invisible rope,
And climbed it and it held me.

Czeslaw Milosz, from a “A Magic Mountain” in New and Collected Poems (1931-2001)


Notes:

It’s been a long day

What many discover is that the need to do, accomplish, and succeed perpetually replenishes itself. My father regarded lulls not as a grace but rather as enemies. His generational, class, and personal baggage was such that the only thing that mattered was Work (of the big W variety, not the small w work of cleaning up and tending to family life). Work was a form of mesmerism and ego refuge: best to keep going.

~ Kyo Maclear, Birds Art Life: A Year of Observation


Notes:

It’s been a long day

In the 1991 collection Trimmings, Harryette Mullen writes,

“When a dress is red, is there a happy ending. Is there murmur and satisfaction. Silence or a warning. It talks the talk, but who can walk the walk. Distress is red. It sells, shouts, an urge turned inside out. Sight for sore eyes. The better to see you. Out for a stroll, writing wolf-tickets.”

A great poem, like an astonishing red dress, should be a warning. Something terrific lies outside your periphery, and now you know that it’s there.

~ Mia You, Sublime Deformations of Nature (Poetry Foundation, April, 2017)


Notes:

Often I found myself expelling a quivering, involuntary “Whoa”

The trees are so big that it would be cowardly not to deal with their bigness head on. They are very, very big. You already knew this — they’re called “giant sequoias” — and I knew it, too. But in person, their bigness still feels unexpected, revelatory. And the delirium of their size is enhanced by their age, by the knowledge that some of the oldest sequoias predate our best tools for processing and communicating phenomena like sequoias, that the trees are older than the English language and most of the world’s major religions — older by centuries, easily, even millenniums. The physical appearance of a tree cannot be deafening, and yet with these trees, it is. Facing down a sequoia, the most grammatically scrambled thoughts wind up feeling right. Really, there’s only so much a person can do or say. Often I found myself expelling a quivering, involuntary Whoa. […]

Late one afternoon, I lay down in the snow at the base of one for a while, watching as the fog poured in through its crown, and I remembered how untroubled Riksheim sounded at the bar the previous evening when, lowering his voice, he mentioned that there was a particular sequoia near his house that he was keeping an eye on. He could wake up dead tomorrow, he said. “It’s just that flying, fickle finger of Fate. Every once in a while, it’s going to point at you.” Then he fluttered his long, bony index finger through the air and lowered it with a sudden whoosh. Out of nowhere: crash. And I realized that his experience of it — a feeling of forsakenness, of arbitrary cruelty — would be essentially the same as the tree’s.

Two days later, I was snowshoeing around alone when I discovered I was standing in front of the same sequoia I had lain under. There, in the sloping snow at its roots, I saw my imprint. My back and legs and arms were joined into a wispy column, with the perfectly ovular hood of my parka rounding off the top. It looked like a snow angel, but also like a mummy — an image of both levity and dolefulness, neither all good nor all bad. I took a picture of it: what little of myself was left after I’d gone. The figure looked smaller and more delicate than I thought it should, but the Giant Forest was so quiet that I couldn’t imagine who else it could be.


Photo: The General Sherman Sequoia Tree – 275 feet tall, 100 feet around. Sequoia National Park from the foothills of central California’s Sierra Nevada. “To a human being, a 2,000-year-old sequoia seems immortal.”  (David Benjamin Sherry)

T.G.I.F.

cat, baby,cute,adorable,gif


Source: Swiss-miss

Saturday Morning

nest-sleep-silence

Silence
will carry your voice
like the nest that holds the sleeping birds.

~Rabindranath Tagore, from Stray Birds


Notes:

Quotes: Your Eyes Blaze Out. Photo: Sarah Treanor with “still life” (via Your Eyes Blaze Out).  Find all of Stray Birds @ eldrichpress.org.

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