Walking: Just to be, and soak it in, rather than conquer it and tick a box

david-gray

FOLLOWING I don’t follow anything or anybody online; neither am I subscribed to any online magazines. I think I’m just too old and set in my ways for Twitter, etc. I still care about manners, spelling and punctuation, for Christ’s sake. Watching my kids and their intense relationship with the online world, I can see that it’s just a totally different mind-set; a different way of being even.

WALKING. These days my favorite pastime is to just go for a walk and if it’s out in the wilds, then all the better. Recent trips have included the Isle of Skye, the North Cornish coast and the Lake District, all of which were spectacular. It’s about taking your time to traverse rather than just climb a mountain and come back down again. Sometimes you climb up a mountain and find a tiny little lake, a weird little ecosystem with its dragonflies buzzing around. You just spend some time in this strange, magical spot. Just to be, and soak it in, rather than conquer it and tick a box. That’s my approach.

~ David Gray, from “Download by Kate Murphy” (New York Times Nov 26, 2016)

 


Notes:

  • Photo: Digitaltrends
  • If you’ve never heard of David Gray (what planet have you been residing on), check out his classic hit: Babylon

I refuse to do drive-through. I am not a grazer, I am not a cow. You eat. You sit down.

nikki-giovanni

“I refuse to do drive-through. I am not a grazer, I am not a cow. You eat. You sit down. You put a napkin there. And it has to have the colors. If you’re having a steak then you’ll have a little carrots because it’s really yellow, and it looks good. And maybe a little broccoli. So that the plate — first, you plate it. And my aunt, because my uncle died, and she’d been very sad. And I had to call her and say, “Ag, what’d you have for” — you know, because she didn’t have any daughters, right? And so I said, “Ag, what’d you have for dinner?” She said, “Oh, I just had a bowl of cereal.” I said, “You can’t do that. You have to plate your food.” You have to take of yourself. I’ve started to have massages because it’s like, I have to make time to have a massage. It feels great, somebody just rubbing oil in your back. Where’s the downside? You have to do things to remind yourself that it’s a really good idea to be alive.”

Nikki Giovanni, excerpt from Bill Moyers’ interview with Nikki Giovanni


Notes: Quote Source: Wait-What?. Photo of Nikki Giovanni: Jackson State University News Room

Saturday Morning

sleep-dream-jpg

What I see in dreams
makes me breathe
shallow
like golden trout
floating just beneath
the skin of water
warmed by
late autumn’s
ticklish light

~ M.J. Iuppa, opening lines to “Something Brief, But Bright,” Small Worlds Floating: Poems

 


Notes: Art Source: mennyfox55. Poem Source: Memory’s Landscape

Saturday Morning

cat-stretch-fall-autumn

Complete relaxing never happened all at once. I found that it was a matter of at least five or ten minutes before the body would reach a profound repose. So I made a rule for myself, that as long as I felt an impulse to get up or turn over, then I had not lain long enough, but as soon as I felt I had never wanted to move again, then it was all right to get up at once. But I usually did not, I lay still for a little longer, lay still, while all the cells of my body came alive, like parched earth after rain. And then I discovered the most fitting end to my rest – a long cat-like stretch, which leaves one so at peace with the world, smooth and shining like wet sands, that it is worth indulging in deliberately, even when not prompted by a natural impulse.

~ Marion Milner, A Life of One’s Own (First Published, 1934)

 


Notes:

Indulging in Easy

rest-relax-chill

I relish those spontaneous times when I decide to stroll with my wife and dog through the park near our home in Amsterdam. Or when I take time to read a novel for fun. Or when I stop for a lovely glass of wine along an outdoor cafe along the canal because it seems like the thing to do. How about just taking time to take time?

Ah, the infinite moments to enjoy, presented to us on the conveyor belt of our existence….

There are times when making no sense makes sense. Just being, hanging out, following the whim, the momentary inclination. How long can you indulge yourself, though, purely, without hesitation, doubt, or a troubled thought about what it should be troubled about…?

Stop! Do something else. Do nothing. Try it. Anything. It’s not about our doing.

~ David Allen, from Indulging in Easy


Note: Photo via Mennyfox55

Saturday Morning

green-tea

And the heart, unscrolled,
is comforted by such small things:
a cup of green tea rescues us, grows deep and large, a lake.”

—Jane Hirschfield, from “Recalling a Sung Dynasty Landscape” in Of Gravity and Angels 

 


Notes: Poem – thank you Beth at Alive on All Channels. Photo: Green tea with mint by Kookoo sabzi.

 

Saturday Morning

elephant

In one of his insightful talks Zen master Shunryu Suzuki said that in your practice you should walk like an elephant. “If you can walk slowly, without any idea of gain, then you are already a good Zen student.” There’s a mantra for your religion: Walk like an elephant. It means to move at a comfortable pace. No rushing toward a goal. No push to make it all meaningful. The sometimes inscrutable texts of Taoism and Zen teach that it’s important to do what you do without trying to accomplish anything. One of the benefits of a religion of one’s own is its ordinariness and simplicity. You don’t need a magnificent ceremony, a specially ordained minister, or a revered revelation to give you authority. You don’t have to get anywhere. There are no goals and objectives: nothing to succeed in, and nothing in which to fail. You can sit in your house, as Thoreau did, and be attentive— his suggestion. “We are surrounded by a rich and fertile mystery. May we not probe it, pry into it, employ ourselves about it— a little? . . . If by watching all day and all night I may detect some trace of the Ineffable, then will it not be worth the while to watch?”

~ Thomas Moore, A Religion of One’s Own: A Guide to Creating a Personal Spirituality in a Secular World.


Notes:

Summer 2016. Last call?

victoria-beach-california-pool

madrid,spain

Oh, to be here or there…Now.


Notes:

Saturday

sleeping-dont-wake-me

The best thing about the bedroom was the bed.
I liked to stay in bed for hours,
even during the day with covers pulled up to my chin.
It was good in there,
nothing ever occurred in there,
no people,
nothing.

~ Charles Bukowski, Ham on Rye


Notes: Quote – Schonwiener. Photograph: Aveline Gunawan with Don’t wake me up

 

 

Summer

Jean-Daniel-Lorieux


Notes: Photograph shot by Jean-Daniel Lorieux in Djerba, an island off the coast of Tunisia which is known for Mediterranean beaches and whitewashed desert towns. Find more of his photos on his Facebook page.   (Source: This Isn’t Happiness)

 

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