Sunday Morning

Got up on a cool morning. Leaned out a window. 
No cloud, no wind. Air that flowers held 
for awhile. Some dove somewhere…
these moments 
count for a lot–peace, you know.
Let the bucket of memory down into the well,
bring it up. Cool, cool minutes. No one 
stirring, no plans. Just being there.

This is what the whole thing is about.

— William Stafford, from “Just Thinking” in “Ask Me: 100 Essential Poems of William Stafford” 


Photo: Mine. 5:46 a.m. May 24, 2020. 50° F, feels like 46° F. Wind 12 mph, gusts up to 23 mph. Weed Ave/Cove Island Park, Stamford, CT.

Saturday Morning

And come the dawn,
how slow and easy the Sun-beams
Long legs of a great crab,
move through the sea of mist.

~ Takarai Kikaku (1661-1707), Haiku in Mad in Translation by Robin D. Gill


Photo: 6:06 am. 60° F. Low tide. Weed Ave Stamford, CT.

Saturday Morning

Silence can also be a friend. A comfort and a source of deeper riches. In The Silence That Follows, the poet Rolf Jacobsen wrote:

The silence that lives in the grass
on the underside of each blade
and in the blue space between the stones.

The silence that rests like a young bird in your palms. It is easy to see oneself in Rolf Jacobsen’s experience. Alone out on the ocean, you can hear the water; in the forest, a babbling brook or else branches swaying in the wind; on the mountain, tiny movements between stones and moss. These are times when silence is reassuring. I look for that within myself.

Erling Kagge, Silence: In the Age of Noise

 


Notes: Photo by Chris Jones with Blades of Grass.  Prior Erling Kagge posts here.

Saturday Morning

The silence I have in mind may be found wherever you are, if you pay attention, inside your mind, and is without cost. You don’t have to go to Sri Lanka: you can experience it in your bathtub. — I discover silence when I stay five extra minutes in bed at home.

Erling Kagge, Silence: In the Age of Noise

 


Notes: Photo.  Prior Erling Kagge posts here.

Lightly Child, Lightly

“Thinking about daylight and artificial light I have to admit that daylight, the light on things, is so moving to me that I feel it almost as a spiritual quality. When the sun comes up in the morning – which I always find so marvelous, absolutely fantastic the way it comes back every morning – and casts its light on things, it doesn’t feel as if it quite belongs in this world. I don’t understand light. It gives me the feeling there’s something beyond me, something beyond all understanding.”

Peter Zumthor, Atmospheres


Notes:

  • Photo: Stephen Carroll FotoFiction (via Mennyfox55). Quote via noosphe
  • 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.”

Lightly Child, Lightly

The light wavers;

perhaps the person holding it is tired.

The steps slow.

The rush seems to be over.

– Ann Napolitano, Dear Edward: A Novel (The Dial Press, January 6, 2020)

 


Notes:

  • Photo: (via Mennyfox55)
  • 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.”

Saturday Morning


Weekend Plans. Big Bird thinking about things in Central Park. (via Imgur and thisisn’thappiness)

Saturday Morning

One’s very own room, ventilated to please one’s self, furnished just as one wishes, with one’s pet belongings arranged to suit one’s own tastes; an entire bed in which one may pitch and toss, stretch and yawn, without the consciousness that another would-be sleeper is being annoyed – all of these are aids to happiness.

Virginia Terhune Van de Water, “From Kitchen to Garret,” (Published in 1910)


Notes: Quote via Schonwieder. Photo via Sabon Home

New Year

 

I pause to check the milkweed, and a caterpillar halts midbite, its face still lowered to the leaf.

I walk down my driveway at dusk, and the cottontail under the pine tree freezes, not a single twitch of ear or nose.

On the roadside, the doe stands immobile, as still as the trees that rise above her. My car passes; her soft nose doesn’t quiver. Her soft flanks don’t rise or fall. A current of air stirs only the hairs at the very tip of her tail.

I peek between the branches of the holly bush, and the redbird nestling looks straight at me, motionless, unblinking.

Every day the world is teaching me what I need to know to be in the world.

In the stir of too much motion:

Hold still.
Be quiet.
Listen.

~ Margaret Renkl, “Still” in Late Migrations: A Natural History of Love and Loss


Photo Credit

That’s happiness.

“How can you be happy now?” the book seems to ask, and it has a point. The catastrophe of climate neglect, the toxic politics, the tangible sense of so many things worsening in your own lifetime, along with a sense of your obscure or outright complicity, all combined to make the idea of any possible happiness seem at best childish, at worse willfully blind…

When I came to write the new novel, I remembered a moment from our early days in Clare. We had left commuter Monday-to-Friday lives in New York to come to a rural farming community, seeking a simpler life that was truer to our natures, not yet knowing what exactly that was…

One of those first welcomers was Michael Dooley, a silver-haired farmer, turf cutter, man of the land of the old kind, who into his 80s, pedaled his big bicycle into the village.

Because Michael seemed to be working on the land all day every day, into the fall of darkness and beyond, and never complained, I once asked him if he ever took a holiday.

“A holiday?” He looked at me like the innocent I was.

“I mean, what do you do to be happy?”

The question was a novelty to him and he considered it from all sides before answering.

“When I want a holiday,” he said at last, “I go over the road as far as the meadow. I go in there, take off my jacket, and lay down on it. I watch the world turning for a bit, with me still in it.”

He smiled then, and held me in his blue Atlantic eyes, full of the ordinary wisdom of a well-lived life, a wisdom that saw the many failings of the world but our still breathing and dreaming in it, and with a conclusive nod that defeated all arguments said, “That’s happiness.”

~ Niall Williams, from “Is Anyone Happy Anymore? We’ve lost our ability to take comfort in small things.” Mr. Williams is the author, most recently, of the novel “This Is Happiness.” (The New York Times, Dec 21, 2019)


Notes:

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