T.G.I.F.: Like a punch in the gut 


National Geographic curated photos from 91 photographers, 107 stories, and 2,290,225 photographs.  

Poachers killed this black rhinoceros for its horn with high-caliber bullets in South Africa’s Hluhluwe-Imfolozi Park. Black rhinos number only about 5,000 today.

Don’t miss the 51 other amazing photos here: 2016 Photos of the Year.

My mind chattering, lay hold of me. Lay hold.

bird-simone-sbaraglia

Remember the giant whooping crane on the county highway
whose mate had been hit, stretched out dead at the center
of the road? She stood by him, wings open and flapping, shrewd
voice anxious, screaming, her dark red crown bowing in her descent
through the rim of despair. With each oncoming car she took a short
running flight to get our of the way, pacing the side of the road until
she could return to him. The next day, when still there, exhausted,
wings tattered and brown, we scraped what left of her lover
off the asphalt with a snow shovel, and laid the body on the low,
dry treadgrass by the embankment. The birds had come that July
to our swill, which had filled with monsoon rain. She stood there
close to us, in the still, yellowing grass, her interminable legs wobbling
underneath her body. The long toes of her feet twitching. That
shallow silver dish of my mind chattering, lay hold of me. Lay hold.

~ Elizabeth Jacobson,”Lay Hold of Me,” The American Poetry Review (July/August 2016)


Notes: Poem – Memory’s Landscape. Photo: Simone Sbaraglia

Zeke. The Countdown.

zeke-dog-pet-cute

I walk Zeke outside.

He sniffs at the grass, at the plants, at the trace of bunny in the air.

I watch him circle the yard: It’s gone.

The vigorous flourish of the tail. The accelerated gait, his canter. All gone. In its place, the all-consuming lethargy.

The panting is incessant. His barrel chest rising and falling, a steam engine chugging, The Little Red Engine That Could: I think I can, I think I can, I think I still can.

He’s parched, always. His long tongue stretches to lap up gulps of water.

And Dad, “I’m hungry. I’m always hungry. I can’t help myself. It’s those damn white pills you wrap in the lunch meat.”

The steroid dosage has been lowered, his normal surefootedness slipping.  Another stumble up the stairs this morning, his head lunging into the hardwood –and then, a soft, helpless yelp.

Water from a tap drips.

No one is ready for this. No one wants this.

This shot clock is running out.


Related Posts: Zeke

How?

balloons-red-forest

This morning it rained.
This afternoon it is sunny.
How is that not like the mind?

~ Michael Kewley, May all beings be happy


Sources: Quote – Some of my best friends are birds. Photo: Your Eyes Blaze Out

Lightly child, lightly

art-bird-lightly-ribbon-wings

I cannot cause light;
the most I can do is try to put myself in the path of its beam.
It is possible, in deep space, to sail on solar wind.
Light, be it particle or wave, has force:
you rig a giant sail and go.
The secret of seeing is to sail on solar wind.
Hone and spread your spirit till you yourself are a sail,
whetted, translucent, broadside to the merest puff.

~ Annie Dillard, Pilgrim at Tinker Creek


Notes:

  • Poem: Thank you Beth for your ongoing inspirations: Alive on All Channels
  • Art: Silvia Angelova (Bulgaria) (via The Sensual Starfish).
  • Prior “Lightly child, lightly” Posts? Connect here.
  • Related posts: Annie Dillard
  • 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

trees-black-and-white-woods

I part the out thrusting branches
and come in beneath
the blessed and the blessing trees.
Though I am silent
there is singing around me.
Though I am dark
there is vision around me.
Though I am heavy
there is flight around me.

~ Wendell Berry, “Woods” From Collected Poems, 1957-1982.


Notes:

  • Poem: Thank you Beth for your ongoing inspirations: Alive on All Channels
  • Photograph: Albert Renger-Patzsch – Beechwood in Fall, 1936 (via Newthom).
  • Prior “Lightly child, lightly” Posts? Connect 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.”

I want moonlight

Blue-melancholy

Everywhere you look these days you see something on how to be happy — how to manifest abundance, desires and success, find your bliss. […]

Whatever happened to experiencing the grace of melancholy, which requires reflection: a sort of mental steeping, like tea? What if all this cheerful advice only makes you feel inadequate? What if you were born morose?

Melancholy, distinguished from grief, is not caused by events, like losing your job, the passing of beloved pets, your miscarriages or health problems. Nor does it vanish when you receive excellent news, like a big film star optioning your novel, or being invited to an all-expenses-paid trip to Venice for the Biennale.

Melancholy is more … ephemeral.

It visits you like a mist, a vapor, a fog. It is generally uninvited. And as some people are born into royalty, wealth and prestige, others inherit a disposition for sadness. […]

Should melancholy descend, you may as well welcome it, wear your finest lounging outfit; give it your finest fainting couch or chaise to lounge in, or that hammock stretched between two elm trees. Let it settle in.

[…]

I want moonlight.

~ Laren Stover, A Case For Melancholy


Credits: Photo via Sweet Senderipity

Lightly child, lightly

light-sun

[…]
I walk
into what light
there is
[…]

~ Mark Strand, from “Another Place,” Collected Poems

Notes:

  • Quote Source: Schonwieder. Photo: A Clean-Well Lighted Place
  • Prior “Lightly child, lightly” Posts? Connect 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.”

 

Big Wing. Big Bloody Wing.

cloud-rain-cup-art

I hope you’re enjoying your childhood.
When you grow up, a shadow falls.
Everything’s sunny and then
this big goddamn wing or something passes overhead.

~ Joy Williams, The Visiting Privilege: New and Collected Stories


Notes:

I fought the wolves of patience

wolf-running-gif

[…]

I fought the wolves of patience
just to let it lie down.

See these waters they’ll pull you up,
Oh if you’re bolder than the darkness.
My my, let these songs be an instrument to cut,
Oh spaces ‘tween the happiness and the hardness […]

What we found
Down these roads that wander as lost as the heart,
Is a chance to breathe again, a chance for a fresh start…

~ Ben Howard, These Waters


Sources:

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