Monday Morning Wake-Up Call

December 29, 1941.

I’m at the age where I cease to reform my tastes:

I accept what I find—within—without shame.

Patricia Highsmith, “Patricia Highsmith: Her Diaries and Notebooks: 1941-1995.″ Anna von Planta (Editor). (Liveright, November 16, 2021)


Notes:

  • Side Note: Patricia Highsmith was 20 years old when writing this in her diary entry. 20 years old! And here I am…still workin’ it…
  • New York Times: 9 New Books We Recommend This Week
  • Photo credit

Lightly Child, Lightly

How do we forgive ourselves for all the things we did not become?

—  Doc Luben, from “#13” in “14 Lines from Love Letters or Suicide Notes” (Genius.com)


Notes:

  • Doc Luben is a spoken word slam poet. He comes from Portland, Oregon. He can be found on Tumblr, where he posts new poems. (Thank you Make Believe Boutique)
  • 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.”

when she looked in the mirror in the morning, she liked what she saw

Eudora Welty’s biographer, reports that Katherine Anne Porter said to Welty, “You will never know what it means to be a beautiful woman.” The comment reveals more about Porter’s conception of beauty than Welty’s appearance, though one hopes it earned Porter a few centuries in some lower level of Purgatory. And yet plenty of plain people partner and/ or marry. What’s going on here is something more profound than mere mien. Even in early photographs, Welty is radiant with her unabashed horse-toothed smile—somehow she found in her youth the self-possession to embrace it as her signature feature. In meeting her I felt overwhelmingly that, when she looked in the mirror in the morning, she liked what she saw, because what she saw she had consciously created. She was her own spouse.

— Fenton JohnsonAt the Center of All Beauty: Solitude and the Creative Life (W. W. Norton & Company, March 10, 2020)


Notes:

  • Inspired by: “I have been sick and I found out then, only then, how lonely I am. Is it too late? My heart puts up a struggle inside me, and you may have heard it, protesting against emptiness … It should be full, he would rush on to tell her, thinking of his heart now as a deep lake, it should be holding love like other hearts. It should be flooded with love… . Come and stand in my heart, whoever you are, and a whole river would cover your feet and rise higher and take your knees in whirlpools, and draw you down to itself, your whole body, your heart too.” — Eudora Welty, from “Death of a Traveling Salesman” in The Collected Stories of Eudora Welty (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, Feb 1, 1982)
  • Portrait of Eudora Welty, Nov 15, 1970, from the Paris Review via hottytoddy.com

Monday Morning Wake-Up Call

Those who cannot feel the littleness of great things in themselves

are apt to overlook the greatness of little things in others.

~ Okakura Kakuzo, from The Book Of Tea


Curated wall art and fine art photography by Olga Barantseva.

little tummy roll that has helpfully crept over the bottom of the iPad, so that it might help you type?

Anne Lamott, from a Facebook post on November 25, 2012:

Quickly, and probably with lots of typos: I am beginning to think that this body of mine is the one I will have the entire time I am on this side of eternity.

I didn’t agree to this. I have tried for approximately fifty years to get it to be an ever so slightly different body: maybe the tiniest bit more like Cindy Crawford’s, and–if this is not too much to ask–Michelle Obama’s arms. I mean, is this so much to ask? But I had to ask myself, while eating my second piece of key lime pie in Miami last Sunday, and then again, while sampling my second piece of Crete brûlée in Akron, if this is going to happen.

For the record, I do not usually eat like I do in hotels while I am on book tour. But I have a terrble sweet tooth and I am just not going to be spending much more of this and precious life at the gym, than I already do, which is at best, three times a week, in a terrible shirking bad attitude bitter frame of mind. I go for three one-hour hikes a week. I’m not a Lunges kind of girl.
And even if I were, I’m shrinking. I’m not quite Dr. Ruth yet, but I used to be 5’7, and now am–well, not.

But the psalmist says I am wonderfully and fearfully made. Now, upon hearing that, two days after Thanksgiving, don’t you automatically think that “fearfully” refers to your thighs, your upper arms, the little tummy roll that has helpfully crept over the bottom of the iPad, so that it might help you type? [Read more…]

Light child, lightly (2)

bird-in-hand-kiss

I heard a bird congratulating itself
all day for being a jay.
Nobody cared. But it was glad
all over again, and said so, again

~ William Stafford, “News Every Day” from Passwords

 


Notes:

  • Poem: Thank you Karl @ Mindfulbalance.
  • Photo: wsj.com – Youssef Badawi – A bird seller getting close to the merchandise at al-Shaalan market in Damascus, Syria.
  • 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.”

Riding Metro North. And dragging it around.

train-station-light

Who are we, really? Who is dragging this body around.” (Zen Koan)

4:55 am.
Just another Hump Day in August, but less torrid, and pleasant, really.

It’s a short walk to the station. The digital counter on the wrist flashes Step # 63, a reminder of the failure to reach 6500 steps by last day’s end.

A Lady, in her early 30’s, hair still damp, rushes onto the crowded train car, steps over the gap, looks down the aisle, lets out a sigh. She sets down her bag and stands. You watch. She stands. And stands. And stands. This weekend you opened the mailbox to find junk mail inviting you to join the AARP, and flung it with disgust into the recycling bin. Hey, at least she wasn’t pregnant.

The 7:30 morning meeting is cancelled, 15 minutes before start time. The same meeting requiring you to catch the first train. You launch an e-missile punctuating the finish with an exclamation mark.  Shrapnel hits the target — its impact boomerangs in a Return To Sender. Necessary?

You interrupt another mid sentence, again and again, to steer the discussion and to drive the pace. What is it that is so unsettling that flows in your blood? [Read more…]

Where are the A+s? Who really knows?

ladder-climb-down-up

My generation was more like the Un-self-esteem movement. The Self-Disesteem Movement. We were constantly being told what bums and losers we were. Be a man! Suck it up! What’s wrong with you? Those were the child-rearing mantras that our parents, teachers, and coaches—the Greatest Generation—dished out to us. If you brought home a report card with straight A’s, the only question was, “Where are the A+s?”

[…]

Whose opinion counts most in the end?

Who’s the one person we can’t fool?

Who really knows how deep we dug or how true we played it?

~ Steven Pressfield, Giving Ourselves Some Props


Notes: Photo – Anja Matko, Self-Portrait, “Afraid of Falling” (via Mennyfox55)

 

Got it

santa-claus-funny-believe-in-yourself


Source: Nikkie Lamb

That aching gap

mask-authenticity-portrait

I am still beset
by the same old lusts
and ego and emotions,
the endless nagging details and irritations –
that aching gap between
what I know and what I am.

~ Peter Matthiessen, The Snow Leopard


Source: Schonwieder

You are not an easy person to…

clothing by Ahmed Abdel Rahman

I open up my body,
whole and spit-shined eager
and inside there is only a mouth.
The mouth says
You are not an easy person to love.
Curious, I reach into this mouth
and pull out the tongue.

I make the tongue say it again, and again.
You are not an easy person…
You are not an easy person to…

And it’s so silly looking.
This little flip-flopping thing
in the palm of my hand.”

– Clementine von Radics, “A Bad Weekend in Three Parts,” published in Drunk in a Midnight Choir


Notes: Poem Source: Boston Poetry Slam. Photography: Feelslike

Lightly child, lightly

lightly-fly-light-let-go

I weighed two hundred kilos,
something was pulling me to the floor,
a huge force had taken hold of me
and was dragging me down.
What shall I do, I thought.
What shall I do.
I’ll let go, I thought.
I’ll let go.

~ Per Petterson, I Refuse: A Novel


Notes:

  • 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.”
  • Prior “Lightly child, lightly” Posts? Connect here.
  • Image Source: Stefano Corso via Precious Things

 

Lightly child, lightly

gif-bird-fly-wings

Listen,
everyone has a chance.
Is it spring,
is it morning?
Are there trees near you,
and does your own soul need comforting?
Quick, then — open the door
and fly on your heavy feet…

— Mary Oliver, New And Selected Poems, Volume Two


Notes:

  • 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.”
  • Image Source: A Clean, Well-Lighted Place. Poem Source: Violent Waves of Emotion

 

Lightly child, lightly

Jeffrey_Vanhouette_05
“Brussels-based photographer Jeffrey Vanhoutte created this stunning project featuring an acrobatic dancer displaying various expressive poses that seem to be frozen in time. The dancer throws clouds of powdered milk up in the air while fulfilling graceful and fluid movements. Jeffrey Vanhoutte captured them in film and photo though as he states it took even longer too clean up the mess than to actually create the images.”

Don’t miss more shots in this series here: Dancer Freezes Time in Jeffrey Vanhoutte’s Project


Notes:

  • 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.”
  • Photograph Source: Ignant via Swiss Miss
  • Prior “Lightly child, lightly” Posts? Connect here.

There’s the purpose. Right there.

86th Annual Academy Awards - Arrivals

Q: There was a strong, negative reaction after you won your Oscar. In a recent interview for Elle U.K., you said, “As with anything difficult, eventually its purpose revealed itself, and I found it ultimately very liberating.” What was its purpose?

AH: Self-acceptance. If you’re not someone who has a natural and effortless love for yourself, it’s hard to let go of your desire to please other people, and that’s really not an ingredient for a happy life.

~ Anne Hathaway, Anne Hathaway’s Oscars Advice: ‘Do The Opposite of What I Did


Image: linkservice

Lightly child, lightly

peace,slow,still,quiet
I now realize that
I habitually fight against a leisurely pace;
I resist giving in to slowness.

~ Daniel Klein, Travels with Epicurus: A Journey to a Greek Island in Search of a Fulfilled Life


Notes:

  • 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.”
  • Image (edited) Source: Patterns in Chaos

Lightly child, lightly (v. Kooser)

light-sun

What does the earth’s shadow look like flying through space? A jellyfish, perhaps, swimming at the speed of light with filaments streaming behind. At sunrise or sunset, if you stand on a hilltop, with your arms spread out and your fingers fluttering like feathers, your shadow can ride at the top of that enormous, flying darkness, racing forever into the stars.

~ Ted Kooser, “December.The Wheeling Year: A Poet’s Field Book


Notes:

  • 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.”
  • Image (edited) Source: ccanddumplins via Sensual Starfish

 

Monday Gotta

woman-portrait-hand

You can change your clothes, but you gotta love your bones, baby.

– Jessica Blankenship, How To Not Fail At Your New Years Resolution


Notes:

 

Monday Mantra

misty-mirror

What kind of mind is odder
than his who mists
a mirror and then complains
that it’s not clear.

Sor Juana Inez de la Cruz, “You Foolish Men” 


Credits: Photo – aspiringmama. Poem: bostonpoetryslam via schwonwieder

Monday Mantra: Just Do It.

stephan-wurth-woman-wind-breeze-hair

#13.
How do we forgive ourselves
for all of the things
we did not become?

~ David “Doc” Luben


Notes:

  • Excerpt from “14 Lines from Love Letters or Suicide Notes” by David ‘Doc’ Luben.  Luben was the feature poet on August 5th at the Vancouver Poetry Slam.  Find the youtube video of the performance here. Original source: Artpropelled.
  • Photograph: Stephan Wurst via Tri-ciclo
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