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

 

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