Lightly Child, Lightly.

So rests the sky against the earth. The dark still tarn in the lap of the forest. As a husband embraces his wife’s body in faithful tenderness, so the bare ground and trees are embraced by the still, high, light of the morning. I feel an ache of longing to share in this embrace, to be united and absorbed. A longing like carnal desire, but directed towards earth, water, sky, and returned by the whispers of the trees, the fragrance of the soil, the caresses of the wind, the embrace of water and light. Content? No, no, no–but refreshed, rested–while waiting.

— Dag Hammarskjöld, “Markings” (Alfred A. Knopf, 1964)


Notes:

  • Quote: Thank you Beth @ Alive on All Channels
  • Photo: DK’s Daybreak. 5:19 am. July 1, 2020. 65° F. Humidity 100%. Wind: 3 mph. Gusts: 4 mph. Cloud Cover: 66%. Cove Island Park, Stamford, CT
  • 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.”

 

 

T.G.I.F.: Oh there is blessing in this gentle breeze

Oh there is blessing in this gentle breeze
That blows from the green fields and from the clouds
And from the sky: it beats against my cheek,
And seems half-conscious of the joy it gives.
Oh welcome messenger! Oh welcome friend!…
The earth is all before me: with a heart
Joyous, nor scared at its own liberty,
I look about, and should the guide I choose
Be nothing better than a wandering cloud,
I cannot miss my way.

—  William Wordsworth, from “The Prelude: A Parallel Text” (Penguin Classics; Revised edition, May 1, 1996, First published in 1850)


Photo: And gentle breeze there was.  Daybreak. 5:11 am. June 26, 2020. 67° F. Humidity 88%. Wind: 4 mph. Gusts: 6 mph. Cloud Cover: 5%. Weed Avenue, Stamford, CT

We are all living the same moment.

Air is the gaseous substance of life. Sky is what we see of it. How it is framed. The mind’s eye’s way of giving it structure. Blue tent, sky-space, cobalt between heaving mountains.

Air is all over us, inside us, expelled by us, renewed by the operations of photosynthesis and the evaporation of ever-warmer seas.
Sky is ubiquity. It drives into us. We gulp weather. Yet we conceive of it as “out there,” “up there,” and apart from us. Sky is “scape,” a fictive reference point to which we cling, yet it also stands for the open space we come to know as an ever-expanding, cosmic whole…

It is spring as I write, and the world is locked down in a raging pandemic. We hold still while airborne germs wrapped in fat float and flap all around us, threatening our lives…

Sky is a living body, a lung that spews life. In China it is chi, a life force, or tianqi, “heaven’s breath.” In Greenland, it is sila, nature and consciousness. For the Navajo Nation, sky is Nitth’i, a benevolent spirit. The Crow, who live on the grasslands of Montana and Wyoming, call sky huche, meaning “wind that blows steadily at the foot of the mountain.” In Egypt, the dying summoned the god of air and said, “I have gone up to Shu; I have climbed the sunbeams.” …

Sky is nothing and everything: a blank that holds solar systems, locust swarms, heaven’s gates, kingfishers, and cosmos. It’s where the Big Bang flapped everything into being. Recently, 19 new interstellar asteroids were found orbiting the sun, and astronomers have uncovered the beauty of the asymmetrical universe, where the battle between matter and antimatter was waged. Matter and cosmic imperfection won out; otherwise, we wouldn’t exist. “Imperfection is our paradise,” a Buddhist teacher said…

Perhaps that’s the best way to think about the sky and the ways it binds and releases us. Looking up, we can all see the same things: the pink moon, sunrise’s glory, starlight, and the lovely, lonely curve of air. Our peripheral vision shapes what we think we are seeing. From my lookout on a moving dogsled, I’ve seen how the horizon’s silver stripe divides ice from air, mist from ocean, space from Earth, and dark from light as the blue tent floats down and softly covers us all.

~ Gretel Ehrlich, “We Are All Living the Same Moment” in The Atlantic (May 2, 2020)


Photo: DK, Cove Island Park, May 3, 6:43 am.

T.G.I.F.: It’s Been A Long Week

I stop and let myself lean

a moment against the blue

shoulder of the air.

~Alison Luterman, from Invisible Work


Notes: Photo: lello d’anna with Blue (Erchie, Campania, Italy). Poem: Thank you Beth @ Alive on All Channels

Miracle. All of It.

feet

Look at your feet. You are standing in the sky. When we think of the sky, we tend to look up, but the sky actually begins at the earth. We walk through it, yell into it, rake leaves, wash the dog, and drive cars in it. We breathe it deep within us. With every breath, we inhale millions of molecules of sky, heat them briefly, and then exhale them back into the world.

Diane Ackerman, A Natural History of the Senses


Notes:

Saturday Morning

What is silence?

Something of the sky in us.

~ Ilya Kaminsky, from “Deaf Republic: 1,” Poetry 


Notes: Poem – The Vale of the Soulmaking. Photo: John White with Blue Sky with small clouds (Eyre Peninsula, Port Lincoln, South Australia, Australia)

Murakami’s brushstrokes

Autumn steadily deepened around me.

The sky opened up, the air clear and crisp,

the clouds like beautiful white brushstrokes.

~ Haruki Murakami, Killing Commendatore: A Novel (October, 2018)


Photo: Matt Champlin with Brushstrokes

Lightly Child, Lightly.

If you are very very quiet

you can hear the clouds rub against the sky.

~ Raul Gutierrez, from “Lies I’ve told my three year old recently


Notes:

  • Photo Source. Poem source: See more
  • 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.”

 

In it is summer, and midday, and immortality

“He was an art student, and he spent the day at the lake drawing a study of sky and clouds. Nothing else. The grown-ups had little to say after looking at his creation. But I liked the clouds, they were of the cumulus variety, my favorite, eternal wanderers, clean celestial mountains. They’d hung above Lake Hepojarvi for a while that day, and then left. The cardboard painting was placed on top of the sideboard; it soon fell into the crack between the sideboard and the wall. But then—a few years later—I found it; bending some wire into a poker, I pulled it out, along with a thick layer of dust, dead flies of years past, and a green leg from a plastic toy hippo. I took the cardboard picture and thus appropriated a singular day of eternity. In it is summer, and midday, and immortality. Certainly immortality.”

~ Tatyana Tolstaya, from “The Invisible Maiden” in “Aetherial Worlds: Stories” (Knopf, March 20, 2018)

 


Photo by William Eggleston via Time Lightbox

Lightly child, lightly.

I’d go out into a great big field all alone or in the deep, deep woods and I’d look up into the sky—up—up—up—into that lovely blue sky that looks as if there was no end to its blueness.

And then I’d just feel a prayer.

~ L. M. Montgomery, Anne of Green Gables 


Notes:

  • Photo: blue sky thinking by Mick.  Quote: (via antigonick)
  • 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.”
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