Monday Morning Wake-Up Call

There’s strength in observing one’s miniaturization. That you are insignificant and prone to, and God knows, dumb about a lot. Because doesn’t smallness prime us to eventually take up space? For instance, the momentum gained from reading a great book. After after, sitting, sleeping, living in its consequence. A book that makes you feel, finally, latched on. Or after after we recover from a hike. From seeing fifteenth-century ruins and wondering how Machu Picchu was built when Incans had zero knowledge of the wheel. Smallness can make you feel extra porous. Extra ambitious. Like a small dog carrying an enormous branch clenched in its teeth, as if intimating to the world: Okay. Where to?

~ Durga Chew-Bose, from “Heart Museum” in Too Much and Not the Mood: Essays


Photo: Paul Nicol with Walk Softly. Carry a Big Stick.

Bigging it up

bird-in-hand-jpg

The Pantheon of Smallness was a way of thinking about smallness differently. Sometimes we make small things, sometimes there are small bird songs, but it can have an enormous impact. Sometimes you have to whisper to be heard. Our culture is very much one of “bigging it up,” always upping the noise level in order to produce a louder signal. What you see in the bird world is sometimes that the smallest tweet can actually pierce through the cacophony in a different way. That became a metaphor for thinking about art. Emily Dickinson did quite miniature work that had a very profound, almost epic, impact, culturally speaking.

~ Kyo Maclear, from How a stressed woman found solace through looking at birds (Macleans, January 22, 2017)

Find Kyo Maclear’s new book on Amazon: Birds Art Life: A Year of Observation


Photo: Thank you Sawsan @ Last Tambourine

Oh taste how sweet and tart

red-seeds-juice

Bad things are going to happen…
No matter how many vitamins you take,
how much Pilates, you’ll lose your keys,
your hair and your memory…
Your wallet will be stolen, you’ll get fat,
slip on the bathroom tiles of a foreign hotel
and crack your hip. You’ll be lonely.
Oh taste how sweet and tart
the red juice is, how the tiny seeds
crunch between your teeth.

~ Ellen Bass, excerpt from Relax


Notes:

Saturday Morning

green-tea

And the heart, unscrolled,
is comforted by such small things:
a cup of green tea rescues us, grows deep and large, a lake.”

—Jane Hirschfield, from “Recalling a Sung Dynasty Landscape” in Of Gravity and Angels 

 


Notes: Poem – thank you Beth at Alive on All Channels. Photo: Green tea with mint by Kookoo sabzi.

 

february has been a small month of small sentences and thoughts

 bird-long-hair-whimsical
february has been a small month of small sentences and thoughts.
i manage to write a line or two each day.

from the first day: it has just turned february, the month when the days can’t decide what to do.  an in betweener for us – a fire lit this morning, not needed by the weekend.  a week later: the sky goes lavender on its way to dark. a week into february with open doors and a small fire in the heater.  a week after that, i squoosh a few days into this: monday:  the wind is singing a chilly song of february, slinging small stones and twigs and bits of leaves against the doors and windows.  the glass creaks in protest and surrender, the cat twitches in her sleep, dreams disturbed almost to waking. the morning birds are silent. thursday: we are warm.  flipflops, heaters off, windows open.  the night sky clear.  jingle bell cat a white presence in the darkness.  i can’t sleep and can’t read.

~ d smith kaich jones, february in bits and pieces


Photograph: gabriel isak via (Mennyfox55)

H is for Helen

Helen-macdonald-hawk

Q: What moves you most in a work of literature?

A: Honesty, vulnerability, moments of forgiveness and redemption, and a recognition that we are all small and our lives so short.

~ Helen Macdonald: By the BookThe author of a 2015 Best Book of the Year“H Is for Hawk” 


Notes:

  • Inspired by: “Read, read, read, read, read, read, read, read, read, read, read.” — Werner Herzog
  • Photograph: thetimes.com

What is striking

art

We are so small and
the greatness is so great. […]
What is striking is
the enormous force of weakness.

~ Hélène Cixous, from “The Cauliflower of the Lautaret,” Love Itself: In the Letter Box


Credits: Image – Exactly  Poem: The Journey of Words

 

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