Walking. What you hold, holds you. (Again)


5:45 a.m, and I’m out the door. Dark Sky app says 36° F, feels like 34°, and I call bullsh*t on that. No chance. My finger tips are tingling, a mere handful of steps into my daybreak walk.

But I’m ready. Come and get some of This.  Long johns, wool socks, double lined sweatpants, hoody, tuk (tuuuuuuk), a winter coat sewn by one of Dale’s relatives in Northern Quebec, and Norwegian Merino wool gloves. Because Norwegian’s know cold. And, caution flags are flying, need to avoid public areas looking like this, a threat, and get cut down by an AR-15.

What’s good about Cold?  It keeps the Chatty’s out of the park. And today, even the regulars are absent. It’s me, and the Herons, Queen’s Guards, stoic, standing in ice cold water, winds gusting off Long Island Sound.  Just the way we like it.

94 snaps taken this morning, and that one above has stuck. 92 better shots, but this one won’t let go. It’s the Full moon watching me traipse around the muck in low tide. Robbins: “She wondered how the moon, two hundred and thirty-nine thousand miles above…could affect her as profoundly as it did…Yet, as any half-awake materialist knows, that which you hold holds you.[Read more…]

Walking. And Ranting.

5:35 a.m. Clear. Cool. 39° F. I open the door, step out onto the front porch, and look out at the skyline. It’s as fresh as if it occurred 5 minutes ago, triggering disbelief and racing its way on to fury.

Yes, it could have been any number of topics that I came across in this morning’s paper. “When do we get to use guns?…How many elections are they going to steal before we kill these people?” Or, “…refusal to provide information to the House Committee investigating the Jan 6 attack on the Capitol. Or, “What abortion access looks like in Mississippi.” Or, “Rep Congressman shared a threatening voicemail he received following his vote to pass the $1.2T infrastructure bills…’I hope your f—- family dies…you f— piece of f—- s—. Traitor.”

This all would have been adequate kindling to light a raging fire. But, no. As worthy as these subjects are, they did not. Not at that moment.

And what’s the line from Tip O’Neil? ‘All Politics is local.”

No, this has nothing to do with politics. And everything to do with local. Like the neighborhood.

[Read more…]

Alkalizing Self. Or, Something.

I mean seriously. Look at him. Is this a picture of sanity?

First it was a gentle nudge.

She sends me an article. “You might check this out.”  I skim it.

“The Ice Man.”

“Ice baths.”

“Deep breathing”

“Inner fire meditation and how it alters body chemistry.”

“You can experience lightheadedness, as the arteries and veins to the brain and body close slightly in reaction to the alkalizing blood.”

“You are inducing voluntarily a short stress response which ultimately will lead to more resilience towards everyday stress, mentally and physiology and feeling more in control.”

Blah, blah, blah. Total Bullsh*t. Whack job.

A few days pass.

She comes at me again. [Read more…]

Walking. With More Disquiet.

55° F.  6:50 a.m. Wednesday, October 27th.

Cove Island Park walk @ Daybreak. 5xx days, like in a row. Who cares?

I walk.

Wind gusts blow off Long Island Sound. I mean it’s blowing. 

I climb up on the breakwall and prepare to take this shot. I can’t keep my balance. Camera shake.

I spread my legs. Tuck my elbows into my chest, and still can’t stabilize. Autofocus can’t lock on.

I release the camera, drop my arms, and rest.

I look out at the storm clouds accumulating on the horizon. I turn sideways to reduce the broadside impact of the wind, still trying to find my footing on the breakwall.

I’m on the final turn of Knausgaard’s new book: The Morning Star.  “Fifty was all right. I hadn’t yet grasped the gravity of the situation. Sixty’s another matter altogether.”

It’s change that’s uprooting your ballast.

This ship is bobbling.

Sleepless.

Restless. 

Peaceless.

Knausgaard continues.

Why did the world become unsettled? What tormented it? What was on its mind?


Notes:

  • Photo: DK @ Daybreak. October 27, 2021. 55 F & Gusty. 6:50 a.m. Cove Island Park, Stamford, CT.
  • Post titled inspired by Fernando Pessoa’s “The Book of Disquiet

Walking. With Tu Fu.

53° F.  5:59 a.m. Thursday, October 21st.

Cove Island Park walk @ daybreak.

534 (almost) consecutive mornings. Like in a row.

I walk. Sort of.

One hour before sunrise. Deep in the Twilight Zone.

When One just can’t leave well enough alone, One pays. Advil PM & Tylenol PM have worked for 10+ years. Man Child thinks he could save a few bucks with Amazon’s private label “Basic Care Sleep Aid” tablets.  Teeny, tiny, blue egg shell pills. I mean tiny. How much damage can they possibly do?

And so here we are.

Think of your first step after exiting the Salt & Pepper Shaker @ Six Flags Great Adventure.

But it’s a full 2 hours later.

World is spinning.

Stomach begs Mercy!

Each.Step.Must.Be.Deliberate.

Easy does it DK. Easy does it.

The head and the body not of this earth. Not on this earth. [Read more…]

Walking. Great Point & Hallowed Ground.

Friday, September 17th, the streak was broken.

I hadn’t known the numerical significance of it at the time — I was only regretting that the day would eventually come.  So, when I ran the math this morning, it was startling.

Start date May, 5, 2020. End date September 17, 2021. 500 days. 500 consecutive days of morning walks at Cove Island Park. Like in a Row. 

500 days of Anything is Something.

A joke, sad, and tiresome that it is, swirls around the house that I get anxiety attacks when I’m outside of a 50 mile radius of home. So, between the breaking of the 500 day chain, and the Road Trip outside of the comfort zone, we were swimming against unease.

Eric (Son) drove. Susan was the co-Pilot.  And I sat in the back, quiet, moping, thumbing through my iPad.

Fast forward. To our last morning in Nantucket. Steve & Andrew (Rachel’s future Father-in-Law and Fiancé) drove me out to Great Point in Nantucket. To get to Great Point, it was 15 minutes on the road followed by a 30 minute drive on the beach. [Read more…]

Running. With Ripley. Believe It Or Not.

Monday. 4:15 a.m. Up since 3:15 a.m. And for the life of me, I can’t understand why. Monday is a holiday, followed by two weeks vacation, and here I am. Hypnos, where are thou Hypnos? 

I skim through old blog posts. My last running blog post, aka last time I ran, June 6, 2020 —  Running. No More. (For now). Wowza. 15 months ago. 457 consecutive days without running. Like in a Row.

Jan Grue “…but the days slip by at an uncomfortable speed.

I put on my running gear, and I step out the door. 

68° F, humidity is thick. Eugenides:  “…the air wishing it was water.” Mist hangs low over the street. Exactly, exactly like Ripley’s Believe It or Not.  

You might ask Why? Why this sudden urge to run. And I would say, I have no clue.  But the real Deep State, the subconscious, is whispering, yes you do DK. Yes you do.  Two major, MAJOR, dates approaching.

I put in 1.5 miles, feeling like a ½ marathon.

Soles hurt.
Ankles hurt.
Groins hurt.
Calves hurt.
Knees hurt.
Sciatica? Gone!

Tuesday. This morning. 4:00 a.m. 60° F.  No humidity.  Runner’s weather.  [Read more…]

Walking. With Someday & Soon.

479 consecutive days. Like in a Row.  Walking, at Cove Island Park.

~ 20 minutes before sunrise, and I’m walking the shoreline. It twitches. The surface stirs. Their bellies, silver flashes, mica flickering in twilight.

I look overhead. No gulls, no egrets, no herons. Enjoy your quiet time little people, while it lasts.

I keep walking. Multiple schools swirl ahead of me.

The Twilight Zone.

I walk.

Pages of James Tate Hill’s new memoir, Blind Man’s Bluff, turn. “It’s that meaning can rest in the smallest details, in every moment and gesture and line of dialogue.” 

The middle aged Chinese woman runner. Hardy girl that she is, running every morning straight through the winter months. She no longer runs on Weed Avenue, the main artery to the Park.  She ducks in and out of the side streets.  Fearing assault? Retribution for the Chinese Virus?

The Veteran Retiree. No sign of him in months. Visiting his grandchildren? Ill? Hospitalized?

Runner with Spandex and wired, Over-The-Ear headphones. He rolls on. Wired. With Over-the-Ear headphones. With Spandex. Luminescent disco blue. [Read more…]

Walking. With Degenerate Guardian Angel.

5:10 a.m. Morning Walk @ Cove Island Park.  471 consecutive days. Like in a Row.

77° F.  Light rain, high winds.  This climate change morphs into heavy rain with moderate winds.

Cloud cover 323%. Humidity, 933%.

I’m ready to fire, camera lens fogs up from the humidity. Hood cover can’t protect the lens from rain riding on wind gusts. I decided not to haul the backpack this morning. No rag to wipe the lens. Irritated.

I walk.

It’s dark. Up ahead, near a park bench, illuminated by the street lamp, there’s an empty take-out food carton on the bench, plastic forks, plastic knives, and napkins strewn on the grass. Highly Irritated.

Mind drifts back to Tuesday.  Man fishing at the point. He casts out into the Cove, his lure breaks the stillness of the water.

“Any luck?”

“No, but that’s OK. It’s just so peaceful and beautiful standing here, I can’t imagine being anywhere else at this moment.”

Gray hair, mid 70’s. He smiles, his white, straight teeth light up the morning. He stands looking at me. Me at him. He’s a kind looking man, a gentle man.

He reels in his line, and starts to pack up.

“I need to clean up a bit.”

“Clean up?” I ask.

He’s bending down to pick up trash discarded among the rocks along the shoreline.  An empty Perrier glass bottle. A fast food styrofoam container. Discarded cigarette box.

“It’s really disrespectful,” he says.

I had another stream of expletives for it but this man, so peaceful looking, possibly a man of clergy, didn’t deserve that, so I just nodded in agreement.

Dale’s post comes to mind. And then a vision of a degenerate Guardian Angel follows behind that. And there I float. Fifty feet above the shoreline.  Guardian Angel Garbage Vigilante. I’m holding a two-foot long, piece of rebar. I hover along with the wind currents, looking down, seeking an offender.  It doesn’t take long to find a defacator. I tap him (it’s always a him) on the shoulder, pointing back to his plastic cup. He looks up at me, and gives me the finger. I tap him on the shoulder again, asking “please”. He sniffs and keeps walking. I cock the rebar back (because I always carry rebar), it whistles through the air and crashes down across his left knuckles. He falls, writhing in the sand, reaching for his plastic cup.

“I did say please.”


Photo: DK @ Daybreak. 6:31 am, August 17, 2021. Cove Island Park, Stamford, CT.

Walking. With Billy Summers.

67° F. Cove Island Park.  Morning walk. 459 consecutive days. Like in a row.

Sun, all on its own, decides there’s no damn point getting up this early, is rising later, 5:55 a.m. per Dark Sky app.  And yet I’m struggling to make adjustments. So here we are. 3:38 a.m. Sciatica screaming the moment I stir with Jung’s fear of the journey to Hades having arrived. What if this Sciatica thing is with me the rest of the go? 

I ease out bed, try to shake that ugly thought from my head, and head for the scale.

Disgusting result.

Admit it, you’re looking for a full status report on the Refined Sugar Elimination Project. Not goin’ to get it. Nope.

I turn to the morning papers. Headline catches my attention. “Escaping the Efficiency Trap—and Finding Some Peace of MindThe more productive we are, the more pressure we feel. It’s time to break the busyness cycle.” “...the problem with trying to make time for everything that feels important is that you definitely never will. The reason isn’t that you haven’t yet discovered the right time management tricks or applied sufficient effort, or that you need to start getting up earlier, or that you’re generally useless. It’s that the underlying assumption is unwarranted: There’s no reason to believe you’ll ever feel “on top of things,” or make time for everything that matters, simply by getting more done. That’s because if you succeed in fitting more in, you’ll find the goal posts start to shift: More things will begin to seem important, meaningful or obligatory. Acquire a reputation for doing your work at amazing speed, and you’ll be given more of it. … The general principle in operation here is what we might call the “efficiency trap.” Rendering yourself more efficient—either by implementing various productivity techniques or by driving yourself harder—won’t generally result in the feeling of having “enough time,” because, all else being equal, the demands will increase to offset any benefits. Far from getting things done, you’ll be creating new things to do. For most of us, most of the time, it isn’t feasible to avoid the efficiency trap altogether. But the choice you can make is to stop believing you’ll ever solve the challenge of busyness by cramming more in, because that just makes matters worse. And once you stop investing in the idea that you might one day achieve peace of mind that way, it becomes easier to find peace of mind in the present, in the midst of overwhelming demands, because you’re no longer making your peace of mind dependent on dealing with all the demands. Once you stop believing that it might somehow be possible to avoid hard choices about time, it gets easier to make better ones….And so, like the dutiful and efficient worker I was, I’d put my energy into clearing the decks, cranking through the smaller stuff to get it out of the way—only to discover that doing so took the whole day, that the decks filled up again overnight anyway and that the moment for responding to the New Delhi email never arrived. One can waste years this way, systematically postponing precisely the things one cares about the most. What’s needed instead in such situations, I gradually came to understand, is a kind of anti-skill: not the counterproductive strategy of trying to make yourself more efficient but rather a willingness to resist such urges—to learn to stay with the anxiety of feeling overwhelmed, of not being on top of everything, without automatically responding by trying to fit more in..”

Burkeman goes on, and on. My eyes scan the words, one line, the next and the next. Heaviness sets in… a sinkin’ feeling. He’s in my head. You DK. This is You. [Read more…]

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