Nothing you ever understand will be sweeter, or more binding / Than this deepest affinity between your eyes and the world.


Notes:

  • Post Title: From Mary Oliver’s “Terns” (Thank you Make Believe Boutique)
  • DK Photos: 6:15 to 6:40. 60° F. Cove Island Park, Stamford, CT. More photos from this morning here.

A lovely September Day — tender —

 


Notes:

  • Photos: DK @ Daybreak, Cove Island Park. 6:00-6:15 a.m. on September 10, 2022.  More photos from a glorious morning here.
  • Post Title: Virginia Woolf, A Writer’s Diary (Mariner Books; March 31, 2003)

Walking. With Ennui.

5:25 a.m. Here we go again. 849 consecutive (almost) days on my Daybreak walk at Cove Island Park. Like in a row.

I gather my camera gear, sleep walking through the ritual now. Insomnia rages, 6 days running. No, I haven’t taken your suggested witches’ potions — that is, banana before bed, tonic water, melatonin, magnesium, and all that other voodoo shit that I can’t seem to even try. What’s the definition of insanity? Doing the same shit over and over again and expecting a different result. Well, here we are. On the 5:30 am Insanity Bus to Cove Island Park.

I get out of the car. I reposition the pack on my back, then the camera, all of it, heavy, unsettled, unsettling.

I walk.

I’m woozy, stewing in a brew of vertigo and fatigue. Brew…Brew…feelings brewing. I’m at the opening of Maddie Mortimer’s Maps of Our Spectacular Bodies: “Feeling brews itself in different locations, depending on the body. A man’s most honest impulses may begin in his hands or his heart, his toes, throat, fingers or thighs. Lia felt most things first in her stomach.” There’s nothing spectacular going on in this body right now. Spent immediately comes to mind. I slow my pace to get a grip.

I walk.

Mortimer goes on to use the word “ennui“, a Lori-word. I had to look it up…a feeling of utter weariness and discontent…world-weary sensation…soul-destroying fiend.”

I walk.

Adding to the ennui is an “off day” for photo taking. We’ve got the 3 impeding elements: (1) No cloud cover of any type. (2) High tide and (3) Humans. With sun rising later, the tourists are out. In force.

I walk.

I turn off the shoreline, finding nothing enlightening, and move to the walk path.

Man, tourist, adult, not a regular at Cheers here on the Daybreak walks, approaches. He’s shouting into the speaker of his smartphone. He’s FaceTiming. The participant on the other side of the call shouts back. And the back and forth continues, shattering the silence of daybreak.

I move left on the path directly in his lane, thinking this may jog him in lifting the receiver to his ear, or better yet, ending the call. No such thing happens. He shifts to the other side of the path to avoid me. I glare at him, he smiles back and continues his conversation. Idiot, oblivious to the world around him.

My irritation bleeds off, and I walk.

[Read more…]

Walking. With Buechner.

5:10 a.m. No. I didn’t sleep in. And No, I didn’t take magnesium before bed. Or drink a cup of Tonic Water. Or eat a banana. Or take melatonin. Why? Who the Hell knows? Maybe it gives me something to bitch about.

I walk.

It been 837 consecutive (almost) days on this daybreak walk at Cove Island Park. That’s 2 years, 3 months, 15 days, like in a row.

There’s a thin sheen of cloud cover over the moon. Even God found at Ōita couldn’t get a clear shot at this. Elsewhere overhead, the cloud cover is heavy and near complete. It’s dark.

It feels like a “down” day. Too much cloud. Too many people. Too much high tide. Sigh. 837 days, and you’re going to have an off day. The odds are such.

I approach the location in the photograph up top. A scene that I, and you, have seen many times.

I can make out the fisherman’s silhouette, but nothing else. Something pulls me to lift the camera up and look through the viewfinder…WTH is that? I stare through the viewfinder, a Kaleidoscope.

I take the camera away and look out again. It’s dark. I see nothing of what I see in the viewfinder. I lift the camera, and do over. God, no. It can’t be my eyes deteriorating further.

I lift the camera again, and sure as sh*t, it’s there. God found at Ōita has returned. The pink hue watercolors are airbrushed on the water, the sky, the low hanging clouds and the horizon.

It’s dark, and yet it’s not. What I see. What I want to see. What I can see. What I don’t see. What I feel.

This string of babble pulls me back to my early morning papers.

Frederick Buechner died this week. David Brooks, in his must-read essay titled “The Man Who Found His Inner Depths” described Buechner’s faith as “personal, unpretentious and accessible. ‘Faith is homesickness. Faith is a lump in the throat. Faith is less a position on than a movement toward.’ It is sensing a presence, not buying an argument.”

I look over the Cove, it’s lighter out now, twilight is lifting. Now that I see, I believe.

But damn it if I’m not sensing Something out there.

Something ethereal, Lori’s magic word def. adj. //əˈTHirēəl/ extremely delicate and light in a way that seems too perfect for this world.

No, this brick-head isn’t buying ‘jack’ yet, but he’s out Shopping, and Something is there.

He can feel it.


DK Photo @ 5:30 a.m. August 20, 2022. 8-° F. Cove Island Park, Stamford, CT. More photos from this morning here.

T.G.I.F. Now. And Now. And Now.

Stony silence as we cross the bridge into Manhattan [Cove Island Park] and the streets [paths] begin slipping past. Every moment of your life brings you to the moment you’re experiencing now. And now. And now. I’ve never have been on the streets [paths] this early [many times], predawn, and the driver [DK] agrees that it’s eerie and perfect.

Jo Ann Beard, Festival Days (Little, Brown & Company, March 16, 2021) (DK-EDITED)


Photos: DK @ Daybreak. 5:04 & 5:15 am, August 5, 2022. 76° F. Cove Island Park, Stamford, CT. Other photos from this morning here (landscape) and here (swans).

 

 

Walking. In Twilight.

Twilight.
Both ends in the last 24 hours.
9:04 pm last night. (Top photo.)
5:34 am this morning. (Bottom photo.)

This is our neighbor’s Oak tree. I wrote about it in “Walking. And Ranting.” Let’s say it’s ~200 years old. This tree has seen 146,000 evening and morning twilights. Now, That’s Something.

I’ve been in search of a quote, in search for 6 months now. Something I recall reading but can’t find. I’ve been scouring my archives. My old posts. Trying various word combos in sweeping, google searches. OCD, much? Haven’t been able to find it. Words shared by a famous author who doesn’t need to travel the world to find beauty, as he finds a new world each morning, in a five mile radius around his house.

His words float to the surface this morning as I pull into the driveway returning from my morning walk. And there she stands, peacefully, witnessing yet another quiet, twilight morning.

This scene right outside our front door.

A wind rose, quickening; it invaded my nostrils, vibrated my gut. I stirred and lifted my head. No, I’ve gone through this a million times, beauty is not a hoax… Beauty is real. I would never deny it; the appalling thing is that I forget it. ~ Annie Dillard

We have nowhere else to go…This is all we have.” — Margaret Mead.

I stare up at her giant limbs.

Thank God I have nowhere else to go.


Notes:

  • Update since posting: Valerie pointed me to Thoreau. She was right! (again) “Wanderlust: A History of Walking” by Rebecca Solnit – “Henry David Thoreau, who walked more vigorously than me on the other side of the continent, wrote of the local, “An absolutely new prospect is a great happiness, and I can still get this any afternoon. Two or three hours’ walking will carry me to as strange a country as I expect ever to see. A single farmhouse which I had not seen before is sometimes as good as the dominions of the King of Dahomey. There is in fact a sort of harmony discoverable between the capabilities of the landscape within a circle of ten miles’ radius, or the limits of an afternoon walk, and the threescore years and ten of human life. It will never become quite familiar to you.””
  • More photos from this morning’s Daybreak walk here and here.
  • Annie Dillard Quote: “The Abundance: Narrative Essays Old and New (Ecco, March 15, 2016)” (Thank you Beth @ Alive on All Channels)

Sunday Morning (Images that stick)


Notes:

  • Backstory on Human Sleeping on Bench: “Walking. With Moment that Sticks“.
  • Geese swimming in a row. (“Ducks in a Row“)
  • Last Photo Inspiration: “I want to believe that if humans really leaned into this impulse to mother one another, it would be stronger than the impulse to tear one another apart.” —  Mary Laura Philpott, Bomb Shelter: Love, Time, and Other Explosives (Atria Books, April 12, 2022)
  • Photos: DK @ Daybreak. 4:40 to 5:07 am, June 26, 2022. 67° F. Cove Island Park, Stamford, CT.

Walking. With Frost’s Road Not Taken.

4:16 a.m. Day #774, consecutive (almost) daybreak walks at Cove Island Park. Like in a row.

I’m on I-95 heading North, mixing it up this morning and heading to Calf Pasture Beach.  It’s a big deal for this Plow Horse to shift one step to the left, or shift one step to the right, the plow cutting the same furrow deeper. No chance of surprises when one is going straight, and straight down.

Back to I-95. It’s me, the Truckers, and hopefully not the drunks.  I’m in the speed lane, a giant tandem tractor-trailer to my right, driver has his window open taking in the cool morning breeze.  I glance over. I do everything in my power not to pump my fist in the air with the trucker salute to prompt a blast of his air horn.  Apparently it’s a dying tradition. Jesus, how old are you. And for all I know, it could be mistaken for a proposition. Keep your bloody hands down.

I approach the parking lot, it’s full, and cars line the shoulder.  And this being 4:29 a.m.  Irritated. WTH is this?

I pull up on the sidewalk, shut down the ignition, and watch. High School. Graduation parties. Sunrise. God, how long ago was that for me? OK. This wasn’t meant to be.  Just go home. No, you came this far. Come on. Just take a few shots and then you can go.

I watch kids pour out of their cars. Boomboxes blaring Rap. Peaceful easy feeling. (Not.)

I walk down the street and around the crowd that’s building on the shoreline.  I take one shot. That one above, and head back to the car. Not interested in tangling with some drunk, testosterone raging teen. Just like the smart-a** idiot you were then.

I’m in the car and back on the road, and the mood sinks. Road less taken, turns to be a bust. Let’s go home. Eat half a dozen glazed donuts. That’ll bring some joy for a moment. Palahniuk: “A moment was the most you could ever expect from perfection. You wake up, and that’s enough.And then the mountain of regret torpedos you for the rest of the day. [Read more…]

TGIF: Come Collect Me

I think the trees are firework taxidermy.
A steady reminder of celebration and light.
How quiet. I’m a collaps-
ing house. Come collect me.

—  Dalton Day, from “Stepping Out of Sorrow,” published in Souvenir: a Journal. Fall 2015


Notes:

  • Photo: DK @ Daybreak. 4:43 a.m. 68° F. June 17, 2022. Other pictures from this morning’s walk here.
  • Poem via The Vale of Soul-Making)

Walking. In Strawberries.

4:23 a.m., or so.  Yesterday morning.

It’s been 772 consecutive (almost) days on my daybreak walk at Cove Island Park. Like in a row.

And, I’m walking.

This is after moon shots at 1:43 am, 3:35 am, and now – – all posted yesterday in Let us taste the Strawberry MoonWhy, am I still up? Because Christie told me about the Strawberry Moon. And when my WordPress friends tell me to do something, I do it. So I chased her.

Who’s Christie? Mimi from her post last night: “There are people who I have followed (or who have followed me) on WordPress for years. Never met them, never spoke to them, and would likely not recognize them if we passed on the street. And yet, they are my friends…We commiserate in comment sections, check in with each other on email, rail at times, commiserate other times and occasionally marvel at our common ground. Ground that we walk in figurative step, covering invisible miles through the ether, yet as firm under my feet as the street. There is wonder in this.”

There is wonder in this. I’m nodding my head in agreement. Yet another awesome Human who can put into words, what I can’t, and so beautifully.

I walk. Bleary-eyed. Bone tired. Exhaustion fully set in.

I can see her out of the corner of my eye. She’s Giant, my Strawberry Moon, hovering, and whisper quiet as she hangs overhead, illuminating the earth in her warm glow.  All, I’m sure, to protect me from taking a header as I make my way to the North point of the park.

I walk.

I twist my Air Pod snugly into my right ear, and then my left.  I cue up a Chill playlist, randomly selected by another giant fruit, Apple.

I walk. My feet are moving under their own propulsion, on the same track that I have now passed hundreds of times.  “Siri, turn up the volume.”  Henry Green in “Shift” …I feel movements under my skin…” [Read more…]

Lightly Child, Lightly


Notes:

  • Video: DK, Cove Island Park, May 25, 2022 @ Twilight. 5:03 am.  More photos from yesterday morning 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.”

Like the moon in the morning — all firmament, beautiful, about to vanish.


Notes:

  • Post Title: “The way a deer emerges from a thicket is the opposite of a wound. Like the moon in the morning — all firmament, beautiful, about to vanish. Each morning I walk out my apartment & wonder what is going to become of me.— Devin Kelly, “Deer on the Side of an American Highway,” published in drDOCTOR
  • DK @ Daybreak. 4:58 am, May 20, 2022. 52° F. Cove Island Park, Stamford, CT. More photos from this mornings walk here.

Saturday Morning. Why I Wake Early.

Everyday
I see or hear
something
that more or less

kills me
with delight,
that leaves me
like a needle

in the haystack
of light.
It was what I was born for —
to look, to listen,

to lose myself
inside this soft world —
to instruct myself
over and over

in joy,
and acclamation.
Nor am I talking
about the exceptional,

the fearful, the dreadful,
the very extravagant —
but of the ordinary,
the common, the very drab,

the daily presentations.
Oh, good scholar,
I say to myself,
how can you help

but grow wise
with such teachings
as these —
the untrimmable light

of the world,
the ocean’s shine,
the prayers that are made
out of grass?

—  Mary Oliver, from “Mindful” in Why I Wake Early.


Notes:

  • Photo: DK @ 6:03 a.m. this morning. Cove Island Park, Stamford, CT. 47F. More photos from this morning here.
  • Mary Oliver via Alive on All Channels

Saturday Morning


Photos: DK @ Daybreak. 5:55 to 6:27 am, March 5, 2022. 25° F. Cove Island Park, Stamford, CT. More photos from this morning here.

Lightly Child, Lightly

Light glorifies everything.

It transforms and ennobles the most commonplace and ordinary subjects.

The object is nothing; light is everything.

Leonard Misonne (Belgium landscape photographer, 1870 – 1943)


Notes:

  • DK @ Daybreak. 6:30 am, Feb 17, 2022. 44° F. Cove Island Park, Stamford, CT. More pictures from this morning 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.”

54 minutes. Bada-Bing-Bada…


DK @ Daybreak @ Cove Island Park. Feb 15, 2022.  13° F, feels like 4° F. Full Moon @ 6:09 a.m. Sunrise @ 7:03 a.m. More photos from this morning here.

Walking. Tilting towards Spring.

5:50 a.m.

Dark Sky read out: 40° F. 82% cloud cover.  

40° F? Come again? I close app, and re-open.

40° F? This is after two days of high’s in the 50’s. This being Feb 12. Not even mid-Feb.

I sit on the stoop, and lace up my boots.

Something ineffable has tilted toward spring. There’s a promise of warmth beneath the cold, a releasing of winter’s grip on the land. You can feel it.” (Katrina Kenison)

Sun rises, temperature warms rapidly.

The park begins to fill. [Read more…]

Sunday Morning

Knowledge has entertained me and it has shaped me and it has failed me. Something in me still starves. In what is probably the most serious inquiry of my life, I have begun to look past reason, past the provable, in other directions. Now I think there is only one subject worth my attention and that is the precognition of the spiritual side of the world and, within this recognition, the condition of my own spiritual state.

– Mary Oliver, Winter Hours in “Upstream: Selected Essays


Notes:

  • There are moments, few moments, during my daybreak walks, when I can feel this spiritual side of the world that I don’t believe in. And this photo was one of those moments —  Feb 2 — Ground Hog Day —  Hump Day —  Something-bigger-than-it-all Day.
  • Photo: DK @ Daybreak. 6:36 am, Feb 2, 2022. 30° F, feels like 27° F. Cove Island Park, Stamford, CT
  • Quote: Thank you Beth @ Alive on All Channels

Walking. Quiet with Highsmith.

6:00 a.m. Forget the preamble. Take my word for it. It’s cold.

I twist in my ear buds and cue up Patricia Highsmith’s 1000 page diary on Audible. I’m 900 pages in, the home stretch.  It’s late August, she’s living in France: “My French house is like my life and body. The garden represents work, very hard work, never perfect, never finished, and I find there is hardly one day a year when I can say, ‘It all looks nice.’

I think about this for a moment, nodding, in full agreement with the metaphor, and work.

I sit in the car, building up the energy to step out in the cold. And she continues, and has me twisting on a follow-on post: “Work is the only thing of importance or joy in life. Trouble begins when one pauses to consider what one has done.”  I noodle on both ends of this sandwich and get out of the car.  Too deep, too early in the morning.

I walk. Shuffling in my Sorel boots, counterclockwise around the park. The Connecticut-Chinook at my back.

The curtain is preparing to rise at 7:10.

It’s Quiet.

This has to have been a transforming practice – almost two years of quietness,” a friend on FB posits.

I stand looking out over the horizon. The blues. The oranges. The yellows. And all of it blending and shimmering on the water. A Rothko-looking exhibit.

And then I’m back to Highsmith in the 1970’s: “With greater universal education, there is paradoxically greater stupidity. One gets further from the land and nature, instead of being in harmony with it, as were our less educated forebears. We now read about pills and take them—and are afraid to give an honest belch.”

Transformation & Quiet & Harmony.

Hmmmm. 

You know DK, you may have gotten this Thing right.

 


Note: (1) DK @ Daybreak. 6:36 to 6:50 am, January 27, 2022. 12° F, feels like 9° F. Cove Island Park, Stamford, CT. More of this morning photos here. (2) Rothko was described by Sawsan!

Walking. Who but an imbecile?

5:00 a.m.  Glance at weather app. 10° F, feels like Hell frozen over. Wind gusts up to 30 mph.  Every ligament and nerve ending in the body is screaming, No! Stay under the covers.

But Duty calls. That magnetic pull. To what, for what, God only knows. But it pulls.

I’m sitting in the car at Cove Island Park, and, yes, the heater blows on my feet.

I twist in my ear buds and cue up Patricia Highsmith’s 1000 page diary on Audible. I’m 800 pages in and she grumbles: “Who but an imbecile would have chosen such a hard way?

I step out.  A wind gust greets my start. Both eye balls gush water in defense. And they keep draining. Must be another one of these old age blessings, sh*t leaking oil from all orifices.

Bela called it. “It can be below zero, and I can go out in crocs if it’s dry…But if there’s moisture in the air, you can never warm up below 30F.” Yep, Bela. Here we stand.  Frigid wind (Chinook the Albertan’s call it, except wet) blowing off Long Island Sound, and it’s ripping right through my North Face gear. I’m coated with 3 layers from head to toe, except for the face which is exposed. Face-lift, no charge, God-Styling.

I walk.

I take the loop with the wind at my back. (I’m not a total imbecile.) [Read more…]

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