Lightly Child, Lightly.

I am floating on a blue rubber raft. My eyes are closed, face to the sun. Black motes dance around under my eyelids in the opaque red. I drift, listen to the sound of my breath going in and out, let the salt wind carry me to the middle of the pond. There is nothing but me. No one here but me. A perfect moment. I dangle my arm over the edge of the raft, open my fingers, feel the resistance of the water as it passes through them.

Miranda Cowley Heller, The Paper Palace: A Novel (Riverhead Books, July 6, 2021)


Notes:

  • Debut novel.  Book, highly recommended.
  • NY Times Book Review: Summer After Summer, a Clan Returns to Cape Cod
  • 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.”

Flying S.S.W. This ain’t Disney.

August 7th. This morning. 6 a.m. LaGuardia Airport. New York City.

Peak summer vacation season.

Young Parents. Families. Children. Babies. Backpacks. Teddy Bears. Duffel bags. Baby bottles.

Mothers, carrying delicate cargo, children nuzzled in necks, arms straining, heavy eyelids – – and it’s only 6:15 am. It’s going to be a long day.

ID’s. Passports. Longer. Everything’s longer. Wait times at check-in. At security. At X-Ray machines. But today, it’s ok. Families, together, excited, it’s summer vacation. There’s a sense of community in the terminal this morning. It’s buzzing. A good buzz.

Air conditioning blows in the waiting area, children huddle, gathering warmth around knees of their parents.

CNN blaring from TVs overhead. White Nationalists. Hate. More dead. [Read more…]

Guess.What.Day.It.Is?


Notes:

  • Photograph: “Bob (aka Caleb) The Easter Camel” via Transglobalist
  • Background on Caleb/Wednesday/Hump Day Posts and Geico’s original commercial: Let’s Hit it Again

Guess.What.Day.It.Is? Those that need extra time to board…


Notes:

  • Photograph: Dunmow Broadcast: Movie star camel skips Oscars to help easyJet launch new Egypt route from Stansted Airport
  • Background on Caleb/Wednesday/Hump Day Posts and Geico’s original commercial: Let’s Hit it Again

Flight AA2632 to DFW. And Dreamin’ of Just One Time.

5:15 A.M. Monday Morning.

Terminal B LaGuardia Airport. Not America’s finest example of its greatness or its Might. Dark. Dingy. Beyond Stale. Earning its status as the Worst Airport in the Country. Dead last in surveys. Sad, really.

Lines are backing up at Security, including TSA pre-check.

One hour and 5 minutes to boarding: Flight AA2632 to DFW.

I clear security.

And I walk.

  • AA2126. Boston. 6:00 a.m. Sit in the stands at a Red Sox game.
  • AA4752. Washington. 6:00 a.m. Sit on the steps at Lincoln Memorial.
  • AA4527. Atlanta. 6:05 a.m. Lounge in the Georgia Aquarium.

What if. Just what if. Just one time. You call it in sick. A Sick Day. What’s that? You walk back out of the terminal, stroll up to the American Airlines ticket counter, pull out your credit card, pay full price for a ticket and…take off…to…anywhere else. Like take a day trip. By yourself. To anywhere else. Turn off your cellphone(s). And disappear, for one day. Off Grid. Just one time. [Read more…]

Lie back daughter, let your head be tipped back in the cup of my hand.

Lie back daughter, let your head
be tipped back in the cup of my hand.
Gently, and I will hold you. Spread
your arms wide, lie out on the stream
and look high at the gulls…
You will dive
and swim soon enough where this tidewater
ebbs to the sea…
As you float now, where I held you
and let go, remember when fear
cramps your heart what I told you:
lie gently and wide to the light-year
stars, lie back, and the sea will hold you.

Philip Booth, from “First Lesson” in  Lifelines: Selected Poems 1950-1999


Notes: Photo by mary-annm. Poem via 3 Quarks Daily

Nirvana (-ish)

pelican

This morning. (And not Fake News, mostly.)

Sleep in till 7:45 am. Wow. Let’s do that again, and again, and again.

Read the morning papers. Read a few chapters of Patricia Hampl’s new book: The Art of the Wasted Day. And commit to workin’ on this Art today.

A heaping breakfast. Two-egg ham and cheese omelette. Bacon. Pork sausage links. Fresh cut fruit. Fresh baked pastries. And that would be plural on the pastries x 2. These same pastries were dipped in home made strawberry jam.

A short walk to the beach. Me and my breakfast hangover land heavily on the beach chair.

81º F.  Partly sunny. (Feels like 92 F.)  Warm winds @ 7 mph from the NE.

Miles of soft sand in both directions.

The Atlantic laps the shoreline.

Wispy clouds provide intermittent relief from the sun.

Out in the distance, hulking ocean freighters and their giant steel containers carry their cargo to ports away.

Pelicans, with their massive wing spans and beaks, cruise three feet off the ocean top, and plummet, splashing in search of breakfast. And they come again, and again and again — feeding. I look closely for a wing flap wondering how the maintain their locomotion. Can’t see it. Miracle. All of it.

Paragliders float up high, held aloft by giant multicolored rainbow parachutes.  Muffled sounds of jet skis in the distance.

Families and beach goers begin to arrive. Hundreds and hundreds fill the shoreline quietly and peacefully milling, settling, reading, playing, sleeping… children pull out their plastic shovels and pails out of Mom’s beach bag and start building castles…

My toes auger into the soft sand, dark and cool a few inches down.

And, oh yea, there’s a little of something else.

[Read more…]

Jane’s Summer Vacation (60 sec)


For direct link to CBS Sunday Morning video: Jane’s Summer Vacation

July 1


Source: itspeteski

Summer

Jean-Daniel-Lorieux


Notes: Photograph shot by Jean-Daniel Lorieux in Djerba, an island off the coast of Tunisia which is known for Mediterranean beaches and whitewashed desert towns. Find more of his photos on his Facebook page.   (Source: This Isn’t Happiness)

 

Summertime

beach-memories-summer

Charles Simic, 78, the Pulitzer Prize winning Serbian-American poet, wrote a piece for The New York Review of Books which was published in July, 2013.  It is titled “Summertime” and is a wonderful collage of short reflections on summer. Here’s a few excerpts:

  • A wind so mild this afternoon it touches our faces as we lie in the shade like little children going to sleep.
  • Are rocking chairs in this country, I’m asking myself, being rocked on summer evenings as much as they once were? Or do they stand abandoned and motionless on dark porches across the land, now that their elderly owners tend to relieve their boredom by sitting in front of their computers?
  • To my great regret, I no longer know how to be lazy, and summer is no fun without sloth. Indolence requires patience—to lie in the sun, for instance, day after day—and I have none left. When I could, it was bliss. I lived liked the old Greeks, who knew nothing of hours, minutes, and seconds.
  • There’s something familial, deeply comforting in the sound of a pig oinking in the peace and slumber of a summer afternoon.
  • For the sweet old couple working side by side in the garden, being ignorant of what goes on in the world has been the secret of their lifelong happiness.

Don’t miss “Summertime” in its entirety here: The New York Review of Books


Notes:

 

 

Summer Flashback

jump-dive-youth-memory-swim-pool


Source: Julian Stratenschulte via wsj.com. A boy jumps into a swimming pool in Hanover, Germany. 

 

Summer Breeze

photography,black and white

Summer breeze, makes me feel fine
Blowing through the jasmine in my mind
Sweet days of summer, the jasmine’s in bloom
July is dressed up and playing her tune…

Listen to Jason Mraz’s cover of Seals & Crofts’ classic here: 

 


Photo Source: Your Eyes Blaze Out

Sunday Morning

hair-close-up

While she cooked she’d looked out the window and the daffodils were blooming around the birdbath, and Henry was home, and the house was quiet, and she felt her own luck. There was Henry home and Charlie and Tommy and her house with the bird feeder and summer vacation soon and she felt her own luck at having this quiet moment, this life, this day.

~ Sharon Guskin, The Forgetting Time: A Novel


Photo: Elif Sanem Karakoc

 

21° F. Winds from NW @ 17 MPH. Today’s Plans?

golden-retriever


Source: Couch day with puppy (via “looking on the bright side“)

 

Eric’s Excellent Adventure

eric-kanigan

unnamed

iceland-scuba-silfra-eric-kanigan

Iceland-northern-lights-eric-kanigan


Photos taken by Eric Kanigan in Iceland on January 4-6, 2016

Who’s with me?

Kuoni_3


Artist: Malika Favre, a French artist based in London. “Her unmistakable style has established her as one of the UK’s most sought after graphic artists. Malika’s clients include The New Yorker, Vogue, BAFTA, Sephora and Penguin Books.” Check out her work here: Malika Favre, and on Instagram here.

 

Rise Up


Tell me you want us to go and go far
where no one knows who we are.
Fly away from here and let me go to rest…
Cause you are the only answer.
You are the only answer
Tell me the story of the world that you know
where things go with a different flow…


Music: Rise Up (featuring Louise Elliot)

What happened to that semi-sacred reading space during the golden months?

summer-read-reading-books-beach

A few years ago, in the Boston Globe, Craig Fehrman wrote an amusing piece about the origins of the summer reading list in the late 19th century. He connected it to the rise of the American vacation. A growing middle class meant the advent of leisure time, and these developments coincided with the desire of working Americans to escape the increasingly routinized nature of their jobs.

The emphasis at that time was on light reading, on diversionary texts that would relieve the harried mind. Mr. Fehrman quotes from an article that appeared in the Chicago Tribune in 1872 that recommended summer books which “the idler can take with him into solitude, and read with delightful pauses, when with indolent finger upon the page, his eye wanders up some green vista, or catches some view of the distant sea, and his ear is soothed with the distant murmur of the winds and waves.” In other words, if you’re too distracted to read, bring along a book that will not make you feel guilty if you never finish it. […]

And what did it matter if you never finished any of these books, if a lot of people picked up Tolstoy’s classic summer after summer and never got through the peace part to the war part? The idea of perfecting your inner life by reading the right books over the summer was as much a chimera as the idea of the perfect summer.

Still, looking forward to that spell of leisure and self-edification got you through the winter, and it consoled you with the illusion of a replenishing pause, outside the frame of mortal space and time. The Summer Book will always be with me. Even now, as my indolent finger falls upon a page of Gibbon’s masterwork on the Roman empire (summers of 1975-76, 1978-80, 2014-15, status: pending), winter’s workaday grind and piles of snow seem far, far away.

~ Lee Siegel, The End of the Ambitious Summer Reading ListFor generations, Americans used the golden months to catch up on great old books and modern must reads. What happened to that semi-sacred reading space?

Sunday Morning: Touch the Untouchable

My vision is to personally take no more than 20 people on journeys of 10 days or less by private jet or helicopter to the furthest corners of the earth. On these expeditions, you will be living with Emperor Penguins in Antarctica and sleeping at the South Pole, searching for the Northern Lights in Iceland, Greenland and Lapland and go on a diving expedition in Palau where you can dive with a million jelly fish that do not sting. I want to reach out and touch the untouchable.

~ Geoffrey Kent, Abercrombie & Kent


Notes: Video taken at Palau’s Jellyfish Lake. Video set to Nuvole Bianche by Ludovico Einaudi (iTunes)

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