Lightly Child, Lightly

Time seems to pass. The world happens, unrolling into moments, and you stop to glance at a spider pressed to its web. There is a quickness of light and a sense of things outlined precisely and streaks of running luster on the bay. You know more surely who you are on a strong bright day after a storm when the smallest falling leaf is stabbed with self-awareness. The wind makes a sound in the pines and the world comes into being, irreversibly, and the spider rides the wind-swayed web.

– Don DeLillo, The Body Artist: A Novel


Notes:

  • Quote: Thank you Whiskey River. Photo: Arend Ruizendaal with World Wide Web
  • 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.”

Saturday Morning

So, when it’s bad now,
when I can’t remember what’s lost
and all I have for the world to take
means nothing,
I go out back of the greenhouse
at the far end of my land
where the grasses go wild
and the arroyos come up
with cat’s-claw and giant dahlias,
where the children of my neighbors
consult with the wise heads
of sunflowers, huge against the sky,
where the rivers of weather
and the charred ghosts of old melodies
converge to flood my land
and sustain the one thicket
of memory that calls for me
to come and sit
among the tall canes
and shape full-throated songs
out of wind, out of bamboo,
out of a voice
that only whispers.

— Garrett Hongo, from ‘Something Whispered in the Shakuhachi’


Notes: Quote, thank you Beth @ Alive on All Channels. Photo of bamboo by Elisa.

Hi Ho, Hi Ho. Off to Work We Go.

May you hear in your own stories
the moan of wind around the corners
of half-forgotten houses
and the silence in rooms you remember…

May you study your craft as you would study
a new friend or a long time, much loved lover.
And all the while, lost though you may be in the forest,
drop your own words on the path like pebbles
and write your way home.

– Pat Schneider, from “Blessing for a Writer” in “How the Light Gets In: Writing as a Spiritual Practice” 


Source: Thank you Whiskey River. Photo: Anka Zhuravleva.  Inspired: “This is what poetry is: not a kind of public posturing but a private language of music and imagery that is strange and compelling enough that it can speak privately to thousands of people at the same time.” ~ Ilya Kaminsky, from “Still Dancing: An Interview With Ilya Kaminsky” by Garth Greenwell, March/April 2019 (Feb 13, 2019)

Read: Dear Edward

Just before lunch service, Veronica takes a short break in the front corner of the cabin, next to the kitchen… Wind is what she misses most, up in the sky. The airplane air isn’t as bad as passengers say it is; she never likes when people spout opinions without bothering to gather the facts first. Airplanes take about 50 percent of the air collected in the outtake valves of the passenger compartment and mix it with fresh air from outside. The air is then passed through filters to be sterilized before it’s introduced to the passengers. So the air on the plane is clean, and not worthy of complaint, but still, Veronica can taste the effort in it. Every time she leaves an airport, she appreciates the unpredictability of each inhale. There might be a soft gust of wind, or the smell of popcorn, or the heaviness that precedes a rainstorm. She notices nuances in the air that everyone else is immune to, with the exception of submariners, probably, and astronauts. People for whom the earth is not enough; their freedom is off the ground. Veronica enjoys the unbridled nature of the outside world in small doses, but this is her home. She is the fullest version of herself at thirty thousand feet.

~ Ann Napolitano, Dear Edward: A Novel (The Dial Press, January 6, 2020)

Highly Recommended.


Notes:

Sunday Morning

People often ask me how Buddhists answer the question: ‘Does God exist?’ The other day I was walking along the river. The wind was blowing. Suddenly I thought, Oh! The air really exists. We know that the air is there, but unless the wind blows against our face, we are not aware of it. Here in the wind I was suddenly aware, yes it’s really there. And the sun too. I was suddenly aware of the sun, shining through the bare trees. Its warmth, its brightness, and all this completely free, completely gratuitous. Simply there for us to enjoy. And without my knowing it, completely spontaneously, my two hands came together, and I realized that I was making a deep bow. And it occurred to me that this is all that matters: that we can bow, take a deep bow. Just that. Just that.

~Rev. Eido Tai Shimano, Disciplines for Christian Living: Interfaith Perspectives by Thomas P. Ryan (Paulist Press, 1993)


Quote Source:

I hear nothing, only feel a slight breeze.

An owl’s feathers are silent in flight because individual barbs zipper shut so no air can rush through like the sound of desert wind. Each time I find a feather, I brush its webbing like velvet against my cheek. Sometimes, I close my eyes and fan the air by my ear. I hear nothing, only feel a slight breeze.

~ Terry Tempest Williams, Erosion: Essays of Undoing (October 8, 2019)


Photo: Burrowing Owl by Kevin Juberg (via Voice of Nature)

Saturday Morning

breathe

and the way the smallest animals breathe
burrowed into the hills.
(her) ribs
expand a little,
her soft lungs fill
partially, she feels the world
come in softly
as she inhales a breeze.

~ Amanda Beth Peery, from “A Poem About Breathing


Notes: Poem via 3 Quarks Daily. Photo: Lydia Trappenberg with Breathe

Flying Delta 2-Stop. With the Wind.

That’s Lake Superior in Marquette, Michigan.

Susan dropped me off at the airport yesterday, I was heading home. She was spending a few more days with her Mom. That’s her shot with an iPhone a few minutes later. This scene. This moment. That you can capture this, with a handheld device and text message it seconds later. Miracle, all of it.

I paused after posting this.  Any words after this, would seem to pollute the magnificence of the shot, and her moment.

But I plod on. Briefly.

I look upward at the tall snow banks. The dirty snow.  26° F.  The cold wind gusts. The Upper Peninsula in Northern Michigan, in March, is winter anywhere else.

The car ride to the airport, was not unlike the car ride in. Quiet. Heavy. No RTP greeting at the airport, or at home. No beefy hug around his thick torso. His absence was a Weight. He’s Gone.

I drive the town.

And I See.

What he gave to this town, this college.  His influence on standing up the Superior Dome, the world’s largest wooden structure of its kind.  Or the Berry Events Center. Or the U.S. Olympic Education Center. His dreams realized. His name, not on the structures, but we know, these towering structures know, how they were born and who gave them birth. They now sit stoically, quietly, in Memoriam.

His solitary drives around Presque Isle Park. His favorite restaurant. His Friday afternoon watering hole where he’d sit having a cocktail at the bar. His seat now sits empty.

Yet, he is present, ever present, like a twist on the old Teton Sioux proverb,

He is now history in this town like wind through buffalo grass. 

 


Inspired by Robert Creeley: Will we speak to each other making the grass bend as if a wind were before us, will our way be as graceful, as substantial as the movement of something moving so gently. We break things into pieces like walls we break ourselves into hearing them fall just to hear it.

Saturday Morning

For the sake of cleansing seconds
stare at something still.
Free from feeling filled
hum the sound of the sun descending
sitting in its final ribbons.
Watch what leaves shake
in the unseen breeze.
Feel your own fingers.

Let time be soil for time.
Let hunger set in

~ Sean Kearny, “Be Bored” from Press 1  (Fall 2014)

 


Notes: Poem from 3quarksdaily.com. Photo credit to JP Benante

Driving I-95 North. In March, with Summer Breeze.

Yesterday evening. 6:55 p.m. Still at the office.  I shut down my PC, grab the loose papers from my desk and toss them into my brief case. I throw on my coat and step into the hallway. It’s quiet, still. No phones ringing. No printers running. No overhead hum, the HVAC is shut down. Everyone has gone home. The building rests.

I walk to the garage. It’s been a Long week. Unexpected (and serious) issues flare up, soaking up the free oxygen. Yet, you like that don’t you? Good to be needed. Great to be needed. DK, what did you want to be when you grew up? A Firefighter, of course. Superman-DK running into burning buildings, his Cape flapping behind him, carrying out Babies. Like that, sort of, of the Suit Kind.

I’m in the car. Temperature read-out is 49° F. I’m on the tail end of rush hour. Traffic is flowing. Roads are dry. Spring, come, Now.

I slide the window down. The cool wind washes over my face, a light anesthetic, and the moment spins back passages from Sarah McColl’s “Joy Enough“, my new book in flight.

“I felt it first as a space, like a window thrown open and then a breeze through the bedroom.”

And then Sarah rises again:

“There was a breeze that day, and my hair was gathered into a ponytail, I could feel the air move at the nape of my neck.

And then Sarah one more time:

There were no cars on the road, and the hem of my skirt fluttered at my knees in the humid breeze.

And with this, the weight of the week lifts, the tightness in my shoulders and neck releases, and Bliss rises.

With one eye on the road and the other on my iPhone, I flick down my Favorites playlist, turn the volume up, and then one more extra turn, and hit play.  Summer Breeze by Seals & Crofts.

See the curtains hangin’ in the window, in the evenin’ on a Friday night
A little light a-shinin’ through the window, lets me know everything is alright
Summer breeze, makes me feel fine, blowing through the jasmine in my mind
Summer breeze, makes me feel fine, blowing through the jasmine in my mind


Notes: Other quotes by Sarah McColl in Joy Enough: A Memoir.”  Photo via Of Figs and Roses

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