Tuesday, January 30, 2018


It’s a sad time chez nous, because my dear ol’ dad left this world in late December and from such a great distance it’s so hard to grasp. Hell, it’d be unbelievable if he was in the next room, or holding my hand for that matter. My brain has taken up residence in the clouds.

On New Year’s Day, in the midst of my sorrow and confusion, after furiously moving about the apartment cleaning, writing, baking, tidying, responding, folding, and organizing, I went outside. At first I rode my bike, but then I climbed off. A warm wind was blowing, and people were out strolling. And I had a not-very-revolutionary realization: I could just go out and take a walk. Not run; not in order to get exercise, which I can get so preoccupied with. Just get out in the air, look around, free my mind, observe life, allow the curiosity to flow a little. Not worrying about what was and what will be; just noticing and appreciating.

So for this groundbreaking round I take my cue from Josef Albers, who, I’ve heard, would sometimes present “silent concerts of images” when he taught at Black Mountain College. A chance for his students just to look, and engage visually.

Here you go, then: just a modest set of impressions assembled during a recent stroll. Some as surreal as my thoughts seem to be these days. Enjoy.

courtesy of students at Elémentaire Jean Jaurès

Do the French ever tire of being adorable? I love these people.

Homage, © yours truly    

… and in the spirit of cherishing and admiring the world, of living well now, Mary Oliver (as usual) provides words of wisdom: the third stanza of her poem “The Fourth Sign of the Zodiac”. Is it ever too late? It’s never too late.

I know, you never intended to be in this world.
But you’re in it all the same.
so why not get started immediately.
I mean, belonging to it.
There is so much to admire, to weep over.
And to write music or poems about.
Bless the feet that take you to and fro.
Bless the eyes and the listening ears.
Bless the tongue, the marvel of taste.
Bless touching.
You could live a hundred years, it’s happened.
Or not.
I am speaking from the fortunate platform
of many years,
none of which, I think, I ever wasted.
Do you need a prod?
Do you need a little darkness to get you going?
Let me be urgent as a knife, then,
and remind you of Keats,
so single of purpose and thinking, for a while,
he had a lifetime.
Excerpt from “The Fourth Sign of the Zodiac” from Blue Horses by Mary Oliver, published by The Penguin Press, New York, © 2014. Read it at On Being.    

1 comment:

  1. A great idea to take a stroll. I’ll try it myself today! Sending you love. Alison