Friday, January 18, 2019

Saved by the beauty of the world

Image By © 2005 Rachel Giese Brown

I've obviously been thinking and reading a lot about Mary Oliver over the past couple of days. One of the things I loved about her (after the number one thing, her deep appreciation for dogs*), was that she was not a poet's poet or an intellectual's poet. She was kind of a people's poet — which of course means she was accessible and easy to pull a satisfyingly inspirational quote from. But she was also so pure, sincere, so in love with the world. I think the real reason so many people are fans of her work is her magical ability to pin down elusive, fleeting feelings the natural world gives rise to. Like the one you get when you walk down a rocky slope to water that's glittering with light, or when you're up early enough on a cold morning to see blue sea smoke, or when you notice that weird effect of air and light that make it appear that distant islands are floating above the surface of the sea.

*“And it is exceedingly short, his galloping life. Dogs die so soon. I have my stories of that grief, no doubt many of you do also. It is almost a failure of will, a failure of love, to let them grow old—or so it feels. We would do anything to keep them with us, and to keep them young. The one gift we cannot give.” ― Mary Oliver, Dog Songs

Meanwhile the world goes on

You do not have to be good. 
You do not have to walk on your knees 
For a hundred miles through the desert, repenting. 
You only have to let the soft animal of your body 
love what it loves.

Wednesday, January 16, 2019

Every morning another chapter where the hero shifts from one foot to the other

  • The sound of the dishwasher just doing its methodical job early in the morning is miraculous and soothing.
  • There is a worried pup curled at my feet, and across the room a cat, oblivious, threatens to knock a picture off the wall in his campaign for second breakfast.*
  • The NPR people are my constant companions, an intelligent background murmur.
  • Murmur, what a word, huh?
  • Upstairs, three sleeping humans.

*I keep a supply of rubber bands to shoot, not at Theo, but adjacent to him, when he is gently terrorizing this way. I love this cat, but a person's gotta get some work done some time.

It doesn't scare him. It diverts his attention in the direction of the rubber bands. It is extremely satisfying on my end.

Sunday, January 13, 2019


I like this show (even though I don't particularly like the people on the first episode), and I am smitten with Marie Kondo herself. I fear, though, that none of my underwear will spark joy and I'll be left underwear-less.

It's all about the peaceful music.

Thursday, January 10, 2019

French fry vending machine

I didn't know.

There are also live bait vending machines, hot pizza vending machines in Italy, marijuana vending machines. There is one vending machine for every 23 people in Japan. 

Someone needs to edit this in Wikipedia. I'm too tired to do it.

Wednesday, January 09, 2019

Sail through this to that

Usually when that man's voice comes on the radio or a podcast, I turn it off or engage the fast forward option immediately. Sometimes, though, he catches me unaware. The stupidest man in the world is literally the President of the United States of America.

I wish I could figure out a way to be Canadian. Unfortunately, everyone I love is (currently) in this ridiculous country.

Mid-way through the week, here are some highlights:

  • Coffee with Melissa. We did spend a lot of time talking about age, old people, death, etc but still!
  • Dinner with Jason and Colleen. We cooked them this and this and they came out officially not as good as The Honey Paw but not half bad. 
  • I was extremely productive on Monday, less so yesterday. I kind of can't believe yesterday was only Tuesday. Anyway, I did barrel through a printing job, but spent the rest of the day on my mise-en-place for a not-very complicated meal.
  • Besides 10 Things That Scare Me, another new podcast I'm enjoying is Nocturne. Mark and I listened to several episodes of these while we cooked yesterday.
  • Support the Girls was a funny, sweet movie that kind of magically appears to just drift along an ordinary day while doing a lot under the surface. I need to write a haiku review!

Sunday, January 06, 2019