Sunday, July 31, 2011

Looking Back

Image: Henri Cartier Bresson

"To look backward for a while is to refresh the eye, to restore it, and to render it the more fit for its prime function of looking forward." ~Margaret Fairless Barber, The Roadmender

Saturday, July 30, 2011

The Warmth of Summer Nights

Sunset on Lake Champlain, Vermont

"The summer night is like a perfection of thought. " ~Wallace Stevens

Friday, July 29, 2011


Photo: N. Nyssen

"The stars began to burn through the sheets of clouds, and there was a new voice which you slowly recognized as your own." — Mary Oliver

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Some Words to Dream On

"Ten thousand flowers in spring
Radiant brilliance in crisp autumn air
Warm caresses from the summer sun
Winter's deep stillness on moonlit snow."

Wednesday, July 27, 2011


"People are always blaming their circumstances for what they are. I don't believe in circumstances. The people who get on in this world are the people who get up and look for the circumstances they want, and if they can't find them, they make them."

-George Bernard Shaw

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

A Wider View

"To return to our senses is

to renew our bond with wider life,

to feel the soil beneath the pavement,

to sense

- even when indoors

- the moon's gaze upon the roof."

-David Abram, The Spell of the Sensuous

Monday, July 25, 2011

Summers By The Sea

"I wish we could spend July be the sea, browning ourselves and feeling water-weighted hair flow behind us from a dive. I wish our gravest concerns were the summer gnats. I wish we were hungry for hot dogs and dopes, and it would be nice to smell the starch of summer linens and the faint odor of talc in blistering summer bath houses... We could lie in long citoneuse beams of the five o'clock sun on the plage at Juan-les-Pins and hear the sound of the drum and piano being scooped out to sea by the waves." -Zelda Fitzgerald

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Now That's What I'm Talkin' About!

"We could speak about the meaning of life vis-a-vis non-consequential/deontological theories, apodictic transformation schemata, the incoherence of exemplification, metaphysical realism, Cartesian interactive dualism, revised non reductive dualism, postmodernist grammatology and dicey dichotomies. But we would still be left with Nietzsche's preposterous mustache which instills great anguish and skepticism in the brain, which leads (as it did in his case) to utter madness. I suggest we go to Paris instead. " -Maira Kalma (The Principles of Uncertainty)

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Blissful Awareness

Chapin Beach in Dennis, MA at low tide.

Thanks to Rick Fenton for permission to use this photograph

“We can only be said to be alive in those moments when our hearts are conscious of our treasures.”
― Thornton Wilder

Friday, July 22, 2011

Summers By The Sea

Have a lovely summer!

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

One Night

Image via Sandi at

"After dinner, I went with Fiona and another couple to the field behind the glass windows of the Egyptian exhibit, and we drank wine in the glasses we had stolen from the restaurant. Walked Fiona home holding two glasses and an empty bottle. She lives in brownstone where the entrance is up a flight of stairs. I stayed on the sidewalk." -- Alexander Olch

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Dance Dance Dance

Olivia Newton-John and John Travolta in Grease

"Dance till the stars come down from the rafters

Dance, Dance, Dance

till you drop."~W.H. Auden

Monday, July 18, 2011

A Hamburger and A Coke Please

In and Out Cheeseburger image via Jerry

"I'll gladly pay you Tuesday for a hamburger today" *

*From Popeye cartoons. Line often uttered by Popeye's portly friend Wimpy. Of course, "Tuesday" would never come, and so Wimpy constantly secured himself a free lunch. Thus the line is used to jokingly indicate that one would like to "borrow" something without any real intention of ever paying you back.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

The Pleasure Is All Mine

"Why should a sequence of words be anything but a pleasure?" -Gertrude Stein

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Friday, July 15, 2011

Finding Heaven

"Gratitude is Heaven itself."- William Blake

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

That's Weird

"We are all a little weird and life's a little weird, and when we find someone whose weirdness is compatible with ours, we join up with them and fall in mutual weirdness and call it love." —Dr. Seuss

Monday, July 11, 2011

You Call That A Kiss?

"Any man who can drive safely while kissing a pretty girl is simply not giving the kiss the attention it deserves." — Albert Einstein

Sunday, July 10, 2011


"Insight arises in the stillness

and silence of the mind."

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Remembering My Father

Dad's 90th Birthday 2007

July 15, 1917-July 9, 2010

"There is a brokenness out of which comes the unbroken,
a shatteredness out of which blooms the unshatterable.
There is a sorrow beyond all grief that leads to joy
and a fragility out of whose depths emerges strength.

There is a hollow space
too vast for words
through which we pass with each loss,
out of whose darkness
we are sanctioned into being.
There is a cry deeper than all sound
whose serrated edges cut the heart
as we break open to the place inside
which is unbreakable and whole,
while learning to sing."-Rashani

Friday, July 8, 2011

Don't Miss It

"Life moves pretty fast. If you don't stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it."-Ferris Bueller

Thursday, July 7, 2011

It's How I Roll

" I love, love, love the feel of the cool air in the morning. Up at 6 a.m. watching the sunlight from the east gently painting its way across the backyard trees. Cup of tea in hand, a delicious moment I am savoring. A feast for my soul. Good morning everyone." posted on Facebook July 6, 2011 B.Cabot

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

The Importance Of Things Unnoticed

"It's surprising how much memory is built around things unnoticed at the time." ~Barbara Kingsolver, Animal Dreams

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Secret to Long Life

This is a wonderful piece by Michael Gartner, editor of newspapers large and small and president of NBC News. In 1997, he won the Pulitzer Prize for editorial writing. It is well worth reading, and a few good chuckles are guaranteed.

My father never drove a car. Well, that's not quite right. I should say I never saw him drive a car.He quit driving in 1927, when he was 25 years old, and the last car he drove was a 1926 Whippet.

'In those days,' he told me when he was in his 90s, 'to drive a car you had to do things with your hands, and do things with your feet, and look every which way, and I decided you could walk through life and enjoy it or drive through life and miss it.' At which point my mother, a sometimes salty Irishwoman, chimed in:'Oh, bull----!' she said. 'He hit a horse.'

'Well,' my father said, 'there was that, too.' So my brother and I grew up in a household without a car. The neighbors all had cars the Kollingses next door had a green 1941 Dodge, the VanLaninghams across the street a gray 1936 Plymouth, the Hopsons two doors down a black 1941 Ford -- but we had none.

My father, a newspaperman in Des Moines, would take the streetcar to work and, often as not, walk the 3 miles home. If he took the streetcar home, my mother and brother and I would walk the three blocks to the streetcar stop, meet him and walk home together. My brother, David, was born in 1935, and I was born in 1938, and sometimes, at dinner, we'd ask how come all the neighbors had cars but we had none. 'No one in the family drives,' my mother would explain, and that was that. But, sometimes, my father would say, 'But as soon as one of you boys turns 16, we'll get one.' It was as if he wasn't sure which one of us would turn 16 first. But, sure enough , my brother turned 16 before I did, so in 1951 my parents bought a used 1950 Chevrolet from a friend who ran the parts department at a Chevy dealership downtown. It was a four-door, white model, stick shift, fender skirts, loaded with everything, and, since my parents didn't drive, it more or less became my brother's car. Having a car but not being able to drive didn't bother my father, but it didn't make sense to my mother. So in 1952, when she was 43 years old, she asked a friend to teach her to drive. She learned in a nearby cemetery, the place where I learned to drive the following year and where, a generation later, I took my two sons to practice driving. The cemetery probably was my father's idea. 'Who can your mother hurt in the cemetery?' I remember him saying more than once. For the next 45 years or so, until she was 90, my mother was the driver in the family. Neither she nor my father had any sense of direction, but he loaded up on maps -- though they seldom left the city limits -- and appointed himself navigator. It seemed to work. Still, they both continued to walk a lot. My mother was a devout Catholic, and my father an equally devout agnostic, an arrangement that didn't seem to bother either of them through their 75 years of marriage. (Yes, 75 years, and they were deeply in love the entire time.) He retired when he was 70, and nearly every morning for the next 20 years or so, he would walk with her the mile to St. Augustin's Church. She would walk down and sit in the front pew, and he would wait in the back until he saw which of the parish's two priests was on duty that morning. If it was the pastor, my father then would go out and take a 2-mile walk, meeting my mother at the end of the service and walking her home. If it was the assistant pastor, he'd take just a 1-mile walk and then head back to the church. He called the priests 'Father Fast' and 'Father Slow.' After he retired, my father almost always accompanied my mother whenever she drove anywhere, even if he had no reason to go along. If she were going to the beauty parlor, he'd sit in the car and read, or go take a stroll or, if it was summer, have her keep the engine running so he could listen to the Cubs game on the radio. In the evening, then, when I'd stop by, he'd explain: 'The Cubs lost again. The millionaire on second base made a bad throw to the millionaire on first base, so the multimillionaire on third base scored.' If she were going to the grocery store, he would go along to carry the bags out -- and to make sure she loaded up on ice cream. As I said, he was always the navigator, and once, when he was 95 and she was 88 and still driving, he said to me, 'Do you want to know the secret of a long life?' 'I guess so,' I said, knowing it probably would be something bizarre. 'No left turns,' he said.

'What?' I asked. 'No left turns,' he repeated. 'Several years ago, your mother and I read an article that said most accidents that old people are in happen when they turn left in front of oncoming traffic. As you get older, your eyesight worsens, and you can lose your depth perception, it said. So your mother and I decided never again to make a left turn.' 'What?' I said again. 'No left turns,' he said. 'Think about it. Three rights are the same as a left, and that's a lot safer. So we always make three rights.' 'You're kidding!' I said, and I turned to my mother for support 'No,' she said, 'your father is right. We make three rights. It works.' But then she added: 'Except when your father loses count.' I was driving at the time, and I almost drove off the road as I started laughing. 'Loses count?' I asked. 'Yes,' my father admitted, 'that sometimes happens. But it's not a problem. You just make seven rights, and you're okay again.' I couldn't resist. 'Do you ever go for 11?' I asked. 'No,' he said ' If we miss it at seven, we just come home and call it a bad day. Besides, nothing in life is so important it can't be put off another day or another week.' My mother was never in an accident, but one evening she handed me her car keys and said she had decided to quit driving. That was in 1999, when she was 90. She lived four more years, until 2003. My father died the next year, at 102. They both died in the bungalow they had moved into in 1937 and bought a few years later for $3,000. (Sixty years later, my brother and I paid $8,000 to have a shower put in the tiny bathroom -- the house had never had one. My father would have died then and there if he knew the shower cost nearly three times what he paid for the house.) He continued to walk daily -- he had me get him a treadmill when he was 101 because he was afraid he'd fall on the icy sidewalks but wanted to keep exercising -- and he was of sound mind and sound body until the moment he died. ; One September afternoon in 2004, he and my son went with me when I had to give a talk in a neighboring town, and it was clear to all three of us that he was wearing out, though we had the usual wide-ranging conversation about politics and newspapers and things in the news. A few weeks earlier, he had told my son, 'You know, Mike, the first hundred years are a lot easier than the second hundred.' At one point in our drive that Saturday, he said, 'You know, I'm probably not going to live much longer.' 'You're probably right,' I said. 'Why would you say that?' He countered, somewhat irritated. 'Because you're 102 years old,' I said. 'Yes,' he said, 'you're right.' He stayed in bed all the next day. That night, I suggested to my son and daughter that we sit up with him through the night. He appreciated it, he said, though at one point, apparently seeing us look gloomy, he said: 'I would like to make an announcement. No one in this room is dead yet' An hour or so later, he spoke his last words: 'I want you to know,' he said, clearly and lucidly, 'that I am in no pain. I am very comfortable. And I have had as happy a life as anyone on this earth could ever have.' A short time later, he died. I miss him a lot, and I think about him a lot. I've wondered now and then how it was that my family and I were so lucky that he lived so long. I can't figure out if it was because he walked through life, Or because he quit taking left turns. '

Life is too short to wake up with regrets. So love the people who treat you right. Forget about those who don't. Believe everything happens for a reason. If you get a chance, take it. If it changes your life, let it. Nobody said life would be easy, they just promised it would most likely be worth it.

Monday, July 4, 2011

Happy 4th of July Everyone!

"The day will be the most memorable in America. I am apt to believe that it will be celebrated by succeeding generations as the great anniversary ought to be solemnized with pomp and parade...bonfires and illuminations from one end of this continent to the other, from this day forward, forevermore."

-John Adams, in a letter to his wife, Abigail,after the Continental Congress decided to proclaim the American colonies independent from Britain.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Kiss by the Hotel de Ville

*photo by Robert Doisneau

"She melted in my ice cream." -Markus Zusak

*"Robert Doisneau (April 14, 1912, Gentilly, Val-de-Marne – April 1, 1994) was a French photographer.In the 1930s he used a Leica on the streets of Paris; together with Henri-Cartier-Bresson he was a pioneer of photojournalism. He is renowned for his 1950 image Le baiser de l'hôtel de ville (Kiss by the Hôtel de Ville), a photo of a couple kissing in the busy streets of Paris."-Wikipedia

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Magical Light

"Then followed that beautiful season...


Filled was the air with a dreamy and magical light;

and the landscape

Lay as if new created in all the freshness of childhood."

~Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Friday, July 1, 2011

The Gift of Travel

"When you travel,
it’s not like you take a part of each place away with you;

it’s as if you leave a part of yourself there,
like a part of you forever belongs to that place –
the time,
the people,
and the things you saw;
and over time,
it gets burned deeper into your soul.
You eternally belong to it"

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