...participate in various unexpected conversations
...flit from book to book in the most desultory reading of the year
...lie in a field and take pictures of bug orgies
...acquire and start learning to use some binoculars in my quest to become a birder
...drink large quantities of tea
One of the unforeseen rabbit trails I have followed is an investigation of Donald Hall poetry. The Atlantic shared the following quiet, meditative video on Facebook, called "Old Age is a Ceremony of Losses," about Donald Hall growing old (here's their commentary).
I love how specific Hall's poems are, the way they bring me into moments I never lived, especially the moments of his wife's illness. And listen to this, from a poem called "The Days," published in 1962:
Suddenly he has the idea
that thousands and thousands of his days
lie stacked into the ground
like leaves, or like the pressure of green
which becomes coal in a million years.
Here's one that broke my heart in its recreation of close friendships and happiness and tragedy and loss. A backyard wedding, friends sharing their writing, old age. (And suicide, just to warn you in advance.) I love the clear-eyed way he presents these people, without judgment, with love.
by Donald Hall
"Always Be Closing," Liam told us -
abc of real estate, used cars
and poetry. Liam the dandy
loved Brooks Brothers shirts, double-breasted
suits, bespoke shoes, and linen jackets.
On the day Liam and Tree married
in our backyard, Liam and I wore
Chuck's burgundy boho-prep high-tops
that Liam bought on Fifth Avenue.
Here's the rest.
Yesterday would normally have been Spiritual Journey First Thursday, a monthly thing where a group of us respond to a spiritually-themed prompt on the first Thursday of each month. We're skipping July, but somewhere else I saw a recommendation to revisit the year's OLW (One Little Word) and evaluate how you're doing. Mine is a little hard to evaluate, because it's Possibility. I've been trying to let go of my expectations a bit and just enjoy what comes; and I think I've been doing...not too badly. Could be worse.
Happy summer days to you, especially my teacher friends. Here's to gathering strength for the upcoming year in the most unlikely places.
Here's today's roundup.