Winter weather

I have been reading a lot of philosophy related books lately. I’m enjoying what I’m learning but my poetry is suffering. 

My reading choices are not conducive to writing images. Even the fiction I’m reading at present relates more to philosophy and arguments.

For now I don’t have poetic ideas or poetic moments. It’s a whiteout like the weather in the East Coast.

A Cup of Tea

Studies show health benefits of tea

Blessings to the heart and mind

The little cakes and finger sandwiches

Adorned the tastes and elegant hour.

The particularities heal the blemishes

Of the day. The conversations float

 

While minutes pass hurdles and eddying currents

There two varieties of tea. They grow well

On high elevations and warm climate 

Holding a cup of tea is an acquiescence

To its fragrant flowers and seed bearing fruits

 Harvested with care not to damage the leaves

 

Sometimes we venture beyond our boundaries,

Beyond the branches and buried roots

Like breaking away from intimacy and uttering

The first word. Shadows climb up stairways

And do not return. But ideas return, loiter around

To solve the first equation ushering more ideas.

 

Optimism can lead a way of learning

A sip here, a sip there and ready to fill 

The cup again, hot, vibrant and healthy taste,

Green, black, yellow, rich in flavonoids

And polyphenols, sovereign with its own species

And millions of followers: honest, loyal, calm.

A Leaf of Excitement

The rain started last night and continued today

I didn’t walk to the river this morning 

Instead I went to the Wellness Center for a workout.

This afternoon I was in the Study Center 

In the library helping students with their homework.

Afterwards I attended my Rotary Club meeting.

This evening I started reading Conversation With Friends,

A novel by Sally Rooney.

The little things that make life interesting.

We can measure the day by how long it rained

HOr by how happy is the student after 

She understood what she was studying for days.

A green leaf started sprouting from a seed 

Aboard the lunar lander at the  surface of the moon.

That’s a living plant  listening to Moonlight Sonata.

My Rule of 6 Plus One

Once upon a conversation.

It’s New Year. How do you spend your day? I was asked.

I spend my day like a homeschooler. 

Why is that?

Being at home (I’m retired) I’m like a homeschooler. Home is freedom from school, from work.

13 years ago I accidentally logged on a blog of Melissa Wiley, a homeschooler mother. She teaches her children at home. She “borrowed” a Rule of 5 by Charlotte Mason of what to teach children every day. Melissa added one more activity and made it a Rule of 6. Here is a link: Rule of 6 to her original post.

 Here is the First Five:

Good books

Imaginative play

Encounters with beauty (through art, music, and the natural world—this includes our nature walks)

Ideas to ponder and discuss (there’s Miss Mason’s “something to think about”)

Prayer

Melissa Wiley added: Meaningful work to make it her Rule of 6.

For my part I added one more activity: Writing to make it my own Rule of 6 plus One.

I don’t know how I stumbled on her blog/website. Since that time I used her homeschooling plan of “Tidal Learning”  for my daily activities.

As a way of my modification or explanation:

The Good books can lead to Great Books.

The Imaginative play can include Physical Exercise, Tai Chi and Yoga.

Encounters with beauty can also involve Dramatic Art, Poetry and Dance.

Ideas to ponder and discuss include Creativity and Innovation, “things we think about”

Prayer also can mean Silence and Solitude

Meaningful work includes philanthropy of time and work.

Writing ranges from doodling to writing novels.

My Rule of 6 plus One

Good books

Imaginative play

Encounters with beauty 

Ideas to ponder and discuss 

Prayer

Meaningful work

Writing

I hope you and I can live a simple and harmonious life every day.

 

Yesterday Mrs. Abstract and I spent the New Year with our friends. We dined on Tuscan Bread Soup, lobster tails, French baguette and bubbly.we watched the movie, The Hundred-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out a Window and Disappeared.The movie was funny and with ridiculous sequences of events that ended well. 

I wish always to reach the age of 100 just to experience what it feels like to be a hundred. With my cancer, though on remission, and my 4-coronary-artery heart bypass my chances of reaching 100 is slim. My goal every day is to remain healthy.

I’m reading coincidentally a book, The Hemlock Cup, Socrates, Athens and the Search for a Good Life.

I just finished reading an essay, A Meditation in a Toolshed, by C.S. Lewis. He explains that “One must look both along and at everything,” to know the truth.

Love

Love means to learn to look at yourself

The way one looks at distant things

For you are only one thing among many.

And whoever sees that way heals his heart,

Without knowing it, from various ills—

A bird and a tree say to him: Friend.

Then he wants to use himself and things

So that they stand in the glow of ripeness.

It doesn’t matter whether he knows what he serves:

Who serves best doesn’t always understand.

-Czeslaw Milosz

note: A poem by Czeslaw Milosz quoted by Parker J. Palmer in his book On the Brink of Everything, the book I’m currently reading.

How to think your way

For six days in a row I have been walking for at least one hour each day. It was prompted by my heart doctor that I should be more commited to my health and fitness. I started reading a book, Let Your Mind Run, A Memoir of Thinking My Way to Victory by an American long distance runner and Olympic medalist, Deena Kastor, co-written with Michele Hamilton.

9781524760755

It’s an honest, frank ,and inspiring story of how Deena Kastor started running, baring the essentials of her training and personal insights in what winning and losing mean. Her training helps her tremendously not just to be the best athlete but also how to be a better person.

I find that I can apply her training as a runner to me for my fitness and health. She wrote about how she inspires herself to enjoy the rigors of training. She says: “As an athlete I’ve found aside from hard work, the greatest tools for success are optimism and gratitude.These practices have led to happiness and the routine pause to realize I’m living the life I love and dreamed of.”

Her:blog

Today was warmer than yesterday.I walked for 75 minutes in the neighborhood.

IMG_4673

IMG_4680

IMG_4677

IMG_4679

To walk another day

IMG_4663

IMG_4664
To the river, along the river and over the river. That’s what I did in my walk to fitness today.

Today I drove to library to return a book, After Alice by Gregory Maguire, a book I joyously finished reading. A return to Wonderland of Alice. A return to childhood lightened my heart.

And I got a new book, Ordinary Light, A memoir, by Tracy K. Smith, the Poet Laureate of the United States. I also just finished Life on Mars, one of her book of poems.

From the libaray, I walked on the Riverfront , over a bridge then to the Vine Trail which connect to Kennedy Park.

The weather today was similar to yesterday, sunny with a cool breeze. I had to walk with a warmup top on.

today: 76 minutes.9,000 steps.
Yesterday: 11,000 steps.

I have to alternate in a certain way long and short distances.