During the last few days I have been walking to the river early in the morning.The day is cool and I need only a light jacket. Today is one of those days.
The path to the river has newly planted bushes like the English laurel. They replaced wild palm trees that become diseased easily.
The regular fishermen have not arrived. There are two gentlemen on the riverbank who are enjoying a conversation and drinking coffee.
The front lawns of the houses along the street are well groomed and have a lot of flowers. I don’t know their names.
I stop often to look at the flowers and take photos. If the fishermen are around I usually talk to them. Very casual conversations. Nothing deep or esoteric.
My walk takes me about 60 minutes because I stop a lot. Sometimes I carry a book and sit on an empty bench to read. I write notes in my mobile phone.
I’m reading currently 3 books: Aristotle’s Way by Edith Hall, Love and St. Augustine by Hannah Arendt and Dancing on the Spider Web, a new novel by Sasha Paulsen, the feature editor of our local newspaper, the Napa Register.
A moment of each day:
My special moment today is reading the blog of GretchenJoanna about her reading-challenge of Japanese literature. I learned about Makoto Fujimura, artist and writer.Link to her blog:literature
Fujimura wrote a book, Silence and Beauty, based on the writings of Shusaku Endo especially his book, Silence.
I have read Endo’s Silence many years ago and saw the movie adaptation, Silence by Martin Sorcese, recently. I have to thank you for bringing Makato Fujimura and his works. I watched the 7 videos by Fujimura talking about his book, Silence and Beauty. Here is the link:silence
Lift the veil of early hours
Look at the mirror
to see what you want
You see not what you need
You have to remember the instructions
which key, which book to open
The best songs once lodged in loneliness
rising with the first light
You are not a star that fell from the sky
But a stone picked from a dry riverbed
You are experiencing difficulty of change, fragmentation
13 dishes from the blackbirds to feed the masses
the song birds are gone, problems remained
You return to the room
sit next to someone in a lotus position
hearts beat in silence.
note: I finished reading Circe by Madeline Miller. Entertaining,flowing prose.
note: I’m reading Possession by A. S. Byatt for our book club. We finished Lincoln in the Bardo by George Saunders.
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.
They read a book while walking
stumbling over gnarled roots and dislocated stones
They are like somnambulists who fell asleep in a library
They are friends with different temperaments
Books are their common bond.
“Sit there and describe. And because the detail is divine, if you caress it into life, the world lost or ignored, the world ruined or devalued, comes to life. The little world you alone can bring into being, bit by broken bit, angles into the great world. It’s voice, your style. Or, call it what it is—your integrity.”
~ Patricia Hampl, The Art of the Wasted Day
note: I’m currently reading The Art of the Wasted Day by Patricia Hampl. I just finished re-reading the Sense of an Ending by Julian Barnes.
The clouds are mute, silent and still
I’m convalescing from superstitions
the force propels, distracts, destroys
notions of certainties
Finding three pennies while I’m walking
a trout for every cast
3 paragraphs to bring in the orbit
vignettes I place in a porcelain bowl.
They come unbidden like insomnia
and derail delicious daydreaming
I try to be consistent
We only fail when we try hard
innocent apprehension of work
like looking for remains of dinosaurs
We do not barge in with our eyes close
like dying with curiosity,
an idiosyncratic expression of pleasure.
note: I’m enjoying reading Moby Dick and Manhattan Beach. I also started reading The Art of the Wasted Day by Patricia Hampl.It’s a busy day. I finished reading the other books.
photo: Napa River
note: I promise myself to reform my reading habit.I promise that if I start reading one of the classics I will finish it. I started reading Moby Dick again.
Why Moby Dick? Because this is one of the classic books which many start and never finish. I was one of them. I will finish it this time. The goal may not be grandiose but it’s a small step.
In parallel I started reading Manhattan Beach by Jennifer Egan also.
“Free! The word and the thought alone were worth fifty blankets.” -Kenneth Grahame, The Wind in the Willows
Mine is books.
note: I just finished The Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Grahame
Books I’m reading:
The Japanese Way of the Artist by H.E. Davey
and How We Work by Leah Weiss