the detail is divine

“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

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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.

Convalescence

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.

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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

What is who is doing?

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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.

A Sunday walk

Walking today, one Sunday morning
in the sacredness of ordinary things
the sky like cinnamon rolls, a divine touch
on the street, a flower decorated car,
a steel bent to shape like infinity scarf
an art of human creation.

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note: Art Walk in downtown Napa, Napa Valley, CA
Books I’m reading:
Still Writing by Dani Shapiro
The Burning Girl by Claire Messud
The Brothers K by David James Duncan

Two Birds

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They can be a child and her aunt
But they are two birds: a gull and a blue heron
Their backs facing each other
In awareness of my approach
Walking towards them one small step at a time
Their eyes, their wings, their feet in complete stillness
I turn around after I take a photo
With gratitude for their courtesy.
Is it a mystery
When fear is stilled and comprehended?
Is it easy to step into simplicity
And why is it a stuggle to stay?
Sometimes you have to withdraw your rational mind
And the insistence to understand.
It’s a long way, a long way.

note: I finished reading Abandon, A Romance by Pico Iyer.I’m starting anew book: Beyond The Sky And The Earth, A Journey into Bhutan by Jamie Zeppa.

I just discovered a minimalist artist, Agnes Martin and heard the voice of Sissel Kyrkjebo, both for the first time.

Why I like chemistry

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“That’s dispersion. That’s when boring white light goes through a prism and comes out a rainbow. Blue light disperses the most, hence the blue sky you see everywhere. Yellow light disperses the least, hence the yellow sun you see in one place.”- Weike Wang, Chemistry

note: I finished reading East of Eden by John Steinbeck just in time for this Saturday Book Club. I’m finishing Journal of a Novel, The East of Eden Letters by John Steinbeck
which is an added reading for the discussion of East of Eden.

I’m reading a new set of books:
Chemistry by Weike Wang,
Forest Park by Nicole Krauss
Every Word is a Bird We Teach to Sing by Daniel Tammet
World Without Mind by Franklin Foer.

I put back on the shelves the other set of books I was reading before and didn’t finished.

Really? Really.

“A wolverine is a strict loner, but a man needs people.”
-James Campbell, Braving it

Note: Books I’m reading;
Ripples in Spacetime by Govert Schilling
The Metaphysical Club by Louis Menand
Braving It by James Campbell
Flirting With French by William Alexander
Entering the Silence by Thomas Merton
Living the Kabbalah by Simcha H. Benyosef
Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
East of Eden by John Steinbeck (for my book club in September)

A lot but it makes the reading interesting. Mixture of ideas. Some of the books are at my bedside, others are on the sofa downstairs.

Mrs. Abstract shakes her head. She reads one book at a time.

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Can you see a man? Can you start a story?

A man alone on the beach,

looking beyond the waters,

a letter inside his pocket.