Cursory Way

708D2DA1-2224-4469-BD40-E883663D8C6BI have a mountain of books to read

Books are scattered everywhere in the house

I will call and ask you where to start reading

The garage is full of non-essentials

My hours need occupants

On most days I walk in the neighborhood.

Now is the time that I should go deeper in my learning

Not my usual ordinary way to please myself.

It’s sad to realize it takes a pandemic to wake me up.

Time is emptying like food on the shelves.


ordinary things


The ordinary things that sing and comfort
The birds and my sandals
My morning walk expands my morning
Carrying a book and stopping
and sit on benches along the way
to read and maybe write a note or two
my feet and pages get along
like kindlings to start a fire.

My voice bounces in greetings
when I meet other walkers
their dogs running towards me
I walk and read and say hello
what other wonders do a day offers
to lift the spirits?

note: photo of the palm tree in front of the door of our condo.

Reading books

I am reading 6 different books at the present time: Under the Volcano by Malcolm Lowry, The Inheritance of Loss by Kiran Desai,Tenth of December by George Saunders, Birth of a Dream Weaver by Ngugi Wa Thiong’o, Listening Below the Noise by Anne D. LeClaire,and The Portal of the Mystery of Hope by Charles Peguy.inder
I don’t know which one I will finish first.Under the Volcano is for my book club.The Portal is a theological poetry.

I walked 7700 steps today, the most I have done since my heart surgery. I still become very tired at the end of my walk. Patience I was told.


“Benedict considers reading such an important part of the meal, in fact,that he insists that the person doing the reading be a good reader, someone who would inspire rather than irritate the souls of the listeners. The reading was to be a artistic event, an instructive experience, a moment of meditation.”
-Sr. Joan Chittister, The Rule of Benedict

Finding the time

The weather changed for me on Wednesday. I’m hot, cold, achy, tired,and have no appetite even for cold water.

I’m lying down on a sofa and resume reading Proust’s In Search of Lost Time.I finished Swann’s Way and half of Within a Budding Groove.I listened to the fictional Vinteuil sonata. “The moment when night is falling among the trees,when the arpeggios of the violin call down a cooling dew upon the earth.”

And I’m reading, Hemingway’s A Moveable Feast, again. I alternate reading them for variety.

Music is mixed with the reading. Mendelssohn’s violin concerto and Beethoven’s sonatas.


listening to talks while reading & thinking

Think of deep problems

“whenever you open a window in the universe

you are likely to be surprised.”

Don’t you know

a river can flow both ways?

O, you are so creative.

“Thoughts worth thinking should not just be understood, they should be experienced.” – Count Harry Kessler, May 1896,

note: quoted in Reinhold Messner, My Life at the Limit

edge of the pond

Rhythm of reading

certain passages aloud

alternating from a book

each of us is reading.


Alternating passages

shared emotions imagined

unlike intimate conversations

devoid of gossip.


Evening, after dinner, together

reading, sharing passages

as if touring

new city on our own.


Sometimes, somewhere, each

of us is tempted to substitute

words, for words in the original

to suit color and meaning we seek.


Are we capable only of living

our cultivated way of living?

Are we reluctant to part away

from our “imaginative comprehension”?


The hardest step is the first

curious soul in our hands

not unlike children on the edge

of the pond playing with tadpoles.