Monday, September 26
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And have you too been trudging like that, sometimes
almost forgetting how wondrous the world is
and how miraculously kind some people can be?
And have you too decided that probably nothing important
is ever easy?
Not, say, for the first sixty years.
 - Mary Oliver
from Halleluiah



Sunday, September 25
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Wait for an autumn day, for a slightly
weary sun, for dusty air,
a pale day's weather.

Wait for the maple's rough, brown leaves,
etched like an old man's hands,
for chestnuts and acorns,

for an evening when you sit in the garden
with a notebook and the bonfire's smoke contains
the heady taste of ungettable wisdom.

Wait for afternoons shorter than an athlete's breath,
for a truce among the clouds,
for the silence of trees,

for the moment when you reach absolute peace
and accept the thought that what you've lost
is gone for good.
 - Adam Zagajewski
from Wait for an Autumn Day
Eternal Enemies
translated by Clare Cavanagh
the distance between two doors



Wednesday, September 21
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"The French called this time of day 'l'heure bleue.' To the English it was 'the gloaming.' The very word 'gloaming' reverberates, echoes - the gloaming, the glimmer, the glitter, the glisten, the glamour - carrying in its consonants the images of houses shuttering, gardens darkening, grass-lined rivers slipping through the shadows. During the blue nights you think the end of day will never come. As the blue nights draw to a close (and they will, and they do) you experience an actual chill, at the moment you first notice: the blue light is going, the days are already shortening, the summer is gone."
 - Joan Didion
Blue Nights
memory's landscape



Tuesday, September 20
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"Throughout my whole life, during every minute of it, the world has been gradually lighting up and blazing before my eyes until it has come to surround me, entirely lit from within."
 - Pierre Teilhard de Chardin



Monday, September 19
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From the shore: Toronto
All afternoon I've watched the gulls
off the breakwater at Lake Ontario.
No one here seems to like them,
how they scavenge,
hover like icons,
against a metal sky.

But I am here from another country
not so foreign as the gulls'
and I like their garrulousness,
their joyful noise
and the way they hang in the air
flying and not flying.
 - Henrietta Epstein



Sunday, September 18
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"Once, years ago, I emerged from the woods in the early morning at the end of a walk and - it was the most casual of moments - as I stepped from under the trees into the mild, pouring-down sunlight I experienced a sudden impact, a seizure of happiness. It was not the drowning sort of happiness, rather the floating sort. I made no struggle toward it; it was given. Time seemed to vanish. Urgency vanished. Any important difference between myself and all other things vanished. I knew that I belonged to the world, and felt comfortably my own containment in the totality. I did not feel that I understood any mystery, not at all; rather that I could be happy and feel blessed within the perplexity."
 - Mary Oliver
Long Life



Saturday, September 17
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To feel yourself wake into change, as if your change
Were immense and figured into the heavens' longing.
And yet all you want is to rise out of the shade

Of yourself into the cooling blaze of a summer night
When the moon shines and the earth itself
Is covered and silent in the stoniness of its sleep.
 - Mark Strand
from VII
the writer's almanac



Friday, September 16
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"You are the only person I can talk with about the shade of a cloud, about the song of a thought - and about how, when I went out to work today and looked a tall sunflower in the face, it smiled at me with all of its seeds."
 - Vladimir Nabokov



Thursday, September 15
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"Are there scenes in life, right now, for which we might conceivably be thankful? Is there a basis for joy or serenity, even if felt only occasionally? Are there grounds now and then for an unironic smile?"
 - Robert Adams









  • ". . . as I have said often enough, I write for myself in multiplicate,
    a not unfamiliar phenomenon on the horizon of shimmering deserts."
    - Vladimir Nabokov