Posts Tagged ‘morning


all roads lead to rome

aren’t we all empire builders?

1. it was eerily still this morning, the fog close, but without the dampness, like pushing the blanket down from your chin in the morning as you start to wake in those moments before the alarm rings.

2. shit does not happen in “threes” or any other numerical combination. it happens when it happens and poor us, we try to make sense of it all by assigning some kind of reason to it, an excuse really, a prayer that it will have been the third, the final shitty thing to happen, when any rational person (are there any?) would tell you that more shit was on its way.

3. the mealy bugs have come to visit the indoor orchids and m. is in a fit of pique. (i use ‘fit of pique’ even though it does not adequately describe his mood upon the discovery of said mealy bugs, but only because there is rarely enough opportunity to use the phrase, “fit of pique,” a phrase i have come to love for its sound and its prissy nature, pursed lips, and disapproving tone.)

4. billy had diarrhea yesterday, but is better today. shit happens (see section 2 above.)

5.  where do your roads lead?


the palms at 6:02, 6:07, and 6:11 a.m. on may 18, 2012

it’s possible that i’m lying.

we all do. everyday we embellish and expand, omit and conveniently forget the truth.

even these photographs are lies for they tell not the actual truth of the moments in which they were captured (time being the first fact to evaporate into the ether of “it doesn’t matter”).

they’ve been manipulated and saturated, the contrast has been swung to the right while the brightness has been toned down/up, but they come close to the way i saw them for the briefest moment yesterday morning sometime after 6 and before 6:30 while taking the dogs for their morning walk (the dogs on a morning walk is true.)


between 6:05 am & 6:25 am

the heat of a summer morning.  what do you think about in the morning?  do you clear your mind of the dreams from your sleep?  or think about the day ahead and what you must accomplish?  are your thoughts more mundane than that, perhaps about how the coffee tastes or how blue the sky is or why is the dog smelling that particular blade of grass?

do you ever wonder why?  why you think about what you do at any given moment?  are your thoughts just forming themselves, a little foggy at the bottom, but with the light of clarity seeping in at the top?

sometimes i do.  but then i decide that the prevailing wisdom on the subject is probably best left to those whose job is thinking about such things.


words, pictures, actions (the weather report)

the moon has been hovering in the early morning sky the past few days, a reminder of night even as the sun wipes the away the darkness with its rosy rays of reality.

the clouds have been pushing against the sunlight, absorbing & refracting, an atmospheric scrim of dewdrops & missed opportunities.

the sea is barely indistinguishable from the sky, only the pink band of dust & airborne debris from the high deserts to delineate the one from the other (grounded by green.)

an empty bench beckons you for a moment, but the day is young & reflection seems an impertinence at this hour.

even obvious symbols of freedom & hegemony seem somewhat irrelevant when nature is present.  its relentlessness in spite of our interference seems a wonder, does it not?

& the moon still, in full daylight while the palms patiently bow in the morning wind, turns its attention to you.


rituals (& holidays & friends & blog posts)

it started off innocently enough.  a blog about culture & art & things i like.  over the years it’s evolved & now interspersed with all that art-y stuff are memories & obsessions & things i like (oops, i’ve said that twice now, but i do like writing about things i like — 3 times, but who’s counting?  seems it’s me.)  i’m not like some people i know who blog as regularly as a swiss watch keeps time (let’s say daily & i admit to some jealousy of their habits,) but i’m me & i write & post photos as it suits me.

every morning for the past 10 years, i’ve gotten up at 5:15 a.m. (almost always, even without the alarm.)  i pour a cup of coffee & check on m., who recently has taken to falling asleep on the couch in the den when he can’t sleep, with the t.v. on quietly in the background & joey curled up at his feet on guard duty.  soft snoring (yeah, right!) an accompaniment to the weather report on channel _.

after a few sips of coffee & quick check-ins with all of my social media outlets, i gather up billy & joey & take them for their morning walk.  the morning walk habit is one of the great pleasures of my life.  sometimes the sun is coming up & other times it is still dark outside (as i’ve noted in this blog on occasion); today the sun was up & there was the blue pacific ocean with its layer of cotton candy sunrise sky laying on top of it, a gift of beauty if ever there were one.

the dogs show great patience with me at this time of day–if i have the camera with all i have to say is ‘wait’ & they do & i snap a photo of ocean or the sun or the palm trees that dot our hilltop aerie, brushes painting the sky.

this morning, not unlike any other morning (except its freaking cold, low 40s! i know, i know, but it’s cold for us,) there was a brilliant sun greeting the dogs & i as we made our way up the driveway to the street.   & as you can see the sun sparkled & shimmered as it got caught in the fronds of the mexican palm trees; the sky, an indescribable blue (but i’ll try: cerulean, teal, delft, aquamarine, seafoam — that’s usually used to describe the color green, but i’ll make an exception in this case — the blue of a vein laying just under the skin of the back of your hand.)

growing up there were rituals (& holidays) as well, but none that so clearly defined the day as the walks i have taken with the dogs these past 10 years.  we (my mother & i) usually ended up at my uncle’s house (her half-brother) or we drove all the way to gillette to have thanksgiving with my grand-parents (her mother & step-father); rarely did the event take place in our home.    sometimes my mother would revolt & insist that we stay home & if family wanted to join us they could, but that happened maybe once & it’s not because my mother couldn’t cook (she could & well, i might add,) but because we didn’t have much (except each other) & if the expense of hosting could be shouldered by those more fortunate than we (except we had more love in our house, you could tell even if you were my cousin.)

day must end (that rotating earth thing always gets in the way) & another dog walk inevitably occurs after the sun has departed our world & is busy illuminating points west (but east, you know.)  these evening walks take a more circuitous route than the morning one, in that we traverse the full circle of our neighborhood.  my feeling, actually my understanding (from what i hear) is that the dogs look forward to & prefer this longer meander around & around, there are new palm trees (see above) that gather at night as if there were a regularly scheduled meeting (p.a., palms anonymous…) to hash out their feelings & work through their issues.

& on this walk, this more leisurely stroll, i too have the opportunity to reflect on the day, the past, the future & consider my options, or the roadblocks (my own & those of others) & talk with the dogs (they are such decent listeners, truly, deeply listening, listening that i only hope to achieve in my own life) & somehow their acquiescence to my voice, my problems, & my joy make this walk the one that (well, i’d like to say has the most meaning for me, but then i think of the morning walk in much the same way, instead, let’s declare it a draw, shall we?)

& if i think of one thing (any thing, really,) then i may think of you as well.  for that is how the mind works, all those synapses connecting disparate parts of our lives & thoughts & deeds & at night, at night there is the chance that a connection with you (each of you, friends now or future friends,) will strengthen & grow & light my way.


today’s weather report (sturm und drang)

that waking time, between sleep (nestled, eyes closed against the world) & out of bed, was punctuated this morning by the deep, guttural roll of clouds colliding.   at first you don’t believe that the sound you’re hearing is the sound of the real world, that perhaps it is still part of the dream that’s disappearing from your consciousness, shredding itself as clouds do when they hook on a mountaintop, but it comes again, clearer, more insistent, a knock at the door, a deeper rumble, longer & stronger & you open an eye, just to make sure that it is thunder & not the dream that has finally left you (what was it again?)

& then when you’re out on the street, hints of raindrops plop on your forearm, but dry before they can roll off your skin, wet/not wet, in an instant, a heartbeat, so quickly that the sensation barely registers, the time between action & reaction so slow that it’s as if it never happened (even your brain can’t keep up).

as you walk along, you realize that the clouds, like crows, are scattering ahead of you, black wisps of molecules dispersing in the sunlight & warmth of morning (throwing the covers back from your sleep-warm nakedness)

the clouds let go of the moon (a fingernail, the cuticle cleanly defined) & it floats away from them, drifting off (like the pussycat & the owl in their pea-green boat)

as you sit up in bed, swinging your legs over the edge (you may scratch yourself here, arm, leg, chest, belly, groin) stretching your arms above your head & later when you look out over the ocean, the clouds are mimicking you, pulling back & opening up & thinning out & rising away from the earth (as you stand, bed warm)

in this short time, between waking & walking, less than an hour (what does that matter?) the clouds, the storm, the stress moves away; it falls to the floor (you had kicked off the blanket during the night, there it lies in the valley below)

& you sense your blood coursing, pumping, synapses pulsing & recording, sleep slipping from you (all this in seconds), moisture in the air billowing up & falling down (just not on you, but on someone over there)

& that golden glow greets the day, your face awash  in the light of day (just as at the washstand, cool water rinsing night away)

the weather today will be partly cloudy & warm.  there may be heightened emotions (there usually are) but the day is planned & what are we to do but let it unfold?


rituals (self-portrait)

i shave everyday except on saturday & holidays.  sometimes, if i’ve spent the day at home, but intend on going out in the evening, i won’t shave until late in the afternoon.  i do not ‘wear’ the 3 day beard look well; it makes me look haggard & hobo-like, maybe if that look had been popular when i was younger it would’ve been alright, but i’ve always liked the feel of my smoothly shaven cheek (as have others.)

this morning, as i was intent upon my ritual, i stopped halfway through & thought about dick tracy’s arch-enemy prune face as well as herb alpert’s 1965 album “whipped cream & other delights”, letting my mind wander round & round, a whisk in a metal bowl.

i imagine that we all have morning rituals:  pour the coffee, listen to the news, read the paper, go online, make the bed, walk the dogs, feed the dogs, brush your teeth, shower, shave (the three esses in a nod to my army dad), dress (all in a pre-ordained order, heaven forbid it should change or one part of it occur out-of-sequence, then your whole morning is ‘ruined’, alas).

but today, today when i actually looked at myself in the mirror & i mean really looked, i caught a glimpse of someone else.  obviously not another person, but someone like me, but not.  i looked different somehow or maybe i just saw myself differently or in a ‘new light’ as they like to say (trite phrases ‘r’ us, ooh, that’s one too…) & i thought about the nature of the self-portrait (auto-portrait, a term i like even better than ‘self’) & it made me realize that the grand tradition of artists painting themselves (besides being a readily available model, good practice, etc. & so forth) stems from those moments when you see yourself & for once, just at that moment, you are able to see more of you, the inside you, & you want to capture that moment.

so i did.  i set down the razor blade.  i dried my hands.  i turned into the bedroom & my desk & picked up the camera & returned to the mirror & fixed the camera’s settings (it couldn’t have taken but a few seconds) & snapped the two photos posted here.

if you know me & even if you don’t, or perhaps we’re only online acquaintances, i believe you’re seeing me for the first time, like this.  it’s a slightly altered version of robert patrick; thoughts swirling, ideas forming, a jigger of emptiness (one can’t be ‘on’ all of the time), a brewing of difference & indifference.  rituals oftentimes keep you from self-examination (the dreariness of the same) but aren’t they the door to a more thorough understanding of ourselves?



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© Robert Patrick, and Cultivar, 2008-2013. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts, photographs and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Robert Patrick and Cultivar with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

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