Posts Tagged ‘walk


untitled or how the belladonna lily persuaded me to do nothing

there are times when doing nothing is the right course of action. for instance, when someone is yelling at you for whatever reason, it is the wise choice of many alternatives (such as slapping them, walking away from them, or humming; humming is always good “la-la-la-la-la”) to stand there and do nothing. that is bound to aggravate them further. there is some pleasure in that. (you doubt me? try it.)

“nothing,” is always an appropriate response to the question, “whacha doin’?” truly, who wants to hear what you’re thinking as you sit there doin’ nothin’? no one. save us all the eye roll as you explain the theory of relativity as pertains to the los angeles kings winning the stanley cup. no one cares, trust me.

i would expand upon this theme, but i have things to do (as happens when you’re doing nothing).


your thursday morning wake-up call

have you ever woken up a few minutes before the alarm goes off and decided to get up anyway?

when that happens to me, it always makes me feel more alive, even more awake as i swing my legs off the bed and plant my feet on the floor.

is it because you’ve finished your sleep cycle without being prompted?

this morning, because i woke up before the alarm clanged and startled me out of my early morning dreams, i had the time to get out with the dogs before sunrise and wait patiently for the sun to light up the eastern sky.  was it worth the 15 lost minutes of sleep?


7 stations on the road to the ocean, after hiroshige (day three)

“i only went out for a walk and finally concluded to stay out until sundown, for going out, i found, was really going in.” —john muir


7 stations on the road to the ocean, after hiroshige (day two)

one thing that i find so, let’s see, meditative, about walking along this path that leads down to the ocean, is that it acts as a broom, sweeping away anxieties and conflicts and this cleaning process allows for other, shall we say, more pleasant thoughts, to make their way to the top of the pile of the random thoughts that are constantly swirling around, dust motes, dust kittens (did your mother call the little bundles of dust that hide under the sofa or find their way behind the t.v., the places that don’t always see the working end of a mop or broom and have no fear of the vacuum cleaner, ‘dust kittens’?  mine did and i can’t imagine calling them anything else, can you?  at least those of you who know what i’m talking about.  the rest of you i can’t help); it feels good when you can let that happen, that house-cleaning of the negative (sometimes it’s not even the negative, it’s just the detritus of your daily life that can weigh so on you.)

for the past couple of weeks, i’ve been thinking about the upcoming holidays and what i’m going to make for gifts.   when i was a child, it was something of a tradition, probably born out of necessity, that i made gifts for my family, but for many years after adulthood, i didn’t make gifts, although m. would bake and we did host a major dinner (i say major, because it was a production, you know.)  but, i’ve picked up that habit again and i can say it makes the holidays and all their attendant nonsense a little more bearable.  this then, was one of the more pleasant thoughts that floated to the top on this walk down to the ocean.

one year, when i was 10 or 11, my mother and i took advantage of the air base’s ceramics workshop and poured slip into molds and decorated cups, ashtrays (back when everyone smoked), bowls and other useless items.  there was something gratifying to come back to the workspace and crack the mold and carefully pull out your _________, even if you hadn’t designed the item, you had at least chosen it, which required a certain level of creativity and the process of pouring, cleaning, glazing, all added to the sense that you had made something wonderful.

it comes as no surprise to me then, that there is a good feeling associated with making gifts instead of buying them.  the entire process, even when it goes south, as it sometimes does and you have to reconsider what you’ve done and what you can do to save it from being a disaster and definitely not something you would give to a stranger even let alone someone you think fondly of or love; the entire process makes me feel good, just like this walk along the path to the ocean that gives me the time to feel that way.   there’s a gift for you.


i walked

i almost missed you yesterday.  so small & shy, a true wallflower (if there were walls out-of-doors), only your profusion/profession/confession stopped me (the dog as well, but for him, not you, but for me, it was you.)  microscopic blossoms arrayed in a funeral spray (at first) or a wedding bouquet (at last) draped over the elegant arm of (this, someone else’s fantasy.)  the leaves with their scratchy edges & hard surfaces of delicious, edible green (but i didn’t, eat them.)

for you i stopped dead in my tracks (a little puff of gravel dust rose up around my ankles, the pathway as trite as the metaphor.)  where had you been hiding yourself all this time?  i’ve walked this path for years & have never seen you (was i blind to your charms?  are you there just one day of the year?)  look at you!  those pleading pillow lips, the seductive golden throat (a song emanating from it, the melody not a melody, but a long howl of beauty that brought me to my knees in front of you.)  i leaned in closer hoping to smell you, to put my nose on your shoulder, lean my head against your delicate clavicle, but you kept your distance from my bumbling, scuttling movement, allowing a quick photo, & then dismissal “that’s all for now.”

the blossoms spoiled me.  i wait now for nature’s next bit of spectacle, perhaps the moiré ocean will be pulled clean off its table, a magic trick best left for those with more talent than i.


let’s walk & talk

“let’s walk & talk,” were the words i loved to hear from m. (not my m., another m. that i’ve known forever, you know that m. was the most popular name for boys for several decades after ww2, consequently i have more m.’s in my life than any other name.)

anyway, this m., the walk & talk m., was (and is to a lesser degree now) a dear friend (i still think of him fondly but time & distance have taken its toll on our closeness.)

but these walks we would take, on broadway, or clark, halsted, downtown, lakeview, in the afternoon, early evening, late at night, were always about working out some problem in our lives.  big or small, personal, professional, each listening to the other, sharing.

m. was the best listener i had as a friend & although our bond perhaps was more porous than that of other close friends, i always felt that i received so much from him, because he listened so well.

today, today when i walked i listened closely to what i what i was seeing.  can you tell?  it was a macro kind of day, but because i listened i was able to see the resolution, or if not the resolution, at least the path that i must traverse.

& as m. & i would often discover, the answer to our problems was within ourselves.  just as it was today.


pinwheels (time passes by)

time passed me by today.  it went on & i didn’t.  a jogger ran toward me, but no time elapsed from when i first saw him & when his running shoes whooshed (their sound) past me.    a man walking his dog across the street (a little pomeranian, his nails click click click on the sidewalk) went down & came back, but it could have been at the same time, meeting himself coming & going (without realizing it).  today, time passed me by.

time passed me by today.  colors shot at me like arrows (st. sebastian) hitting their mark (my pupils, my brain) without pain, without sorrow. every color was saturated with meaning (sirens, loreleis, harpies, all called out to me),  today i listened, but time passed me by.

time passed me by today.  i walked down one side of the street, crossed over midway down the block, & went back to where i had started.  i stopped along the way (the dogs snuffling in the grass–each blade requiring their undivided attention), but time passed me by.  it was refreshing to have not missed it.



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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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