Over the last few years, I've somehow established a pattern of waking between 5 and 5:30 a.m., sometimes even earlier. I'd love to get a bit more sleep, but as compensation for the open eyelids, I do get to watch daybreak. Sometimes it happens very quietly, in shades of grey and textures of mist, but sometimes, as this past week, it goes for full chromatic drama. High contrast of dark against emerging light, shapes silhouetted against a fiery background. I can't imagine ever tiring of it. For these photos, it was still dark enough that I set my Nikon down on the deck railing, then down on one of the beach chairs, to keep the camera steady during the full 1/4 to 1/3 second that the shutter was open, letting that still weak morning light through to form an image... In fact, at one point, I set for an even slower speed (in the photo at the bottom, I believe), so that I could capture some of the gentle wave action in a very slight blur. . . Fun to be playing so early in the morning. If you can't be sleeping . . .
I'm off to Vancouver where I'll be hanging out with my favourite seven-year old, running with my sister, perhaps even checking out some of the spring offerings beginning to fill the shops. A girl can look, right?
Meanwhile, though, I've collected a few links to share with you. These are my Friday Five:
Two from Drew Myron's lovely blog, Off the Page
1. Her short not-quite poem (her words, not mine), a To Do list, "Because Life Is Full," resonated deeply with me, making me think about what would be on my own list. "Watch daybreak in wonder" might. . .
2. And she recently featured another poet who, at 85, thinks she should do more, now that she's had her first book of poetry published. Inspiring!
explains why I almost never run with earbuds, preferring the sounds of silence. The article addresses exercise in general rather than focusing specifically on running, so I believe it's of broad interest. I'd be curious to know what you think after reading it. Do you prefer to exercise to sounds (music, audio-book, podcast) or to silence? Or do you like to mix it up, depending on mood and circumstance?
4. My friend Alison's plein air classes in the Lot (Midi-Pyrenees) region of France are full, I believe (although double-check with her if you're interested), but she still has a few spots in her Paris sketching and painting class this September (scroll down the page). Check out her website and dream. . . and don't imagine you need to be an accomplished or even intermediate artist to join in. She and Kelly are wonderfully patient instructors, and the classes are always small enough that someone like me, putting first tentative brushstrokes or pencil lines on paper, gets all the guidance and encouragement she needs.
5.And finally, a link to my Reading Blog, where you'll find a guest post by a reader whose name you'll recognise because she often comments here as well. If you're a reader, or even just interested in knowing what the reading buzz is these days, you'll likely have heard of Elana Ferrante's Neapolitan 4-volume series. We've chatted a bit about these books, over on my other blog, as I've read my way through them, although I haven't (yet) written a unified dedicated post about them. What Georgia has written, though, is a great introduction to Ferrante's backlist, her earlier books, making links between themes and motifs in them and in the Neapolitan novels. And Georgia also gives us a brief introduction to herself which is delightful for me. Such a great community here -- what a privilege to facilitate one of the venues for bringing it together.
Now I'd better move quickly, decide what to throw into that backpack, and get walking to my ferry. As it happens, I shocked myself by sleeping until 7 this morning (Pater's already in Vanc'r, or he'd have been shocked as well), so I'm running behind. May your Friday go well, and may you get started on a lovely weekend. Thank you in advance for your very welcome comments. (the conversation on running has been fun and instructive, and I'm doing my best to keep up with responding).