alice moving under skies



Relax. It is mid-summer. It is holiday. If you’re still working right now, and have the ability to drift, please drift.

Be slightly late, have five seconds more daydream.

Relax the muscles under your eyes, relax the muscles holding the back of your head upright. Why do you clench so much? Your jaw asks to be released, please do.

The sun rises so early, sets so late in the evening, the endless possibility is sometimes more pleasurable than the endless doing. Nothing is expected of you this second.

No guilt, no shame, no recriminations, you don’t owe anything, and nothing is owed to you, at least for the next five minutes, the next five days.

A stopped clock is correct twice a day; a motivational poster is correct twice a year. Allow a cliché to come forth, it’s okay, you don’t need to be constantly profound. Pinks and purples, blues and greens.

It’s well to remember the last poem in “Through the Looking Glass” when Lewis Carroll speaks of

A boat beneath a sunny sky

Lingering onward dreamily

In an evening of July-

but Edward Lear, a few hazy miles away at precisely the same moment, was writing this instead:

They dined on mince, and slices of quince,

Which they ate with a runcible spoon;

And hand in hand, on the edge of the sand,

They danced by the light of the moon,

The moon,

The moon,

They danced by the light of the moon.


0 thoughts on “alice moving under skies

  1. GFWD

    And a just a few years later, the Fresh Prince penned to music the following:
    Here it is the groove slightly transformed
    just a bit of a break from the norm
    just a little somethin’ to break the monotony
    of all that hardcore dance that has gotten to be
    a little bit out of control it’s cool to dance
    but what about the groove that soothes that moves romance
    give me a soft subtle mix
    and if ain’t broke then don’t try to fix it
    and think of the summers of the past
    adjust the base and let the alpine blast
    pop in my CD and let me run a rhyme
    and put your car on cruise and lay back cause this is summertime.

  2. Mom

    For some reason pulled out Yeats’ “Second Coming” because I couldn’t remember exactly a line I wanted to quote to a friend. I found that poem, as usual, magnificent and dark and scary.
    This morning you gave me “Owl and the Pussycat.” Almost as powerful, but a graceful, rhapsodic antidote.
    Thanks for the therapy session.

  3. Anne

    It is Day One of my unemployment — the first time I’ve been jobless since June 1973.
    I hope to spend the next two months learning how to relax. First step: Decluttering my home workspace.

  4. LFMD

    This is just what I needed, after nearly getting into an accident driving into work and spilling hot coffee all over myself. I am all stressed and aggravated. Such a lovely post . . . .I printed it and tacked it up on the wall of my cubicle. Thanks!

  5. CM

    Thanks! I just sat back and took a deep breath and enjoyed that. I’m sure my fetus benefited from the stress relief, too. Of course, I *am* late for work now…but I woulda been anyway.
    LFMD, hope you’re ok! Sue, sue, sue!!!

  6. Salem's Little Sister

    We leave for my previously stated favorite place in the world on Saturday(Ocean Isle) and I promise there will be dancing by the light of the moon.

  7. littlerattyratratrat

    Now as I was young and easy under the apple boughs
    About the lilting house and happy as the grass was green,
    The night above the dingle starry,
    Time let me hail and climb
    Golden in the heydays of his eyes,
    And honoured among wagons I was prince of the apple towns
    And once below a time I lordly had the trees and leaves
    Trail with daisies and barley
    Down the rivers of the windfall light.

  8. Anne

    @littlerattyratratrat: Dylan Thomas. One of my favorite poems since I was 16 or 17… especially because the last three lines are an antidote to mawkish nostalgia:
    Oh as I was young and easy in the mercy of his means,
    Time held me green and dying
    Though I sang in my chains like the sea.

  9. David

    I just started a 5-day weekend. My kids and dog have been in VA with my parents since Monday. It’s a crisp cool morning in the Philadelphia suburbs, with just enough clouds to know the still exist. Very relaxing.
    Now I have to go buy that soda machine.
    Enjoy the holiday!

  10. kazoo

    loved, loved, loved this, ian…especially fitting as i landed in BOS this morning, to cool mountain air coming down from canada, and that lush green-ness on the morning that is so different that what “green” smells like in california. we have raspberries and mulberries overflowing in our garden, and maine is calling us for the fourth. this is my favorite time of year, perhaps more than the crunch of autumn, because that light portends the dying of the light…
    for now, i’ll try to forget the days are getting shorter and remember to breathe. indeed, the shoulders are trying to remember what it means to let go…
    anne, good luck! and enjoy it!
    bon journee, everyone!

  11. summer

    good luck with all that. I’m on a beach in Grand Isle watching oily pelicans take flight, trying to finish up business here so we can leave before the Corexit planes start gassing us again, and with the government’s endorsement, no less. God bless America!
    but yes, do relax and be present in the moment, because that’s when you’re in touch with your higher self. That’s where the Incredible Hulk inside you lives. Please call on him now, to help us before we all suffer any more irreversible damage to our endocrine, blood, respiratory, reproductive, and central nervous systems.
    yep Liam, I totally hijacked your comments page to push my own agenda! :)

  12. LFMD

    Ian, please do make your blog all about Summer on Tuesday! Summer — I have been reading your blog all morning and I can’t stop! Work will just have to wait. . . . I will be bookmarking your blog so that I can read your entries along with Ian’s on a daily basis.
    I don’t think that I have mentioned that my brother and his wife work for BP.


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