Molly testing for her black belt in karate

I gave him the persimmons, / swelled, heavy as sadness, / and sweet as love.

– from Li-Young Lee’s “Persimmons”

We’ve just passed that time of year when the spirit world and what we perceive as “reality” are at their closest–when persimmons and chanterelles are ready to be harvested–when time slows and the electricity in the air becomes more precise in its nature. Halloween, All Saints Day, All Souls Day, El Dia de los Muertos. This fascinates me–to know, and sometimes feel, so close to this reality I’m learning to accept rather than believe. I love autumn. It is for me what the poet Charles Wright describes as, “the silence that turns the silence off.”

Elsewhere: My niece Molly tested for her black belt in karate last weekend in Davis, California and it was truly inspiring to watch this 15-year-old woman do sit ups, spar hand to hand, and defend against various attacks for three hours without any real break on Friday night. And then again on Saturday afternoon. The photo above was taken on Saturday after she had run a few miles and done a couple hundred sit ups and then she was still able to stand up and kick the bag so hard an instructor had to eventually come over to help hold Will steady. It’s not what we believe, it’s what we do that inspires others.

But you’re here:

I sincerely hope you find something today that reminds you that you’re beautiful.


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