Sunday, August 31, 2008

Beatufiul as can be

At 6:30 Molly came into the bedroom, her toe nails clicking on of the bare wooden floors. She gave her most heartfelt moan. So I got up, I made myself coffee and toast -- I WANT coffee and toast before I do anything else. Molly whined piteously and made demonstrative dashes toward the front door. No, I was not to sit down and enjoy my coffee and toast. She couldn't deal with that. So I got dressed in between mouthfuls and sips and gathered up car keys and my wallet, because I would definitely stop stop for a $5 [YES! This is called addiction] NY Times on the way back.

And then we were off. And it was beautiful! The sun was new and warm, the sky was as pure a blue as possible, it was a beautiful morning for photographs. Molly and I had a nice long walk to and past the shell tree which I photographed [which will be added later], because I lost my photos in my computer crash a year ago. It was a Robert Lewis Stevenson morning, "All's right with the world". No hint of yesterday's gray and drizzle except a few puddles. The tide was as low as it could be and I had a nice expanse of hard packed sand to walk on. There were fresh barefoot prints and sneaker prints and the print of a gigantic dog -- at least a Great Dane or St. Bernard, twice the size of Molly's prints and Molly isn't small, she's part German Shepherd. Gulls were crying and the sea was quite and calm and only five or six people were around. A couple of silent meditators many yards apart, gazed at the ocean and said "morning."

What more could you want? I've had very little of the beach and ocean in my life; it's still a wonderful novelty. Yes, at 7-0, rare moments. I must have done something right. When it is easy to be content, isn't that enough? And then I had my expensive paper, a second breakfast on the patio with the sun at my back. It's a short break but as good as it gets. I already know it will stay with me as summer ends and another season begins ... oh, how fast the seasons chase one another! But savoring what I have is the best response to that feeling of life racing, racing onward.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

A Lady Does What a Lady Has to Do

I've just seen a headline that says "Heal-ary" referring to Hilary's speech last night saying of Obama, "He must be our President." She had to say that. I recognize that if she had gathered all the votes he would surely have had to say something very similar, because, of course the goal is to elect a Democrat.

I've been in Hilary' camp since before Bill was elected; but then I've been a feminist in my heart since a certain day when I was six and realized that boy children and girl children are allotted different roles -- or were. And I believe still are. It was not that I was less loved than my little brother but that he, at two years younger, was allowed to "drive" the brand new tractor [standing between Dad's knees] and I was told that "girls don't drive tractors." It was the newest, most wonderful in my family's life at that particular time. I have never forgotten. I don't remember my overt reaction. I suspect it was far from as gracious as Hilary was.

I don't know what she was feeling, I only know what I would have been feeling -- a piercing pain like a stiletto in the heart. Another defeat for women, another brave face, another "do the right thing." And we do, over and over. In my estimate, she's a great lady and I hope she'll have an important role in years to come.

Monday, August 25, 2008

World Enough and Time

Andrew Marvel is the poet who wrote the line about not having "world enough and time" in My Coy Mistress. A memorable pick-up poem. But it's stayed with me in a much broader sense for I've known most of my life that I do not have world enough or time and when I feel I've wasted time on a something not worth it, I have pangs. I've been reading Anne Rice's Cry to Heaven, in fact I spent quite a few hours yesterday eager to get the end. She is very accomplished, her plotting never flagged. Her descriptions of Venice, Naples and Rome were redolent with reality. I believed her information about the world of the castrati 250 years ago. I admired her deft writing style. Why am I dissatisfied? Because it finally was a form of entertainment that was hollow of human meaning, everybody was very beautiful and the hero was incorruptible and noble. And I didn't really believe in that well crafted world at all. I could have been reading much better books.

Why have I been beating myself up all day? Because the older I am the less time I have and I don't want to squander it. I'll gladly give hours to real life people, even if I'mm bored, but I don't want to give those hours to books that leave me feeling I have lived more fully for knowing the characters.

When did this parsimoniousness about time begin? Maybe in college when I didn't have enough time. I took heavy loads of literature courses with lots of reading [and I read rather slowly] and I worked about 30 hours a week and had to maintain at least a B+ average to keep my scholarships. So I didn't learn to play bridge with friends -- I wasn't very good the few times I tired. I thought playing tennis would be fun -- if I got good enough to hit the ball, but that took practice and there wasn't time.

Then there was the young mother period. Back then only a few women were pursuing careers, the rest of us took our motherly responsibilties very seriously and devoted time to it. And children DO take time. Fortunately more than 50% of the time your own are incredibly beautiful and charming and smart and funny -- although there's a highish percentage of the time, much of it between 5 and 7pm and also between 3 and 5 a.m. when they are miniature demons from hell who cry, scream, whine, fuss, cling and will not be comforted by anything. Their care has to be combined with housewifely duties and maybe some community involvement -- for me increasing community involvement, virtually unpaid volunteer jobs. So there wasn't time for cross country skiing though I thought it would be wonderful. I made time for piano lessons and have never regretted a moment of practicing. Nor did I regret hours of yoga. There IS time when you make it.

So life has gone on, and always I grow more serious about how I spend that time and more determined to use it intelligently and purposefully. Yes, I allow myself long walks in the parks on beautiful days -- good for the body, good for the spirit. But more and more now I think of not working at a job -- jez! I'm old enough to retire!! And giving that time to writing, quilting, piano, exercise, reading good -- I mean really good, not always serious, of course but good, not genre books.

Okay, now I know a few things about castrati; I don't think I learned enough. So I'll go to my shelves of to-read books and choose another, a slimmer one, just for the change of pace. And there's a wonderful poetry anthology beside the bed, I'm discovering many find poems I never read before and some I have. At the end of the day, I feel I've put some lovely images, sincere thoughts, beautiful use of language into my mind. I love reading, but, yes, I have to be picky.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Like a nightmare, but not

Most mornings the clock radio comes on, two or three minutes of music and then news headlines -- so often I've almost stopped hearing them, "suicide bombing kills X#" It just goes on and on. This morning I awoke well before the clock radio came on remembering a photo from the paper: a couple of policemen/soldiers, in front of them arranged in a sort of square were many pairs of shoes, and around the square of shoes Arab women in their long cloaks [not burqas] -- perhaps their husbands/fathers/sons were in the hospital behind the soldiers, their bodies torn apart by a suicide bomber. Where their shoes among the group? Relatively poor people, the dead did not have many pairs of shoes, what they were wearing when they died would be familiar to the women in their lives. Were the shoes blood spattered? What is it like to live where this is what you do to find out if someone you love is dead?

I see the pictures of grief stricken faces, mostly men, carrying victims of all kinds of violence, wars, "friendly fire", attacks many places in the world. They are moving but this simple picture ... obviously it had buried itself in the memory and demanded attention at 5:15 in the morning.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Urban Moments, Namaste

As a habitual poeple watcher I love the urban life. I consider quite a few people a part of my life who barely know I exist. I see them, they don't see me. I walk a short two blocks from the 23rd St. subway exit to where I work on 21st St., along 7th Avenue most mornings about 8:00 a.m. I've written a sheaf of poems called "7th at 8:00" about characters I see often, including my favorite "The Taupe Man". He's usually there and probably doesn't actually see me. He would be very surprised that someone thinks as much about him as I do. He's a down-and-outter but he has a job of sorts at a deli, guarding the early morning roll delivery and sweeping the sidewalk when the deli owners arrive. A bunch of other down-and-outters don't have jobs but they live in the area and sit around fairly awake and alert early in the morning. Then by noon the brown bagged beer or wine has put them to sleep on the sidewalk -- on a grate in the winter. I recognize three, although there are others who come and go. A scruffy lot, rarely shaved, often in dirty clothes; but they seem to have a place for the night; a place to shower They don't stink as some vagrants do. To my surprise one of the regulars was more alert than usual this morning. He looked directly at me as I approached, I looked back, he nodded a sort of gentlemanly little nod and I smiled and he smiled back. I went on.

I've been reading Buddhist authors who recommend learning compassion for every other person by saying, "each person was once my mother." Sorry. that doesn't work for me. I can't buy reincarnation except on some extremely general basis in the sense that every rain drop has also been a part of the ocean, a part of the river, a part of the cloud. No. Our brief moment of recognition was more direct and less sentimental. Two people on the street, a brief greeting -- a moment of "namaste" if one cam put it that way. "The life force in me recognizes the life force in you." No judgments, just two humans smiling.

I shared a similar smile a couple of days ago in the subway. An Hispanic man is frequently on the downtown platform at morning rush hour sitting on a low stool playing a guitar and singing in Spanish. He is 50ish, he sings sincerely but not particularly well. His guitar case is in front of him open for donations of which there are few. He sings as if he enjoys singing and if it brings in a little money, good, but there's nothing begging about him. Once in a while when he is singing a song that makes me feel good I give drop something into his guitar case. Once in a while when he is between songs, he looks up at people walking along the platform and smiles a simple little smile. I remember seeing him, I suppose he doesn't remember me. No matter, not important.

A couple mornings ago when I reached the platform it was very crowded on the express side and not on the local side, indicating a local train had just left. The guitarist was playing "Que Sera Sera" and a great many people were singing along with him which is not usual at all. Perhaps there were tourists or students, I don't know but the platform sounded much happier than usual. The song was ending and the express was roaring in; too crowded for me to bother trying to get on. I pulled out a dollar bill and put it into the guitar case. He smiled up at me with the biggest smile, with amazingly white and beautiful teeth and said,"Gracias". I don't often get such a really wonderful smile. Namaste, Senor.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Nickel & Diming - Forced Spending

After that rant about unspending I awoke this morning remembering my incredulousness -- almost wordlessness -- yesterday. Another post office experience of enforced helplesnness. [I see I'm into a lot of essences here! Hmm]

I had a letter to Australia which included a few poems that were help together with a paper clip -- I have some neat ones shaped like stars and musical clef and hands and those poems needed a touch of whimsy. The plastic gloved clerk fingered my envelope as if she were a medical technician palpating my breast, pre-mammogram, looking for lumps. She found the paper clip lump and demanding to know "what do you have in there?" Then told me that that made the envelope a package and not a letter and the charge was different [higher, of course]. I protested such a rule was posted nowhere visible and I visit the P.O. often. With great magnanimousness she deigned to "let it go this time." Of course I thanked her profusely. I really wanted to tell her, in case she was wearing those plastic gloves to avoid the threat of anthrax, that the Mad Mailer has been named and committed suicide. But maybe it was some ordinary germs she thought I had included with the paper clip that she was avoiding.

Upon reading the business section of The Times on the subway home, I saw an article about airlines. We all know they are no longer serving food and that on many flights the attendants peddle overpriced snacks and sandwiches. This article said that many American carriers are now viewing passengers as "retailing opportunities" [some consultant came up with that cute concept] and will begin charging also for juice and coffee and of course the little free bags with 15 peanuts in them will disappear and we passengers will be able to purchase for maybe $3, bags with 30 peanuts in them. The once glamourouse job of airline attendant becomes much more like the hotdog seller on the corner -- or his higher pricec colleague at baseball games.

Smart people, of course, will arrive with food in their carry ons [will a charge be instituted for BYO? I wouldn't be surprised] and then there may also be a charge for disposal of your plastic wrap and used water bottles. I'm so old I remember when air travel was something to look forward to -- which rumors and ads tell me it still is if you are rich enough to fly business or first class, especially transcontinentally and most especialy to the Arab Emirates on their new luxury Airbuses.

Monday, August 18, 2008


A local bank is running an ad which I hear on the radio but it may also be a TV ad, the key word is "UN-SPEND". Instead of paying a gym fee to use a treadmill, run outdoors, drink tap water instead of bottled water, etc. And put the money you save into an account in that bank. When I hear that I think, even Madison Ave. is playing on the overwhelming feeling that ordinarily people have that we are in for an increasingly rough financial period. I've always considered the gym thing a social phenomenon, a place for people to show off their good intentions and their good bodies or good intentions toward their bodies. We know most people don't use their gym memberships enough to get their money's worth and home treadmills are mainly clothes racks. Many people need support in their exercise efforts so they band with friends for weekend walks or runs -- good. Why not? It doesn't cost anything -- until you finish and you all go for brunch feeling righteous about the exercise and free to have that bloody Mary and eggs Benedict -- that's not quite unspending. For my part, I walk, alone but usually with a destination.

The bottled water phenomenon has astonished me since it started and it's permutations seem endless, flavors, vitamins, caffeines. In some cities and towns the tap water doesn't taste very good. If it has a mineral or chlorine scent I understand bottled water or purifiers. Here the tap water is good. I have a couple of plastic bottles that originally had purchased water in them but are regularly refilled from the tap. And why do people suddenly think they must drink all day? What is this constant oral gratification thing, whether water or coffee? Would those people be smoking if they weren't sipping? Then there's the glut of bottles, not only on land but in the oceans. A whale might be carrying 100 pounds of plastic bottles in his stomach, or more. What a horrible thing to do to our noblest sea creature!

The ad world prospered pushing these and endless other extravagances -- like SUVs, like all that hair goop that crowds our drug stores, like all those household cleaners and detergents -- and now one lonely bank is trying to reverse the good old capitalist buy-buy-buy motto. Good luck, buddy. Yes, we need to save but people are losing faith in banks and don't have the money to save anyway.

I don't think that campaign is going to get very far with the younger set -- my definition of younger is under 50. It's we older ones, some of whom remember that hair doesn't have to be conditioned and gelled and sprayed after every shampoo, that family can all fit into a sedan, that coffee and tea can be brewed at home, cookies and even pizza can be made a home -- yes, and jam and hamburgers and blueberry pies. Not all gardens have to be organic. I grew up eating the beans, corn, tomatoes and potatoes from a garden that was sprayed occasionally to kill the bad bgs. Those poisons didn't poison me or anyone I know. Some of us remember a lot of "unspending" -- like making our own clothes, knitting scarves and even hanging clothes on a line in the backyard to dry in the sun. Maybe a little recession and a lot of global warming will teach us a few values -- but I really hope it won't be the big recession I hear rumbllings about and that the climate changes we already see will prompt creativity and thoughtfulness in solving the problems facing us. It's a lot to ask of several million people who lemming-like flock to the Disney parks for "fun" while turning inward to the iPod in their ears, and the cell phone to talk and text.

Monday, August 11, 2008

The Gap, defined by Pema Chodron

Breaking through our constant ego involvement is like a tiny bird, all cramped and twisted inside an egg, beginning to peak at the egg shell that he's feeling claustrophobic in. The situation could be better but it's SO hard. Of all the Tibetan Buddhists who write about meditation Pema Chodron is the clearest voice, the one I find mosst inspiring and understanding. In the current Shambhala Sun, the quarterly from Canada, she has a teaching that makes it SO easy. She writes of a GAP -- just three breaths, any time, any place, just THREE breaths during which you pause in your thought, pause and be where you are. Period. Simple. Pause. She says:

Any moment you could just listen could put your full attention on the immediacy of your experience. ... You could just be here. Instead of being not here, instead of being absorbed in thinking, planning and worrying, instead of being caught up in the cocoon, cut off from our sense perceptions, cut off from the power and magic of the moment, you could be here... As soon as you do, you realize how big the sky is how big your mind is.

Why do we need/want to make gaps in our routine? Don't we need every waking second just to get along? Don't we need to plan and worry and dream and get on with life? Or do we waste a lot of time in mental static? From insight, I know I have an awful lot of mental static, reverie that some yoga books call"the chattering monkey." I think I've got a family of monkeys chattering in there. When I realized that was when the idea of meditation began to be appealing. But those old mental habits -- the cocoon, she talks about, which I think of more as an egg shell -- is hellishly hard to break out of. THREE BREATHS! I can do that sitting on the subway, drinking coffee, in a bathtub, doing yoga, whatever. As Pema says at the beginning of the article, "you know you will die but you really don't know how long you have to fulfill the potential of your precious human birth."

Shambhala Sun is a quarterly magazine, I find it is more down to earth than most others. This issue, September 2008, has an excellent article about dealing with climate change, offering new ways of thinking -- and if any problem needs new ways of thinking that is it. I'm savoring this magazine as I rarely savor the several I read, I imagine I'll be quoting a few other articles soon. Meanwhile I am trying to make gaps -- pecking away at what seems an enormous task of making a little hole in that egg shell.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Tibet-China Solution

On the op-ed page of today's NY Times columnist Nicholas Kristoff, a writer whose scope and values I have admired for a long time, presents his answer to the problem of Tibet and the Chinese occupation. He talked at length to the Dalai Lama who allowed him to write of compromises that HH is willing now to make. Kristoff offers his own version of what both sides would, in his view, need to agree about. It's sweeping on both sides.

I read it with wonder -- first of all at the chutzpah of a columnist, albeit a very involved and respected man -- to propose that two parties make such an agreement. Then at the naivete of thinking they would sit down and talk at all [the Chinese have been unwilling to do anything positive] and then the deeper naivete to think that if such an agreement were made between two heads of state that the terms would actually be carried out.

Yet -- how could a sincere and well meaning man as I am certain Kristoff is, NOT write this column? He has a far reaching proposal and if it lights even a small fire in the minds of the Chinese powers it might make a difference. Perhaps they will be receptive -- if not on the very eve of their Olympics, at least a bit later since Bush IS mouthing criticisms -- although also attending the Olympics. But for Bush to talk about human rights violations is laughable - what moral credibility the US used to have has been destroyed by Bush's administration.

Most of all, I'm glad the subject of Tibet is brought up again and again in the public discourse. If anything can staunch the bleeding wounds of that culture it has to be tried.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Comfort zone

One of the buzz words I hear often when I transcribe business people doing motivational talks is the term "comfort zone." Fear of leaving one's comfort zone is why we are resistant to change. Change implies we will probably be uncomfortable -- at least until we become comfortable with it. But only the very timid can be happy in the same old, same old famliar rut. Most of us want to try new things, if we don't we get bored. Strangely those business motivational types never utter the word "bored" and yet bored is a fairly pervasive state in most workplaces.

I'm not a motivaional speaker and I don't read self-help books, but I think, once we escape the tyranny of our school years, we become responsible for avoiding boredom. The world doesn't promise us rose gardens or freedom from boredom. If we want a rose garden, we'd better plant it and if we don't want to be bored, we'd better find out what interests us, and get involved even if that means rolling out of that comfort zone just as we've got to throw off the comfy blankets when the alark clock rings. Get up and get on with the day -- get on with our lives. Is that what those overpaid business consultants tell people to do when they say to step outside your comfort zone? Actually it seems they often mean try a new business approach that might fail but the current one is failing so try something new.

I might note, if anyone wonders why such a subject should be on my mind -- my job means I listen to a lot of people talk about a lot of subjects and some of it gnaws away at the edge of my mind. Today it was a woman exec telling others that to be successful they must sometimes give up their comfort zones. In that case it usually meant taking a different job, often a higher paying one in a somewhat different field.

The picture above is an elderly Chinese couple from Lijiang who asked to have their photo taken [then wanted, and got, a tip] -- I've lived through what seems like many changes in my comfort zones. When I think of this couple, I suspect they have lived through so many DIScomfort zones, we in our much more stable country can't even imagine. For me it is valuable to have seen people in many parts of the world who have had very different lives than I ... it gives perspective on "comfort" and much else.

Someone who is not a traveler, once read a poem I wrote about traveling in India The poem mentioned various uncomfortable situations. "Why go to someplace you'll be so uncomfortable?" she asked. I don't know what I said; I can't imagine not traveling somewhere interesting just because I will not have the familiar comforts. Isn't that how we understand the world and ourselves in a broader context?

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

A Few More Trees I Have Known and Loved

Tess's note [on the previous post] set me ruminating again about trees I have known well -- we could do the same with foods, houses, clothes, cars ... and of course people. I wonder if young people today with their regulated "play dates" and school pressures and hours on Facebook or My Space and TV and fairly constant input of music via Ipod or boombox or their own guitars -- doesn't every house with a teenager have at least one guitar? -- do they have a feeling for the trees in their life?

The picture above is a willow. We had a big willow by the driveway. I thought it was the most graceful tree in the world. I was told willows originally came from China and I saw them in the designs of the plates and saucers in Blue Willow pattern that we had.

Mainly Tess's writing note reminded me that neighbors had a quince tree and my mother once made quince jelly. I didn't like the quince very much, it seemed tasteless and a bit coarse compared to apples. But I was not then a fruit gourmet because there was a huge [or so it seemed] pear tree in our yard which I climbed often. I ate the green pears, not because I was hungry, and not because they were delicious, simply because they were there -- and sometimes I got stomach aches because of it. We did not have an apple tree but I do remember apples with worms in them, it always seemed more of a tragedy for the worm than for me when I found one in an apple.

Not a tree but a berry experience -- there were patches of wild blackberries and raspberries in out woods which my mother used to go pick and I sometimes went along. We always made sure to take whatever dog we had at the time because we were both afraid of snakes in the thick brambles and the dog's crashing about usually following a rabbit's scent would scare the snakes away. It must have been true for I don't remember ever actually seeing a snake in the brambles. Those berries were SO good! The cobblers Mom made with them were my favorite summer dessert.

There's a great temptation to wish children today could have such experiences and I'm sure thare are still many rural places where they do. Rural kids generally feel they are missing the excitement in the world. I suppose we have to get older to count these experiences among the fine things of life. Then, too, some people are attuned to nature and some not. Lots of young people are interested in ecology, biology and the like ... tree hugging, mentally or physically is a fine thing. Oh, and Treebeard, the Ent, was one of my favorite creatures in The Lord of the Rings.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Trees I have known

A couple weekends ago when I was visiting upstate, as I wrote on my my other blog we went to the Saugerties lighthouse which has a deck behind it that is virtually over the Hudson. Growing at one end of the deck is a mulberry tree. A. picked some of the ripe berries and shared them with me. "Are these blackberries?" he asked [a city-boy born and bred]. "No, mulberries. My grandmother had a tree. I remember eating them, staining my hands and bare feet because so many had fallen on the ground, and my clothes too. I made 'ink' from their juice." The words just popped out, all facts that came back to me in a rush. I thought also about seeing a mulberry tree on 91st Street near Columbus and another in Central Park near the skating rink. "They look like blackberries," he said. "Yes, but blackberries grow on brambles."

I've been thinking about mulberries which I've just read are spread throughout the US and grow prolifically. Why aren't the berries used in jam or pie or eaten with cream? Why aren't they a cultivated crop? They're very delicious when ripe. I've been thinking too about the validity of my memory. I cannot place that "remembered" tree. Which grandmother's house? I trust the spontaneity of my memory but most of my memories have a very vivid place-picture.

For instance I remember gathering black walnuts in a specific pasture. My father was there with a milk bucket and I think my mother also. The walnuts had a rough green covering with icky "fruit" between it and the nut. I was told one could use the outer part for dying fabric brown It dyed bare hands brown too and did not wash off for some time. We let the nuts dry for a while and ate them usually on quiet Sunday afternoons. My father had a flat stone, perhaps six inches across. He would lay the nut on it and hit it with a hammer to open it. The shells were thick, sometime it took several hammer blows to get all the meat. I thought these were much more delicious than the hickory nuts we also collected. Black walnuts are another food that seems to have disappeared. They've been replaced by the dull, uninteresting English walnuts.

That same afternoon we spoke of mulberries, we passed another familiar tree. "That's a plane tree," my companion said. "In Indiana we called it a syacamore," I said. "You can tell by how the bark peels off," he said.

Again I agreed and said, "For a long time I read about plane trees in writing about central Asia and wondered what they looked like, I was happy to find out that plane trees and sycamores are the same." There's a row of them in Central Park west of the boat basin at the upper 70s along the drive in the park. I always get a warm, slightly nostalgic feeling when I see them.

We seemed to be stuck on trees for a while. "People say they don't like ginkgos because they stink," he said. "They stink like vomit -- but only for a couple of weeks," I said. "Ginkgos have male and female and the famale has berries with pits inside that are used by the Chinese for medicine." "For memory," he said. "Ginkgo biloba." The berries fall of and I've seen Chinese women in Central Park with plastic gloves on as they gather the berries into buckets." "They have beautiful leaves," he said. "Yes. But the ones in my neighborhood are not pretty trees, they are very awkward with branches going every which way. They are among the oldest trees in the world -- before the dinosaurs.'

Trees -- we who are not desert people take them for granted. We glance at them and forget that they were wonderful when we were small. Maybe remember climbing a favorite one, maybe even having a tree house -- or wishing we had a tree house. Naybe we remember falling out of one and getting hurt. Sometimes, it's good to stop and think about trees. I could write, easily, at least 10,000 words about "trees I have known and loved" It's good, on a Sunday afternoon, to let the mind drift over those strong, silent parts of our world, they remain wonder-full to this day.