“Do you know," Peter asked, "why swallows build in the eaves of houses? It is to listen to the stories.” ~ J.M. Barrie, Peter Pan


advent evening, day 14. last night.

last night, pre-darkness.
i looked up to watch the beginnings of a rainstorm blow in,
and liked the way the power line hung across the sky, forming a new horizon.  

i walked just within our block, stopped and talked to a neighbor until the raindrops scurried us inside. the neighbors across the street plugged in their christmas lights, the sweetest single strands around windows, pastels and the warmest of whites all golden and peaceful, like a perfectly dressed woman who's removed that one necklace or ring that said too loud, too much.  i sat on the couch, door open, rain drizzling across the leaves on the ground, the sound of wind blowing past, rustling limbs, skipping those leaves like stones across a still lake.  i exhaled, drinking in the peace of those lights and the night. it felt like christmas eve.

i feel like a boat on the image above,
floating slowly across the calm part of the sky.   



december table for one

a corner of the house.
broken camera,
broken tulip saved from the bigger bouquet.
lunchtime. yesterday.  

this morning, fog and muffled birdsong.
later, warmth, and tonight, candlelight.  

i forget christmas is out there, waving to me from further down the calendar.  i wave back when i remember, happy to wait. i have plenty of wrapping paper.



this year's christmas tree

a personal advent poem built from things found or forgotten,
from fallen limbs and words and memories and wishes.
from what was and what will be. 
a continuation.
a ritual.
a saying goodbye and a saying hello.  

i dreamed of a hallway, long, with many doorways, the doors removed, propped against the empty walls, painted in the softest of colors, old, faded.  the dream faded also, coming back to me later in the day, reminding me of my movement past the open rooms, my glances left and right, leaves blowing past my feet, the wind behind me. before me, a rectangle of daylight.  another missing door. it seemed perfect, and in the way of dreams, the rectangle changed to darkness, moonlight spilling onto the floor.  no doubt the almost full moon of two nights ago waking me only slightly, pushing its way into that hallway.

what i know is that it will be a painting.  what i know is that closing doors accomplishes little.  if once i thought otherwise, i have changed my mind.  that hallway is my life.  i walk past those rooms of yesterday, piled full of memories i pretend i've tossed.  i glance into them daily.  sometimes i quickly move on, other times i stand at the doorway and smile.  sometimes i drop to the floor and cry myself to sleep, one hand over the chipped paint of the doorsill.  what i know is that if the doors were still there, if they were closed and locked, i would think through them anyway and the memories would be too big or too small.

the hall is longer behind me, from back there where the wind comes from, and the open rooms ahead are still empty, still waiting to be filled.  some things will appear on purpose, my own doings, but some things will surprise me, both good and bad.  there is so much i can't control, but there are places to store it all.  some rooms are small, with windows, and some are too large, bathed in darkness.  some rooms, however, are just right.


a birthday candle for the christmas tree.
inspired by a friend.
a light against the darkness for only a moment before i blew it out and made a wish.