“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


The Beat Goes On

And the beat goes on.
In the secret sly way
of plants and trees
and wind and death and life.

Yesterday morning,
a cherry laurel blossom,
the tiniest white bit of beauty,
came to rest on my upper lip,
the breezes quite breezy blowing it there,
a warmer refuge than the cold ground.

This Happy Mother's Day morning even chillier.
The breezes still blowing,
rainy looking skies.

Yesterday afternoon, a card from my niece.
For her aunt for Mother's Day.
Never mind that I didn't send her a birthday card this year.
Never mind that there was no gift.
Never mind that there was no Valentine's greeting,
no Easter Bunny.
Never mind all that.
She loves me.

I've sent nothing to anyone all year, in fact I sent no Christmas cards so even longer than all year - I've thought about it, I haven't forgotten a soul in my heart, but I was needed here at home and that was a truth but also an excuse, I admit it. I just didn't have the heart or the energy to shop for cards or make them and I just didn't care about pretty ribbons and envelopes, all those things that have always been so important. And I felt bad about it, but also selfish, just tired, hoping everyone understood, but unable to muster the caring if they didn't.

But the beat goes on.
Pretty feels more do-able.

Yesterday, all day,
Taupe silk shoes
pale teal sneakers,
the colors of this blog for my feet.
Pink carnations.
A bolt of striped fabric,
$5 for dusty blue-greens & creamy whites.
Dark chocolates.

I have been cleaning my house, cleaning the business, reading. There are new t-shirts, linen trousers, a new purse, flowers as needed - take two and call me in the morning. The refrigerator has been cleaned, the freezer; I am stunned at how badly the "silverware" drawer needs scrubbing. It is all a mess. I have been on the kitchen floor, with a scrub brush & Comet, and there are canisters that once held cans of cat food awaiting their turn, sitting silently amidst whiskers & measuring cups on the kitchen counters. I move from one spot to another; my back old enough to need a new position every so often.

And the beat goes on.

There will be much tossed - I feel the need for a new spatula, a new colander. A spring cleaning of my life, new-found energy used to rid the house of sadness, of hard nights, of all those tears. The memories remain, the pictures, the tales told here, but the beat goes on and I must move forward. My fingernails are worse than ever, the nail on my right ring finger just now broken almost to the quick.

The wind is blowing stronger.
Catawba blossoms
those of the cherry laurel fly by.


  1. this was one of your best writings yet !
    and i want those pale teal sneakers, too....can i get peek at yours ?

    and the cleaning and having to move in order to get back up again or at least to remain comfortable...me too.

    on general i think spring requests newness from us....or at least some changes. and with maggie gone, you have even more reasons that are wants turned into needs to change things....to clean things....to move things......


  2. So happy to read your post today! Yes the beat does go on and a good fresh cleaning sure does seem to clear the cobwebs off out heart too. So glad the colors inspired you, such a good sign! Your niece sounds wonderful! Thats the thing about love. It doesn't keep count of what you have done for me lately :)

  3. i so want to send you a card ..you could keep it for a time then toss it to the wind...with the blossoms ..

  4. I does indeed go on, with us, without us, and that is part of the comfort, knowing it is always there. I know this feeling, my house needs it too in fact, very much just now, but for different reasons. I'm too tired to start tonight, but soon, I can feel it, I will b a whirling dervish on a cleaning frenzy.
    The wind is blowing stronger.
    That line could have been your entire post.
    Don't forget to take a break every once in a while, maybe for a donut.

  5. Beautiful poetry. And I am with you on the silverware drawer--mine is in a similar state.

  6. And the beat does go on..but with each piece of writing...I can feel the heaviness of the grief lifting. Beautifully written - as always.

  7. The shopping, the colors, the cleaning, the blossoms...all so good.
    I am glad for you.
    The beat goes on, yes; get a new spatula & a new colander, leave the canister til the time feels right.
    Holding you in my heart, wearing those rocking shoes, girl!!

  8. That image is nothing short of gorgeous!

  9. all I can say is "Wow". Sometimes I just have to read your words out loud... and hey it's OK to sometimes be the receiver and not the giver. That season will return and you can be the giver then to someone who needs to be the receiver.

  10. And the beat goes on, yes! It is time for cleaning and renewal, but I must remember the beat goes on.

  11. I have just spent some time reading through your blog Emma and I am so glad to have discovered it. Thank you so much for being so open and putting your thoughts and feelings so beautifully into words. I am deeply, deeply sorry for your loss. I lost my beloved cat Dusty on 21st January and reading about what you are going through has brought tears to my eyes. Thank you Emma, I don't feel so alone anymore.

  12. Flowers as needed
    take two and call me in the morning.

    Excellent advice. Take two more and do call me in the morning. Or email. Either works.

    Just call.

    I'm here.

  13. One step at a time, you are moving. At your own pace. Finding your way. It is a beautiful evolution, even in its darkest hours.


come. sit under the emma tree & let's talk. i have cookies . . .