“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

1.16.2012

such a small life. without pictures.

just us two and a slow afternoon, an unexpected half day off.  the best kind.  gray clouds soft in the warm sky, the world on mute.  homemade soup in white bowls.  for dessert, a book read aloud.  leaves blowing across the lawn, inside the house matching outside the house, faded colors, soft, soft, warm, safe.  the cat a sleeping circle of gray and black on the white bed, silence, silence, just my voice and someone else's words in the air.  the ticking of the clock when i pause.  by 4:15 he is gone and it is just the cat and me, and a moment of late afternoon sunlight, the sun behind the house.

there is a small room between my bedroom and the bathroom that i use as a library and i spent the weekend clearing space there, tossing books and papers, dusting shelves that haven't been dusted in a year, washing antique linens. the kind of cleaning only you know you've done.  the kind of cleaning that opens something in your soul.  that lets you breathe easier.  a white candle on a now empty spot of shelf.  i tossed books saved since high school, books i never re-opened, never planned on reading again, art books from college days that no longer interested me - deconstructivism, vasari - but i kept giotto's angels; i kept dylan thomas and richard farina and shakespeare and joseph conrad.  william hawkins, a roll of nickels.  i tossed the pms workbook, books about perimenopause and gluten free diets and how to know when a lump is more than lump.  i tossed the words that held memories of fears, real and imagined, and i kept the words that fed me.

patches of pale blue find space in the sky between the clouds, now gray and white.  the church steeple a couple of blocks away is a silhouette against the almost end of the day.  if i turned on the tv, there would be news.  the shadow on the teal chair grows stronger, the lamp glows more golden, and the cat has moved to the back of the couch.

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20 comments:

  1. if you could see me, i'd be jumping up and down. bless the empty spot and the candle.

    smooch!

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    1. i thought of you whilst wiping away the cobwebs. xoxo

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  2. i am loving these, they are brilliant, and i am glad there is no photo: i can see it just as you describe it, the colors, the clouds, the candle.

    i've said it before: you paint with words.

    and yes, the year of discarding. i will be going through my house room by room, doing the same, making space for more soul.

    xoxo

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    1. yes. there is just too much in the way to see clearly.

      i feel like i am breaking a very scary rule by not posting an image. thnak you for the thumbs up. xoxo

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  3. i love that you kept Shakespeare...and a roll of nickels. that brought a smile.
    yes, with no photograph, your words still painted the picture. they always do.
    in fondest. Tilda

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    1. it is my wealth corner. the roll of nickels had to say. :)

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  4. ~ that cleaning that opens something in your soul..~ oh my.
    Must do this week!~
    xoxoxo

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  5. You write like no other; I walk with you, work with you; can I hold that while you dust and decide; I'll take that; no, let it go. Let the pictures go, let the never open go. The year to open, the year to discard the playing cards never played; discard all but the movement; the moving words, always moving. Magic.

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    1. the year to open. yes, yes. discard all but the movement.

      you made me cry. thank you for the kind words.

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  6. i love how you see the world through eyes of color too, artist-friend.

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    1. i do. i did as a child. i remember always thinking our house was too bright, that overhead lights were the work of the devil. i still think that. thank you so much. xoxo

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  7. me too .. you words are for the soul ..nothing better than a white candle on a clear space...

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    1. it's true. simple. peaceful. things you know something about. :)

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  8. Your words are the pictures. Love you and love this post, and this may sound crazy, but just as I finished reading, my cat jumped up onto the back of my sofa and settled in.

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  9. such lovely words you share with us here. It sounds like the perfect half day off. Love the cleaning and the new candle too. My cat is curled here under a blanket on my office chair, a very cozy place indeed.

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    1. thank you marilyn!! i just saw pictures of your cat in his last hat. i feel sure he likes the blanket much more. :) and it was a perfect half day.

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  10. My neighbors cats came calling again this afternoon. They wait outside my door until I open it. At first to make friends I would give them little bits of my late Kitty's kibble. I had nearly a full bag when the unthinkable happened. Now I have it in six quart mason jars. I also have what must be 30 cans of cat food. My emergency rations for the next earthquake or when they drop the bomb.

    And no, I haven't dusted some areas in years. I wait until someone threatens to visit. But then it is only a superficial cleaning--only I know where the really dusty places are. The space between my ears. The hole in my heart. I think my neighbors cats know...

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  11. Mmmm... keeping only the words that feed you.
    Makes me wonder how many books I have on my shelves that only speak to the fears in me.
    Perhaps it's time to pare down.

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