Watching them paint together
on the porch
with a July breeze
and tan arms.
This is it.
This is belonging.
“Words make worlds.” — Krista Tippett
On my desk this week: Moby Dick (by Herman Melville), Workshops Work (by Patricia Zaballos), The Poetry Handbook (by Mary Oliver), The One-Straw Revolution (by Masanobu Fukuoka), Becoming Wise (by Krista Tippett, and Project-Based Homeschooling (by Lori Pickert). I’m reading bits and pieces of all of them — because that is how my reading happens right now: in little snippets of time in the midst of very full days.
I might be hiding upstairs in my room right now, taking one of these mini reading breaks . . .
Oh, so patient with him.
Even when he wants it over
and over again.
Even when he grabs onto her hand
and pulls her off of the piano bench,
and over to the couch,
or the bookshelf,
or the kitchen.
Talking to her,
listening to her.
Wanting, so much,
to enter into the constant conversation
of this family
Start close in,
don’t take the second step
or the third,
start with the first
you don’t want to take.
the pale ground
beneath your feet,
way of starting
Start with your own
give up on other
don’t let them
Start right now
take a small step
you can call your own. — David Whyte
This beautiful poem has been on my mind this week. Everywhere I turn, I am reminded to start close in.
I’m cleaning up —
finding tiny morsels of dollhouse food,
blobs of modeling beeswax
wedged into the rug.
Picking up pieces before I vacuum —
I begin to notice scraps of knitting:
a blanket here,
a scarf there (little, doll size),
a wash cloth,
These bits of her handwork,
these minuscule stitches knit on size 1 or 2 needles (sometimes even on toothpicks) —
there is a certain beauty in their simplicity,
a piece of her captured in the even patterns.
For a long time
I let those thoughts occupy me —
you know those thoughts
“Your kids will be awkward if they don’t go to school.”
Those thoughts that come from nowhere
so pervasive and strangely persuasive.
how do they know,
How can anyone say,
that schools help us to be less awkward?
Well, maybe they do teach us how to fit in.
But fit in to what exactly?