my desk with little hands
and rose petals
because I want to remember writing here
at Old Gousty
with a view of the woods
Mary Oliver by my side
and rose petals
from roses Grandmommy brought me
and brought me again.
candles for night writing
and an old photo of Maude Louise
(my childhood Airedale)
all of this waiting for me
after Wallace falls asleep
and rain is drumming on the roof
quietly luring me
to my desk
“One of the tasks of true friendship is to listen compassionately and creatively to the hidden silences. Often secrets are not revealed in words, they lie concealed in the silence between the words or in the depth of what is unsayable between two people. In modern life there is an immense rush to expression. Sometimes the quality of what is expressed is superficial and immensely repetitive. A greater tolerance of silence is desirable, that fecund silence, which is the source of our most resonant language. The depth and substance of a friendship mirrors itself in the quality and shelter of the silence between two people.”
— Anam Cara by John O’Donohue, p. 112
We are reading so many good books this month! Being at Gousty is bringing out the reading in all of us. The stack of books that Amabel has read to herself this month is even higher than the stack in this photo! Many of the chapter books that I read as a child and adolescent are in this house (the actual copies!), and I love coming into the living room to find her curled up on the couch with one of my old books in her lap.
We are learning so much about Korea during World War II from this book by Linda Sue Park called “When My Name was Keoko.” Korean children were required to speak Japanese during this time when Korea was part of Japan’s empire. Children also learned Japanese Kanji, which we practiced in the fall. The girls loved returning to it again this spring – practicing the characters both in full size and tiny doll size.
Ich bin, du Ängstlichen, Horst du mich nicht
I am, you Anxious one.
Don’t you sense me, ready to break
into being at your touch?
My mumurings surround you like shadowy wings.
Can’t you see me standing before you
cloaked in stillness?
Hasn’t my longing ripened in you
from the beginning
as fruit ripens on a branch?
I am the dream you are dreaming.
When you want to awaken, I am that wanting:
I grow strong in the beauty you behold.
And with the silence of stars I enfold
your cities made by time.
— Rilke’s Book of Hours
I’m designing myself a graduate program in poetry.
I received an unexpected gift this year: a reawakening of my deep love for poetry. I’m following this love by consuming great quantities of poems and filling notebooks with words. I wish we lived close to a university so I could attend an actual graduate program. But for now, my mom, my dear friends, my professor brother, and the wonderful library are all keeping me supplied and inspired.
And, to tell you the truth, most days my graduate studies look something like this . . .
Jane Goodall said that she learned how to be a good mother from watching chimpanzees. During her hours and hours of observation, she witnessed mother chimps and their babies. Mothers do not punish their babies for being “naughty,” Jane said. Instead, mothers redirect their babies when they want to change their behavior or keep them safe.
. . . Poetry arrived in search of me.
I don’t know, I don’t know where it came from,
from winter or a river.
I don’t know how or when. . .
— Pablo Neruda
We spent the morning reading about Martin Luther King Jr., watching his “I Have a Dream Speech,” looking at Norman Rockwell paintings . . . and cutting out paper dolls. Our homeschool would just not be complete without paper dolls.