Category Archives: November Prompts

night comes early

 

nightcomesearly

Late November is about turning all the lights on in the kitchen to make an early dinner. It’s about candles and music and ambiance without even trying. When night comes early, we want deep pots of stew, crusty bread, warm blankets and movie parties. The best feeling of all are those headlights sweeping into the driveway. Every nose counted. All tucked in. Exhale.

craft

craft

I craft photographs, and the occasional piece of embroidery, and sometimes wreaths and centerpieces. I prepare dinner and neat piles of folded laundry and poems. And the older I get, the fewer lines of demarcation I see between these acts of making.  It is audacious to sing good words into the world, to smooth a pillow that will only be rumpled again, to pour an afternoon into stitches or a nourishing soup. To craft anything, to put our hands to the good work of gathering and forming is to say, “I am here. I’ve been loved. See. Touch. Taste. I love you.”

As she so often does, Carrie Newcomer said it better than I could, and put it to music. Give a listen?

joining, at least for today,

in these daily prompts for November,

found via The Habit of Being

fireside

fireside

My mother prided herself on her fires,

and on every step from cold grate to snapping blaze.

Felled trees, hardwood stacked roadside,

was heaved and rolled into her Cadillac trunk

without irony. She could swing the ax overhead

and drive it deep in the heart of a log.

She cradled the long yellow shavings and splinters of kindling

against her belly like a baby to bring them in.

To this day, the sound of ripping newspaper carries me

back to that sooty hearth,

the rip-spark of a match,

the quick catch, the longer, slower burn.

 

Beside that hot little fireplace

I used to wonder which woman was my mother–

the French-twisted, high-heeled bookkeeper of the morning,

or the log-splitting fire-maker of late afternoon.

The glowing coals gave me no answer.

The popping sparks disappeared upward into a troubled darkness.

 

Now, most days, both the teasing comb and the wedge

have been laid aside. The fancy shoes don’t travel

from their snug boxes. The ash bucket, the gray shovel

are undisturbed on all but the coldest days.

Like nesting dolls, those remembered mothers

have opened to reveal an older, smaller one,

a last, self-contained mystery,

blanket over knees, lace-up Oxfords,

close by a ceramic heater

on the shortening November afternoons.

 

joining, at least for today,

in these daily prompts for November,

found via The Habit of Being

seeking solace

seeking-solace

in quiet

in the comforting presence of my husband, in his calm listening, in his straight-shooting perspective

in this home

in my kids’ sweet company

in a cup of something warm

in music

between pages

in the mountains

in the sort of hope that glows steadily, pushing back the dark with a gentle hand, promising that somehow, all shall be well

joining, at least for today,

in these daily prompts for November,

found via The Habit of Being

life is fragile

life-is-fragile

We fill and fill the days.

with laundry and projects,

dental appointments and blithe certainty.

As though it did not all hang like a last maple leaf

perched on a dried stem, held in a hand with a tremor,

worn like a bracelet grown too large

on a wrist like a twig.

I believe there’s a net beneath

and the net will hold,

but each morning is a trapeze handle,

sweaty palms and thin air.

There is nothing else to do about it

but the raking, and the creaming together

of butter and sugar, the folding and putting away.

There is good work, and telling the truth,

and marking the beauty of bare branches

in the blue blue sky.

 

joining, at least for today,

in these daily prompts for November,

found via The Habit of Being