and instead of promising the wisdom of
creating a life that is lit,
or pressing myself to click perfect photos
of children and cupcakes,
talents I hope to enjoy and yet-
I will do what I love to do most,
and that is to think and to write.
And with that-
I must write tonight whether I like it or not.
I must write because I am called to write,
even though the choral symphony of my soul is
wedged in my throat like a ship in
the English Channel. Even though all I
can summon is a crude version of Chopsticks.
My friends and I sat around recently chatting
about the domestic virtues of our forebears;
hard working pioneer women who pressed needles
through scraps of cotton for quilts, and filled glass
jars with orchard fruits for the winter.
I see our great-grandmothers of yesterday
reflected in the handiwork of my women friends.
Women who scrapbook, quilt, weave baskets, and
create all manner of beauty. I am creative and swoon
at their talent too, but I wonder-
Were my grandmothers different like me?
Did they prefer philosophical debate to candlemaking?
Furnishing the mind to fashionable bedspreads?
Maybe they didn’t have the choice. Most of their
handiwork was necessary to survival. Still, I wonder.
Were my grandmothers like me?
A candle flickers next to a photograph of
my three daughters and me and I cannot
help but hope that maybe I am like
my grandmothers after all.
Maybe this masterpiece patchwork quilt
I am crafting for my daughters is me.
In the end, the marrow of me is all I bequeath
I leave them my courage in speaking and
living truth regardless of tradition. I leave them my
determination to choose light instead of shadow. I leave
them my compassion for the forgotten. My joy in the
smallest of things. My everpresent humor. My enduring
fervor for all that is good, rich, and noble.
I leave them my writings here, so that
they can know, whether they play
Chopsticks or Beethoven’s Moonlight Sonata,
whether they craft with scraps of fabric,
poetry on napkins, generous gestures,
or with heartfelt prayer,
that their contributions matter.
We all matter.
Welcome to this place. May you find
a fleck of joy in your travels here.