--Yesterday, I wrote a poem that I wasn't expecting to write when the week started. On Wed. night, Kathleen Kirk wrote this Facebook post: "Cleaning my office. Have just labeled a box, 'The past is a bucket of ashes.'" I thought that would make a great line in a poem.
--But on Thursday morning, I woke up with these lines in my head:
She thinks the past is a box of ashes,
safe in the back of the basement
where no one need be bothered again.
--The ashes reconstruct themselves into skeletons with new flesh that dance with her children. I am so pleased with this metaphor, which I'd have never created without that Facebook prompt.
--Later Kathleen wrote, "Carl Sandburg said it. And my dad. All of the time."
--There are many reasons to dislike Facebook, but I've found many reasons to like it and to continue to check in. I like knowing what people are doing, in the minutiae, as well as the big stuff, of their lives. Most of us are too busy to write long e-mails and letters. But many people can find time for a quick sentence on Facebook. Hurrah for that.
--And some times, I get a poetry prompt.
--It's been a week of getting my eating and exercise back on track. That feels good. I've spent the last 6 weeks eating like a woman who will be executed in the morning. That too feels good at first, but then a certain greasiness sets in.
--My friend and I made an amazing barley salad out of the simplest ingredients: barley, celery, fresh dill, pomegranate seeds, olive oil, vinegar, and fresh parsley. So fresh and clean tasting. Delicious.
--What a treat to cook with friends, to feed ourselves, to be nourished on multiple levels.
--It has been a typical first week of the quarter at school, full of technology failures and people reporting to the wrong rooms and misunderstandings and endless e-mails. Yesterday, we found out that the CARS (the computer system that we use to build classes and student records and all sorts of important stuff) was self-generating e-mails to random students here and there telling them that their classes had been changed and they needed to see their advisor to get a new class. But their schedules hadn't been changed.
--I'm lucky that I can write this kind of e-mail, and my boss and colleagues will smile:
"When I write my memoir, I’m calling it Ghost in the Machine. But maybe I shouldn’t, since that title was already used by the Police for my favorite record album of theirs. Theatre of the Absurd Machines, perhaps will be the title.
OK, back to regular life . . . once I come up with a good name for the mandolin punk band I plan to form when CARS goes truly wonky and won’t let us do our jobs at all.
I’m just kidding, of course. I already have a page full of good names for various punk bands I might form."
--At home, we've been lighting candles all week. I love Christmas lights, both the ones on trees and the ones outside, and they're one of the things that I miss the most in the post Christmas season. It's still a dark season, even though we get a minute or two more of daylight each day.
--I especially love our Swedish glass candle holders in the shape of a cube that my spouse puts on the window sill--all sorts of lovely reflections in the dark glass.
--We continue to light our candles against the darkness in so many ways, but the ways that our creative efforts light the world bring me the most joy.
Best Essay Collections of 2017 by Women Authors
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