--I have written a poem this morning! It was an unexpected gift, a poem about gifts that came to me Thursday when my Hindu writer friend told me about her cat which brings her birds as a present, unlike the other cats who bring lizards. She said, "My cat doesn't understand that I get my food at Publix." And just like that, I had a poem in my head, a poem I wouldn't have had if she hadn't made that observations.
--It has been a month of broken things, but happily not broken bodies. I've lost two of my favorite mugs, mugs that have traveled across many states and many life circumstances. The vacuum cleaner stopped working. We've discovered leaks in multiple pipes--but it could have been worse. They were small leaks. We didn't have a catastrophic discovery of leaking pipes.
--Our new washer and dryer is not broken, happily. It has water temperatures that are new to us: cool, cold, and tap cold. What is the difference between cold and tap cold? Surely the washer doesn't chill the water?
--This is one of the first appliances we've bought in awhile that doesn't buzz or beep at us. When it's done with a load, it sits quietly and waits.
--I wish I had that capacity, to sit silently waiting. My religious tradition teaches me that Mary (mother of Jesus) had that capacity. It's a very Advent mindset. But maybe she didn't. Maybe we've made that up because we prefer our women to be passive that way.
--I live in a house where I can't stockpile supplies. Usually that's OK. This morning I worried that I won't have enough flour for the Santa Lucia bread. But I should be OK. However, I'll need more flour before I start on cookie baking for the cookie exchange I'll attend on Wednesday.
--I plan to write another poem based on a variety of strange holiday images that might be interesting juxtaposed together: the pod of pilot whales stranded, lights in the mango trees, big ornaments in the bougainvillea tree, a gender ambiguous person wearing a Santa hat in a convertible yelling into a cell phone. Christmas on the tropical edge of America!
--My spouse and I continue to take evening walks through the Christmas lights. We continue to sing. So far we haven't been arrested for disorderly conduct.
--One of my friends who also lives in the neighborhood said, "Surely you wouldn't be arrested for singing carols!" I said, "I've never lived in an upscale neighborhood. I have no idea."
--Actually, one of my grad school apartments was in an upscale neighborhood. Our current neighborhood kind of reminds me of Shandon, in Columbia, South Carolina. There are historic homes and shabbier apartment buildings made out of those large homes.
--I used to walk through Shandon and marvel at the people who never used their grand front porches. And now I have a lovely porch that's been mostly unused. I do plan to get some furniture and have an additional seating/dining area--part of a long list of things I plan to do for/with this house.
--But in the short term, I have bread dough under my fingernails! Bread dough and ink. It's a good day already, and the sun isn't even up yet!
Best Essay Collections of 2017 by Women Authors
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