It’s been a long time, hasn’t it? Too long really to go back pick up the lost stitches of whatever came before right now. Too long to catch you upon all the where and what that was October.
Now, it is November. The light is ample while it lasts. Most days golden with a long slant to the light towards afternoon.The first hard frosts have come, shaking down the last of the gingko’s golden leaves. On the mountains: snow. White on blue.
November is the season of sticks. God’s architecture laid bare in the trees. Suddenly the back yard revels neighbor’s yards and the topography of the adjacent hill covered with the fallen finery of golden leaves. The world feels naked and fragile now, before the snow. Everywhere the reminder: we are mere mortals.
A beautiful boy died in Sprout’s kindergarten a few weeks ago, unexpectedly. Then the mother of a girl in the high school died too, trapped in a house fire. A friend tells me his marriage is falling apart.
We are all here briefly, this I know. And my prayers become profound in their simplicity: Hold us. Hold us with grace.
Sprout, with his big dark eyes keeps asking me to tell him about death. Bean asked the same kinds of questions at his age: tender, utterly unguarded, matter of fact.
“Will you die, when we’re big, Mama?” Sprout asks from the back seat on the way to school.
Yes, then, or yes whenever. We’re only held by a fragile thread.. The world calls us, we arrive, stay for a while, and if we’re lucky, do good work.
And I’ve been pondering what doing good work means to me, with my heart on my sleeve and my holistic mind. I love to be consumed by my work. I love the single-minded focus of having something big and incredible to work on and work towards. And I love being a part of things that are greater than myself.
What about you? What does doing good work mean?
I keep circling around these questions as the the days grow brief.
In the stores shelves are cable knits and icelandic sweaters. Gift catalogs come in the mail.. The boys come in from out-of-doors with rosy cheeks. We light fires and gather close, celebrating St. Martin with our lanterns.
The year feels worn.
It was a year, wasn’t it? For me at least, and for many of the ones I love this year brought radical change. Unexpected turbulence. The loss of things held dear.
I’ve been inward lately. Guarded. Quiet. Working on connecting the dots of next moves, and also on the work of self care. And yet I miss showing up here for the connection and solace and inspiration that I find from all of you.
I think for the rest of November I’d like to show up here each day with just a few photos and a handful of words.
I always want to do that, but then feel compelled to share the stories that go with them, and so I don’t. But I’m wondering: Is it enough for now to just share that? Do you want just the glimpses? The haphazard sentence or two; the snapshots of work in progress in my studio; the messy lantern-lit post-dinner table; the boots in a heap by the door; the boys with their legos in a sunny patch on the floor?