Morning fire

I spoke with an Element this morning,
not one of the hundred eighteen,
one of the five-or-so.

I mentioned that I was mortal and it was not and it asked, “Is that why you love me?”
On reflection, it is.

“You are the fire that my grandmother knew, and her mother, and her mother…”

You do not list the fathers, the fire said.

So I thought about them. A sea captain, a handful of soldier/farmers, a banker, a doctor, and — let’s be absolutely clear — probably a hundred branching generations of farmers, that’s how the world has stayed fed.

The fire was right. I don’t often think of them, just my Dad. It’s the grandmothers whose hands I see when I am working.

Attention economy?

I just heard that one for the first time.

Well, then.
An afternoon to prepare enough ingredients for six stews, stowed in the freezer.
A day for clothes to dry on the line.
A week to enjoy the farm share and the bread share. Perhaps this winter I’ll take on a baking day.

That takes a day. Mid morning to make the sponge, noontime to complete it, early afternoon punch it down, mid afternoon shape it, late afternoon bake it, just before five, take a third of it to The Diagonal Family and a third of it to The Angel Next Door. At suppertime, eat it. Yes. I will add a baking day to my attention economy and eschew probably five hundred advertisements in that time.

Market that, manipulative strangers.

And in between these acts of love? While the sponge rises? Knit a sweater, one loving row at a time. That will take a month or two or three.

I choose to spend my attention on these acts of love.


Today I am grateful for the words
Which flow from pen and keyboard
And often from voice box, but not so very many of them are connected to one another and that’s all right

Today I am grateful for the words which flow so quickly that I do not need to think and what is important is reading them afterward to see the message from the hinterlands of my brain or even from someone else’s story.

Today I am grateful for the words whereby I learn the stories and tell the stories and share the stories and wait for them to come back around, changed yet constant.

Today I am grateful for the words.


I apologized for the sound of thunder and the fire gently crackling and offered to turn it off — canned noises which I had turned on for comfort.

The friends gathered electronically into my one-room cabin from across the globe said, “No! Please leave it on! We like it.”

We like feeling cozy by the fireside and we like knowing the rumbly storm is out there. It’s the perfect condition for cuddling up with a story,

even the blank page kind.


Is this what the holy women on sister paths feel as the moment approaches?
All others fall away to their much-loved rightful places,
but tonight!

Tonight is for the one to whom my spirit turns
in exactly this way
on exactly this night
at exactly the edge of the wild.

Hoofbeats, heartbeats,


Not that complicated

I managed to sort out some of the tangle in my head.
I’ve accumulated tools over time:

A speaking stone, so that each thought knows when it is their turn to speak — a stone smooth and spherical and a deep plum color which rests in an amethyst geode atop a stone plinth;

A coffee station, a sandwich station, and a dessert station which distracts the thoughts enough to spread them out a bit (sometimes all they want is some warmth or nourishment or sweetness. don’t we all?);

A comb, mother-of-pearl (mother-of-moonlight?), with the magical property of smoothness to untangle the thoughts as they lie sleep-mussed in my mind. I have noticed that the simple act of combing the thoughts can quiet them and give them peace.