A gifted bowl. Milkweed pods sprayed gold by my sister.
Even as the tableaux produces a pang about Noreen (she was rapidly declining this time last year), the simplicity pleases.
A worn wooden floor. An exalted weed. A textured bowl crafted by a friend, lively in its imperfection.
Our relationship to things changes over time, doesn’t it?
I’m always ready to take the decorations down before husband and somehow feel a little bad about that. What does my eagerness signal?
Don’t get me wrong. I love the sweet nutcrackers, the festive wreaths, and the sentimental decorations given to the boys year in and year out. They represent a life lived and lived with some modicum of joy.
They signal the advent of time-outside-of-time.
In other years, the enjoyment of displaying decorations and the pleasure at putting them away ran about 50/50. This year, there was no contest. I felt a visceral relief clearing the spaces. I can almost imagine not bothering with any of it at some point.
I’ll leave you with this shot from Finn’s and my morning walk and a stanza from a poem by Wallace Stevens:
I do not know which to prefer, / The beauty of inflections / Or the beauty of innuendoes, / The blackbird whistling / Or just after.