Sunday, July 7, 2013

The reunion

I am scattered, so scattered.
Weeks on end of this after that
and not enough stillness.

The family crowd too
hums in many directions:
On the porch inside screens behind me
three clusters, two at each end
of the farm table after dinner,
one discussing roofs and the other
competing at Rummikub.
Then those on the couches lounging with feet up
looking like they’d rather sleep than converse.
Another set of talking heads
on the deck too distant
for me to surveil, but it seems serious.
And in the water at the bottom of the hill
the children akimbo in equal parts splash and squeal.

The baby and I alone in the hammock
swaying under glowing oak leaves,
singing our farm song with motions,
he mimicking with his arms
“feed the chickens”
“pick the apples”
“hoe potatoes”
“milk the cows”
then the oak leaves
mimicking us
and then nothing
as we rest from our labors
gathering in our arms
the fruits of familial solitude.


  1. Ah, yes, no stillness when we're all together, and we mothers are keeping eyes and ears on all there is, all that can maintain the balance of happiness in each other's gaze.
    Love how you play with the little one, how the "oak leaves mimicking us."

    More than portraits, these scenes hold the seed of all rituals that are sacred.

    1. I need to keep carving out sacred space, Rosaria, even when (especially when) it seems impossible. I can't always escape to solitude, that's a given.

      Thank you.

  2. Hey,
    Nice post... Would you like to follow each other on GFC and bloglovin..
    Keep in touch

    1. Don't forget the interior castle, Pooja.

  3. I like this. Scattered but together.

  4. Love this. I am scattered, so scattered, too!

  5. I can relate to feeling scattered, and the need to "carve out sacred space.....especially when it seems impossible." (from your response to Rosaria.) I find myself in a similar place, feeling overstimulated with the requirements of daily living! Needing sabbatical, needing to carve out that sacred space without withdrawing. Haven't figured that out yet... But I imagine that will unfold itself. And maybe it's okay to withdraw at times - to replenish. "Solitude" feels more like a necessity, than an option. Can't get enough actually.

  6. Im not sure why, Ruthie, but I suddenly want to sob..... Maybe it's that you and Jmaes have found the better place.

  7. oh boy, but does this echo with me.....between my father in law's second bar mitzvah and another gathering not quite two weeks later, i'm still happily drunk on family.

    these are beautiful words, ruth.


All responses are welcome.