I want to publicly pledge to work on my writing more, and not neglect it as I have been doing recently.

Therefore, I here resolve to take myself to the library or out for coffee at least once a week, and to always have a notebook and a pen with me.  Or perhaps I should be pledging to take my notebook out for coffee.

Dear notebook, I promise to fill you with words and scribblings.  I promise not to keep you lonely at the bottom of my purse.  I promise to let you out into the air.

Love, E


A post about friends and gardens and garden friends

We got a little package in the mail the other day from our friend Andi.  Inside, there was a really, really sweet note, and also a miniature garden gnome.  She said that the gnome made her think of us.  I love it when someone buys a gift just because it made them think of you.  And I also love to send things to people with that same inspiration.  It’s a sign that the person is prominent in your mind.  And it also means that you know them well enough that you know what sort of little things make them smile.  In other words, its a sign of a happy friendship.  Which isn’t to say that you have to buy people presents to have a good friendship.  It’s just nice to know that someone is thinking of you, and its nice to let your friends know that they have a special place in your mind.  Which reminds me that I should try a little harder to write letters to the people I think of on a regular basis.  I even bought a bunch of fun new cards at the Salvation Army the other day.  I enjoy buying greeting cards at thrift stores because you can find really random, funny ones.  I like random funny things.

But anyway, I was posting about the garden gnome.  We gave him a position as the guardian of our bean plants.  And he inspired us to move a snail with a gazing globe on her back from inside to outside, under the nasturtiums.  It looks in the picture like she’s eating some greens.  Those little heart-shaped leaves taste sour, but pleasant.  I used to nibble them myself when I was a kid.  And they get banana-shaped seed pods.

gnomeyarn 033

I was just wondering:

What does the “knee-jerk” part of the phrase “knee-jerk liberal refer to?  Or, in other words, what is a liberal like myself supposedly jerking her knees about?

It makes me imagine a form of folk dance with lots of bouncing involved.  And little bands of bells around the ankles to jingle while those knees are doing their thing.

But this is a derogatory term.  So what’s the story?

a poem by Neruda speaks to my heart

collecting shells

S read this poem to me earlier this evening and it gave me a fluttery feeling. I don’t get to see the ocean much, so when I do it’s a special time. Most recently, the ocean means writing and creativity to me, because of Port Townsend, Washington, and my Goddard residencies. I get to go again in February. I’ll have these words in my head when I go. And it’s sort of a full-circle thing, too, because I bought this book for S from Copper Canyon Press. From Fort Worden to Vermont back to Fort Worden, with all kinds of poetic flutters and frills in between. From the Puget Sound to the shores of Lake Champlain back to the Puget Sound. Sand in my shoes. Gathering beach glass.

The photograph above is from Coney Island, NY, another place I’ve gazed over saltwater. I’ve never been there in the summer, only in cold weather. L and I gathered shells there.

Here’s the poem I’ve been talking about: From Pablo Neruda’s The Book of Questions translated by William O’Daly


When I see the sea once more

will the sea have seen or not seen me?

Why do the waves ask me

the same questions I ask them?

And why do they strike the rock

with so much wasted passion?

Don’t they get tired of repeating

their declaration to the sand?