Slice of Life Tuesday:”…sitting in the middle of perfect/possibility”

Slice of Life Tuesday is hosted by Two Writing Teachers


This morning, ever-thoughtful Terje wrote a post about her summer of not writing which has me ruminating over my own summer writing habits. “I need the summer to turn inward,” she concluded,  “cherish the seldom moments of solitude…”.   After months of hectic activity – closing down my classroom, packing up one house, moving into another – I find myself with plenty of solitude to cherish, and yet an inward turning that seems to preclude writing.

Yesterday, the farm was battered with rain from all sides: sometimes it marched up the valley, at others it stormed eastward from the Green Mountains, and at others it seemed to simply break overheard without warning.  From time to time I watched its progress from the one dry end of our front porch, mesmerized by the play of wind, rain, and light.  I was so still that a bird alighting on the porch table in search of some respite did not notice that I, too, was taking cover there.

A rainy day. The perfect day to write.  It brought to mind this Jane Kenyon poem, especially the last two lines:

Afternoon in the House – Jane Kenyon
It’s quiet here. The cats
sprawl, each
in a favored place.
the geranium leans this way
to see if I’m writing about her:
head all petals, brown
stalks, and those green fans.
So you see,
I am writing about you.

I turn on the radio. Wrong.
Let’s not have any noise
in this room, except
the sound of a voice reading a poem.
The cats request
The Meadow Mouse, by Theodore Roethke.

The house settles down on its haunches
for a doze.
I know you are with me, plants,
and cats—and even so, I’m frightened,
sitting in the middle of perfect

Summer seems to call both ways: inviting us to turn inward and replenish, and also inviting us to take advantage “of perfect possibility”, to write.  Sometimes one can answer both calls, sometimes not…yet.








7 thoughts on “Slice of Life Tuesday:”…sitting in the middle of perfect/possibility”

  1. Wow. This post strikes a chord with me; posts like this always do. It is a reminder of the promises I’ve made to myself about writing, especially as I have time to recharge over this “teacher summer.” There is something intimidating about possibility, but your post also reminds me of the beauty in the promise of it as well. Thank you.


  2. So beautiful, Tara. Thank you for sharing this poem, which was unfamiliar to me (why haven’t I read more Jane Kenyon?? Remedying that soonest). I also wrote about not writing today, and I very much resonate with your and Terje’s note about a need for an inward turn that somehow precludes writing.


  3. We all need to look inward at times and see what is there and if it wants to come out. A rainy day is a perfect day for introspection and writing. What a great poem, Tara. Thanks for sharing.


  4. Months of hectic activity deserve some time for inward turning. “Afternoon in the House” is lovely. I especially like the lines:
    “The house settles down on its haunches
    for a doze.”
    Perhaps you deserve some dozing time too!


  5. Thank you for sharing this gorgeous poem. Like Elisabeth, I find myself wondering why I don’t read more Jane Kenyon! You deserve time to turn inward, Tara, and recenter yourself after all the tumult of the past few months. Savor the quiet and solitude. You will find the rhythm of your days and your words will flow. I can’t wait to read them!


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