Friends, first I want to say thank you for the overwhelming support at the announcement of my new shop last week. At this point, I'm excited to report that I have more orders to fill than I can really keep up with and more ideas and designs floating in my head than ever. It's so hard to predict inventory before opening the store, so perhaps I got a little bit ahead of myself... Oh well. It's an exciting time.
Of course, it's in the midst of this joy that life, in it's unpredictability and indifference to our preferences and plans, chooses to intrude and remind me : it's out of my control. I went home for the weekend, and it turned out to be a lot harder than predicted. I share with you this poem in honor of a friend that passed away, and my mother who is in the hospital again trying to regain strength after a hard week.
What I Learned from My Mother
by Julia Kasdorf
I learned from my mother how to love
the living, to have plenty of vases on hand
in case you have to rush to the hospital
with peonies cut from the lawn, black ants
still stuck to the buds. I learned to save jars
large enough to hold fruit salad for a whole
grieving household, to cube home-canned pears
and peaches, to slice through maroon grape skins
and flick out the sexual seeds with a knife point.
I learned to attend viewings even if I didn't know
the deceased, to press the moist hands
of the living, to look in their eyes and offer
sympathy, as though I understood loss even then.
I learned that whatever we say means nothing,
what anyone will remember is that we came.
I learned to believe I had the power to ease
awful pains materially like an angel.
Like a doctor, I learned to create
from another's suffering my own usefulness, and once
you know how to do this, you can never refuse.
To every house you enter, you must offer
healing: a chocolate cake you baked yourself,
the blessing of your voice, your chaste touch.