Quiet Day at Home

The day has been meditative, quiet, and productive. The study seems like a living presence to me right now, and I have enjoyed the view, watching the birds come and go, the leaves swirl and tumble, the sky change. After last’s week line up of events and tasks, driving here and there, seeing many people, battling disorder with papers and files, this week begins in silence, reading, and thinking. IMG_3312The weather, though, was a background spectacle. First, sunshine and clear skies. Then clouds collected to the north by the mountains, became dark. Chilly gusts of wind swept the leaves around on the patio now and then, ushering in a moderate rain for about fifteen minutes. After that, a rainbow, faint on one half of the arc, brighter on the other. Sharp rays coming through the darkening skies onto the ornamental pear trees, and then clear skies above the mountains just before twilight. IMG_3315I had a lot to do, so I settled into a comfortable pace. First task: open emails. Two rejections, one acceptance. Wait a minute. Really? Two poems out of four sent, and a request for recordings of both of them. Happy surprise! That called for a cup of hot tea with milk. Second task: send out more poems. That took almost all day. Each journal seems to want different things: no name on page, all information on first page, information on separate page, line count, word count, no bio, short first person bio, third person bio. It took some time to create all of the necessary documents, but I love working on that kind of a project. All the while surrounded by books. IMG_3316My eyes landed on a recent highly-valued gift from my amazing stepfather, Eric Peavy (we both hate the terms “stepdaughter” and “stepfather” but haven’t found replacement words yet). An artist and all around interesting person, he at one time illustrated an old copy of The Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam that he had bought at a yard sale, and then hand-bound it. He first recited this passage to me when I was just sixteen years old:

The Moving Finger writes; and, having writ,
Moves on: nor all your Piety nor Wit
Shall lure it back to cancel half a Line,
Nor all your Tears wash out a Word of it. (verse LXXI)RubyiatI also spotted a book of poems by Larry Kramer, a mentor and teacher I had so many years ago, a lover of thrift-store browsing where “the things of the dead/for pennies are given away” (“Junk Store” p. 20). He is gone now, but I can hear his strong voice, almost frightening in its resonance, as soon as I open the book, called Brilliant Windows. IMG_3318On my desk, another highly prized gift from my friend, Stephanie, a strong supporter and encourager, the Fisher Space Pen. I love it. IMG_3322

The study is full of wonderful things, and I end the day feeling grateful for books, pens, poetry editors, art, friends, guides, and counselors. What is it like to spend a day in your study?

Time to sleep now.

Kramer, Larry. “Junk Yard” in Brilliant Windows. 1998: Miami University Press.
Fitzgerald, Edward, translator. Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam. New York:  Books, Inc.

 

15 thoughts on “Quiet Day at Home

  1. Congrats on the poem acceptances! That’s wonderful. And I hear you on the ‘stepfather’ and ‘stepdaughter’ thing. My stepdad is amazing–one of my favorite people in this world. I don’t like the term ‘step’ either, but since he entered our lives when I was an adult, ‘dad’ doesn’t really fit either. We need a better term, I think.

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    1. Thanks Carrie! If you think of another term, please let me know. I have an inner wince every time I say “stepfather,” but you’re right, “dad” doesn’t really fit. I was close to my natural father as well, so he was “dad.” Hmmm. Worth some thought.

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  2. I love the idea of making your own illustrations and binding them into an old book! What a lovely and original gift. My own study today is much the same as yours: books all around, flora and fauna outside the window, interesting weather. Oh, and one very demanding marmalade cat, who makes sure I take regular breaks. 😉

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    1. Thank you, Andrea. Finally! For the past two months, it has been only rejections, so it was a pleasant surprise. Still more files and papers to organize, but at least they are now in an easier-to-manage place, waiting for my attention. The right micro-environment means a lot. 🙂

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    1. Thank you! We live in a small condo, so this study used to be a guest room. We had so many books, that after the bookshelves and the desk went in, there was no room for a bed! Guests use our bedroom when they are here, and we sleep in the living room. The challenges of a small place! Hope you get a proper study soon. 🙂

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  3. Your study/workspace is warm and cozy and inviting. I love my home office: large windows overlooking lots of trees & birds, A living plant near my computer, beautiful photographs that I took and framed over the years. But what I miss are the hundreds of books that I used to own. Had to give them away when we downsized. They are the most comforting objects in a room, to me.

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    1. Thanks Pam! A plant is a great idea, and that is something I do not have in my study. Yes, the books provide a wonderful sense of comfort and peace. Also, when I think of something that I know I read in one of them, I just have to pull it off the shelf and look it up. It’s a nice feeling. Do you have photos of your study on your site? I looked around but didn’t see them immediately?

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  4. You made me cry with the memory of Larry Kramer. I was never his student, but when I taught on campus, he used to come sprawl in my office occasionally and talk about poetry and poets and Iowa. He was a special person. And so must be your “other father,” EP. He sounds just priceless, both as a person and as a parent who is a guide in life and the arts.
    xoxo

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