Saturday, July 10, 2010

On the Table Where I Write

Mother and Child, by Sara, 12

"Why do you always say what Julia says? I am tired of hearing from Julia."

He was being honest, and it made me chuckle.

Well, I am saying what Julia says, because I am writing these posts for the HighCallingBlogs book club. But if I tell the truth it is more than that. For better or worse, I like Julia. I don't agree with everything she says, but I like her. And it may even be possible that she has changed my life.

That feels like a big statement. And I suppose it is. For today I am not going to try to defend it. It is part of the table where I am writing my life.

This week, in her chapter "Roots," Julia opens with talk about her actual table. Funny, she is also writing in what she calls "high summer," on the Fourth of July. Gracing her table is evidence of the season... roses, rambling and red.

I look at my own table. It doesn't seem graced so much as cluttered, with seasons present and past...

Faded yellow table cloth, French style. A painted mug, Picasso colorful—given to me by a student once—and a sculpture of mother-and-child made by my older daughter. Stubs from bills, summer camp papers, a travel alarm clock, a recently recovered-from-being-lost voice recorder. The impressive looking heft of Julian Bell's book Mirror of the World nicely diminished by a dried up grape stem that looks like an old woman's hand.

My table says a lot about me. Things that Julia can't say. That is how it goes. Someone can change your life, but she can't live it for you. Your life is yours to write.

Mother and Child Joined, by Sara, 12

Mother and Child balance sculpture by Sara, age 12. Photo by L.L. Barkat.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

cool sculpture

1:44 PM  
Blogger SimplyDarlene said...

This is so good. The last paragraph is the prettiest bow on the package.

My table? Dried lavender flowers. Giant farmer's market sunflowers, flat of blueberries, bag of apricots (2 varieties), 16 picture frames (empty), pile of paperwork from our house-sale signing yesterday, tear stains, and grooves from elbows indenting pressure points of folder prayer hands.

Thank you for the book en route. I saw J. post. Beautiful. Although I feel a tad lost (okay, more than a tad!) without my roots sunk deep, I feel a little more able to bloom right here.


1:48 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

Hmm... your table is my table on a good day (but I don't write at my table) so maybe that is worse. My husband uses my table as his desk, and my desk catches overflow. I write in my chair looking out the window now. Lap writing helps with the achy elbow, it seems, and now the hand.

Will have to give some thought to roots. Busy weekend, and few weeks... thinking in spurts. :)

(Yes, cool sculpture, noticed that right away). Take care.

2:00 PM  
Anonymous Cheryl Smith said...

I'm writing now in the Living Room, on the love seat, with the laptop, well, in my lap. But I'm finished now, and the battery meter says 2% so this will be my last...

4:26 PM  
Blogger TUC said...

That sculpture is very neato. I appreciate how the two can stand apart and yet be balanced in an embrace.

The last paragraph... my youngest child was born with a black Sharpie in her hand. She gave it to me and said, "Get busy, mom."

5:04 PM  
Blogger ELK said...

oh i relished the list of items on your table ... the "every dayness" of it...we all have those snippets of life to live...

the sculpture is so special ...

5:09 PM  
Blogger sarah said...

I love the sculpture.

My table is my living room table, and its covered with the stuff of our lives - and there is always a cup of tea, full, half-drunk, or empty - on it. :-)

5:10 PM  
Blogger SimplyDarlene said...

L.L.--okay, I did it.

Thank you for the hugs.


11:06 AM  
Blogger Michelle DeRusha said...

I like Julia, too. And I love, love the book. I read a borrowed copy from the library first, and then went online and bought my own. I needed to own it, if you know what I mean.

I love the details of your table -- feels like real life to me.

9:30 PM  
Anonymous kingfisher said...

Hi, Laura,

Here's my poem about my art table, as you suggested.

12:22 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I love your last statement. Gave me chills (or it could be the quiet instrumental background music was just the right soundtrack for reading your post this morning!)

No book plans for a while for you? Well, I bet you are going to get plenty of mileage from the last three that you pumped out. There are many years of readers out there yet to discover your wonderful writing.

6:24 AM  
Blogger Unknown said...

love the sculpture...

I don't really have a table or space . I wander from place to place .
And no bits. An empty banana peel, scraps of paper , a candle sometimes.
I am working on carving out a spot. A go to place other than the main floor family computer.

9:19 AM  

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