Monday, March 14, 2011

On, In, and Around Mondays: If Only the Table


"Can we make the table round?" asks my older daughter, on one of the nights we are alone.

I begin to say no, but cannot think of any good reason to persist in refusal.


We pull the dark oval apart, lift out two sections, hide them behind a brown living room chair. Then, body facing body, we rejoin the table to itself, into a circle so small we can easily hold hands around it.

I am reading about medieval spirituality, how it was more embodied than our own. Accordingly, cathedral design focused on the embodied God-in-Christ, rather than the Trinity. The table, or altar, was a focal point for where the Bread of Heaven met people.

I'm also reading the two final essays in The Spirit of Food. Both have the language of bodies and tables. Both have the language of finding and losing. One woman loses her early confidence in love, after reading a letter from her father, who cautioned, "Everything changes... You will bind yourself to someone who will change, and in the very dark moments, you will not know who he is."

The other essay writer lost the illusion that her table could provide a secure seat for a girl who seemed to heal but eventually took her life. This revelation especially arrested me, as I learned this week that a friend's husband just took his life on the first day of March, a day which has always reminded me of spring.

Both writers likewise found ways to join to others and be, at least for a time, fed.

I think about my own daughter's desire for a little round table, and I wonder if she's hoping that the trinity of her and me and my littlest daughter will somehow create an unbreakable circle— where no one is lost forever, and there is always room for another hand to share the bread of earth, or heaven.


On, In and Around Mondays (which partly means you can post any day and still add a link) is an invitation to write from where you are. Tell us what is on, in, around (over, under, near, by...) you. Feel free to write any which way... compose a tight poem or just ramble for a few paragraphs. But we should feel a sense of place. Would you like to try? Write something 'in place' and add your link below.

If you could kindly link back here when you post, it will create a central meeting place. :)

On In Around button

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Blogger Kelly Sauer said...

Oh you have the same table we have!

8:20 AM  
Blogger Kathleen said...

How lovely and thoughtful. I love your circle. I love your nonlinear sense of Monday.

8:46 AM  
Blogger Kim said...

Thanks for listening to your spirit and saying "sure" to your daughter when you can!

As Lent is a time of self-examination, my On, In and Around Mondays is The Flesh Out List Revisited.

10:08 AM  
Blogger Laura said...

There was so much in those last two essays. I love how their stories compliment yours. Beauty sometimes holds the tongue when "no" wants to roll off of it, doesn't it? I think that your "yes" in this instance was a grand work of beauty.

10:33 AM  
Blogger Maureen said...

A "Yes" is the first step in making a circle.

John O'Donohue called a blessing "a circle of light drawn around a person to protect, heal, and strengthen. . . The beauty of blessing is its belief that it can affect what unfolds."

May the blessings of your table circle always.

11:24 AM  
Blogger Jennifer @ said...

I love your "yes" to the circle ... and to the drawing-closer.

11:59 AM  
Blogger Bonnie said...

Thanks for the book title about Beauty! And your round table.
I have the other book so will look at those essay!

Spent this past weekend in the NC mountains with the white flowering bradford pears and forsythias begging for poetry!

10:00 PM  
Blogger Bonnie said...

Also , I am very sorry about your friend's grief. I just heard similar news of a recently married friend who just found out that her husband has cancer. Not a good diagnosis either. The pray life becomes very still, very meditative in looking for words, doesn't it.

10:07 PM  
Anonymous Sandra Heska King said...

I need to say yes more often.

I wish I had a little round table. There's something about a circle.

Hugs to you.

3:17 PM  
Blogger Rob said...

For some reason as I read this I had a vivid image of your mom and two lush haired little girls sitting together....

i miss you.

5:05 PM  
Blogger sojourner said...

what a sweet mother you are to grant such a siple request - oh such fodder for memories to come, which in turn will continue the table connection into future generations!

10:42 AM  
Blogger a joyful noise said...

Years ago, I purchased an old oak round table for $10. from an elderly couple who felt it was taking up room in their basement. It is one of my treasures. We can sit many people around that sweet table and enjoy as you say fellowship so close you can touch hands.

5:58 PM  
Blogger Pranavam Ravikumar said...

Loved your post...!

12:19 PM  
Blogger Jenne' R. Andrews said...

Laura-- why isn't my review of Maureen Doallas's collection Neruda's Memoirs, on the book's Facebook page? The link is available at Loquaciously Yours, February Archives.

Or, are you only posting links there to insider/totally favorable reviews?

Jenne' Andrews

5:00 AM  

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