Perhaps the Blog Ends Here

I’m leaving Saturday for a week’s vacation with my extended family. Aviva has been packed since mid-July. I have a couple of library books I’ve been looking forward to reading, a novel by Vendela Vida and the memoir My Life as a Boy by Kim Chernin, which I started last night and already can’t put down.

I’m not sure what the future holds. An almost-eight-year-old girl writes “I am strong” on her arm, so self-possessed, uncensored, neither built up nor weighed down by her own stories. I was eight, too. And now I’m four times eight and then some, and I’m networking and applying to full-time jobs, trying to secure things financially, wondering what to do with my manuscript of poems, school starts back up in a couple of weeks, the night air has that fall edge to it, life is changing fast, and much remains uncertain.

My dreams don’t seem to have a pause button to them these days; I wake in the morning soaked in sweat and saturated with images, half-gone, voices and faces. I see and know things I have no way of knowing. I pour bowls of honey-nut cheerios and set the timer for the girls’ movie time and think about the two clients I have coming to my home office this morning.

Lately I’ve been more than usually struck by the raw depth and honesty of some of my favorite writers and bloggers. By contrast, I feel restrained and self-censored.

Maybe a week away from blogging is just what the doctor ordered, a fast of sorts. My hunch is that it may be longer, that perhaps I need to close some proverbial doors in order for the windows to fly open, to butcher an old cliche.

The truth is, I’m tired of trying to predetermine outcomes. Tired, even, of my own questions. Maybe I’m just plain tired. I continue to hope that the Universe is spacious and forgiving, even if I do miss the mark time and again. I have to believe that I’m getting closer. Or maybe Gertude Stein was right and there really is “no there there.”

I just keep thinking of Kim Chernin’s words, “violent endings and stormy beginnings.”

My friend Kristin sent me this Joy Harjo poem last week, a perfect match for the Friedensreich Hundertwasser painting, Island of Lost Desire.

For now, I’ll sign off with a deep bow of respect to you who have read these words, whoever and wherever you are, wishing you well and trusting that we’ll meet as we’re meant to before the world ends –

in a story or a song, on a screen or on a page, in a dream or on a park bench, at a rest stop or in an airport terminal or during an intermission or at a poetry reading or on a wooded path or waiting on line for the women’s bathroom or at a soup kitchen or a topless beach or a concert hall or a toll booth or in the snow near some obsolete payphone, cold hands deep in pockets, digging for change.

Perhaps the World Ends Here

The world begins at a kitchen table. No matter what,
we must eat to live.

The gifts of earth are brought and prepared, set on the
table so it has been since creation, and it will go on.

We chase chickens or dogs away from it. Babies teethe
at the corners. They scrape their knees under it.

It is here that children are given instructions on what
it means to be human. We make men at it,
we make women.

At this table we gossip, recall enemies and the ghosts
of lovers.

Our dreams drink coffee with us as they put their arms
around our children. They laugh with us at our poor
falling-down selves and as we put ourselves back
together once again at the table.

This table has been a house in the rain, an umbrella
in the sun.

Wars have begun and ended at this table. It is a place
to hide in the shadow of terror. A place to celebrate
the terrible victory.

We have given birth on this table, and have prepared
our parents for burial here.

At this table we sing with joy, with sorrow.
We pray of suffering and remorse.
We give thanks.

Perhaps the world will end at the kitchen table,
while we are laughing and crying,
eating of the last sweet bite.

18 thoughts on “Perhaps the Blog Ends Here

  1. Sandy in Florida says:

    Jena, I’m writing to thank you for your blog. I’m an appreciative lurker, but was already planning to de-lurk this week to tell you how happy I am that you’ve been blogging more often (or so it has seemed, anyway), and how much your posts have touched my mind and heart. And now I’m writing to wish you a possible farewell.

    I hope you’ll be back. But I know how that feeling of being less than authentic can make writing into near torture, and I don’t wish that for you. You are a genius with words and ideas, and I’m so glad for your mere existence on the planet even if you never blog again. Thank you SO much for, with your writing, reminding me of the important things.

    P.S. I do believe our paths will cross again somehow! Though we are far apart geographically and in stage of life (my kids are grown), I feel you are part of my tribe. :)

    Like

  2. Lindsey says:

    I will be thinking of you in this next phase. I will miss your words but absolutely understand the impetus to do something different, or to rest, or to just be.
    xo

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  3. rowena says:

    I hope it is a good, restoring vacation you have. Honestly, I hope you don’t end your blog, because it is nice to hear a voice across the interwebs that resonates with the voice in my head. But if you need to do it, you need to, and we will find another way to connect.

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  4. Megan Pincus Kajitani says:

    As always, Jena, sending you support for whatever you do, and however you do it! Totally understand the unknown fate of the blog, as my own has been languishing this year. And share with our fellow humans the unknown fate of tomorrow. With you in the unknowing, and the faith that what is, is what is meant to be, and what will be, will be. (que sera sera!) Whatever you choose, I hope we can stay connected. Enjoy your blog quiet, however long it lasts, and know you have made a difference here and have many who would welcome your return and/or celebrate your new path with you. Peace, from California, to you and yours…

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  5. GailNHB says:

    Peace and quietness and strength be yours on this journey with your family and with your soul. You will be missed. You are always welcome.

    Traveling mercies, dear Jena.

    Like

  6. Mani says:

    Holding you in the temple of your Strength… I will miss your words here, but hope that I will not have to miss them elsewhere. Stay in touch if it feels right to your soul, and blessing all along your way regardless.

    Much love,

    Mani

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  7. Meg says:

    Jena-A blog is just another place to practice.
    You will come here or you won’t, I hope that you come when it serves you to practice here and let this place rest when it doesn’t.
    You are raw and honest as any writer I have read. Yet still we all need breaks and also need to decide when certain creative mediums work and don’t work for us anymore.
    It may be too small or too big or not fit quite right right now.
    If it is a burden, lay it down and leave it be in peace. Nothing is permanent–neither blogs nor breaks. If you write again we will be here to read. If you don’t we will cherish what you have shared with us, grateful for the gifts of your words that you shared and look forward to the new gifts you give the world. Wishing you joy adventure and peace and hoping to cross paths with you sometime soon.
    love
    Meg

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