poem by Marie Howe

Johnny, the kitchen sink has been clogged for days, some utensil probably fell down there.

And the Drano won’t work but smells dangerous, and the crusty dishes have piled up

waiting for the plumber I still haven’t called. This is the everyday we spoke of.

It’s winter again: the sky’s a deep, headstrong blue, and the sunlight pours through

the open living-room windows because the heat’s on too high in here and I can’t turn it off.

For weeks now, driving, or dropping a bag of groceries in the street, the bag breaking,

I’ve been thinking: This is what the living do. And yesterday, hurrying along those

wobbly bricks in the Cambridge sidewalk, spilling my coffee down my wrist and sleeve,

I thought it again, and again later, when buying a hairbrush: This is it.

Parking. Slamming the car door shut in the cold. What you called that yearning.

What you finally gave up. We want the spring to come and the winter to pass. We want

whoever to call or not call, a letter, a kiss—we want more and more and then more of it.

But there are moments, walking, when I catch a glimpse of myself in the window glass,

say, the window of the corner video store, and I’m gripped by a cherishing so deep

for my own blowing hair, chapped face, and unbuttoned coat that I’m speechless:

I am living. I remember you.

I read this poem on Facebook, for the first time yesterday…thank you Heather for introducing me to Marie Howe’s work.

Beauty is everywhere. It’s breathtaking and heartbreaking in a delicious sort of way.

It’s not my style to sleep.

It’s the way creative people live.

Everything becomes integrated into the next thing and nothing is wasted, mostly. We miss a lot of things but the important things we keep.

We are sensitive to the world around us… (God forbid!)

It’s what the living do.

As I sit here writing in a tank top and not showered yet because I’m compelled ( I can’t stop)…and it’s going to be well over 100 degrees today, I think we are not that different.

We are obsessed in different ways and over different subjects.

It’s alright with me…is it ok with you?

I believe in beauty; feeling, seeing and tasting it, like the half order of Fettuccine Alfredo with sautéed mushrooms I splurged on last night.

Like my grand babies skin after he’s just come out of the pool, cold and shivering, warming in my arms.

I’ve fallen in love with this poem…


“Reach out and invite Life into your experience. Ask, so that you may receive. Ask others to join you on your journey, for this is not a time for shyness. This is a time for soft, non-judging boldness.

This is a time to Live.”

and so we go…

doing what we do

with love


7 thoughts on “Beauty…”

  1. Oh, my goodness! This is exactly where I’m at since my husband died unexpectedly in mid-July. I’m trying to keen into the grief & loss, but there are days… Thank you, Marylou! You’re the best! Bj

    Sent from my iPhone


    1. I am so sorry for the unexpected death of your husband, BJ. This is really hard, I know. No doubt, you’re still in a state of shock. Leaning in to your grief is the heroes journey and taking really good care of yourself, the best you can… never having gone through this before. Not knowing what that means, to take care of yourself, exactly. Sending big love…and understanding.

  2. We do have other choices. Some would bring heartache to those we love. So every day we get up determined to move forward even when our hearts have suffered losses. We think we can’t get past the heart breaking reality of the human condition. We bring new life into our world with the knowledge they’ve been put on a path to leave one day, maybe even before us. This would probably cause us gut wrenching, heartbreaking, misery.
    And so we go. We put smiles on our faces. We carry hope in our hearts and maybe pray for peace of our soul.

      1. Thanks for your kind words, Mary Lou.
        Sometimes it takes a person who has suffered their own losses to fully understand what the rug being pulled out from underneath your feet can do to you.
        I think you live your life in grace, Mary Lou, and are an inspiration to others.

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