Wednesday, March 26, 2014

trying to love the world

In the Kitchen

by Penelope Shuttle

A jug of water
has its own lustrous turmoil

The ironing board thanks god
for its two good strong legs and sturdy back

The new fridge hums like a maniac
with helpfulness

I am trying to love the world
back to normal

The chair recites its stand-alone prayer
again and again

The table leaves no stone unturned
The clock votes for the separate burial of hearts

I am trying to love the world
and all its 8,000 identifiable languages

With the forgetfulness of a potter
I’m trying to get the seas back on the maps
where they belong

secured to their rivers

The kettle alone knows the good he does,
Here in the kitchen, loving the world,
Steadfastly loving

See how easy it is, he whistles

{from Poetry International. read more on the author here}

Sometimes it's very easy to love the world, and at other moments, so difficult. It's not that the world has changed, per se. It just takes one small thing and we can lose our nerve, fall out of love with the world, become off-kilter. We lose our equilibrium.

How to love the world again?

I'm trying to listen to the quiet prayers of things. The chair, and its 'stand-alone prayer.' The table and the way it holds anything with patience, without protest.

I'm watching the light enter my kitchen window, the way it might enter anyone's kitchen window. I'm watching it caress the peppers on a plate, the way it seems to enter the skins of them, illuminate them from inside.

I'm trying to photograph the light in a way that it says something about the heart.

Starting in the kitchen, I'm trying to love the world.


  1. Love. "I'm trying to listen to the quiet prayer of things." I think I'll join you today. Have a wonderful day, Shauna.

  2. Thank you so much, Shauna, for the nice words and very nice pictures. You are really
    a talented artist. I am always enjoying your posts. Keep the good work for ever.

  3. discovering lovely ordinary things.
    that make me feel good for some reason.
    from the last post i see you have my exact same little teapot. it was a gift.
    and from this post i see that you too do dishes by hand. a contemplative gift.
    you capture light like none other.
    and you make it speak.
    or do you
    let it
    that's it.
    and it helps me to love the world. again.

  4. Thank you for the comments everyone :) Wishing you all some contemplative time today xo

  5. Like you, I've been chasing the sunlight, finding color wherever I's that time of year when we all seem to hunger for it. Beautiful light-filled images, Shawna and what a wonderful poem...I'm saving this one.


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