Skip to content


November 29, 2017

It’s been a difficult last few days, coming back after a week-long break for Thanksgiving, tempers short at semester’s end, the news full of stories about the rich plotting ways to make themselves richer at the expense of the poor and middle-class, and net neutrality on the line again, like a rotten cherry on this mud-and-shit-pie of a week.

I have been practicing trying not to say everything I think. This is hard for me. Sometimes it means I have to be entirely quiet, so nothing escapes. Last night I tried just going to bed, but that didn’t work, so I got up and read for a while.

Today the sun is shining, a rarity for an Ohio November. And I had lunch with a friend who is good at taking turns venting and letting me vent. We had lots of lunch.


It’s a gift, this cloudless November morning
warm enough to walk without a jacket
along your favorite path. The rhythmic shushing
of your feet through fallen leaves should be
enough to quiet the mind, so it surprises you
when you catch yourself telling off your boss
for a decade of accumulated injustices,
all the things you’ve never said circling inside you.

The rising wind pulls you out of it,
and you look up to see a cloud of leaves
wheeling in sunlight, flickering against the blue
and lifting above the treetops, as if the whole day
were sighing, Let it go, let it go,
for this moment at least, let it all go.

Is your whole day sighing? Have you seen anything as beautiful as wheeling leaves in sunlight? I had to go to the grocery store (where I met my mailman and we said hello and he commented on how well I was walking– what a small-town encounter) to buy ingredients for pies I’m making for a work event this weekend, and I bought some roses;  they are beautiful.


They are almost enough.

20 Comments leave one →
  1. November 29, 2017 7:24 pm

    Oh, Jeanne. Your flowers are beautiful. I’m sorry I gave you a bum steer with Girl with the Red Balloon, and I’m sorry you’re having such a shit week. For whatever it’s worth, you are an awesome person who I adore. I’m glad you are in my life.

    • November 29, 2017 9:14 pm

      I’m enjoying Black Sails and trust your recommendations in general. In the case of The Girl with the Red Balloon it’s partly me being a huge grouch but also the generation difference; I was quite aware of the Berlin wall and the memory of it ticks me off along with everything else this week.
      I adore you, too. Have lunch with me in New Orleans this winter.

  2. Carol S Schumacher permalink
    November 29, 2017 7:34 pm

    I think we should just go to Hawaii.

    • the other theo permalink
      November 29, 2017 8:04 pm

      Or as signs said during the current President’s last visit: “Welcome to Kenya!”

      • November 29, 2017 9:11 pm

        Ha! In my experience, Hawaii is always the answer.

  3. November 30, 2017 5:15 am

    This is exactly the post I needed to read right now – thank you 🙂 I will try and let things go and enjoy the last cold, crisp day of November. Hope your week vastly improves!

    • November 30, 2017 7:56 am

      Hope yours improves too, and that it’s partly because you read this poem!

  4. November 30, 2017 6:47 am

    Very hard to let it go! Appreciate your thoughts on it!!!

    • November 30, 2017 7:57 am

      It is hard… one of the hashtags for my work event this weekend is #yourenotalone.

  5. November 30, 2017 10:33 am

    It is so cold here today that letting go of anything is difficult, especially any items of clothing. Your roses help somewhat but all I really want is a roaring fire and a pot of very hot tea.

    • November 30, 2017 10:57 am

      I agree that it is harder to let go of anything when you’re cold (despite the popular song from the movie Frozen). We had a wonderful couple of bright fall days here in central Ohio, but now it’s chilly and rainy again here, too.

  6. November 30, 2017 8:03 pm

    I sigh a lot these days. Nature doesn’t always work. I wobble between what is best for my mental health and what is my responsibility as a citizen to be informed. In all my years, I have never felt this for such a constant period of time…

    • November 30, 2017 9:28 pm

      I think a lot of us are feeling that way, and it’s important to keep wobbling, rather than capitulate.

  7. December 2, 2017 9:57 am

    I started making monthly donations to various causes this past January. You can donate as little as five dollars on-line. This has helped me deal with the events of the past year. Saying what you think is good, though you don’t have to do it every time. But putting my money where my mouth is has been very rewarding to me on a personal level. Even if my candidates still don’t always win I keep on fighting the good fight.

    In any case. I hope things begin to improve for you this week.

    • December 2, 2017 10:44 am

      Thanks; they have, and I’m making pies for the work event.
      I started out subscribing to newspapers every time the news made me angry, but lately I’ve been donating to political causes, like you. Evidently money is the only thing politicians believe in.

  8. December 4, 2017 4:50 pm

    In these last several months I have become a fierce and dedicated meditater which helps more than I thought it would. And if it weren’t for my chickens and their shenanigans I would be pretty down a deal of the time. Your flowers are beautiful and your friend is wonderful and that is pretty awesome.

    • December 5, 2017 12:47 pm

      I now have a lovely image of you meditating fiercely.

  9. December 13, 2017 6:19 am

    Were we separated at birth? I also came back from a vacation to have all hell break loose at work, and also ended up feeling I just had to be quiet for a while. I love your poem; the whirling leaves are a wonderful image. Thank you for this post.

    • December 13, 2017 8:16 am

      The separated at birth idea made me hear the sarcastic voice of Remy’s lawyer Lamar from the movie The Big Easy: “New Orleans is a marvelous environment for coincidence” –because I was thinking that about book blogging. So many of us have found our people here. Glad you like the poem.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: