My Work

My work is to know that Gabriel Garcia Marquez wrote the most beautiful sentence in the world.

My work is to marvel at the silent flight of owls, to envy the way they listen with each feather.

My work is to remember that I sat near death on a long bus ride.
My work is to try to describe her. My work is to fail. My work is to try again. 
My work is to fail.
My work is to recall the possibility of bears. 
My work is to adore the smell of Yellowstone.

My work is to call you to the table.

My work is to walk through the graveyard reading faded stones.
My work is to question the veracity of markers.
My work is to kindly queer the binary.

My work is to save cursive from extinction. My work is to prefer curves over lines.

My work is to remember my pioneer people. My work is to plan my own pilgrimage.

My work is to witness my daughter become herself.

My work is to sing praises and laments.

My work is to google who said they would pursue beauty to its lair. My work is to pursue beauty to its lair.

My work is to be curious about birds, especially small ones.
My work is to learn their names.

My work is wonder about God.
My work is to wonder how to talk about God without dimming any glory.

My work is to care what happens at 2 am in the trauma hospital, to imagine what it’s like to be the sister of the girl who isn’t dead yet from a self-inflicted gun wound to her head.

My work is to ask my husband what it was like to catalogue the contents of her pockets.

My work is to notice the dusty plastic roses placed above the vestibule entry at the nail shop.
My work is to wonder who put them there.

My work is to heed my dream and unleash a whale.

My work is to reach through the crowd to touch the hem.

My work is to listen as the 3 year-old girl seated near me at the restaurant tells her mother wild ponies run away. My work is to watch her crawl on the bench on all four legs. My work is to know she’s a pony.

My work is to hear her mother warn her. Wild ponies don’t get to come inside restaurants, wild ponies have to wait outside. 

My work is to let wild ponies into restaurants.

My work is to travel by train and to sit with strangers in the dining car. To watch the sun set as we thread the Nevada desert. To listen to the large man from Michigan tell me the story of his father who fought in the Pacific during World War II, to hear how his father was flung into ocean when his ship exploded, to hear how he got his back caught on a coral reef—how it shattered him and shredded him and saved him.

My work is to learn to watch baseball, to consider the way in which each base hit is worth more than hitting it out of the park. To value an extra inning and the absence of a clock.

It’s my work to observe the play of light, to spend time watching squirrels run on power lines.

It’s my work to notice how each day I get water, how readily it flows through the faucet when I turn the handle.

My work is to tell you about a woman who sounds as smooth as satin when she speaks, a participant in my writing class at the shelter. To tell you how she asked should I write from my inner voice to my outer voice or from my outer voice to my inner voice?

My work is to adore a metaphor.

Try both, I said and see what you like.
She put her pen to the page and the whole time she wrote she mumbled in the dark gravelly voice of a man.
Her inner voice to her outer voice? Perhaps.

My work is to warn you there are no metaphors.

She asked me later Is it best to keep a window open?

My work is not to hesitate before saying Yes.
My work is not to wait for God.
My work is to keep a window open.