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  • Writer's pictureShana Ritter

Walls made of words 

In a couple of days I leave for the west coast. I’ll have time to visit with long time friends before going to a writing workshop with Mark Doty in poetry and memoir.

I’ve been holding the time for that the way I hold a sense of the sun’s path when I go walking in the pathless woods – real woods not metaphorical ones.  In the metaphorical world I’ve  been walking on nothing but paths for months and months. Paths of tasks I’ve managed to complete sometimes smoothly,  sometimes stumblingly.

I’ve been holding the time for this writing workshop in front of me since early spring. It looks like a room with walls woven of words and breath. Like a Sukkah; the small house of sticks constructed for the harvest festival of Sukkot that holds a place for open sky as part of its structure.

My grandsons were here visiting much of last week and each night before bed we stepped out to look at the stars and say goodnight to the darkening. Each morning we watched the east grow slowly light. Between stretched the activities of the day- fishing exploring painting eating napping bikes and balls watching for hawks and a walk with Gracie, our dog,  into the woods. In between I grabbed at emails and phone calls and the necessary pieces of jobs to be done. I loved the demand to be present in the space always bordered by sky.

As I scamper to complete tasks before leaving I keep my gaze turned to that open house, a sukkah of words surrounded by sky – seeing myself sitting under those branches I find my breath.

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