Sunday, December 16, 2012

Ritual Intervention

Thrifting yesterday, I 
wanted to bring home 
an orphaned shoe polishing
valet box. Inside was a brush
worn out along side rusty Kiwi 
cans, black and brown.

I didn't have courage enough
to twist the tiny brass clasp. 
What if the polish was cracked 
and dried up when I 
opened the lid? 

It turned out to be Pandora's 
box because scents activated
tearful memories of dad's 
nightly shoe shine ritual.
This military standard shoe 
polishing ritual takes up 
serious space in the slide 
carousel always twirling 
around upstairs. It took
determination to leave it
on the shelf. I don't need it
taking up room on mine. 

But now I need to find a
way to make sense of living
in a world where we throw 
our shoes away before 
polishing them. So, 

I stand a warm boiled
egg sturdy and upright 
in an egg cup like grandma
used to do. I tap, tap, tap, 
around the shell's cap,
without her finesse. Rituals
have to be practiced, refined 
over time. Her first egg too, 
was probably a mess.


Nae said...

Beautiful ...

Susan said...

Rituals are even more meaningful when we practice them and pass them on to the next generation. Continue growing that sourdough starter,draping your home in evergreen boughs, and snuggling on the porch swing with a pile of books. These things matter. They do.

Kandi said...

Its so powerful to me to remember sights and smells of my family traditions and how all of them are woven into my life, makes me realize that leaving a legacy is really important :) thanks for the reminder Kathleen...

Louise Gallagher said...

Love this!

and yes, that military shine. My father too practised his art to perfection.

Valerie Kamikubo said...

Rituals are good when they connect and center us. This was beautiful to read, Kathleen.

Maureen said...

Sometimes when we break open a shell, we find treasure inside.

Love the title and the poem, and the heart-felt place where the words are stored.

SimplyDarleneq said...

is that a mess? i've never seen an official egg-holder, but i'd say since you don't have any on the floor, it's a smashing (or cracking) success!


Anonymous said...

i love the title... every year that the christmas tree goes up...i think of these kinds of things.

Anonymous said...

Remember I have a picture of your little girls watching Grandma Jose crack and eat her perfect egg, the girls are wide eyed with wonder.