The other day I woke up with that heavy, gritty feeling of sadness,

the deep in the mud, skipping rocks sleep,

heavy lidded and foreboding kinda blues.

The blues that make me feel one dimensional in every way.

I did my ritual of gratitude before my feet hit the ground,

I set my intention.

I would make soup.

Soak the bones, soft boil, set the aroma in the house,

I would use our senses to signal that there is comfort in this place.

I turn to John in the bed and say, hey, what did you do with that turkey carcass?

He turns over, sighs, says, I didn’t know what to do with it when I was cleaning up,

so I threw it away.

I deflate.

Its a turkey carcass and I feel grief.

I think of the way I tenderly massaged melted butter with

crackly sage on its skin, surrounded it with the givings of root vegetables,

squeezing lemon in drips and rivets, blessing its journey from raw to cooked.

I thought of the juice in that pan, the golden bits of skin still stuck on the places uncarved,

I could imagine the tender carrots and celery chunks,

the flavor and wisdom they would have imparted to a stock.

I say, I’m disappointed, I say in my heart, I feel unknown and I feel uncomforted.

We go to a craft fair to meet a friend, the kids trail, happy, in the way, testing patience.

I see a shiny blue mug made of ceramic, it’s a little misshapen, the mouthpiece is curved and clumsy.

The booth is manned by a couple of older women who make they pottery because it feels good,

one shares her mother has passed on and has made many of these pieces,

one shares her name is Amy, like mine.

I buy the mug and several other pieces,

I buy some ornaments for the children,

a couple of doves and a bright, pink flamingo.

We walk around, John gets more restless with watching the children,

monitoring politeness and also trying to take peeks at the arts and offerings.

I want to see more, there are so many talents here.

The kids have gotten hungry and cranky,

we almost knock over the backdrop when we take photos with Santa,

the youngest keeps repeating I want to go home,

his 40 pound body is getting heavy.

The middle one won’t get in the car.

We drive home, John says let me see what you got.

I have a leap in my heart to show the blue mug.

I search in my bag, I feel the corners, I upend it so I see the seams.

No mug.

I cry, I can feel bitterness in my throat and raw, desperate and savage thoughts.

I am alone. I am alone. I am alone.

I cry, little pathways of tears on my cheeks, I ache.

Literally, I’m not sure how or why,

but the turkey carcass and this little blue mug feel assaulting to me.

I’m trying.

I’m trying so hard to keep it all afloat and it’s slipping from my fingers.

I lay on the coach, John feeds the children,

I sob, I feel, I feel it all.

I don’t want to

but I do.

He joins me at the coach, kneels beside me,

unlike other times, I let him take my hand.

I say I’m sad.

He says I’m sorry.

I say I’m so deflated and I can’t inflate myself any more.

I sniffle, I blow my nose.

I get up. I feed myself. I sigh slowly.

John comes up behind me,

instead of putting in suggestions, he blows on my shoulder.

Does that help he asks?


I’m trying to help inflate you.

I had already decided to go back. I was getting my bearings.

Yes, it helps, I’m going back.

It’s a little less crowded, it’s winding down now,

there are two new older women at the booth,

I left a mug here, it’s blue, I have the receipt.

What now, they say, let’s look around, is this it?


Is this it?


Well wait now, let’s figure this out, you picked out a mug.

Oh, one says, I feel a bag under here,

she pulls out a teal bag, shaped lumpy with a tissue wrapped object,

she unwraps the piece,

Is this your mug she asks?

I see the shiny blue,

it’s even more clumsy than I remembered.

Yes, I say,

my eyes are moist now.

Yes, and let me tell you the story,

I leave nothing out.

They are delighted–these are my people.

We are so glad you came back honey.

Me too, I clutch my mug to my chest.

I show my kids when I get home,

hey, I say, here’s my mug,

I went back.

Did you hear me?

Always go back.

Feel your feelings and always go back.

I gave you my blood in your veins and we go back.

Whatever they say

and keep jumping on the trampoline.

Whatever, I repeat, a smile curling my lips,

it’s delicious, this smile.