what is left behind

Friday, April 19, 2013

life is heavy.
it is sad,
and it is short.
too short, and sometimes
just taken away from you.

when watching these tragedies,
it's hard to know what to do,
even what to feel. 

i found this picture yesterday,
a meal shared by friends.
but look at the table.
look at the life stained in. 
look at how many meals and moments have carved themselves into this place.
look at the memories showing through,
the signs of life left behind,
reminding us to live.

this morning i dragged my huge dining room table outside.
i got my belt sander and am taking off the waxed surface. 
this is something that i've been wanting to do for sometime.
but the moment finally struck. the time is now.

this is the gift of images. 
whether it's horrible images that we don't want to see or beautiful ones, 
they sink in. 
they propel change. 
they bring action. 

i don't know what i can do about the greater world around me right now, 
but i do know that i can make my table raw.
i can let it absorb the wine stains, the water spills, the homework indents, the board game impressions, the conversations, the laughs, the struggles, and the precious years that we have together. 
i know that i can get under the surface and let the moments show through
becoming evidence that we lived.

because life is short.
and when it's over, all we have 
is what is left behind.


how do you deal with tragedy? after seeing so many play out in the media, can you still feel? does it bring about change in your own life? 

(image source)


  1. beautiful, beautiful, BEAUTIFUL.

    i will now {forever} look at all of those new gashes, indents, & stains in an entirely different way.

    {and let me tell you... we just got a good one... a big ol' line, indented in. who knows how it got there? hailey, in the midst of homework? not sure, but there definitely won't be a lecture this time.}

    1. yes. praise the marks, right! it's all in the way you look at it. have a wonderful weekend. xx

  2. Yes, very beautifully said. I agree, listening and watching these horrific acts, i try to remember that there is so much beauty around us and majority people are good. I try to not let the fear enter my psyche, hard at times. I pray for peace in Boston and all the people that have been directly impacted. Not only Boston but all around the world.

    I too, will now see those indentations differently, thank you for that.

    1. You're right about that, focusing on the good is probably the most helpful thing we can do.

  3. its been horrendous, my heart breaks for our world! from my own experience of personal tragedy and shock , when directly involved you shut down! For me it took 2 years to come out of this first stage...you are changed....forever changed. My prayers are with the families x

    1. I My experience, although limited, is much the same, you do shut down. And I feel like with each public tragedy, we are all changed at some level. Thank you for your thoughts. xx

  4. First of all, smiling because when we bought our dining room table (mid century, Craigslist) the owner told us "Don't mind the scratches. They're from my daughters doing homework on it for years." We love those marks (plus then I'm not nervous when my own kids scratch and bang it up!)

    Second, you know the change I've made in my life (on my body) today. Definitely my impulse to just go ahead with it today was a result of this week's events. I love what you wrote in that email to me the other day- "if it makes your heart beat faster, go for it." Or at least attempt, right?

    1. That is a great thing about vintage, it gets better with age and wear. I'm glad you went ahead with your change. I agree it's better to attempt than never do. That was my dad's feeling that he expressed a lot. "I never regret the things I've done, I only regret what I've left undone."

  5. Inspiring and beautiful. I was reading to Calvin from "The Velveteen Rabbit" tonight, which reminds us that to be worn is to be loved, and to be loved this way is to become real.

    1. Oh the Velveteen Rabbit, I loved that book. Such a true and beautiful sentiment. xx

  6. Read this and thought again of your post: