Friday 1 July 2022

An Invitation - to Leave the Dishes


Andrea Kowch - An Invitation 

"Leave the dishes.
Let the celery rot in the bottom drawer of the refrigerator
and an earthen scum harden on the kitchen floor.

Leave the black crumbs in the bottom of the toaster.
Throw the cracked bowl out and don't patch the cup.
Don't patch anything. Don't mend. Buy safety pins.
Don't even sew on a button.

Let the wind have its way, then the earth
that invades as dust and then the dead
foaming up in gray rolls underneath the couch.
Talk to them. Tell them they are welcome.

Don't keep all the pieces of the puzzles
or the doll's tiny shoes in pairs, don't worry
who uses whose toothbrush or if anything
matches, at all.
Except one word to another. Or a thought.

Pursue the authentic-decide first
what is authentic,
then go after it with all your heart.
Your heart, that place
you don't even think of cleaning out.
That closet stuffed with savage mementos.

Don't sort the paper clips from screws from saved baby teeth
or worry if we're all eating cereal for dinner
again. Don't answer the telephone, ever,
or weep over anything at all that breaks.

Pink moulds will grow within those sealed cartons
in the refrigerator. Accept new forms of life
and talk to the dead
who drift in though the screened windows, who collect
patiently on the tops of food jars and books.

Recycle the mail, don't read it, don't read anything
except what destroys
the insulation between yourself and your experience
or what pulls down or what strikes at or what shatters
this ruse you call necessity.”

Louise Erdrich

 I couldn't resist taking time out from the sorting and the cleaning to share this.  

I love the painting by Andrea Kowch  ... I seem to like most of her work ... and this one seems to fit so well with these words by Louise Erdrich.

Sue xx


  1. I graciously accept the invitation only I can't see the mention of husband's underpants, do I have permission to ask him to put his own in the washing machine :) I too love the painting my long suffering friend and I would suit an afternoon tea just like that, the Jubilee before last when we were neighbours nobody in our road wanted a street party , so she and I sat on the pavement with a vintage table and had a lovely afternoon tea, with wine, and waved at our neighbours and delivery men as they passed by (our husbands hid away ), such fun !

    1. You could do with a pair of those old washing tongs like my Mum had for lifting washing out of the soapy water and into the bath. Then you could handle the offending underpants at arms length and deposit them into the washing machine ... or the bin ;-)

      I bet the two of you had so much fun at your little Jubilee street party, I miss my best friend.

  2. < grin > The last but one sentence made me laugh out loud! xx

    1. I think it's one of those poems that we can all pull out the bits from that really resonate isn't it. It made me laugh out loud as I had just been sat sorting through a drawer with paperclips and all sorts of detritus. Instead of carrying on I fell down a rabbit hole of amazing poems.

  3. I love the artwork. I like the sentiments of that piece of writing - well, the general sentiments, not sure I'd be comfortable with the rotting food or mould though! ;-)

    1. Think of all the tiny bacterial lives you would be nurturing, just like mini pets .... haha ;-)

  4. Such fun and for me another one of those timely reminders to let go a bit more often!
    Alison in Wales x

    1. I think we all need that reminder sometimes don't we.

  5. If I didn't know better, I'd swear Louise had been in my house. :)

  6. Gosh, I fear I am marching to the beat of a very different drum. I find the painting . . . disturbing . . .the air of distraction and the faces which aren't attuned to one another. The poem likewise as it doesn't really resonate with me. I march to a different drum indeed - yes, I have the drawers of useful elastic bands, childrens' teefs, notes on scraps of paper which have absolutely no meaning any more, rolags of dust beneath the furniture, stained bits of carpet I keep swearing I will get sorted, but I have totally different distractions.

    1. Marching to a different drum is exactly what makes blogland so interesting. We all create quite a cacophony :-)

  7. I've read your blog for a few years so it's time I comment! I've known Louise Erdrich from my visits to her bookstore in Minneapolis. I wasn't familiar with this poem, and although it doesn't speak to me, I do enjoy her books. Celie (in Wisconsin).

    1. How wonderful, I would be a regular visitor ... perhaps even stalker-ish ... if I lived close to her bookstore.

  8. Thank you for introducing me to Andrea Kowch's work, that painting is utterly wonderful.
    The poem is brilliant and really resonates. Louise Erdrich sounds like the kind of woman I'd hang out with. x

    1. I love everything that makes the every day so appealing, and especially artwork with so much detail to drown in.


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