Day 6: Jam on Toast

IMG_2009

I got out of bed in the dark and went to the kitchen, brewed a cup of coffee, and sat at the table, reading, writing, watching the day begin to leak some gray into the black of the windows.  By the time I stood up to get ready to run, sun was lighting a corner of the kitchen.  Two hours, from black to gold.  What happens in those morning hours?  Somehow they seem unaccountable, an awakening that exists outside of time, a stillness that follows me out of sleep until I’m pulled into what has to be done, or what I think I have to do.

David and I often talk during these early hours, I skim the newspaper, do the Jumble, edit poems, put up a blog post, make lists, look at Facebook, read other blogs.  But it feels foggy and unproductive.  I get up from the table to start my day, not crediting all of the day that’s already happened, all I’ve already done.

I remember talking to a woman years ago who did training for judges, and one of the things she stressed to them was that they needed to matter to themselves.  “It’s okay to sit down and eat some toast with jam in the morning,” she would tell them.  “You can listen to the birds, you can relax.  You deserve to start your day nourishing yourself.”  She wanted them to understand they had worth beyond their roles as judges, that they counted as individual human beings who might want an extra five minutes in the morning to eat breakfast, and that was okay.

Now that I have time many mornings to relax into the day I struggle with feeling like that’s legitimate.  Does paying attention to the movement of light help make it more acceptable?

I think it might, because I’ve given myself this job of paying attention, of noticing.  Today the sun has come and gone, disappearing in snow showers, then making a hazy circle in the clouds, now hitting me right in the eyes, through my study windows, brightening my desk, shadows of my lamp and pens and letter-opener sharp on the wall, a rose heart where the light is filtered by the red glass of the lamp base.

That rose heart can be my jam on toast.

IMG_2011

Advertisements

About Grace Mattern

Grace Mattern is a poet, writer, mother, grandmother, partner, friend, family member, gardener, triathlete, hiker and for 30 years was the Executive Director of the NH Coalition Against Domestic and Sexual Violence. She resigned her position at the Coalition on June 15, 2011 in order to concentrate on her writing, while continuing to engage in the movement to end violence against women as a consultant and advisor. Her chapbook Fever of Unknown Origin was published in 2001 and her full-length poetry book The Truth About Death was published in 2012.
This entry was posted in Light, Seasons. Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to Day 6: Jam on Toast

  1. beautiful description, beautiful thoughts. I rise at 4 and have done most of what I’ll do for the day by 8. And I DO count breakfast, reading emails and daily poems and sometimes blogs, maybe revising a poem or critiquing a poem for someone else. Writing in my journal (which is a computer file). I wish I had the discipline to walk in the morning, but I seldom do…and running is out of the question…I envy that you can.

  2. bornbyariver says:

    I too need time to read, sip coffee, ease into the day. It gives me an equilibrium for everything that comes later. Thank you for sharing.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s