Posted by: jeannineatkins | June 17, 2008

Summer Spells

So on Sunday night Jo jbknowles pressed her nose to the screen door to hear crickets and her cat and maybe smell the basil, and I felt like I was near as she left thoughts of the asparagus patch and started tapping out her revision. I, too, could almost hear her husband reading A Wrinkle in Time and their son asking questions on this early summer night, and soon I was thinking about ways we live with and leave what’s before us. We can see through a door or a window or a little frame we form with our hands.

I know that novel Jo is revising is beautiful, though I haven’t yet seen a page. Right here, right now, that’s where we start, and today for me it’s on the porch smelling the husband-cut grass, wondering if I should clip off the dried-up iris blossoms, but just watching a bee circle white stalky flowers and the yellow day lily opened. I know there’s stuff outside this frame. Where is the bear I saw two weeks ago? Will the phone ring? Will I answer? Never mind. I literally put the tips of my thumbs and two fingers together, stretch my arms, and look through the diamond-ish-shaped frame. Here is where I am: grass, bees, white blossoms. My not-great-but-could-be-worse back on the wicker chair. Casting a spell to be in this moment and maybe passing along that casting, as Jo did for me, as I tap out on my laptop just what I see before heading to my home away from home in ancient Iraq. Chapter four, if you must know.



  1. You created the scene beautifully, Jeannine. I’m totally with you in the grass, bees, and white blossoms.

  2. Thanks, Dina. Looks like another beautiful day — to avoid the coffee shop.

  3. Yeah, I’m trying to do a little writing now–out of guilt and deadline pressure, if nothing else, and then Shel and I are going to play hooky and go bike riding.

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