Sunday, February 1, 2009

Where A Woman Shakes Her Tablecloth

A line from "The Moose" by Elizabeth Bishop. My favorite poet.

I suppose I should begin with the reason I chose this as my blog site title. I've never had a blog before, always writing my thoughts in journals which I have kept for 22 years. Since the seventh grade I have written nonsense in these diaries. Until now, I haven't been able to bring myself to type and enter my nonsense into a computer instead. Why? Because there is a certain nostalgia and intention in writing the old-fashioned way, spelling out a phrase like "Oh my God" is so much more effective than "OMG". But I have given in to technology and the 21st century. I am now a mother of a five month old and typing while he snoozes is so much faster than writing. But I will never give up my journals. I'll still write.

Back to my blog title. I am rather domestic. Not necessarily good at all things domestic, but I am nonetheless. This is a characteristic of mine that I used to fight so hard in my early and mid-twenties. I was ashamed of being domesticated because it wasn't Jack Kerouac-enough. I felt the need to act edgy, aloof, sarcastic, literary. How very young of me to care, I realize now. It wasn't until my late twenties, when I met my husband, that I realized being domestic isn't a bad thing. I consider it an advantage to my situation. I've always loved feeling cozy, in fact "cozy" is one of my favorite words, along with "lovely," both of which are quite domestic words by the way.

This is the reason I love "The Moose." I love the domesticity of the poem. Bishop writes of a bus ride from, to, or in Nova Scotia (I'm not sure which) and the people and sights she passes and the people she meets. The poem has a very domestic feel to it with talk of "narrow provinces/of fish and bread and tea", sunsets, sweet peas, cabbages, and "where a woman shakes her tablecloth/out after supper." That line is my favorite line of the poem.

I like to imagine what this woman looks like, her strong character, her love for her family. And I strive to be like this woman. Courageous, no nonsense, multitasking, supportive of her husband and nurturing toward her children, full of humor and everyday hope. The kind of woman who makes her house a home with photographs on the wall and the smell of dinner on the stove in the evening. The kind of woman who can take care of her family, yet not lose herself in the role she has created. The type who is spiritual, accepting of others, strong in her convictions. A woman who loves a good glass of wine and a deep laugh with her friends.

Women are wonderful. Women are beautiful. Women are passionate, women are lovely. I never understood the importance of having women friends until my thirties. Now, I couldn't live without other women. They are intelligent and supportive, funny and kind. They are the kind who shake their tablecloths out after dinner...and look damn hot doing it.

No comments:

Post a Comment

I love your lovely thoughts...