windows and walls…..

I want my life to be an open window
like the Irregardless of my childhood,
a Raleigh restraunt that became something of a cold frame
that warmed my spirit to sprouting
like the ones I munched on my beanburger

Winter sunshine poured in through tall rough hewn windows
lined with life in pots glazed with earthy whimsy.
To my young eyes,  it was a living painting
built by “artists and hippies”
with fresh flavors and fascinating fragrance
that seeped into every pore of my soul
and marked me.

The food was poetry …farmers market marries Van Gogh
and I marveled at every particle
as if watching a new color being born.
But the glory of the place,
where the creativity angels seemed to gather,
was the bathroom.

I’d slip away from the table and my lemon tahini
and fairly skip down the narrow hallway
to let my soul marinate
in the sanctuary.

 I loved that tiny room with the high ceiling.
Every square inch was splashed with a mural
so bold and daring and brilliant and expressive
it seemed to sing out loud
in it’s ebullience
…spirit wine freshly shaken and uncorked,
someone’s heart poured out on walls.
It made the rest of the world seem dredged in gray flour
and fried up cold and bland.

 But here, gardens blossomed and spilled
unconstricted down cinderblock and mortar
and became grafted into my sense of possibility.
I wanted this.
I want it still.

And sometimes now,
when headache and hassle and disappointment
feel like icebergs ripping into my hull,
I close my eyes and remember that herby, loamy smell of freedom
that got inside me then.

 And something wildly fearless pokes fun again
at the perfectionism dogging me,
gently stretching my vision-gone-narrow
until it begins to reach out again beyond walls
that seem to be closing in
and I rethink walls.

They are just walls.

(this is a re-write…. whisked and sauteed and served up fresh;
I send you love and bright hope
for open windows and fresh breeze.




  1. Kel on February 5, 2012 at 3:33 pm

    a window is a hole in a wall
    i chose to peek through one of the windows to explore the Irregardless and discovered an artist statement by Kyle Highsmith; “These works are made of oil paint and canvas – but beyond that, beyond the colors and the images, the most basic and constant element is the intense joy with which each was done.”
    it reminds me of you and your blog 🙂

  2. Lynn on February 5, 2012 at 4:25 pm

    Oh the feeling, the longing. Perhaps that is why I feel like a gypsy trapped in a caretaker’s body. Perhaps because I long for the freedom of childhood. Wow. This one really got me thinking. Also made me utterly aware at how wonderful it is that I am now providing this freedom feeling for new young souls. May we all find our inner children and set them free. Beautiful writing. Love the first photo the best. Speaks deeply. Thank you for dishing this post up! I’ll have seconds please! 🙂

  3. JBR on February 5, 2012 at 5:00 pm

    Dang woman, your words are so right on. Thank you always for sharing your heart dear one Blessings.

  4. elk on February 5, 2012 at 6:06 pm

    such a special place to land today .. from the farmers market marries Van Gogh to the feel of the icebergs of life ..your poetry intertwines my feelings..and the breeze catching the curtain …so lovely my friend!

  5. beth on February 5, 2012 at 6:49 pm

    food is poetry… was poetry…..i honestly just wish i could really appreciate what i eat more then i do….i always feel like i’m in a rush to just get each meal over with.

    thanks for the inspiration !!

  6. rachel awes on February 5, 2012 at 8:22 pm

    your last photograph…with light + wind through window…
    OH. MY. GOSH. breathtaking!
    if this is what it looks like, then YES!, friend! let’s keep them open!
    lovelove xoxox

  7. lisleman on February 5, 2012 at 9:49 pm

    I enjoyed the wonderful phrases you create. I was surprise to discover a bathroom being describing so sublimely.

  8. lisleman on February 5, 2012 at 9:52 pm

    You write so well. I come by and toss bad grammar in my comment. I need an edit function on my comments.

  9. S. Etole on February 5, 2012 at 10:44 pm

    So much hope and promise blowing through that lovely window.

  10. Mary on February 6, 2012 at 7:00 am

    “whisked and sauteed and served up fresh”

    and what a nourishing meal it is…oh how i love your way with words, and the heart they come from.


  11. Anita on February 6, 2012 at 7:04 am


    This was well worth the re-write! Your words are poetry in it’s truest form. From the heart, soul stirring and beautiful, just like you.

    Lots of love and warm wishes for a perfect week!

    xoxo, Anita

  12. JillsyGirl on February 6, 2012 at 8:00 am

    I can just envision sitting in that room and being drawn into another world!

  13. Nancy on February 6, 2012 at 9:28 am

    My imagination goes wild as I ponder on that last picture…Images from childhood of long summer days that were free to roam and explore….

    You use words like some use paint to illustrate the beautiful heart within you….Don’t ever take your gift for granted because it is amazing and blesses all of us so much…

  14. missing moments on February 6, 2012 at 10:15 am

    Wonderful words to share again …and your images are right on with the words.

  15. Jess Morrow on February 6, 2012 at 10:37 am

    Now wait a sec … who’s the wordsmith here? This was gorgeous, and reminded me EXACTLY of this colorful restaurant I used to adore when I lived in Arizona. I also love how the photos divide up the text–they fit perfectly. Brava!

  16. Louise G on February 6, 2012 at 11:33 am

    On this chilly winter’s day where the world outside my window is grey and brown and white all over, your words breathe spring into my being.

    and that word…. ebullience

    such a wonderful word!

  17. kathryn on February 6, 2012 at 2:15 pm

    what a wonderful memory to tap into to bring you back to that wild abandon and freedom you feel as a child!!

  18. Susie on February 6, 2012 at 2:44 pm

    your poetry is art and your art is poetry. bravo.

  19. Barbara on February 6, 2012 at 3:40 pm

    I can imagine you as a child, reveling in that color, and how wonderful that you can still slip away into the memory. I’m sure that’s part of what inspires your gorgeous poetry and art, so I’m grateful for that little room, too!

  20. Julia Of Petals and Wool on February 6, 2012 at 7:51 pm

    Ah Jennifer, how sweet memories of days gone by that left its imprint deep in the recesses of our mind come back to us, beckoning us to revisit once again the places that filled us with contentment in our solitude and dreamy little world.
    Nothing like the freshness of an open window on a spring day with potted plants on the windowsill to send me back some years when life was less rushed and bed sheets fluttering in the wind on the line, whiten by the sun… Wishing you peace and love. JB

  21. Marjie Kemper on February 6, 2012 at 9:03 pm

    I’ve only once been in a place like that, and I feel it now reading your post. II see all your words and all the comments, but I’m stopping myself at the pure enjoyment I feel from your first photo… that tilted up view is melting my heart.

  22. Liz on February 6, 2012 at 10:05 pm

    hey Girley! for some reason your post brought a book to mind again that I’ve been meaning to tell you about….I bet you’ve already read it….Anne Lamott’s “Bird by Bird”….if you haven’t read it, betchya’d find a kindred spirit in her… you’d love it……another one of those, “we read to know we’re not alone” books.

    more in an email, hope you’re having a sweet night over there….

  23. Judy on February 6, 2012 at 10:15 pm

    What an amazing memory, and so beautifully expressed! An open window is so symbolic to me and I absolutely love that last photo. I once slept in a very sparse bedroom on the third floor of an old house;
    the breeze blowing the curtains was so sweet and I felt like I was in a tree house, surrounded by fragrant leaves. I haven’t thought about that for years. Thank you for stirring up that lovely memory in me.

  24. Michele Bergh on February 6, 2012 at 11:31 pm

    Love the fresh breeze blowing through the windows of time. Thank you for sharing all of you.

  25. Liesel on February 7, 2012 at 2:33 am

    “They are just walls” – I am making a knot as to not forget this. This is beautiful!

  26. Christie on February 7, 2012 at 9:33 am

    A beautiful post with gorgeous photos. I can almost smell the homey, health food in the restaurant. Love that you re-wrote the poem and pushed it out into the universe in it’s shiny new outfit. Bravo!

  27. Anne on February 7, 2012 at 10:11 am

    “they are just walls”—yes, yes, yes. Can’t decide whether the first or last picture speaks to me most—how lovely that I can have them both!
    Sharing your gifts is such a blessing to all who stop here.

  28. Pat Langley on February 7, 2012 at 1:22 pm

    Your poetry is very calming; pictures are too. I like the collage with the bird. Nice!

  29. Kim on February 7, 2012 at 8:18 pm

    My favorite line…”The food was poetry …farmers market marries Van Gogh” –
    Love everything thing about this post! (as always) love your words and images. xo

    • Emmly on May 24, 2014 at 8:34 am

      That’s a smart answer to a diilucfft question.

  30. Marcie on February 8, 2012 at 7:01 am

    Love the metaphors of the open windows and the ebb and flow and breezy-ness of life. Beautiful!!!

  31. Connie Smiley on February 8, 2012 at 9:51 am

    Thanks Jennifer, once again, for all this beauty bunched up in words and pictures. Now I know where all this creativity started–in your bathroom. Gentle breezes to you, too.

  32. jeanie on February 8, 2012 at 9:08 pm

    I don’t know which moves me most — your eloquent words or your beautiful art. Thank you, my friend, for sharing all this loveliness with us.

  33. Dulcy Stewart on February 11, 2012 at 8:29 am

    Good Morning Sweet Friend………. I adore photos of windows and their happy ledges with nature and pretties all lined up. I smile when I come here…… I think of spring and green and being outside (it’s 10 degrees this morning) so…. this is a most pleasant post.


  34. LindyLouMac in Italy on February 11, 2012 at 10:35 am

    A rewrite it might well be but it cheered me immensely especially the window photos. 🙂 By the way have you seen the new Linky Follower a way of keeping in touch when GFC ceases for those of you not using blogspot, I think that includes you, as you have a domain address?

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