of pots and pans and wings…..

It’s been long hours driven inside from the cold
and I’ve been cooking to stay close to the fire,
making food with love for body and soul
because sometimes it’s the only way I know
in the muddy places
and so there I stand,  heart a little shaky,
hands solid on the shiny purple of the onion
that I slice through crisp
as the tears run down a healing tide

and I breathe in deep the smell of sunshine crawling up from fresh split peppers,
and the heat climbs,  too,  from my hands soaping dishes
in a sinkfull of prayer poured out over steaming water
and I hear again the sound of singing river
grooving slow across the buried things inside
until the song opens true
and captive things break loose
and I feel it stilled,  the quaking
of this heart running scared.

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and while I pour another lazy stream of olive oil
I pour out,  too,  the song that’s getting unstuck down inside
and a warm breeze grooves across my heartstrings
until my feet have to scoot and slide
and  I feel again safe-held
inside wings that don’t force or squeeze
and heaviness slides off into the water
as I tug free the drain.

I wish you oil and warm and water and light
and a fresh song rising:)


“What’s lost is nothing to what’s found,
and all the death that ever was,
set next to life,
would scarcely fill a cup.”
-Frederick Buechner


  1. Julia on February 22, 2015 at 6:45 pm

    I love how the mundane action of simply preparing a meal and washing dishes can bring such creativity and poetry to make your heart groove to the song inside.

    Have a wonderful week.

    • Jennifer Richardson on February 26, 2015 at 6:10 pm

      I love the mundane of life…..all ablaze with glory, sometimes it seems:)
      thanks for coming over to visit, Julia,

  2. Joan Creasy on February 22, 2015 at 9:48 pm

    Kitchen therapy…..accompanied by prayer with every dice, is healing to the heart and soul. This is beautiful, Jennifer! Your song is beautiful, too!

    • Jennifer Richardson on February 26, 2015 at 6:11 pm

      thanks, Mom:)
      I love that you came by to have a read:)

  3. Lady Fi on February 22, 2015 at 10:29 pm

    You find and describe so much beauty!

    • Jennifer Richardson on February 26, 2015 at 6:11 pm

      so much to see and share:)
      your eyes, also, celebrate life in a big way.
      glad and grateful for your visit,

  4. Lindsay on February 23, 2015 at 7:49 am

    Stunning pictures Jen!

    Just wondering… a few weeks ago I send you a small bday gift, did it arrive in good conditions? It was actually a surprise so I hope your address haven’t changed over the years….Just wanted to make sure it didn’t get lost, so far for the surprise huh. 🙂

    Much love!

    • Jennifer Richardson on February 23, 2015 at 8:13 am

      oh Lindsay, I wrote a thank you….did it not arrive?
      I’m so sorry; I left an additional thank you on your blog post that week, too,
      a kind of thank-you-again. Yes, it arrived! And I still have the slice of art
      “healer” displayed front and center in a special place in my house. All of the
      beauty is up and shining and singing to me still.

      I hate you didn’t get the thank yous. Yes, I got and thank you thank you thank you
      thank you thank you thank you thank you thank you…..x 100!

      Much love to the gift that is you,

      • Lindsay on March 7, 2015 at 7:20 am

        Dear Jen,

        It seems there is something wrong with my e-mail notifications because indeed, I didn’t find the messages. Just found the blog comments as we speak while browsing in my blog archives, also reading you have left a message here so… fwiew!! I’m happy, found them all at once hehe. 🙂

        I used to get an e-mail when you respond to a comment on your blog here and now I don’t get those anymore… not sure how I can fix this?

        Anyway, I’m happy the gift arrived. <3

        Much love,

  5. Bonny Bonafilla on February 23, 2015 at 10:04 am

    It’s amazing how you’ve made a spiritual journey out of washing the dishes. It’s not usually one of the tasks I relish; it’s more to be endured – with an interesting snippet of something from the television to help with the tedium. On the other hand I totally identify with the healing involved in preparing a warm, hearty meal to nourish the body and the soul. On cold, grey days it’s an evening ritual that lifts my spirits and helps make my heart sing again. Your lovely, lyrical description is spot on. All the best, Bonny

    • Jennifer Richardson on February 26, 2015 at 6:14 pm

      Thanks, Bonny:)
      When I remember not to rush, it’s a beautiful thing.
      Then somehow everything becomes a spiritual experience.
      I think the slowing down and being mindful is a healing thing.
      Thanks for coming by:)

  6. susan on February 23, 2015 at 10:35 am

    “a sinkfull of prayer poured out…” I won’t forget that Jennifer. Once I wrote a piece that was a prayer to my hands in the beginning. It was a time when I was going through chemo and everything I did was oh. so. slow. I was peeling carrots in the sink and found myself with a timid prayer—(I don’t talk to God very often), for the efficiency and beauty of my hands doing their work. On another subject Jennifer, I’m trying to learn twitter. Can you send me your twitter handle? I want to follow you and have more followers. Thankyou.

    • Jennifer Richardson on February 26, 2015 at 6:40 pm

      I can see your hands peeling carrots,
      you wordsmith it so well.
      I don’t actually do twitter. Have tossed the idea around.
      When and if I do, I’ll send it to you and we’ll hook up there.
      Thanks for coming by,

  7. Sue on February 23, 2015 at 6:12 pm

    Always enjoy your soft sweet words, keep warm by the fire. love those sparking photos!

    • Jennifer Richardson on February 26, 2015 at 6:15 pm

      Glad you came by
      to see and share the sparkle:)
      Thanks for visiting,

  8. Kathryn on February 24, 2015 at 6:32 pm

    Your exquisite words will be in my head tonight as I make soup and wash the pots and pans afterwards!! Love the photographs that accompanied your words…just lovely!!!

    • Jennifer Richardson on February 26, 2015 at 6:16 pm

      It helps to remember to slow down and be in the moment,
      doesn’t it:) I want to live there…..
      thanks for coming by,

  9. jeanie on February 26, 2015 at 10:49 am

    You HAVE had cold! That ice is beautiful — but I know what comes with it! How wise you are to find the warmth and sweet fragrance of the kitchen. Your spring will come — sooner than ours — and it will be beautiful. Until then, I know that no one will savor nature’s joys and challenges more than you — or be more up to the task. And until then, there is that steady stream of olive oil — and all the sweet yumminess that comes after!

    • Jennifer Richardson on February 26, 2015 at 6:17 pm

      Steady stream of olive oil:)
      Grateful for all the yumminess these days of frozen and fires;
      thanks for coming by and leaving such shiny words,

  10. Relyn on February 26, 2015 at 2:48 pm

    That first image made me gasp. You have such a clear style. I can recognize your work without a name. I just love the way all your images are colorful and exuberant and happy – just like you.

    • Jennifer Richardson on February 26, 2015 at 6:19 pm

      Wow, Relyn…..thanks for that really bright encouragement.
      Makes my heart feel a little braver:)
      I appreciate your visit. So much,

  11. Kathy Anne on February 27, 2015 at 9:48 am

    So glad this found me today! Speaking of olive oil, I used it on my dry face this morning and it hydrated and gave me the best glow. Try it.
    Warm hugs, Kathy

    • jennifer on March 1, 2015 at 4:48 pm

      I’m glad it found you, too:)
      sometimes I use coconut oil like that
      but haven’t tried the olive oil…..good tip.
      warm hugs back,

  12. Cindy Long on February 27, 2015 at 10:33 am

    Oh fiery, passionate friend…I could read these words a 100 times over and find a new treasure…like facets of a stone, every side has a story, a new glimmer and shimmer of hope and new… adventures of trust where wonder rules!
    Thanks so much for these meandering spaces that come about when you share your heart song!
    Love you!

    • jennifer on March 1, 2015 at 4:49 pm

      sooooo much thanks, friend;
      your encouragement is a wellspring of life:)
      thanks for dropping by,

  13. Susan on February 27, 2015 at 11:50 am

    I love, in a very good way, knowing that you are stuck inside at the stove, with the pouring of oils and the chopping & dicing & the sink full of warm, sudsy water. It’s been such a long stretch here of being chased inside, trying to get warm with lots of hot baths, looking out the windows at the white for many days. My heart & body are aching for spring and I do appreciate all the goodness you send out.

    • jennifer on March 1, 2015 at 4:49 pm

      I can only imagine how hard it must be for the
      constant stream of winter you’ve endured….Spring
      is going to be such a rush!
      hope you’re well and warm even so,

  14. Donna on March 1, 2015 at 8:51 am

    Fabulous images of the cold still embracing us…I have been feeling cocooned and ready to burst out like a spring bud…..’and a warm breeze grooves across my heartstrings’….my heart swooned with these words of yours dear Jennifer. My soul sang and a warm glow has replaced the ice….thank you!

    • jennifer on March 1, 2015 at 4:51 pm

      Yay for the warm glow
      and thanks for your even warmer
      peace to you in the waiting,

  15. gotham girl on March 6, 2015 at 6:47 am

    I always enjoy my visits here…and washing dishes is truly meditative for me. People have always thought I was weird when I would say that…but I love it! Your words…like poetry…sing to me! Thank you!

  16. Bren on March 20, 2015 at 1:25 pm

    Just got to say, these are spectacular photos! Love them!

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