Windows and walls…..

amarylis blog

I want my life to be an open window
like the Irregardless of my childhood,
an artisan eatery in my hometown that became a sort of soul tattoo
and warmed my spirit like a cold frame
until my roots could grapple into roomier ground.

Wintertime sunshine poured through tall,  rough hewn windows
lined with green and growing things spilling from cracked pots with mottled glazes;
the raw beauty of their imperfection sang me open,
a fresh and fragrant living painting that infused my hope
and marked me.

The food was poetry…….farmer’s market marries Van Gogh
and I marveled at the vibe and variety
as if watching new colors being born.
But the glory of the place,
where the creativity angels seemed to gather,
was the bathroom.

I’d slide away from my table and my lemon tahini
and fairly skip down the narrow hallway
to let my soul marinate in the sanctuary
of that tiny room I loved,
because every morsel of wall was splashed with a mural
so bold and daring and brilliant and expressive
it seemed to sing out loud in it’s ebullience,
someone’s heart poured out on walls;
and it made the rest of the world seem dredged in flour and fried up gray.

blog waterfall
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 life slaps me silly and I startle,
curling up tight for control,
I can unfurl again into that herby,  loamy smelling place of freedom
that got inside me then and something wildly fearless
gently stretches where my vision’s getting pinched
until it begins to reach out again beyond lines
that seem to be closing in
and I rethink walls.

They are just walls.

angel blog

“To live is so startling it leaves little time for anything else.”
-Emily Dickenson

 This is a re-write,  served up fresh again with some new ingredients,
because I needed to go there again.  Hope you enjoy:)
And I’ll be sending a copy of my little zine,  Ripplesongs,  to Donna Hopkins;
thanks for all the wonderful comments I got to plop into the hat!


  1. kamana on February 8, 2015 at 10:08 pm

    food often is poetry. when it combines art and poetry, it is divine.

    • Jennifer Richardson on February 11, 2015 at 6:51 pm

      I so agree, Kamana…..nice to see you again!
      much joy,

  2. Elephant's Child on February 8, 2015 at 10:39 pm

    Visiting you fills my mind with colour, scent and drum beats. And the winds which blow me here whisper about wind chimes and rainbows.
    Thank you.

    • Jennifer Richardson on February 11, 2015 at 6:53 pm

      colour, scent and drum beats……oh gosh I love that:)
      So glad the wind is chiming something lovely over you, friend.
      Thanks for coming around with your kindhearted comments,

  3. Sue on February 9, 2015 at 5:15 am

    Always enjoying your soft words and colorful photos. They send joy!

    • Jennifer Richardson on February 11, 2015 at 6:54 pm

      I’m so glad, Sue…..I love that description “soft words”
      Thanks for the encouragement!
      Much joy right back to you,

  4. Donna on February 9, 2015 at 8:28 am

    Oh you have set my soul on fire with all this glorious color and sun…warming me like…’and warmed my spirit like a cold frame
    until my roots could grapple into roomier ground.’

    Love these words. We are white, gray and cold here….it is getting a bit redundant and I need a change of scenery.

    • Jennifer Richardson on February 11, 2015 at 6:56 pm

      I’ve been grateful for the wacky weather here….up and down and flinging
      seasons around as if it’s a daily lottery. I never know how to dress. Somedays
      I can’t get warm and others I’m stripping down to bottom layers. Go figure.
      So love your visits, Donna….thank you,

  5. gotham girl on February 9, 2015 at 9:04 am

    Oh my…another one that just so speaks to me! But the best phrase EVER? “farmer’s market marries Van Gogh” Brilliant!

    • Jennifer Richardson on February 11, 2015 at 6:57 pm

      Thanks, my camera-genius friend:)
      So much thanks for your encouragement,

  6. jeanie on February 9, 2015 at 9:17 am

    The food is poetry. Oh, yes. Your words — they are really so remarkable. Your photos bring a glorious bright burst of color to this gray and gloomy day. How settled I am when I leave here. Sigh.

    • Jennifer Richardson on February 11, 2015 at 6:59 pm

      Glad you got a shot of color on a dreary day;
      I do tend to need it a bit bolder during these wintery months.
      I’m glad you come around; always set me to smiling:)

  7. susan on February 9, 2015 at 10:04 am

    I’m with Robin…”farmer’s market marries Van Gogh.” It made me stop and think and for a full minute my mind was a kaleidoscope of colors from memory. So many Farmer’s Markets where the food WAS poetry. It still is and probably always will be. I get lost in the lanes of the markets. I pick up a ripe red pepper and envy its shine, its curves like a canyon, its perfect green hat.

    • Jennifer Richardson on February 11, 2015 at 7:00 pm

      oh yes, your words paint that pepper so beautifully:)
      and now I’m hungry:)
      thanks for coming around and shining so bright,

  8. Julia on February 9, 2015 at 3:01 pm

    Jennifer, you always find beauty everywhere you look, even on bathroom walls. What a poetic soul you are. Our Farmer’s Market is food for the soul with feed every senses.

    I’m still waiting for Spring and I so want to feast my eyes on fresh colorful displays.

    • Julia on February 9, 2015 at 3:02 pm

      Which feeds the senses. So sorry in my haste, I pushed Publish too soon. I’m hopeless.

      • Jennifer Richardson on February 11, 2015 at 7:01 pm

        I wonder if it’s hard for you to get our during the winter;
        are you snowed in much of the time?
        Much heartier soul than I am.
        I’m a basket case after one or two days of being shut inside.
        You are one strong spirit,

  9. Donna Hopkins on February 9, 2015 at 6:41 pm

    I’m just over-the-moon happy to have won your giveaway! Thank you!

    I’ve visited many blogs over the last year, and truly your place here is one of the most original and heartfelt. You weave the parts of your life and your soul into these stories that we all can relate to. I have a place like Irregardless – where they serve fresh salads with Lemon Tahini dressing and I feel the origins of my love of art. I can see why you’d want to re-visit this work and I’m glad you did.

    • Jennifer Richardson on February 11, 2015 at 7:03 pm

      Glad, so glad, to send it on it’s merry way to you, Donna;
      glad, also, that you have a similar place where you can munch on
      inspiration and sip soothing peace. Life needs soft places, doesn’t it.

  10. Lady Fi on February 9, 2015 at 10:55 pm

    Gorgeous photos and such lyrical words.

    • Jennifer Richardson on February 11, 2015 at 7:03 pm

      Thanks for your bright kindness, Lady Fi:)
      I so enjoy the way you see life,

  11. Barbara on February 11, 2015 at 12:04 am

    I did enjoy! What a fabulous place that was, and isn’t it funny that it was the bathroom that was your favorite place? My bathrooms happen to be the favorite rooms of my house, where I’ve showcased some of my favorite things.

    • Jennifer Richardson on February 11, 2015 at 7:05 pm

      Isn’t that funny, in a cool sort of way.
      Go figure:) I’m thinking the same thing, now that you mention it.
      I love to look at a few things, in particular, while I’m taking a bath.
      Interesting stuff, that:)
      Thanks for coming by!

  12. Kathy on February 13, 2015 at 7:41 pm

    Food is art and poetry
    When it is good
    And right.
    Happy Valentine’s Day Jennifer!

    • jennifer on February 15, 2015 at 7:39 pm

      Hope you’re enjoying a heart overflowing with both
      right now in your warm island hideaway:)
      happy sunning,

  13. Bonny Bonafilla on February 19, 2015 at 4:23 am

    Irregardless sounds like one first class eatery. How wonderful it must be to create and run a business like that, which not only nourishes its clients but inspires within them a love of beauty and the finer things in life. All the best, Bonny

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