"You know," Jane says, "it really works if you FAKE it." She shakes a turquoise sweatshirt free of wrinkles and drapes it over her knee, creases it, folds it, folds it again in half.
"Yep," I say. A floodplain of laundry deposited across the couch, I watch her reach for another shirt.
"When we came out here I was like THAT'S SO REPULSIVE," she gestures to the gully of laundry and plucks a stack. "But now it's like not that bad." Her face awash with a smile, she sits in a small crevice between the clothes and the couch arm.
"That's called fake-it-'til-you-make-it," I say.
"Huh," she says.
In steady increments she folds, stacks, and puts away. She excavates the living room one shirt, one pile of laundry, one library book, sock, shoe, blanket, and broken bow and arrow at a time.
"Ok, how's that?" she says.
"Hmmm," I scan the room. "Not quite," I say. She follows my eyes, a couple of blocks and towels at the end of the couch.
"Oh, the towels?" she says.
"Everything," I say, "down to the last nub."
"Nub?" she says.
"Everything," I say.
"Ok," she says.
Without thinking, we nod to each other, a sort of tipping of the hat, an acknowledgement, appreciation. And then she makes another pass, combing the corners, cracks, and crevices for any remaining detritus.
So there it is, all huff and bluster not thirty minutes ago, now she commands a sense of order. Order, that is the gift. By how she's thrown her shoulders into the work, I guess she took it at face value: grumbling means you need MORE chores, and boy do I have a list.
6261. Friends invite us to dinner, the whole nine of us. White chili, bread, and caramel pears, it's the perfect matrix for visiting and fellowship.
6262. An afternoon blooms in conversation when friends stop by spontaneously. Joy greets us.
6263. Fajita soup with cocoa and all the conversation, laughter, and genuine life-giving stillness that surrounded it.
6264. We try something new: we practice silence. Dinner dishes still splayed around us, empty and enjoyed, we close the meal with total silence. We ponder God. I practically cry from the profound refreshment.
6265. Two thrifted sweaters, the kind that look nice even if you forget and slouch a little.
6266. Jars. Glass jars.
6277. Popcorn. Butter.
6278. I'm gradually settling myself to not rush and not worry. In the frenzied moments I slow, be intentional. I'm realizing a mistake of slowness is better than a mistake of meanness.
6279. Jack and Lucy prepare popcorn and lay out a game board. We pause to play together. In the rushing river of days, we still the world to play and make memories.