Small Stones 14-20 (Week Three)

As part of the January Mindful Writing Challenge, I am writing one small stone each day and posting it on my Tumblr. Every Sunday, I will aggregate them here.

This was another busy week and I found myself remembering my small stones at the end of the day, rather than writing in the moment. I have a consistent process now, such as it is. While I nurse Nora down to sleep, I think through my day, combing my memory for an appropriately mindful moment. Then, I begin composing in my head as Nora falls asleep in my arms. Once she’s in her crib, I rush downstairs and transcribe my stone while I unwind. I would prefer to write in the moment, but at least I have a streak of 20 stones in 20 days.

January 14

There was just enough snow to reveal the checkerboard of voids underneath.

January 15

Two Days Before Turning 36

I stoop to lift 21 pounds of squirming, kicking joy and lightning shoots from my spine down to the tips of my toes. Two hours later, I still hold myself gently, as if I may stick or break.

January 16

Her face is tense with concentration as she worries the wooden dowels into the work bench’s holes. From my vantage point, each dowel is a skyscraper; together they make an uneven skyline in brown, blue, and red.

January 17

Jar Candle

I snuff the candle and watch wisps of white smoke pool in the glass mouth. I stopper the jar and the billows swirl and tumble as the wick darkens from orange to black.

January 18

Learning to Walk

Her forehead is a miniature constellation of bruises. The blue circle is where she stumbled on the step. The yellowing half moon is where she careened into the dining room wall. The faint purple line is where she rolled into the door frame. I cringe at all the evidence of her learning.

January 19


I am suddenly exquisitely aware of my muscles, the movement of each marble hard knot as it travels up my shoulder blade and dissolves like sugar.

January 20

Playing with Lentils

She scoops the flat red seeds from Tupperware to aluminum pie tin. They rain off of her hands, some camouflaged in the carpet and some pattering against the tin.


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