Onions Disappear

(It is believed that the onion originally came from India, thence to Egypt, on to Greece and all of Europe.)

Since this is about a figurative onion, it will proceed without tears:


“When I think how far the onion has traveled
just to enter my stew today, I could kneel and praise
all small forgotten miracles,
crackly paper peeling on the drainboard,
pearly layers in smooth agreement,
the way knife enters onion
and onion falls apart on the chopping block
a history revealed.

And I could never scold the onion
for causing tears.
It is right that tears fall
for something small and forgotten.
How at meal, we sit to eat,
commenting on texture of meat or herbal aroma,
but never on the translucence of onion,
now limp, now divided,
or its traditionally honorable career:

For the sake of others,


Words creating pictures of impermanent perfection. I love them:
pearly layers, … translucence, …crackly paper peeling.

Such delight combined with the memory of ‘something small and
forgotten’ lingers and will return with tears the next time I prepare
an onion for its invisible destination, soup or stew.

with love, Mom/Mimi/Toni/Antoinette

Follow Up to David Whyte Poem

This is a follow-up on the poem by David Whyte.
I’ve taken a portion of the middle part and it’s started some inner conversation.
I like the idea that each of us is “carrying what is hidden as a gift to others”.

The most visible gifts are those creative expressions of art, drama, music and writing. Whether I find any of these to be beautiful or useful does not affect the pleasure the originator has in the ‘doing’ of that expression.

Hardly ever do I hear, ” wow, that was some really kind act you did last week!”
or ” I noticed you walked in and took charge quietly and changed the whole course of that person’s life”.

Or, ” Nice job! How did you know where I kept my trash bags?” or even,
” Great meeting, strange how everyone got a chance to speak”.

I’m sure you have your own version of this, and much funnier, right?
(any contributions will be passed on)

So, here’s the way that part of the poem went:

“To be human
is to become visible
while carrying
what is hidden
as a gift
to others.

To remember
the other world
in this world
is to live in your
true inheritance.”

(…DAVID WHYTE, from the poem, What To Remember When Waking Up )

And so it goes.
with love, Mom/Mimi/Toni/Antoinette

First Thoughts

Lizzie mentioned the poet, David Whyte, to me yesterday, and quite by lovely accident I picked up a book by Roger Housden this morning that contained a poem by David Whyte. You’ve heard it before, and once heard, it echoes so easily that I must share it again:

In that first
hardly noticed
in which you wake,
coming back
to this life
from the other
more secret,
and frighteningly
where everything
there is a small
into the day
which closes
the moment
you begin
your plans.

What you can plan
is too small
for you to live.

What you can live
will make plans
for the vitality
hidden in your sleep.

To be human
is to become visible
while carrying
what is hidden
as a gift
to others.

To remember
the other world
in this world
is to live in your
true inheritance.

You are not
a troubled guest
on this earth,
your are not
an accident
amidst other accidents
you were invited
from another and greater
than the one
from which
you have just emerged.

Now, looking through
the slanting light
of the morning
window toward
the mountain
of everything
that can be,
what urgency
calls you to your
one love? What shape
waits in the seed
of you to grow
and spread
its branches against a future sky?

Is it waiting
in the fertile sea?
In the trees beyond the house?
In the life
you can imagine
for yourself?
In the open
and lovely
white page
on the waiting desk?”
………………..DAVID WHYTE, as quoted in the book, ‘ten poems to change your life again and again’, by Roger Housden. The title of the poem is WHAT TO REMEMBER WHEN

Hold on to this. I will come back to the comments in a day or two.
It’s enough to hear it.
The ‘you’ that I address may not be the same ‘you’ in a day or two.
Happily, I hope.

with love, Mom/Mimi/Toni/Antoinette