kitchen trinity

["The day after" by Lisa Steinbrueck]

I'm really getting into swapping & loaning books via snail mail.* Perhaps a way to afford my insatiable literary appetite since I just found out I'll soon be having laparoscopic surgery for endometriosis? That ain't cheap. But I'm actually ready for the surgery. It'll help me feel better, and make my womb hospitable for babies. It's my first surgery ever, so I do have a little apprehension, but all in all, I feel peaceful. The Lord is healing me through a trinity of some of the best doctors in Houston.

Anyway, I loaned Real Love for Real Life: the Art and Work of Caring (scroll down) to my blog-friend, Lindsay, not too long ago. The book arrived in our mailbox today with a sweet handwritten note + an amazing poem by Kathleen Norris, which Lindsay also took the time to write by hand.

I read the poem from Little Girls in Church over and over again and thought to myself, I must share this on my blog. And I own this book, glory be! I can read it for Fifty Two Fifty Two.

So, here's that poem:

Kitchen Trinity
by Kathleen Norris

Three women
at a table
hold the world.

One gets up
to stir the stars,
one makes the fire,
another blows on it
to keep it going;
and still they have time for play,

three women
hunched over a cup,
hands open in invitation
as the table tilts
in Rublev's icon,

three angels
with the same face.

My mother is the tree trunk I climb,
my grandmother's hands
kneading bread
make the table shake.

Tell me the story
of three hungry angels
who appeared one day at Abraham's tent,
to make Sarah work
and laugh

* - Send me an e-mail if you're interested in snail mail book swaps & loans (see my profile).


Andrea said...

I will be praying for you and your surgery. That IS a lovely poem.

Lindsay said...

I'm glad you like the poem. The line about stirring the stars gets me every time. I'd like to keep swapping books! I'll email you.

Christine said...

I LOVE this poem, Jenni. And I'll be sending you an email about book swap right now :) You know I'm praying for you, friend.

jenni said...

Thanks, Andrea!

Lindsay and Stine, I'm checking my e-mail now . . .

laura said...

hi jenny. i am SO happy you are having the surgery. peace to you and blessings on your body. good books will definitely help you heal. lmbg

HLSep said...

hi jenny-
my very first surgery was also laparoscopic surgery for endometriosis. You will feel so much better!
Please let me know if I can help you before & after surgery - we live SUPER close to you!!

jenni said...

Thanks, you two.

Heather, I just might take you up on that. Plus, the four of us need to hang out!

kate o. said...

i love that you had the norris book with a poem you didn't know you'd love. kind of like a little christmas ;)

not excited that you have to have surgery but excited that doctors perhaps found the root of all this!

GretchenJoanna said...

I had never seen this poem before. It is wonderful. And now I can't figure out by what path I came upon your blog, but I'm glad I did. Just read your piece on Learning to See, which Annie Dillard has also helped me to do now and again over 20 years. T

jenni said...

Kate: yeah, surgery is not really my idea of a good time, but I'm very ready for this one. :)

Gretchen: hello and welcome! Annie Dillard is one of my writing heroines.

GretchenJoanna said...

After reading your real review, I am embarrassed to post this link to my attempt at a review of one Dillard book, but in the interests of The Great Conversation:

jenni said...

Gretchen, thanks so much for sharing - I really enjoyed reading your side of the Great Conversation. :)