"This work is unlike any other, in its range of rich, conjuring imagery and its dexterity, its smart voice. Carroll-Hackett doesn’t spare us—but doesn’t save us—she draws a blueprint of power and class with her unflinching pivot: matter-of-fact and tender." —Jan Beatty

Yesterday was a hard day. I am so disheartened by the viciousness of this political season, but thanks to the kindness of people yesterday, I am reminded that the choice for Joy is mine to make, that Gratitude is my way. 

Yep. Today is a better day, thanks to the kindness of people yesterday and last night, and thanks to the unfollow button, and thanks to my sewing and my crazy hippie yard, and the puppies, and my kids, and my beautiful sister Crickett, and to all the beautiful reminders of how Light is the answer to shadow, kindness is the answer to nastiness, compassion is the answer to fear, and Love is the way of it all.


from my book A Little Blood, A Little Rain, from FutureCycle Press

Praise This and That

no matter the slip of time, no matter the hip that aches at night, no matter the growing silence that stands at the edge of the bed, waiting for you to rise into another day past fifty, another year past young. Praise the getting up, praise the shower songs to be sung. Praise the towel, the soap, the float of lavender scented steam. Praise the lingering edges of a dream you want to remember, and then praise the memory as it slides away. Praise the click and hum of the heater as it warms the day. Praise the robe like a frayed old friend. Praise the beginning of the day and the reminder that night can end. Praise the miracle of pockets, the chime of the chain and locket you string around your neck. Praise the giggle that comes when you’re glad that no one hears you sing in the morning. Praise the desire that keeps you singing. Praise the foggy mirror, the sweetness of toothpaste, the ringing clink of cups on counters. Praise the shuffle comfort of slippers, praise the arch of the foot and the more than half a century of walking. Praise the coolness of the tile, the remembered talk of children and their school day laughter. Especially praise the tender mothering of water. Praise the doors and windows, that they open and close as they do. Praise the light switch and the fragile bulb, the pup who shakes with joy that you’re awake. Praise the give and the take of family. Praise even that angry cat with her yellow eyes, who waits in the middle of the kitchen floor, looking pointedly at the door while the coffee brews, who points her lock-picking paw at you, as if to say, You are not, you know, as quick as you used to be. Praise the brown-edged toast, the seaside smell of butter as it melts, the cream that ribbons the coffee, the svelte red bird with its glass bead eye who watches you through the window that needs washing, wanting to know exactly when you plan to put out that seed you promised. Praise the music of his scolding, the way he ignores the caucusing crows. Praise the clothes, both clean and needing washing. Praise the sweater your mother gave you, the one you thought you hated but know now feels like love. Praise the practicality of closets, the keys that jingle as you claim them. Praise the rituals as you name them. Praise the doorway where you linger, to look back at the tumble of sheets you’re grateful to have but haven’t straightened. Praise the way your throat thickens, the elevator drop of your heart, praise the tears of remembering when. Praise all things, the beginning and the end. Praise the struggle and the storm, praise the sun that follows, that ladder of light from window to floor. Praise the constancy of both the living and the dead. Praise knowing how to live and learning how to die. Praise even the cold side of the bed, where love used to lie. Praise the door as you close it. Praise the gratitude you feel, for the warm, for the loss, but especially for the love, for having had the chance, if even just for a time, to know it.



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