A Sign Of Gratitude: A Writer Wednesday Post

November 27th, 2013 | Posted by Irene in Essays - (9 Comments)



Yadot Outdoors

 YA-DOT, photo and all text © Irene O’Garden, 2013

To listen to this post, please click here: A Sign Of Gratitude


In a dusty dim antique shop in a semi-shuttered upstate town a jutting corner of red caught my eye. I slid out the stained wooden sign from behind the eye-sore table lamp. YAD-OT. It pleased me immensely instantly, this smooth, hand-crafted piece, even before I got what it said. And then it pleased me even more.

The old salt at the desk told me it dates from the 20’s or 30’s. He got it from a printshop on Varick in Manhattan which created signs for movie theatres. Indeed, there was another sign that said “yadrutaS stratS” but this was the one for me. After all, how often is its subject advertised?

The other day, our handyman hung it in the kitchen above our pantry door, where we can see it daily. But later, when I shut the door with some vigor the sign jumped off the wall, narrowly missing my head. “A fitting end,” I thought with a smile.

Yet I have been granted another and yet another YAD-OT, and I am full of gratitude for the gifts each brings. And I realized the sign dove off the wall so I could show it to you. May you have a Thanksgiving filled with joy and multiple signs of gratitude. And may you enjoy each and every YAD-OT.



SkyStreak, photo, poem and all text © Irene O’Garden 2013


To listen to this post, please click here:The Pearl at the Heart


The Horse, Us

Hoofprints in my fledgling heart embossed.

Prancing crazily down Pennsylvania Avenue:

the barely-restrained emblem of all gone wrong.


The horse, us. Our rider tossed.

The boots reversed. Turmoil

unbridled. Vigor entombed.


Is childhood always quite so roughly lost?

The Earthrise of emotion has her cost.


Fifty years ago this week, I and many others felt a new, simultaneous public awareness: feelings link us not only to those we know, but to people everywhere. The collapse of grief across the nation and the world, and the broadcast of it united us like the picture of Earth from space a few years later.

Today’s children take this awareness in stride, which is the pearl at the heart of this sorrow. And with global communication and broadcasting  literally at our fingertips, amazing expressions of healing abound.

One is taking place in Dallas just now. For the Dallas Love Project,  Pulitzer-prize winning illustrator Karen Blessen called for and gathered thirty thousand pieces of art. In a temporary installation, she and other volunteers have placed them along the motorcade route and throughout the city. Remarkable what inspiration and communication now create.


Publication News:  Am delighted to share the news that A Slant Of Light, the anthology of Contemporary Hudson Valley Women Writers has been awarded The USA BOOK NEWS 2013 Best Anthology:Fiction. I’m extremely proud to be part of this book!A Slant Of Light



Adjusted HydrangeaHydrangeaGlow, photo and all text ⓒ Irene O’Garden, 2013


There are times words interfere. Times they can’t be translated. When the poem is the image, when the yearning cannot be described, when the clamor of description must be settled by silence.

Such is this Wednesday.  Just a reminder that November is a poem of its own, alternately vivid and gentle as the season disintegrates in grace.


Land 1GentleNovember, photo and all text © Irene O’Garden, 2013

Publication News:

Fjords Review has just published my short comet essay The Smudge Between The Stars, in anticipation of  ISON, a possible “Comet of The Century.” You can read and/or hear it here. It is illustrated with a painting of mine.

I am presently reviewing e-galleys for my book Fat Girl, which will soon be released by Untreed Reads as an ebook. Watch for a giveaway.

AndeeSisterLove, photo and all text © Irene O’Garden 2013

To listen to this post, please click here: What to Tell and When

They call each other “Brother” and “Sister.”  She’s watching him open a birthday present. If she hadn’t insisted on a party and traveled to New York last week,  Brother might have let the milestone slip.

Sister has a longer journey up ahead. When she leaves depends on what is dissolving and what is resolving within her. But it is near enough that tonight I’m prompted to ask, “What do you want him to know when you’re gone? What can I tell him you said?”

“Oh so much, so much. I’d have to sit and write it down.”  “And so you might, but what’s the first thing that popped into your head?”

“Admiration. I want him to know I admire him, how much he’s been through, all the obstacles he’s overcome.” We share a rich and satisfying conversation that helps me know my old friend even better, words which will help me help him when he needs it.

The lighted cake appears, the song is sung, cards and gifts are opened and it’s time for us to go.  I take Brother aside to say good night. Suddenly, I think, Why wait till she’s gone? We can’t know love too soon or too often.

“I’m going to tell you something tonight, and then I’m gonna tell you again another time.” I told him what I’d asked and what she said. I’ll tell him again when the time comes.

If someone you know will be leaving us, perhaps you can offer such an opportunity. Love, expressed in the present, put by for the future, when this is the past.  No wonder they say it’s eternal.


How have you eased such departures?

1show current page