In a Crowded Room

Mom with Grandpa and Susie _ May 1956Time holds only the shape you give it.

This week, it was pressed thin, squashed against the wall, hot and heavy. It was pressing, but lovely all the same.

I am not sure, exactly what I am supposed to do with the time I am given. I only know what when I am busy, the time feels weightless, wet bubbles blown from a wand. It hangs on the breath of air, willing the atmosphere to deny its own pressure, keep it from popping.

I’m not a young chippie, so as I get older, I get more like my mother. Which is wonderful. As Mom gets older, she falls deeper and deeper into herself. Cares less about what other’s think. Lives more for the time at hand. She says what is there on her tongue… not meanly, but in a direct way.

She is a wonderful woman– good and easy, like so many other I know and wish I could carry around with me in my pocket, all day long.

Time holds the shape you give it.

Elizabeth Howard

Elizabeth writes literary non-fiction, haiku, cultural rants, and Demand Poetry in order to forward the cause of beautiful writing. She calls London, Kansas City, and Iowa home. 

  3 comments for “In a Crowded Room

  1. January 11, 2008 at 4:06 pm

    It’s been so long since I’ve seen your mom that I was actually surprised how much I recognized her in the picture.

    What kind words to say about your mom, too. I did a post about my mom on her birthday and she told me it’s one of the best birthday gifts she ever received. Guess as we get older, we really do grow up, huh?

  2. January 12, 2008 at 8:43 am

    “Let the beauty you love be what you do.” That’s what one of my favorite teachers has to say about living a life of authenticity (Rumi).

    It can be such a delicate and complicated journey, though, if one also believes that being kind to others is also important. Not that the two are in conflict every day, but they do go head-to-head from time to time.

    I know this is just one line from your post – but it’s the one that got me off and running. “Saying what is on the tongue and caring less about what others think.” I’ve gotten MUCH better than I was a decade ago – in terms of weeding out the hateful, selfish thoughts that required restraint of tongue, leaving it swollen from the bite – but I haven’t been annointed to sainthood just yet.

    I guess I could easily ramble on for another 1,000 words or so, but that’s enough. Thanks for the self-reflection.

    Next on my list of illusions to dispell? The belief in time itself.


  3. John
    January 15, 2008 at 7:54 am

    Is this the back yard of the house in Davenport. The one off of Locust street?

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