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Resting in a Tired Afternoon.


Find Anna Westin


Because it had all been going so fast.

Because the days had been more than a little unusual and time

more than a little whipped wild,

then pressed into travel bags and

long train trips,

trying to jam five days of thinking and

four days of figuring life out

into a matter of multiple minutes

there were only two ways things could go now —

either, the manic

flurry of activity could press itself further

into the fraying corners of the day such that it all

(time) was crammed with who-knows-what because

tiredness had erased any detailing of uniqueness

or clarity of moments, or

thoughts, fragile in exhaustion, could collapse into

a thin nauseas pile, collect themselves into a greyish

cluster of sadness –

the lonely remnant ghost of being known,

belonging, now only shadows,

experiences of rejection.


Or, no,


there was a third option — harder —

the slowing down, breathing into the

space that was her own body, catching,

collecting thoughts gently, holding the self —

a kind of welcoming home.


The wild frenzy, shadow echoes would subside.


She moved to the kitchen, filled the kettle, assembled the glass teapot, sprinkled in the crushed green mint. Inhaled deep. Waited for the old kettle to boil. Exhaled.

Thoughts – they were pulling now – tight – either the aching brittle loneliness or the more, more, repetition…

The water bubbled as the steam rose from the tarnished spout.

Let it settle,

let it be.

She lifted the kettle – hot and heavy – spilled clear water into the pot and carried it out to the sofa. Poured slowly into the small ceramic mug, stopped, looked around. The room was cold and she pulled her heavy knit closer around her chest. The wide white walls with their framed art felt foreign, though they were hers. The wicker chair, though she’d chosen it, the green velvet cushions, though she’d sewn them.

The place felt far from home

but she had built it – assembled

every piece, hung the linen curtains in the high window arches.


Maybe it was the smell

or the hollow feeling of a place

that had been empty awhile

a place untouched,

hungry for love.


But she’d bought fresh tulips

that afternoon. Cut the stems,

filled the vases with cold water.

She liked how young they looked,

tall and still hard budded, about to

break, about to be released.



Maybe it was some kind of gift that plans had been cancelled that night. After weeks of travel, faces, plans. Time just to sit and warm this house back to life again…


God knew it needed it

she needed it.


But there was that

restless tiredness in her,

wanting to somehow fill, press the corners

of these hours with more. She did not know how to keep herself

on the fragments of the feast of love

she’d found away from here… Didn’t know if she had enough

within her to feed herself,

let alone fill this home, these streets.


So then, she wavered on the edge of thought,

the two options, the either/or.


Though she knew,

if she could only rest simple, receive,

breathe a moment, the choice could be

for a third.


the digging into deeper,

lifting the lid of the living,

truthful re-seeing of the same

old things.

a more in

this lacking, plenitude in rest.


what was real rest?

what would it feel like?

would it satisfy, like that embodied

love had done?


She sipped her cooling tea, slow. Closed her eyes. Breathed in.


Find Anna Westin

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