Notes from the kitchen table… #journalexercise

K. Thorsen, 2000 (inspired from Anders Zorn's "Stickande Kulla" 1901), oil pastel on gyproc
K. Thorsen, 2000 (inspired from Anders Zorn’s “Stickande Kulla” 1901), oil pastel on gyproc

Journal exercise:

Take time to listen. Sit with pen and paper and write down all you hear.  ALL.  


I was sitting at my kitchen table the other evening, sewing.  The apartment to myself except for sleeping pets.  I suddenly became very aware of my surroundings.

I had, what I can only call, a Dostoyevskian moment– perhaps colored by the fact that someone in the neighboring apartment building was singing a Russian folk song.  My vintage kitchen setting felt timeless and time-full.


So I wrote.


The slip of the thread through stuffing and cloth

The pen scratching on the paper

The scrape of my fleshy hand along the foolscap

The knock on the door downstairs

The wind through the trees

The airplane roar

The slam of a car door

The chanting of a Russian folk song

The bang of the garage door

The scream of a cat

The rain in the puddles

The footsteps upstairs

The sound of a car along wet pavement

The creaks in the building

The breath of my dog


The parrot adjusts

The stillness of the kitchen

The roar of the ocean

The sounds in my belly

The squeal of a broken fanbelt

The footsteps of a person in the lane

The drips from the gutter

The creak in my chair as I adjust

The sound of existence- the physical weight of it on the ears

The neighbour upstairs runs water in their kitchen sink

Pots and pans and drawers

The gentle hisses of the parrot

The scratching of my fingers on my jeans

The sound of awareness. 

This little kitchen.  On this large globe.

The clang of a text message.

My breath.

“On my way home.”

The rub of my fingers along my chin under my lip

The fridge kicks in

“I am going to Safeway to buy a few snacks.”

“I’ll meet you there!”

Detail from "Laundry Day," 2002
Detail from “Laundry Day,” 2002

I can see the sun, but even if I cannot see the sun, I know that it exists. And to know that the sun is there – that is living.
― Fyodor Dostoyevsky, The Brothers Karamazov


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