We don’t have pillow shams. Why make your pillows into a sham? Ours just sit there plumped up in their plain old cases, the ones we put our heads on. I believe in making the bed. And in good intentions.
We make our own salad dressing. I’m not sure why. Maybe it’s easier to believe in things you can spell: O-L-I-V-E, L-E-M-O-N…
Housekeeping, I believe in. I would do more but I go off to work a lot. I believe in the bill collector.
I believe in pets. I mean, I believe we need pets. Our two cats came from a shelter. I believe in doing good. Especially when it has such immediate rewards.
I believe that beer can make us cheerful. Sometimes.
I believe in hand-me-downs and antiques and collected things. In our living room we have a record player. I believe in high fidelity.
On top of the record player there is a cowboy hat. It keeps the cats off when the turntable’s in motion. I believe in taking trips, and in souvenirs.
We have a stack of books on architecture from the magazine my partner’s brother works for. He works freelance for them since they laid him off. I believe this country is going to the corporations.
There’s a silk afghan draped on the rocker—a quilt actually, patchwork. It was my grandmother’s. The colors are intense. I believe that colors are essential to my well-being. I believe in the sanctity of objects made by hand.
The quilt is starting to fray, some of the pieces are disintegrating.
I believe I’ll miss my grandmother forever.
On the living-room wall is a poster of an Eliot Porter photograph. Tree branches and red buds and gentle green. I believe in the healing properties of woods.
And in the power of imagery to move people.
You are what you eat, some people say. A lot of us think we are what we hold as true. I wonder if even more than what we believe, we are what we do: Go to work. Pet the cats and feed them. Make a salad. Walk in the woods. Write some poems.
Miss the people who have gone.
Try to love each other and build lives together, best we can.
Nancy Squires, October 2018