at this table

 

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Perhaps the World Ends Here
~ Joy Harjo

The world begins at a kitchen table. No matter what, we must eat to live.
The gifts of earth are brought and prepared, set on the table. So it has been since creation, and it will go on.
We chase chickens or dogs away from it. Babies teethe at the corners. They scrape their knees under it.
It is here that children are given instructions on what it means to be human. We make men at it, we make women.
At this table we gossip, recall enemies and the ghosts of lovers.
Our dreams drink coffee with us as they put their arms around our children. They laugh with us at our poor falling-down selves and as we put ourselves back together once again at the table.
This table has been a house in the rain, an umbrella in the sun.
Wars have begun and ended at this table. It is a place to hide in the shadow of terror. A place to celebrate the terrible victory.
We have given birth on this table, and have prepared our parents for burial here.
At this table we sing with joy, with sorrow. We pray of suffering and remorse. We give thanks.
Perhaps the world will end at the kitchen table, while we are laughing and crying, eating of the last sweet bite.

a lot of history on this table
every scratch and water stain has its own story

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20 Comments on “at this table

    • My Dear Cousin – This stuff is truly stunning. Such great command of the resources around you. Excellent. Rock on! – Wayne

  1. Love the photographic story of the life of a domestic table – the last image of your cat is lovely!

  2. Oh Susan, you’ve captured my heart. I have long had a deep love of gathering at the kitchen table. And your photos are divine. I’ve often thought about the table that is at the heart of many of your fine photographs.
    I was smitten a couple years ago when I discovered The Yellow Table — https://www.theyellowtable.com/about — I loved that she was gifted the family table and how she honours it.
    This post has warmed me deep inside.

  3. What wonderful images of family life around your lovely wooden kitchen table where so much happens that warms the heart and nourishes happy memories! I love all the different moods you’ve captured here and just love those two pussy cat pictures! What a sweet addition to your family!
    When I was younger and setting up a new home with a husband and three young children, the architect building our house asked me if I had any particular wishes and I said to him: “I want a big kitchen with a view on the garden and surrounded by a home!” These days, many years later, I live in a compact apartment in town, but that lovely big kitchen and garden in the country live on in my heart!

  4. A few years ago we talked about getting a new table. My boys, who are all men now, had a fit. So much of our lives have happened at that table. So for now it is still here, needing some TLC, but full of our lives. This is such a beautiful post Susan. Thank you.

  5. A story wrapped in all those wonderful and cherished images. Worth way more than a thousand words. The kitten was the frosting on the cake!

  6. This is so beautiful and so true. Each scratch and imperfection holds a memory. I love the one of the cat peering up there.

  7. Your artistry is so evident here, as is your love for the magic of the table — and how it can hold us all together. Wonderful post, Susan.

  8. The number of important, happy, sad, etc., etc. events that take place in the kitchen, never ceases to amaze me.
    I’m glad I’m not the only one that notices that. 🙂
    Lovely images as always, Susan.

  9. I have to say right from the get go that Mozart took this post over the top. You hit the jackpot with him…
    Susan I love everything about this post. What a warm feeling your table sends out into the world. Your family, home cooking, flowers, fruit, wine and cheese and the best, game playing. It makes me want to join in, even for the day. Honestly, you should be a photography teacher. Your style, your presentation, your knowledge is impeccable. I think this is one of my very favorite posts of yours…can’t wait to see what you do this year…

  10. You have such an incredible gift Susan, your photography always inspires me. And I love your little muse;) have a great week end My Friend

  11. Reblogged this on gingerfancy photography and reflections and commented:
    Happy Sunday! I want to share with you all an exquisite photo essay by my friend Susan Licht.
    Some of my most cherished memories are of sitting at my grandmother’s table, listening to the grown-ups talk…I absorbed a lot of wisdom and love on those Sundays sitting at grandma’s table.

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