May 6th, 2006
the absence of men

I write with a new pen bought at an art supply store. Today I took my time wandering around and testing the various things, feeling the texture of the erasers, inspecting journal bindings, making circles on a white pad with a yellow marker. I find myself smiling at the different shapes of ink bottles, I like the green one with the black chinese writing the best. But I don’t buy it as I have enough ink at home, even though I want to.
I am alone for a couple of days. It is the weekend of “the final shave”. bare skin, cheeks that haven’t seen light. My husband has been filming a documentary about nine men who stop shaving for six months. I look forward to the return but for now I will enjoy my alone time, (and work on my taxes).
Tonight I will enjoy Maltese dinner (as taught to me by my friend Steve who is maltese), which consists of tuna in olive oil, boiled new potatoes. some form of steamed greens (rainbow chard), sliced tomatoes and bread. It is one of my favourite meals, (my husband is not a fan so i have it when he is gone.)
Currently I sit on the front porch of a cafe sipping green tea and eating an oatmeal raisin cookie (my current fixation, I can’t get enough of them). A man in a navy blazer talks on a phone and sips white wine. A group of women at a corner table giggle intermittently, one has beautiful curly blond/grey hair and intense eyes. I secretly long the join their lively conversation. An older couple sit quietly eating matching ceasar salads with bread. Few words are exchanged. The woman has the eyes of an apple doll, sweet, yet resigned.
I have a long (eight inch) golden thread attached to the blue button on the left sleeve of my jean jacket. A remmnant of one of my worldly adventures (as opposed to the non-worldy ones). I watch it blow in the breeze. I like it there. I want to see how long it will last.
I return home to a quiet house, the men have left bits of themselves scattered through the rooms, which comforts me somehow. an unneeded tripod, a suitcase too big for the woods, an empty equipment bag. I miss them as I unpack my groceries. It is so quiet it is as if time has stopped. I can tell that lots of men were in my house because the toilet seat is in the upright position.
I put the potatoes on to boil and sit reading. This is the time of day when the sun hits my bookshelf just so and my favourite books become illuminated, as if they are the most important things on the planet.

May 6 2006
1:31 pm
Kate Robertson writes:

What a beautiful post. I was right with you watching the gold thread blow in the breeze. You write beautifully. I am looking at my books differently now, somtimes I do feel they are the most important things…

May 6 2006
1:54 pm
an awfully serious girl writes:

They are…

May 6 2006
5:03 pm
susan writes:

you are an idea girl. i like this blog and i like your illustrations and i like the image you showed me through your writing about the cafe.
thank you, it is my first visit.

May 6 2006
5:43 pm
Iraida writes:

Hey Keri! I got my wallet. I love it and thanks for the cute envelope. I saved it :)

May 6 2006
9:58 pm
Michal writes:

I love this-wish I could have joined you but alas two rather noisy kids may have spoiled the ambiance..I can dream

May 6 2006
11:14 pm
Erin writes:

I have spent the past couple hours reading your blog. It has put me in such a better mood. I also just realized that you are the author of one of my fave books: Living Out Loud. I am a public school art teacher and it has a permanent spot on my desk at school. The world needs more people like you.

May 6 2006
11:15 pm
Leonie writes:

delicious eating of life.

May 7 2006
2:52 am
Leonie writes:

hi keri,
was just watching the aussie art show, and they had a lovely piece of julie shiels who does some delicious guerilla art. check out her blog at:

May 7 2006
4:18 am
its late writes:

i dig the way you drew the crossed arms in your drawing.. :)

May 7 2006
9:13 am
matti writes:

Hi. :) I too have been reading your blog for a while, I find it inspires me alot more than I thought it might. After reading it I want to paint more and do more creatively, despite serious financial troubles (it’s hard to find the muse then). But coming here and reading sparks the interest again and off I go……
Thank you so much for the inspiration!
One day I’ll get one of your Poketo’s, they rock!
One day I might even have one in my own art!
More yay!

May 7 2006
9:20 am
michelle writes:

Thank you for this entry and this wonderful, wonderful blog. I check it everyday and it is especially helpful when I am starting to feel less than creative and more ho-hum, dragging myself through the day-to-day of work and home and work and home ad infinitum.
Thanks for making me more aware to notice the little things and also to make spaces in that everyday life for creativity.

May 7 2006
10:02 am
h :: writes:

Reading this entry had a really calming effect on me. It’s almost like i was in that empty house with you, basking in the sunshine and enjoying the space and comfort of daily chores. I was listening to ‘fair’ by remy zero as i was reading it. Perfect.
Unfortunately, after a few days of *bright* sunshine {so rare for England at this time of year, yet so welcome}, the weather has taken a turn for the worse; drizzle, drizzle and more drizzle. It’s nice to hear about somewhere a bit more peaceful and with a bit more light.

May 7 2006
12:08 pm
susannah writes:

The perfect last line ~ my books are the ballast that keep me attached the earth. thank you for this wonderfully meditative post

May 7 2006
6:16 pm
tricia writes:

Such a lovely post, I felt I was there.

May 7 2006
6:56 pm
Shar writes:

A lovely post…and I agree with AN AWFULLY SERIOUS GIRL above…they are.
Thank you!

May 7 2006
9:23 pm
Meg writes:


May 7 2006
9:23 pm
Meg writes:


May 7 2006
9:28 pm
Meg writes:

Ooops. It’s still beautiful.

May 8 2006
10:05 am
chai writes:

oatmeal raisin cookies are my new fixation as well. i have two sitting on two feet away from me. yum.

May 8 2006
10:13 am
kyra writes:

Such a beautiful post. I felt my whole body and being relax and turn inward as I read it.

May 8 2006
11:12 am
Josh writes:

a beautiful post.

May 8 2006
12:45 pm
Bohemian Girl writes:

reading this was a wonderful start to my day.
so charming to get a glimpse into yours. Jeff’s documentary sounds intriguing. i hope to see it when its finished and ready for viewing.
enjoy the peaceful silence and the few days of woman~time.

May 8 2006
12:45 pm
jennifer writes:

Reminds me of Twyla Tharp’s belief that the books you read will help determine who you will be in 5 years (I’m reading her book, The Creative Habit). I love that–so affirming.

May 8 2006
12:50 pm
ani writes:

i, too, enjoy the maltese dinner (although i didn’t know it was maltese–now i’ve got a fancy moniker for it!). and, of course, oatmeal raisin rules.
i saved the envelope my poketo got sent in too! brings a smile to my face…

May 8 2006
1:40 pm
MARYBETH writes:

Hi KEri,
oh the sacredness of time a alone! Enjoy every single moment.
Love the characters =)
MB in JT

May 8 2006
3:09 pm
hundred and one writes:

Lovely post. Very soothing.

May 9 2006
12:09 am
Fern writes:

Just thought I’d come out of lurkdom to express how much I loved the simplicity of this post. Great writing :)

May 9 2006
11:21 am
lisa writes:

I also am a long time reader, now first time commenter. What i’m struck by is how you take time to notice the simple yet most beautiful aspects of each day. I never do this..but you inspire me.

May 9 2006
11:21 am
lisa writes:

I also am a long time reader, now first time commenter. What i’m struck by is how you take time to notice the simple yet most beautiful aspects of each day. I never do this..but you inspire me.

May 10 2006
12:20 am
paradise writes:

the doc sounds interesting. will it be aired on tv anywhere?
sometimes i secretly wish to join in conversations as well, especially when there’s giggling involved.
whenever i feel down, i like to visit stationary or art supplies stores just to touch the items as well. my current cookie fixation is the white chocolate chip macademia nut, but i actually take out the nuts before i eat the cookie. but, plain white cc w/o the nuts doesn’t taste the same. hmm.

May 10 2006
1:39 pm
Angela Rockett writes:

What a lovely journal entry. I could really feel your day. Thanks for sharing.

May 11 2006
1:56 am
Samantha writes:

Peaceful. I love how you described what was going on around you. I love green tea. Do you like it plain, or flavoured?
The documentary might be humorus to watch..will your husband be participating in the activity, or just filming?
Your Maltese dinner sounds delicious. Reminds me that I really am hungry, not bored and wanting something to do.

May 11 2006
12:00 pm
Swirly writes:

How I long to take a walk with you through one of your days!!!

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