Making Room

 Making Room


Fireside by Kim Norlien

Fireside by Kim Norlien

On this cold day, sitting by the wood stove,

Dancing flames,

My dog’s head on my feet,

And birds flutter in the wind.

Winter sun beats sweet into me.


I am not idle.

I am making benches.


I have the dead wood of my heart to use,

My love saws through the rings,

Big chunks of me ready for the chisel.


I am carving new places for old friends to sit.

The sparkling wind shaking all the leaves today says this:

Attend! Attend! More wood will fall soon.


My cruel grandfather gave my father chisels he made.

My cruel grandfather sailed to the new world from Sweden.

He not only carved old wood with chisels.

He shaved into my father’s soul,

Planed him broken.


When my father died, he left me the chisels,

Hand made and beautiful,

But they have no pity. 

And so I will make benches of kindness for me.

I will break the curse of the chisel.


They will sit near the fire,

All that are wounded.

Come, I say, and be with me.

The jealous one who covets.

The sad one who mourns too much.

The one who sometimes wants to run away

From marriage, family and friends.

The one who hides, afraid of herself.

The mean one who always regrets.

Oh, so many standing in the dark behind me,

Just outside of the ring of warmth.


I say, there is room for you.

There is room for all of you.

I will not chase you or berate you.

I will not change you but ask you curious,

What do you need of me, oh lovely one?

Are you hungry?

What are you hungry for?

There is love for us all.


Guilt came long ago,

and I made room for her.

She has the biggest bench near me

By the fire.

She was just humanity who had forgotten.


When they come, and warm themselves,

They will be free to share all their stories.

I want to hear their cries,

 and say, here, rest your head on my old shoulder.

I want to sing them blessed and say,

But look at all you learned.


No more hiding, no more no.

Just yes.

Yes, just as you are, I will love you whole.

Yes, just as you are, you can stay.

We will make love.

My dog will kiss you.

Sit down

and make myself your home.

You belong to me.


Come to me.

Melt into the dog’s kisses.

It is your time.


Lora Jansson, 12/13/14

In response to these questions:

Which emotions do you feel most guilty about having? Afraid that others might find out? How could you spend this year trying to be open to the emotional window that allows you to be courageous? 

 From Todd Kashtan

(thank you Todd)