advent journal: mise en place


Today was one of those days that didn’t have much on the schedule going into it, and yet was filled with unexpected moments I felt I had prepared for, somehow, which sent me back to a fragment of a poem I had hung on to, which I ended up finishing this way. Mis en place is a French cooking term that means, “everything in its place.” So, at the risk of offering a convoluted metaphor . . .

mise en place

before I start cooking
I like to take attendance—
a roll call of ingredients to make sure
they are all present, then I collect
cups and other measurers of various
sizes; I even pull out the recipe,
though I know it by heart . . .
you see where I’m going with this—

yet cooking may not be the best
metaphor since most days don’t
come with a prep list, or a recipe;

still, life suggests some basic
ingredients to help make something
of our days: a heart acquainted
with kindness, a handful of hope
(or two), the commonness of grief,
the comfort of companionship,
the leaven of laughter, a love
that calls us by name, the
open flame of forgiveness,
the broken eggs of grace.



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