Sunday, February 17, 2013

AROUND THE TABLE

Jennifer Smith. Click here to see Jennifer's Flickr photo stream

Joy Harjo's poem, 
Perhaps the World Ends Here,
brings home the sense of family we feel
 when sitting around the kitchen table 
 .....or any table for that matter.
A Table where family and good friends
gather to eat and catch up 
with whatever is happening
in their day to day lives ....
Or a place to find solace,
to work, to read, to sip tea
and catch up with oneself.


Kenne Gregoire. See website here

PERHAPS THE WORLD ENDS HERE by 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.

The 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 bite.

Kenne Gregoire. See Kenne's website here.


Anna Williams. See website here  and interview here

Katie Quinn Davies. See website here

Hannah Queen. See more at Hannah's Flickr photo stream, here

Anna Gawlak. See more here.

Philippa Stanton. Click here to see more of this Table series

Philippa Stanton. See more here

Philippa Stanton (This one's for Leslie and Donna :-)

I've written about the kitchen table of my childhood here and posted On The Table here . Perhaps there's a message for me in these posts.

67 comments:

  1. Interesting... love the table series. I've been thinking a lot about table as altar lately - where we say grace, put candles and the sacred food-offerings of Earth.

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    1. I like your thoughts about sacred food-offerings, Valerianna. This post could have been a lot longer! It's actually my third post touching on home-life around the table.

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  2. Robyn, Lovely post. I don't eat at my table often, living alone, but it gets action when friends come to eat. xoxo

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    1. Annie, I used to do all my art on my dining room table but then traded it in for a bigger table more suitable for entertaining. The old table could have told many stories. Now I will have to make new stories.

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  3. I am thankful when I was growing up we always had dinner together at the table, during and after conversations were held about the happenings of the day or world events, now my husband and I always eat at the table and sometimes after he'll read the paper and if he finds something worthwhile he'll read it to me. We get a monthly paper full of quotes, jokes, and quips and one of my favorite things is when he reads those to me. Interesting to see the table shots from above. I am always taking photos of my food from above but with just the food and plate; you have given me an idea to take more natural photos of the food at the table; I must try that. If the world ended at the table it surely would be a good life lived.

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    1. You've brought back a memory of my mom reading the newspaper at the table while waiting for the family to appear for breakfast. She would often discuss local news and world events with us while we ate.

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  4. merci pour cette découverte...les portraits du peintre kenne gregoire sont extraordinaires!!!

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    1. I love Kenne's table paintings! They are unusual aren't they?!

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  5. Robyn, this is a fabulous post - have always loved images of tables and what is lying on them - always a little mystery to figure out what activity was going on xoxo

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    1. If kitchen/dining room tables had ears, imagine the stories they could tell!

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  6. Love these images. The kitchen table is the heart of the house for me. Nothing I love better than working there with my pages taking turns with recipes and to do lists and cups of tea and bits from the garden and sitting after dinner with the back door open while we finish the wine. Thanks for the links to follow.

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    1. Annie, you paint a lovely picture in my mind of poems being written at the table, wine being sipped .... dreams and ponderings floating out into the night.

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  7. I love these tablescapes. Each tell a story. I am sure that if you looked at our kitchen table you could see what we have been up to lately. :) That second poem really hits home too.

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    1. There's a packet of bird seed on my table at the moment and a wooden bowl full of smooth pebbles.

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  8. Another great post Robyn. Very interesting. Like how Kenne Gregoire treats perspective.

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    1. Thanks Patricia. It was the unusual perspective that drew me to Kenne's tablescapes.

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  9. Thank you for the evocative poem and wonderful links. While the realist painters are technically perfect and admirable, I much prefer the expressive work of Jennifer Smith.

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    1. Jennifer's journal pages make me feel right at home.

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  10. What a great post! Love the poem and images.

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  11. Lovely poetry Robyn. Thanks for introducing Kenne's work, I love it and am off to check it out.

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    1. Ro, I enjoy the two paintings in this post the most out of all of Kenne's work.

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  12. I just love all of these photographs, especially the ones with the bursts of color from the fresh fruit. Beautiful poetry too. Thank you so much for this celebration of the kitchen table.
    roxanne

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    1. I can understand why you are drawn to the photos with bursts of colour. They remind me of you.

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    2. Oh Robyn, what a lovely thing for you to say. Thank you!
      roxanne

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  13. I like this post :-)
    An avocado every day keeps the doctor away ;-)
    From now on I'm gonna taste my first cup of coffee in the morning a different way.

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    1. Indeed! Wim, I've been eating an avo a day while they are in season..... but they are helping to pile on the pounds so I've cut back to half a day :-)

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  14. I love love love table views from above.. have many images pinned at my pinterest boards and see a few here that I will pin too thank you.
    I am like Leslie and love the last image the best.. the poetry is lovely too.

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    1. Donna, I thought you would enjoy some of these!

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  15. Thank you for this delightful post!

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    1. It was a delight to bring the post together!

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  16. Some times I wish my round cedar kitchen table could talk, it was old when we bought it for about 5 pounds,50 odd years ago, John sanded it back and we have used it ever since, we cut up sheep on it, there are still saw marks where I got a bit close, I was taken to task by a stock and station man for using it, didnt I know it was cedar and valuable, well yes to me but not in the way he meant, it sparkles in places where grandchildren painted and played, our children did homework at it and we all gather for all meals, those who are in the house, always.
    I love the poem and wish I could paint my table like those you have shown.
    Once again, thank you Robyn.

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    1. Exactly! Our table on the farm could have told wonderful stories. Penny, I think you should paint or sketch your table.

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  17. there is such beauty in the ordinary, the worn, the well used and loved. these images are stunning and evocative and the poem speaks to me with such depth of truth. Words and images capturing the heart essence of the table!

    thanks for the sumptuous offering. Let me pull out a chair for you, unfold a napkin and fill your glass. a table is waiting for you.

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    1. Glad you enjoyed the feast. These images exude a sense of coming home, don't they?!

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  18. As always I so enjoy the words you pick and the images inspire me. I love old wood too I have some collections of it waiting for the right time.

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    1. Thanks Lori. The poem brought back so many memories for me.

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  19. one of my favorite harjo poems...i use it w/ hooligans... the table IS the place for sure.

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    1. I think this is the first Harjo poem I've read so I have some catching up to do.

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  20. Such a special series, as so much life happens and so many memories are made around the table.

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    1. Memories and nurturing connotations. I remember many bowls of homemade soup and stirrings of cake mixture and the licking of icing from spoons.

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  21. Funny Robyn! That last image really grabbed me and then I read the caption.

    A well loved and worn table is friendly in a way a brand new one can only aspire to be.

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    1. I still have to make friends with our dining room table. It just hasn't got the character of the old one.

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  22. Beautiful images as usual and also such food for thought.

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    1. I imagine you have a lovely old kitchen table at the farm, Weaver.

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  23. being Italian, we live to eat and so the table, is always the most important thing in the house, because it is where so much communion takes place, wonderful post ...

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    1. Now you have conjured up lovely images in my head. I've been watching Australian Master Chef and so enjoyed seeing an Italian family making pasta together.

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  24. There are so many "tables" inside me... so much wealth there.

    It strikes me that all of these are wood, we bring the outside tree in to support and absorb our voices, touch, spills; and we love and listen to the tree, aging among us.
    .
    The Harjo poem makes me want to give her latest book another try, was a bit flat I thought.

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    1. There is warmth in an old wooden table. I like the idea of the wood absorbing our voices.... our stories.

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    2. So lovely, thinking about all the tables, the aging tree and the wood absorbing our stories.
      roxanne

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  25. Those words really capture the heart of a table don't they? Ours is big and in the middle of things and always covered in stuff. We eat there, talk there, share there, work there, drink wine there...a wonderful place to sit. I love your words about 'and catch up with oneself". We often need to do that and sitting there quietly can do just that!

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  26. I'm always drawn to the bookshelves when I enter a home but there are some tables that draw me to them before I get to the bookshelves. Your table sounds like a table I would be drawn to. My godmother's table had wonderful things on it. Always a pile of new books and a wooden bowl of interesting arty objects.

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  27. This is a post to the soul of us. The words expressed all the kitchen tables and all the years I have set at one or another....at the time each table held a lifetime of family and friends...great goodness and awful sadness. Thank you Robyn for such a lovely tribute in both words and images.

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    1. A table holds so much family history if it's around for long enough. Glad you enjoyed the post Mary Ann.

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  28. Hi Robyn, even though there wasn't that much food in this collection, it made me hungry. Or maybe I'm just hungry. ;) Thanks for stopping over to my blog.

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    1. I know what you mean :-)
      Kenne's tablescapes are reminding me that it's breakfast time.

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  29. I have an obsession for tables. everyone has it's own story, like a door but different.

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    1. Tables... doors.... book cases... all made of wood.

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  30. My children said that what they missed most about being away from home was the family gathering around the table for dinner. Thanks for your most wonderful posts on this subject!

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    1. Glad you enjoyed the post Ruth. I too have the most wonderful heart warming memories of gatherings around the table at the farm.

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  31. Your tables remind me of my grandmothers tables. They were a part of her life's history as were the dishes and glasses. Home made bread, pasta, meat balls, olives she cured, and more food than anyone could eat covered her tables. She was tiny but her meals were Sicilian master pieces. That is where everyone spent time eating, conversing, and enjoying time. Thank you for the link to my memories.

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    1. You have painted a wonderful picture in my mind of a table laden with hearty home made food and lively conversation and laughter.

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