putting away clean dishes is like a cross-section of of my life. pieces from my journey that i've chosen or been given or somehow ended up with. in the 90 second span it takes for me to snugly return all the kitchen items from the dishwasher to their individual little nooks, i see flashes of my entire life. touch what a different me touched and what people i'll never see again touched. they feel warm like feverish skin, smooth and clean. items that i've pilfered from my childhood. that i bought at yard sales in college. gifts from the early days of our marriage. pieces that i brought home from my grandmother's kitchen after her death. or that my little grandma gave me when we were going through the boxes of kitchen stuff she brought from michigan. my kitchen collection. each piece with a singular emotion. i see the faces and the hands of people i love and loved. and i hear laughter and feel the longing of absence as i move through my kitchen, organizing all the little plates and tools and instruments that create my kitchen.