una carta te escribiré

By: Jen Shoop

*Image above via Amy L Berry. The mirror above her gorgeous writing desk is Fleur Home and — swoon! I love them all, but especially this geometric one, this scalloped one, and this floor mirror. The stationery looks super similar to this affordable set from Joy Creative, and the tray is Lindroth Design. Do you not love those leather pulls?!

I came across the most evocative poem the other day —

                            para mami

One day I will write you a letter
after I have gathered enough words
I have heard
pop! pop! pop!
like little soap bubbles escaping
the animated mouths
of the women who share
pieces of gossip like bombones
in la lavandería every Sunday

One day I will write you a letter
after I have gathered enough words
that blossom without thorns
in painted mouths, in someone else’s countries…
In my corner, I listen to how voices ring
without the sting of bofetadas
and how they undulate above
gushing water and swirling clothes
in machines that vibrate in la lavandería

One day, I will write you a letter
after I have gathered enough words
and enough courage
to let them ring in my mute dreams
until they sing to me: Write us. Así.
In your childhood tongue. Recóbranos. Recover us.
At that time, I will be able to return without fear
to la lavandería with my bags of clothes
and enough words and surrender myself to the bubbles.

-“Gathering Words,” María Luisa Arroyo

(You can also read it in the original Spanish here.)

Arroyo conjures so much here, and so deftly, about language, family, and identity. The familiar scenes and sounds of the laundromat percolate against the protagonist’s desire to venture out into the beyond and acquire her own life experiences and the “words” that they release. We are awash in the swell and fade of these conflicting experiences as Arroyo toggles between the very physical details of sitting in “her corner” in the lavandaria — the sounds of women’s voices, the soap bubbles escaping, the vibrating machines — and the heartfelt metaphorical (and occasionally slippery-with-allusion) stuff of both belonging and wanting to leave. The poem dances, with elegance, between these two modes, in turn inviting us to perch on the metafictional: the way in which the writing of a text (i.e. the letter the protagonist intends to write her mother) intersects with identity (cultural, linguistic, familial, etc). I marvel that the poem is an anticipated homecoming, an inversion or reimagining of the classic “hero journeys home” narrative. All is conjecture, but the protagonist’s heart remains unwaveringly focused on a return to her mother. She is dreaming of a journey into the wideness of language and at the same time determined to make it “home,” to her “childhood tongue,” to la lavanderia, and to her mother.


+More musings on evocative poetry here and here.

+And musings on a super weird poem that I love here.

+Do you consider yourself creative?

+On getting into a “flow” — the notion could apply to anything you’re focused on, whether exercise, art, etc.

+A little fictional piece I’ve been working on.

Shopping Break.

+Finally getting out of my summer-long reading rut with Sally Rooney’s new novel. (I absolutely loved her earlier books, and also the TV adaptation of one of them.)

+On that note: what to do when you’re in a reading rut.

+These tissue turtlenecks are a fall/winter staple for me. I layer them under everything.

+Drawn to these Vejas in the honey suede color.

+I need this limited-edition Diptyque candle for fall, honoring the magic of Paris. I love these candles because when they’re done, you can use hot water to remove the residue/wax and then repurpose the beautiful glasses as pen cups or makeup brush holders.

+This cuticle oil pen is my favorite thing ever. I apply before bed almost every night. Love the smell, too.

+This fantastic (clean!) cleanser from Indie Lee is 50% off today. I travel with this — it has a delicate, gel-like consistency and feels fantastic to wash with. Olio E Osso’s cult-following lip/cheek tints are also 50% off today only! I might use the promo as an excuse to test!

+A super investment, but this dress is a knockout — would be perfect for a mother of the bride.

+I know a lot of us just stocked up on the Minnow sale, but all swim for girls and boys at Nantucket Kids is 50% off with code SPLASH. Love this sailboat print — $24 with code!

+Chic Euro shams on sale.

+Gorgeous broderie ruffle blouse. Like the way they styled it with utility pants like these (<<were very popular on le blog last week!) — contemplating pairing with my own Veronica Beard trousers.

+Some GREAT new arrivals at Alex Mill — love this quilted fleece and this chunky turtleneck (perfect for a chic hair tuck moment).

+Something about the design of this batter bowl gives me all the good fall feels. I see it and imagine myself in a farmhouse whipping up some pumpkin pancakes while foliage is a riotous orange.

+People go crazy over this cropped athletic tank — $23! I did not think I’d love a cropped athletic tank but I absolutely adore my ones from Beyond Yoga (currently on sale). I like to pair with my high-rise running shorts/leggings. Added one of the Amazon ones to my cart to test.

+This blouse is gorgeous.

+One of my readers owns this gorgeous jewelry business and I am in love with this diamond bow necklace, these pave diamond earrings, and this flower ring! WOW.

+A gorgeous oversized gingham scarf for fall.

+This fab sweater is almost sold out but SO good to pair with jeans, a skirt, or even under a navy tartan napdress!

+Custom name polo for your little man as he heads back to school.

+I got so much use out of this running headband last year. I like that it’s not super thick but it does keep you warm.

+ICYMI: this dress is under $100 and seriously on-trend. SEA-meets-Veronica-Beard-meets-Mille-meets…

+Pretty floaty maxi nightgown. Would work with bump!

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2 thoughts on “una carta te escribiré

  1. Eeep I love that cleanser! Just snapped it up. I ordered two pairs of boardies from the minnow sale for next year but the Nantucket Kids are tempting…

    1. It is so lovely!! I look forward to using it. And — I know, these end-of-summer promos are pretty compelling!


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