Living on the Threshold

Guest Post

By Elizabeth Kalman

My house sits on the edge of a salt marsh in Charleston, South Carolina. On one side of the house is the street, on the other, the marsh, teeming with life. I have a fence between my yard and the marsh, but the crabs, snakes, rats, and cockroaches all ignore it. The Night herons, in particular, use the fence as a perching place before they hop down and crap on my deck.

The bank is about to foreclose on this house, so I live on a threshold between homeownership and something else, something unknown. And that unknown place is where God keeps me. For better or for worse, here I am.

I got some insight into the meaning of thresholds last summer when I returned to Nantucket Island—my hometown—to help my son get his house in shape for the rental market. I pulled weeds and hauled stuff to the dump and painted, but every Tuesday evening I gathered up my notebook and scraps of poems and walked into town for a poetry workshop led by Greg Orr.

We met on the second floor of Mitchell’s Book Corner: Greg, a group of year-round islander poets, a smattering of summer visitors, and me. I began to learn how to write a poem. [Read more…]