Three Weeks Before
1. Crack eggs
Visit a nineteenth-century home in Amherst, Massachusetts. Walk from room to room where a poet spent her days. Listen to thunder in the stillness between rooms. Look through bedroom windows as grey morning skies grow darker. Think back forty years to your first purchase of a volume of the poet's puzzling verses. Take a picture of the house where words you grew up loving were first committed to paper and stored in a dresser's bottom drawer.
One Week Before
2. Sift flour
Visit an eighteenth-century manse in Concord, Massachusetts. Wait outside in the shade for the tour to begin. Ask a friend what he recalls from visiting this house with his father and mother thirty years ago. Watch your head as you enter rooms. Hear the ticking of a clock from days when a favorite author wrote here. Later in the nearby cemetery hear your friend call him "Nate."
Four Days Before
3. Stir gently
Visit a lighthouse in Cape Elizabeth, Maine, that you last saw two years ago. Leave the tour bus and walk to the place where you had taken your earlier photographs of it. Think about your life.