Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Languor

I suppose all literature professors carry a bit of drama in their pockets. A simple poetry reading with the right dramatic flair, strong enough to cling to the crevices of gray matter twenty years and counting. It called out to me yesterday.

Il pleure dans mon coeur

I could remember his rich French accent as he taught us how to read poetry. 

***

Yesterday. I slept in after weekend commutes to the hospital. [She] has been there officially two weeks now, and what started off as an admission for pneumonia has become a bigger battle than anyone ever imagined.

I started a load of laundry. I fixed a coffee. I finished a thankful list, and just barely. Of all the things I've felt this week, numbness and exhaustion have been gaining ground.

I started a fire. I took a shower. I read to Erin under a blanket. She cried during the history reading, of children shuttled away from their families, for years, during war. It's been an emotional two weeks here.

Erin asked for chips and dip, and I joined her. I dusted the bookshelves. I dusted the bay window ledges. I cleaned the powder room. I started a new load. I realized I've never been more thankful, and a burden so light, as to do a load of laundry, dust a shelf, clean a mirror. Never so light. Did I ever think that those things were work? Because they're not. They are not work.

I was thankful for the warm fire and socks on my feet. I was thankful to sit next to Erin during math. The only sounds were the hum of the woodstove blower. The spin of the laundry. The phone rang and it was a bestie. I didn't answer. I just needed the sounds of home.

I thought on days when I made plans a week or two in advance. (Shane told me for the first time in all our years together that I need to make getting a haircut a priority this week. I wanted to laugh. I don't know how to make a plan when the days change on their own, out of my control. I wanted to laugh that I thought they were ever in my control.) When the dentist's office called to reschedule an appointment, we looked out into May. Maybe things would be predictable by then.

***

I remembered the poem and how he recited it. I remembered it incorrectly though. I thought it was douleur.

Quelle est cette douleur

But it was langueur.

And I know I will never forget it.

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