Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Back from the Dead...or Sick Bed

So for the past week I have had the experience of cleaning my car because of my three year old getting sick, getting a phone call right before I was supposed to teach to pick up my 7 year old from school "immediately" because he was vomiting, having my 8 year old come down with the same thing, and coming down with it myself on Sunday. Needless to say, I have had my fill and am ready to get back into a semblance of normalcy. All of that to say (and I hope it wasn't too much information) that the power of words once again rose to the top. How? I will share...

On Saturday night I spent a restless, tossing and turning night because I was coming down with the stomach bug that had made its way through my family (except my husband, not sure how he avoided it). It was awful. I have not been that sick for at least three years and it was absolutely miserable. All of Sunday I basically spent in bed thankful for a husband who easily managed everything even the laundry! In the midst of a long Sunday my wonderful 8 year old, who shares my absolute love for books and words and poetry, climbed up beside me in bed with a stack of our favorite poems and simply read to me. It was a special time and a great reminder of how soothing words, especially well-thought out words, and poems can be.

She read Longfellow's "A Psalm of Life" - "Tell me not, in mournful numbers, life is but an empty dream. For the soul is dead that slumbers, and things are not what they seem." and my favorite stanza, "Life is real! Life is earnest! And the grave is not its goal; Dust thou art, to dust returnest, was not spoken of the soul."

She read Wallace's "Thirteen ways of looking at a Blackbird" - "I do not know which to prefer, the beauty of inflections or the beauty of innuendoes, the blackbird whistling or just after."

She read Whitman's "Song of Myself" - "Trippers and askers surround me, people I meet, the effect upon me of my early life or the ward and city I live in, or the nation. The latest dates, discoveries, inventions, societies, authors, old and new; My dinner, dress, associates, looks, compliments, cures, the real or fancied indifference of some man or woman I love; The sickness of one of my folks, or of myself, or ill-doing or loss or lack of money, or depressions or exaltations; Battles, the horrors of fratricidal war, the fever of doubtful news, the fitful events; These come to me days and nights and go from me again; But they are not the Me myself."

She read and she read and she read and I was lulled into sleep and reminded again and again that my sickness was momentary, it was not the end, it was all about perspective, and it was not the Me myself. So in the midst of something not so great I was able to see great. So, I hope you too find solace in a well written word - what are some of your favorites?

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