Wrapping Up Sunday Afternoon

Five day weekend.

Lovely.  Just lovely.

Hours of sleep, intense dreams, and more hours of sleep.

Perhaps the most disturbing thing I experienced was the disorientation I experienced this morning when I heard this weird popping sound, a light, slow beat.  A moment would pass and then pop.  Another moment.  pop

It was my husband.  A long breath in.  Then, the air from his lungs would collect in his mouth, would balloon around his lips until finally his lips would pucker slightly and the air would pop out.  More of a poof than a pop.

I had dreams about Disney World, about taking my daughter and my god-daughter through this incredible world of dreams and make-believe that lived side-by-side with reality.  I love Disney World.  I love the long stretches where make-believe is encouraged and reality isn’t discouraged…but suspended, like a freshly blown bubble.

I graded some papers, made my way through over a hundred topic proposals.  Skimmed annotations and seminar questions.

I started reading a book.  That I will likely never use in my classroom.  But I am reading it.  for pleasure.  Almost sounds dirty or illegal.

I watched silly television programs and played stupid computer games.  I didn’t write in my novel.  I did not “win” Nanowrimo and I feel no sense of regret or negative emotion.  I don’t feel like a loser.

I know where I’m going with my novel.  I just need to devote the hours to it.  And I will.  I’m not stopping or forgetting.  I’m merely letting that bubble float a while longer so that I can find the hours and the scales and balance the two.

I read poetry today.  Read poetry by an Albanian poet in which she talked about the stratospheres of student-desk-organization.  How student would never take the first seats in rows of desks but that the truly committed students would sit in the second set of desks.  I don’t know why people gravitate to the back of the room.  The voice will still carry, the lessons and information will still travel to the back of the room as steadily as it will linger in the front.

In reading the poetry on the World Literature Today website, I saw a title about the Pearl-Weighers.  With the article, the essay was a Vermeer painting, perhaps of a young woman holding a small set of balance scales, perhaps weighing pearls to determine their worth.  And this reminded me of my favorite title I have ever heard, “The Street of the Cauldron Makers” which is from a collection of short stories written by a Turkish writer (I think.  I heard about this book, this collection of short stories almost a decade ago).

And remembering this title reminds me that during this five-day weekend, a book of poetry by my friend Gail was delivered.  The title is Vulture and though this might sound unlovely, in reading her poetry, in talking with her about her choice of title, in staring at the cover, I realized that there are more than just one way of looking at vultures.  For all their ugliness and for all that they live off of the dead, they are not necessarily bad.

This is Sunday afternoon after a much-needed five-day rest.  This is Sunday afternoon when I am still behind on my grading and refused to check my email because I just didn’t want to mentally walk into the halls of my school.  I needed this break.

Needed these long hours in which the music of my world is the laughter of my children punctuated by the sleepy sounds my husband makes when he’s deep within his own dreams.

My darling husband.  This weekend, he had a bad dream.  I know this because I heard him make a sad, scared sound, a little-boy sound that escaped his lips and echoed into my heart.

I hear you, my beloved.  You’re safe here.  I will always be beside you and will protect you with all of my strength and all of my weakness.  Only let my weakness always be over-powered by whatever strength I can muster.

This was a five-day weekend characterized by mile and a half runs with the Girl, driving my son back and forth to my parents’-in-law home so he could help them with various chores.

This was a five-day weekend in which the evenings were spent staring at the Christmas lights which were beautiful constellations and galaxies and nebulas and tiny planets suspended and wrapped around trees or around columns and mailboxes.

During this five-day weekend, when I was at my sister-in-law’s home, I briefly inhaled the incredibly lovely scent of burning leaves.

I love burning leaves, love the purifying, intoxicating smell of the autumn world being rendered into pure ash.

Love the rich scent of life and death and suspended everything released and mixed into a white smoke that coils slowly into the air, dances its way into the sky like wispy ballerinas.

In two days, December will arrive.  In two days, the Christmas season will truly be upon me and my world.  And I love Christmas.  And I am weary of Christmas because of the drive to do everything just right and give everyone a day of magic and happiness.

Which is truly exhausting.  Trust me.  I’ll be writing about this a lot in the next month.

But, for right now, at this moment, it is the last Sunday in November.  It is three minutes before my normal bedtime but I am choosing to stay awake so I can watch The Walking Dead and finish writing this blog post.

For right now, I am wrapping up this Sunday afternoon letting the peace stay here, for just a little longer.

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