Friday, June 28, 2013

What respite looks like





Respite looks, for the first couple of days, like a reluctant walk to a rocky beach, a mussed bed behind you. It sounds like a nag, a whisper, a wheedle to put down the book, stop playing words with friends, go outside. It feels like a gray and heavy blanket, thrown over you with your troubles and despair, your marriage and your children, your bitter edge not sharp enough to poke through the weariness. You are naked, true, but heavy, your softness, irritable, folded over onto itself. That is the first two days of respite, maybe even the third, the spite. You know the rest. On the third, the fourth day, respite looks like a mussed bed around you, books, a computer, a binge of television drama, a gray day outside. It sounds like a lover, a whisper, a tendril of words to read that book first, and then this, then write, then climb back into bed and read that, close your eyes, listen to the birds for a moment, the drone of a saw, close your eyes, do that. It feels like hot water in a bathtub, perfumed with soap, not quite covering your bitter edge until you slide down further and let it. You are naked, true, but light, floating, your softness languor, amused. That is respite on the fourth day, the breath, the respir.

17 comments:

  1. you are so pretty in this picture Elizabeth - it looks as if you have had that walk, that bath, that freedom to do or not do - like the rest of us who take all of those things for granted

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  2. I like that word: RESPIRE. Being with you was a respite for me, like breathing good, clean, salty sea air - the best kind of refreshment.
    I enjoyed meeting Kim - thank you again for welcoming me into that part of your day. You have a lovely way of bringing people together with your warmth and kindness, Elizabeth. Sending much love to you.

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  3. It all sounds just wonderful to me...

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  4. you are the bee's knees and you can write the fleas off a coon dog.

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  5. What respite looks like? You, with golden light coming off you. Beautiful.

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  6. How wonderful Elizabeth, and so true. Takes a few days for fatigue and guilt to dissolve and peace to set in. I'm glad for you.

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  7. What a beautiful description. I love listening to you explain the world around you--wonderful!

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  8. WOW! I did not know you were away on your own. Enjoy!!!

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  9. That is my experience exactly, only said so much better!

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  10. You are glowing in a way I thought only sex or pregnancy could do to a woman. You are vibrant.

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  11. Just finished reading all of your "respite" posts. I don't really know how to express how I feel about them. Grateful, I guess, comes closest. That you were given this gift. That there are people in the world who give like this. That you were blessed. It makes me glad.

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