swim in the cold water of mall windows
while we sit drinking lattes.
My daughter was recently hospitalized, more out of caution than necessity (for which I thank our doctor as it is better to be safe than sorry), but ohmyfuckinggod was it ever stressful for me as my husband was away in Toronto and I had to drag Henry along with me (he was the best behaved baby the whole time and absolutely loved the hospital. What gadget/electronics oriented child wouldn’t?), but sleeping on a mattress on the floor of my daughter’s hospital room with him was less than restful.
So, what do I do when things are stressful? Tune them out, even just for brief snatches of time. Turn away for the space of a breath, from the anxiety of my child in a hospital bed to the window because although I know her illness isn’t serious the precariousness of my children’s safety is brought too close in the children’s ward where many others (the baby whose cry we heard through most of the night) will not recover so quickly, where many other parents struggle with the heartbreak of an inconsolable child who they are unable to protect .
If I were religious I might have broken out the verse, “The heavens declare the glory of god and the firmament showeth her handiwork. Day unto day utereth speech and night unto night showeth knowledge”(that one’s for you Mom). The King James version of the bible was the one I grew up with and was my first exposure to poetry (one of the things I am most passionate about). From the bible I moved on to Shakespeare (obviously), them fell in love with Leaves of Grass by Whitman and on from there. But there are still many verses from the bible that I was forced to memorize as a child standing in the corner for some offence or another ( usually foolishness and daydreaming. I still indulge in both.) that come to me in the same way that a commercial jingle or children’s song do. The difference, of course, is the context. Along with the scripture comes that sense of security (false as it turns out) and the value we were taught to attach to these words by our teachers and parents making them more weighty. Isn’t it amazing how seductive and comfortable the familiar is? I guess that’s why they say ignorance is bliss.