from the sick bed

I’ve reached the depression point of being sick. When you know you have stuff to do but your body is just not into it and you’re tired of being in bed. I’m hot under the covers and then chilly without them. The sun is shining so brightly outside, but it can’t possibly be any fun out there, you try to convince yourself.

Today’s poem is by Jane Kenyon, who I can’t even recall how I came to her, but how glad I am that I did. I feel a kind of kindred spirit with her. She is a master of moments, the precision in the details she captures is breathtaking to me. She is a great example of writing simply but still with great meaning. I am also drawn to her love story with Donald Hall (look it up), it’s got everything you could ever want. The poem for today is originally from her collection From Room to Room, but my copy is contained in the amazing collection Otherwise which was put together by her & her husband as they prepared for her impending death by leukemia. Her story is tragic and simple and to me, incredibly beautiful. Her writing reflected so much of the same things, but it focused most especially on “the art of the luminous particular.” She died 19 years ago this month, but I didn’t realize that until I selected the book to find the poem I wanted to post today. And the poem I chose is one that I have (realizing it now) always held up as a fine example of how to share your life with someone.

Year Day
by Jane Kenyon

We are living together on the earth.
The clock’s heart
beats in its wooden chest.
The cats follow the sun through the house.
We lie down together at night.

Today, you work in your office,
and I in my study. Sometimes
we are busy and casual.
Sitting here, I can see
the path we have made on the rug.

The hermit gives up
after thirty years of hiding in the jungle.
The last door to the last room
comes unlatched. Here are the gestures
of my hands. Wear them in your hair.

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