A Certain Weariness


Spring Chicken (c) 2013 SMG

Known best for his love poems, Pablo Neruda also wrote about chickens.

Estoy cansada de las gallinas:
nunca supimos lo que piensan,
y nos miran con ojos secos
sin concedernos importancia.

In Cierto Cansancio, he wrote about being weary of chickens, among other things: “no one knows what they are thinking,/ and they look at us with dry eyes/and consider us unimportant.”

“And they do. . . and we are,” Greg Brown said while picking away at his guitar after recalling the gist of this poem.  He added, during an incomparable fourteen-minute ramble in a live performance of Canned Goods, “It’s just hard to take it from a damn chicken.”

Embedded in me is a certain weariness.  I am weary of taking out the dogs and cleaning up after them.  I am weary of driving.  I am weary of others’ errors and of continuing  bureaucratic insults.  (Just last night, a survey firm called and asked if Jim was available.  I said that given his death he wasn’t going to be, that I had reported this to the same entity before, and that such calls needed not to happen again; my tone yielded a “Duly noted” and a hasty retreat.)

I am weary of a winter that, in New England terms, has barely touched ground.

I am weary of weariness itself, of the absence of plateaus and zest and joy.

It is as if grief shears off parts of an emotional spectrum—there are ranges of feeling I no longer can muster, as if they were foreign languages I desperately wish I could speak.  I see other people engaging effortlessly in happiness, native speakers.  I remember feeling truly happy during our last family vacation together.   But I can’t remember what it was like.

Since Jim died I have felt fear, pain, loss and profound loneliness.  At times I have felt physically ill with worry about my children.  I also have felt immense pride in them, and satisfaction in the things I still can do.  And I have felt much love.  But the joy has been missing, and I miss it.

Now at least there are times we smile at a thought, a memory, a picture–in our hand or in our mind–of Jim.  And we have laughed, though not always with our former abandon.

“Laughter will come,” the Reverend said at Jim’s service, “and it’s a good thing.”

And it will, and it is.

Maybe laughter is the baby step towards experiencing joy.

(c) 2012 Stephanie M. Glennon

About Stephanie

In her spare time, Stephanie works full-time, and then some, as an attorney. She has published articles and delivered talks in arcane fields like forensic evidentiary issues, jury instructions, and expert scientific witness preparation. She also is an adjunct professor at a law school on the banks of the Charles and loves that dirty water, as she will always think of Boston as her home. You are welcome to take a look at her Facebook author page, or follow @SMartinGlennon on Twitter. All content on this blog, unless otherwise attributed, is (c) 2012-2020 by Stephanie M. Glennon and should not be reproduced (in any form other than re-blogging in accordance with Wordpress protocol and the numerous other wee buttons at the bottom of each post) without the express permission of the domain holder.
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7 Responses to A Certain Weariness

  1. Denise Glennon says:

    Your joy will come back too. Some day it will, I know it. Mourning takes time and it sucks and you just have to work your way through it day by day, which is what you are doing with remarkable fortitude, grace, and the most excellent snappy voice on the phone. But I don’t think you can fast forward, and I wish you could. Joy will come – especially because you want it to.

    But for now, may I recommend Macy Gray’s song: “There is Beauty in the World” – definitely not the “answer” but I can say it has helped me a great deal. Some days it is my own private sound track!

    Hugs – get some sunshine – and please eat some chocolate.

  2. Ed Wandling says:

    Sorry for your pain. Love your honesty. Thank you for putting words to your feelings.

  3. John Kern says:

    Thanks to Google I had a thought and it led to a memory of the Greg Brown riff and then to Pablo Neruda and weariness and to the rest of the poem and then to your live blog, whatever that means. Nifty, nutty and natural. Nice to make your acquaintance. I wish you well.

    • Stephanie says:

      Thank you very much. Nice to cyber-meet you, too, and thank you for visiting the blog. . . and I think “Nifty, nutty and natural” would make a great slogan.

  4. Pingback: Zero-Visibility Blogging: My Second Blogiversary! | Love in the Spaces

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