Friday, November 19th, 2021

These are anxious times and Louise, who has made or had to accept major changes in her life–especially this past year–has been actively seeking out ways to help her manage the sense of malaise, and of vulnerability, that has cast a pall over her wellbeing. She writes:

Bon matin ma chère amie!

et voici pour te laisser dans le monde du rêve! Avec les périodes d’hypnoses que j’écoute, je suis de plus en plus contente de m’évader vers un monde plus doux, plus léger et moins anxiogène que celui du temps présent lorsqu’on écoute les nouvelles! Je ne fais plus que les effleurer un peu pour avoir une idée de ce qui se passe dans l’univers. J’aime mieux me référer à Jane Goodall et Hope afin de développer des racines de calme et de sérénité! (LC)


Here’s something that will keep you in the land of dreams! With the hynosis sessions I’ve been listening to, I’m happier and happier to escape to a gentler and more lighthearted world–one that’s less likely to cause me anxiety than the present that we hear about in the news! To have a sense of what’s happening in the universe, I’m just barely skimming the surface of current events. Frankly, I’d rather dip into Jane Goodall’s Book of Hope, which helps me stay rooted in calm and serenity.! (LC)

But what Louise chose as her offering to Aubade is a passage from Yeats:


“Faeries, come take me out of this dull world,
For I would ride with you upon the wind,
Run on the top of the dishevelled tide,
And dance upon the mountains like a flame.”

― William Butler Yeats, The Land of Heart’s Desire

So many things come to mind.

We, all of us on almost every continent, have been steeped in great gulps of “reality”–such as COVID 19, world politics, and climate change events that send shivers down our spines–to the point that it’s becoming harder to escape the apprehension and sense of foreboding that flow from this daily bombardment of information.

Improvising just a bit with Yates, we might love to shout:

“Faeries, come take me out of this disturbing world [!]”

I live not only in the same world as everyone else, but I must also deal with the added realness of advanced cancer, which forces me to live inside a very specific and narrow space a lot of the time, but also teaches me how deep and limitless are the places I can travel to, without ever leaving home.

And so, at day’s end, I can slide under the comforter, prop myself up with an arrangement of pillows, and open any of the books that are always nearby, and disappear, if only for an hour or two, into other worlds, other feelings, other stories…

Sometimes, I’ll choose instead to watch mystery series (usually British) on my laptop, and sometimes, I’ll call my mum or a friend. When my eyes have tired and the shadow of pain intrudes, I can turn to the window, in daylight or darkness, and listen to the world or watch day turn to night. Finally, I can close my eyes and follow a brisk stream of images, released by a part of my mind with which I barely feel acquainted. I can summon feelings of love, of sadness, of gratitude, of anguish or acceptance.

In her message, Louise added:

Tu m’as donné un superbe cadeau, celui de prendre goût à la poésie en anglais que je ne connaissais pas! Merci pour tous les moments de joie que me procure la poésie! bisous. (LC)


You’ve given me a fabulous gift, by providing me with a taste for English language poetry, about which I knew nothing! Thank you for the moments of joy that this poetry offers me!

I found this today, while preparing this post. I owe so much to the writers, the wordsmiths of this world.

Inside the word “emergency” is “emerge”; from an emergency new things come forth.

The old certainties are crumbling fast, but danger and possibility are sisters.”
― Rebecca Solnit, Hope in the Dark

1. “Waiting for Something, 1-30”, Susan Adams (b.1966)

2. “A Poet’s Ciphers”, Ceri Giraldus Richards (1903-1971)

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