This is the summer of reunion in our family. For a brief period we are all together under one roof, with friends and visitors and significant others passing seamlessly through what might well have been an old house, full of echoes.
At times, I confess, I wish for silence. Perhaps a quiet house would have been more conducive to work and especially writing. But there are upsides to having a houseful, and God knows I will miss them when they’re gone!
Thanks for coming by to read!
If I were living here all alone–
No legions poised to invade my home–
If solitude–an enormous wealth–
Allowed me to live here by myself–
Or batten down a room or two,
Stiff-barricaded — brocade, too,
To line the walls and muffle sound
And stifle the city all around–
If only I could be left alone,
My thoughts and books would soothe the loneliness
Ensuing, as noise expired.
The silence, after cannon fire.
It’s darkest before the dawn, they say,
And families can be that way:
Chock-full of noise, calamity,
Till their absence brings insanity.
If I intended to hole away,
I’ve done it wrong. And cannot say
That I regret a single thing.
Let bodies enter, voices ring.
Copyright 2022 Andrea LeDew
For a short essay on how priorities sometimes set themselves, read Priorities. For a peek through a plywood peephole into a particularly rotten hurricane season, just as another begins, read Enough of Hurricanes.
Have been fighting the noise all my life, dear Andrea, but for me, too, the last stanza is the
comforting conclusion. As Edith Piaf sang unforgettably: “Je ne regrette rien”.
Such a powerful song. And such ambivalent yet unabashedly defensive feelings, railing against the ups and downs of it, are evidence of a full life, I think. Without the noise you don’t appreciate the silence, and vice versa. Much as only age appreciates youth, and the young notice (occasionally) in their elders what they, themselves, lack.
I particularly like the shift in the last stanza.
You’re welcome, Andrea!