Tolle, Lege*

What's hard is that the world doesn't stop while you mourn a lost opportunity. Or wait for the phone to ring while you hold out hope.

But then you realize that it's not so bad, because you remember Auden's Funeral Blues:

Stop all the clocks, cut off the telephone,
Prevent the dog from barking with a juicy bone,
Silence the pianos and with muffled drum
Bring out the coffin, let the mourners come.

Let aeroplanes circle moaning overhead
Scribbling on the sky the message He Is Dead,
Put crepe bows round the white necks of the public doves,
Let the traffic policemen wear black cotton gloves.

He was my North, my South, my East and West,
My working week and my Sunday rest,
My noon, my midnight, my talk, my song;
I thought that love would last for ever: I was wrong.

The stars are not wanted now: put out every one;
Pack up the moon and dismantle the sun;
Pour away the ocean and sweep up the wood.
For nothing now can ever come to any good.

Because that, obviously, was a darker day. And like Auden, you, too, will face worse. And when you do, you hope to remember the words of that spitfire in sensible shoes, Eleanor Roosevelt: We gain strength, and courage, and confidence by each experience in which we really stop to look fear in the face... we must do that which we think we cannot.

We must do that which we think we cannot.

Until then, though, you will retreat to your favorite place in the world--your bed, with your husband and dogs cuddled in close, a stack of novels on your nightstand and the light soft.

*Take up and read.

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