Saturday, February 9, 2008

life and death

the first time i woke up this morning i thought to myself, i really do not want to get out of bed. i do not want to face life today. the pain i've had in my mouth off and on this week is a sign that i really and truly am going to have to have my remaining three wisdom teeth violently removed this year. and soon. i am panicking about work and all the things i need to get done before the conference in march. i am disgusted because my house is such a wreck this week and when it's out of sorts i'm out of sorts. and, oh yeah, the girl and i had a funeral to go to today. i laid in bed a bit longer, and longer still until i had to put on my big girl panties and get out of bed. today is one of those days that i could have slept away and been happier for doing so.

the hubs took the girl to the viewing last night while i took the boy to the school award night to collect his perfect attendance recognition. he missed honor roll (though that's not what they call it in 2nd grade) because of on N on his report card. yes, it was for talking. i think that's totally ridiculous. and ridiculous still that you don't actually get grades, rather O, S, N or I until you get into 3rd or 4th grade. if you have all Os or Ss=As or Bs and you're above grade level in every subject a stupid N=need improvement, should not keep you off the honor roll. (the girl is on the honor roll btw.)

so i got out of bed and had coffee. lots of coffee. the girl and i went to the funeral. there is something basically wrong with the world when you have to go to a funeral for a 17 year old. as a parent you can't help but think, oh my god, what if that were me sitting in that front pew? you just can't. we went because the girl wanted to be there for her friend. i did not know the boy and only know the parents because our daughters are friends. even still it broke my heart. it made me think of this poem. i first met this poem in high school, we read it in english and i loved it. the next time i heard it was the first time i saw out of africa, one of my favorite movies. karin von blixen (meryl streep) reads this poem at dennis finch hatton's (robert redford) funeral.

To An Athlete Dying Young

THE time you won your town the race
We chaired you through the market-place;
Man and boy stood cheering by,
And home we brought you shoulder-high.

To-day, the road all runners come,
Shoulder-high we bring you home,
And set you at your threshold down,
Townsman of a stiller town.

Smart lad, to slip betimes away
From fields where glory does not stay,
And early though the laurel grows
It withers quicker than the rose.

Eyes the shady night has shut
Cannot see the record cut,
And silence sounds no worse than cheers
After earth has stopped the ears:

Now you will not swell the rout
Of lads that wore their honours out,
Runners whom renown outran
And the name died before the man.

So set, before its echoes fade,
The fleet foot on the sill of shade,
And hold to the low lintel up
The still-defended challenge-cup.

And round that early-laurelled head
Will flock to gaze the strengthless dead,
And find unwithered on its curls
The garland briefer than a girl's.

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