Sturdy bones and spring

Notes from a walk with the dog

Today my body claims her bones. I am tired and sturdy. Bones and I share purpose. The pavement doesn’t defy me. Nor the dog. High in the upper reaches of a willow, a dove coos a greeting, not to me but to spring so newly arrived. Do you see her there, next to the clouds?

Think of all the other kinds of tired! There’s fragile tired as after a haunted night without sleep and wired tired, often associated with a deadline too long deferred.

There’s marathon tired, the through and through physical exhaustion that feels laudatory and comes with a permission slip reading: REST.

There’s dutiful tired, arising when the body ought to be firing on all cylinders but isn’t because drudgery and resentment make their nasty claims.

Mourning is its own kind of tired, one that comes in waves with rhythms all its own.

There’s 4:00 tired, requiring no cause whatsoever and almost always attended by an overwhelming need to nap.

There’s the hand-wringing tired of anxious grievance. Formerly rare, now nearly constant, this kind of tired jangles with us through our days as we watch the news, listen to the unhinged tirades, or merely read about them because we can’t abide the sound of his voice. As we scroll through twitter and go to our trusted online news sources, this tired has us reading current indictments in full and praying for more.

There’s the tired of despair. This type of weariness is dangerous, bearing as it sometimes does an irresistible and irrevocable mandate. Nobody who wants to live should heed that mandate.

There’s the tired of age that comes when you bend to wipe the floor as you’ve done with ease forever and upon rising, your hand grips the counter. Maybe there’s a tiny groan.

Sturdy tired is nearly indistinguishable from sturdy energy. It offers a determined walk, a pain-free pivot, a place on a warm bench where you just know hope visits.

Hope visits. Spring bears glad tidings in its bird song, bulb blades, warmed pavement, wispy clouds — and it does so every god-damned year. How is such constancy possible in a world full of damning variables?

Without thinking too hard about variables shaping clouds and rain, I’ll take this magenta scarf, formerly my sister’s, and walk back out into a morning brushed with promise.


12 thoughts on “Sturdy bones and spring

  1. Anonymous

    This is beautifully written… I know all of these types of tiredness. I think I should keep this list handy, so I can categorize and identify which type it is and remember that “ hope visits.” I am new to your blog. I luckily, stumbled upon you. I love it when that happens….

    1. deemallon

      Oh — welcome! I forgot to list the tired that comes with illness. I suppose that speaks to how lucky I’ve been health wise in recent years.

  2. Nancy

    Poetry dear Dee. We circle from tired to hope, and I guess back again. Sending love. from the place of adult tired, where you just want your mommy to hold you and take make you feel like all will be well and your daddy will give you the sense that he will take care of you (even if you know different) and offer support and advice (even if you know it may not be the best)…adult tired, where it is all on you. xo Dee, I’m thinking on you hard these days.

    1. deemallon

      Thanks. Nancy. I am so thankful that as the world warms to spring I will be making my own way back to some sort of flowering.

  3. Deborah Lacativa

    I don’t want to own any of those tireds right now, lest they start to own me. I’m celebrating that magenta!

  4. Michelle Slater

    This weary old gal is grateful for breath, coffee, Digestive biscuits, good doctors, naps, Poets and Artists, Buddhism, Seasons, Pears and apples and the Internet too (damn it). Grateful for this post Dee. Love the shadow shot and that really adorable photo of you.

  5. Fiona

    A wonderful exploration of tiredness Dee – and all so true. I love the scarf and seeing you in it; and also knowing that Spring is headed your way with its promise, and hope, of renewal and growth. I sometimes feel as if the sadness sits down with me; it’s so lovely to think of hope doing the same. Go gently.


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