Saturday, July 24, 2010

Week in Seven Words #25

blackout
All at once the lights wink out, the fan holds its breath, the fridge gives a small sigh and is silent; everything has fallen into a dark hush. Though I can narrow down the location of my flashlight to a certain portion of the room, I can't actually see where it is, and unfortunately the flashlight isn't a glow-in-the-dark model. I wind up using the weak light from my laptop as a flashlight to find the actual flashlight. Once the flashlight is in hand, I divert myself for several moments by making its light race around the walls, before remembering that I am in fact a responsible adult and should venture out and see what's going on in the building.

lamentations
On the evening of Tisha B'Av - a day marked by mourning, destruction, and exile - we sit on the floor and read the Book of Lamentations. At one point I think to myself that one of the worst things you can wish on someone is the inability to repent of anything and change for the better.

nutriment
We break the fasting in the second floor library. I slowly put together my bagel, cream cheese, lox, and tomato combo, savoring it, grateful that we have food, that we're all blessed with plenty here and can sit around now chatting. We fasted out of mourning, out of choice, obligation, commitment, and feeling; no dire circumstances threatened us with actual starvation - something not to be taken for granted.

pang
For a moment I'm so moved by his question and the tone in which it's spoken that I can't speak. Then I find my voice again and assure him that I plan to visit soon, in a few weeks - I promise.

skipping
I'm not sure at what age skipping becomes an unacceptable way to get from Point A to Point B; I start thinking about this after watching a four year old decide that the best way to go down a long hallway is to skip. And then I wonder if we stop skipping not only because it becomes socially unacceptable, but also because our impulse to skip just shrivels up as we age, so we can no longer do it lightly and spontaneously; it instead becomes self-conscious and self-mocking.

snippets
On the computer I prune out short segments of speech - pronouns like 'it' and 'him' - and find out firsthand that in isolation they often sound like an indistinct buzz. They become distinct and recognizable only when they're part of the larger speech stream; otherwise they're like stray droplets that evaporate quickly.

topography
The topography of tiredness. From the start of the dinner to about an hour and a half into it, my energy and alertness slips downhill into a trough. Then a long stretch of good conversation perks me up again, until at midnight I'm at a peak, content and wide awake, and thinking things over rather than sinking comfortably into sleep.

8 comments:

John Hayes said...

These are fascinating--really of a piece, as they often are. In this case, it seems that dearth is the the overall theme, looked at from 7 different perspectives. I love the idea of the "topography of tiredness."

Lucy said...

Sad but true about skipping. But I must still remember to whistle, which doesn't have to wither on the vine...

I enjoy sharing in a small way in your special days and festivals; you convey a strong sense of their meaning.

Crafty Green Poet said...

I love these posts you put together, the seven words expanded give such a fascinating insight into a week. i love the topography of tiredness and have been known to sometimes still skip....

HKatz said...

These are fascinating--really of a piece, as they often are.
Thank you; I enjoy reading your take on them.

But I must still remember to whistle, which doesn't have to wither on the vine...
True! Or humming - I tend to hum myself.

I enjoy sharing in a small way in your special days and festivals; you convey a strong sense of their meaning.
I'm glad some of the meaning comes across; thank you for commenting.

I love these posts you put together, the seven words expanded give such a fascinating insight into a week.
Thank you, I'm glad you enjoyed (and it's great that you still skip now and then!)

naida said...

These are all great.
Blackout is fantastic, especially... 'the fan holds its breath'...

http://thebookworm07.blogspot.com/

HKatz said...

Blackout is fantastic, especially... 'the fan holds its breath'...
That's what it sounded like :) Thanks for stopping by and commenting.

Relyn said...

Oh, I love to skip. I still do it regularly. I guess that's the benefit of being a teacher - you get to do all kinds of fun things that keep your spirits fresh and your mind young. We frequently have Brain Break Dance Minutes and we move around the room in all sorts of kooky, zany ways. Skipping is a big favorite every year. My favorite, though, is to gallop. Invariably, the boys will all start in with sounds effects before we've galloped for thirty second. I love it!

HKatz said...

We frequently have Brain Break Dance Minutes and we move around the room in all sorts of kooky, zany ways.

That sounds awesome. Many adults could benefit from a brain break like that too... it's no good sitting in one spot for hours at a time.
Thanks for stopping by and sharing!