December, December…all winter wonderland and warm peppermint fuzzies, right? Er, perhaps not…
A Poem Tasting for December (Coleridge – Frost – Teasdale), Served by Diane Havens
Read by Diane Havens
Three is a magic number, as they sang on Schoolhouse Rock. And three courses make for a most saitsfying meal. Here, three poems for a feast upon a somewhat bleak view of December. A month of contradictions or at least ambivalence, the end of another year, long nights, cherished memories of past loves and seasons. And letting go.
Appetizer – “Fragment III: Come Thou Bleak December Wind” by Samuel Taylor Coleridge
Main Course – “Reluctance” by Robert Frost
Dessert – “Places III – Winter Sun” by Sara Teasdale
Aches – No. 10 from Little (flash) Fiction, by Jessica Kluthe and Little Fiction
Read by Xe Sands
GOING PUBLIC 12.7.12: “Aches,” by Jessica Kluthe
Story No. 10 from the Little (flash) Fiction Collection
Continuing with the awesome flash fiction collection from Little Fiction…with remembrance of past “aches,” by Jessica Kluthe.
There are greater and lesser tragedies, but the death of a child is singular in its unfairness, more personal…the world whispering cruelly and quietly, ‘This one is just for you – you alone.”
And to carry a child within your body, to feel it so alive within you, and then lose it soon after you separate – that is especially cruel. While pregnant, I think many of us secretly harbor suspicions about the “outside,” about the separation of birth. Inside us, held within our bodies, we feel we have control, we provide the ultimate comfort and safety for this new life…and we don’t trust that bringing it out into the world will be safe. The world is frightening. The world is dangerous. The womb is warm, it is safe, it is part of us.
But that bit of psychology aside, birth happens. It happens regardless of suspicions or desire or misplaced notions of absolute safety. And we force ourselves into a state of manufactured trust: we pretend to trust that all will be well, that the world can provide safety and warmth and security. Most of the time, this manufactured security pans out – our babies lives, they thrive, they grow.
But sometimes, it does’t work that way. And it feels as if the world is a vengeful place, or at the very least, an unfair place. A place of fruit spoiled with bruises.
And if this story intrigues you, check out Jessica Kluthe’s website for information on her upcoming book, Rosina, the Midwife, due out in Spring 2013.
Tom Jones – Book 2, Chapter 7, by Henry Fielding
Read by Mark Turetsky
Book 2 Chapter 7 of Tom Jones.
This is part of an ongoing project in which I will record and post one chapter per week of Henry Fielding’s Tom Jones over the course of four years.
Here we return to the state of Bridget Allworthy and Captain Blifil’s marriage. As it turns out, the honeymoon, as they say, is over. Bridget and the Captain fight over everything, finding no common ground. Probably of most importance to our story of the foundling Tom Jones (who’s still a baby at this point), is that because Blifil is trying to have Tom disinherited, meaning Bridget is now treating baby Tom with almost as much love as her own son, Wee Baby Blifil.
But this chapter contains a wonderful Fielding digression. He talks about the necessity of accepting in our friends and loved ones the things which we disagree or find fault with. He writes, ” There is, perhaps, no surer mark of folly, than an attempt to correct the natural infirmities of those we love.” Some of the best advice in the book, it seems to me.
By the end of the chapter, the Blifils have reconciled, with the Captain undertaking some act, to be detailed later, which will restore him to his wife’s heart.