Six-Word Saturday: “Routine Medical Examination, Sit and Wait”

Thank you to Debbie at Travel with Intent for hosting the Six-Word Saturday challenge.

Self is in the closing section of Semezdin Mehmehdinovic’s My Heart, his (really quite lovely) meditation on the frailty of the body, on the melancholy of aging, of saying good-bye.

Awesome Book. Five Stars.

It is a triptych: the first third is about his “first heart attack,” at the age of fifty. The middle section is about a road trip he takes with his detached son. The final section is about the after-effects of his wife’s stroke.

Does it sound depressing to you? It sounded depressing to self. At first, she wasn’t sure she wanted to read it. Perhaps she’d just skim.

She was wrong. If the first third didn’t quite grab her, she was glad she stuck with it. By the end of the father-and-son road trip, she was hooked.

The last section is like a love letter to the narrator’s wife, it so tenderly describes the most devastating after-effect of her stroke: her memory loss.

Holding hands, we step into the circular glass door through which I have often passed over the last months. Our moving shadows break up in the glass. The melancholy of late summer. We go up in the elevator to the fourth floor. We’re in the hospital for a routine medical examination. We sit and wait. In the silence, we look at a painting in front of us by an anonymous artist. And then Sanja asks: “Isn’t it a pitiful destiny for an artist for their works to end up on the wall of a doctor’s waiting room . . . ?”

My Heart, p. 223

It’s a book about grief, but it is not depressing.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

First Poetry Friday of 2022: A Hunt!

Sir Gawain is feted by a Lord who is very generous with his table. There is much revelry, much laughter, the whole night long. Then, at break of dawn, mass (!), followed by a hunt.

The stags of the herd with their high-branched heads
and the broad-horned bucks were allowed to pass by,
for the lord of the land had laid down a law
that man should not maim the male in close season.
But the hinds were halted with hollers and whoops
and the din drove the does to sprint for the dells.
Then the eye can see that the air is all arrows:
all across the forest they flashed and flickered,
biting through hides with their broad heads.

To be shot by arrows is a particularly gruesome way to die, which self grew to appreciate after watching The Revenant. A forest ambush — the arrowheads were so substantial that self felt ill whenever one entered a human target.

While the lord is at the hunt, the lady of the house attempts to seduce Gawain. But even though she has bolted the door to his chambers, and has him pinned to the bed, he grants her no more than a kiss. In the movie, the lady of the house is played by Alicia Vikander. Self remembers sitting in the theater and being very confused.

Next, a scene of the gutting of the deer, which thank the lord was not in the movie (An excerpt: “Next they lopped off the legs and peeled back the pelt/and hooked out the bowels through the broken belly”). It seems to go on forever, every part of the deer is described, including the offal.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

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