When you are sorrowful look again in your heart,
and you shall see that in truth you are weeping for that which has been your delight.

~ Kahlil Gibran, from"The Prophet"

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

the traces of suffering

And then something happened. It's hard to believe, it's such a sad day. At around five I went down to Madame Michel's loge (I mean Renee's loge) with Kakuro because he wanted to get some of her clothes to take them to the hospital morgue. He rang at our door and asked Maman if he could speak to me. But I had guessed it would be him, I was already there. Of course I wanted to go with him. We took the elevator down, not speaking. He looked very tired, more tired than sad, and I thought, That is what suffering looks like on a wise face. It's not apparent; it just leaves traces that make you look very very tired. Do I look tired, too?

excerpt from "The Elegance of the Hedgehog"
- Muriel Barbery


  1. More wise than tired Mary, but that too. This is a beautiful piece of writing about the way grief etches itself onto the lines of our skin, leaving luminous traces behind.

  2. I think that you look beautiful.

  3. Ah, this is a tricky one...I know you more with a smile..and when you smile - you shine.

  4. The eyes are telling. Never the same after suffering. But you share yourself with all of us, and we are better for it. No life in vain, just love.


  5. I see it in my own paleness. We see things more in ourselves (like those little gray roots coming in for me).
    Stress and grief take a lot out of us. You need a beautiful sunny day filled with warm memories and a promise of peace for your soul.
    I'm so sorry for your pain.

  6. The way my webpage is set up, the picture of you comes up right next to the beautiful picture of Erin smiling over her shoulder. She looks a lot like you, Mrs. Potts. There is definitely wisdom in both of your eyes. And you both look radiant with a smile.