Close up Hands Tea x

Sit a bit and hear some observational stories I’ve been steeping.

Burning at both ends.

Burning the candle at both ends.  You hear the words and you know, no matter what the activity, it won’t end well.  There’s fire involved.  Somebody’s getting hurt.  I’m not a fan of this ‘Bruler la chandelle par les deux bouts’ (seriously, when the French say things, it sounds so much less painful) – but it happens and in most cases, I’m not even the one in charge of the burning.

Last week, I finally dragged myself back to the doctor after two weeks of having had the seven dwarves of illness visit me (all surnamed Miserables) and was diagnosed with Walking Pneumonia.  When I told the petite lady doctor about the schedule I’d been keeping, she shook her head and all but wagged her tiny finger at me.  I told her that my life probably had me on the road to Lying-Down Pneumonia, too — and she nodded her wee head.  Ah!  I get it then.  Not for nothin’ did E. Cobham Brewer write in his Dictionary of Phrase and Fable (1898), “Of course, no candle could burn at both ends, unless held horizontally.”  Touche, sir.

It wasn’t by choice that my candle had both ends aflame.  I didn’t ask for all that the universe threw at me, all at once this month.  Nor did I ask for the people who were in charge of my time to devour ALL of it.  There was no minute left unaccounted for in the one thousand four hundred and forty I’m given in a day (and if you get more, I want whatever you’re brewing in your kettle).  In order to serve all of those insane masters (and they know who they are), sleep and proper nutrition were just a fraction of the price I had to pay in order to accomplish all that needed to be done.  By the third week of this both ends business, I was toast.

Edna St. Vincent Millay wrote a poem called “First Fig” in 1920 that makes burning the candle at both ends sound much lovelier than it really is (but there were other writers that made consumption sound pretty romantic, too.  Come to think of it.):

My candle burns at both ends;
It will not last the night;
But ah, my foes, and oh, my friends–
It gives a lovely light!

 Me?  Not so much.

I’m almost at the end of my run as Velma Von Tussle in “Hairspray” – and conveniently, will be through with my nuclear antibiotic prescription at the same time.  While I will still have some mad running to and fro on my schedule, I will (hopefully) be down, at last, to one wick.  All of which I’m going to try to handle with more grace, vegetables and proper hydration, and no ashes.

Wish me luck (and hide the matches).

xo – t.

How far that little candle throws its beams! So shines a good deed in a naughty world.” ~ Wm. Shakespeare

It is better to light a candle than curse the darkness.” ~ Eleanor Roosevelt

You don’t have to be a wreck.  You don’t have to be sick. One’s aim in life should be to die in good health.  Just like a candle that burns out.” ~ Jeanne Moreau

* * *

http://www.publicdomainpictures.net/view-image.php?image=29928&picture=christmas-candle”>Christmas Candle</a> by Alice Birkin

One thought on “Burning at both ends.

Leave a Reply