Remember BarbaraIt rained all day on Brest that dayAnd you walked smilingFlushed enraptured streaming-wetIn the rainRemember BarbaraIt rained all day on Brest that dayAnd I ran into you in Siam StreetYou were smilingAnd I smiled tooRemember BarbaraYou whom I didn't knowYou who didn't know meRememberRemember that day stillDon't forgetA man was taking cover on a porchAnd he cried your nameBarbaraAnd you ran to him in the rainStreaming-wet enraptured flushedAnd you threw yourself in his armsRemember that BarbaraAnd don't be mad if I speak familiarlyI speak familiarly to everyone I loveEven if I've seen them only onceI speak familiarly to all who are in loveEven if I don't know themRemember BarbaraDon't forgetThat good and happy rainOn your happy faceOn that happy townThat rain upon the seaUpon the arsenalUpon the Ushant boatOh BarbaraWhat shitstupidity the warNow what's become of youUnder this iron rainOf fire and steel and bloodAnd he who held you in his armsAmorouslyIs he dead and gone or still so much aliveOh BarbaraIt's rained all day on Brest todayAs it was raining beforeBut it isn't the same anymoreAnd everything is wreckedIt's a rain of mourning terrible and desolateNor is it still a stormOf iron and steel and bloodBut simply cloudsThat die like dogsDogs that disappearIn the downpour drowning BrestAnd float away to rotA long way offA long long way from BrestOf which there's nothing left.
In my own worst seasons I've come back from the colorless world of despair by forcing myself to look hard, for a long time, at a single glorious thing: a flame of red geranium outside my bedroom window. And then another: my daughter in a yellow dress. And another: the perfect outline of a full, dark sphere behind the crescent moon. Until I learned to be in love with my life again. Like a stroke victim retraining new parts of the brain to grasp lost skills, I have taught myself joy, over and over again(15).