Nuance

paper collage is a nuance of tones

A poem is this:
A nuance of sound
delicately operating
upon a cataract of sense
…the particulars
of a song waking
upon a bed of sound.

~ William Carlos Williams

Nuance is one of my favorite words. It leaves my lips like a kiss, a word difficult to say in harsh tones or angry volumes. It is a word of quiet, of intelligence, of subtleties.

Here’s the dictionary definition:
1. a subtle difference or distinction in expression, meaning, response, etc.
2. a very slight difference or variation in color or tone.

Here’s how it plays out in a morning conversation with my husband. I get ready for work, dressing up slightly more than normal, but for no particular reason. As we get into our car, he slides me a look and says, “You look nice today.”

I stop, hand on hip, one eyebrow arched: “Today?”

This next moment is crucial. In some marriages, that might just be a declaration of war. In ours, it’s a moment of laughter. Those lines are a running joke between us, but at their heart, in the nuance of the very saying of them, lies the depth of love between us. We know how to push each other’s buttons, but instead of using that talent for evil, we use it for good. I know how to make him laugh, and he does the same for me. He knows my days are far longer than I’d like, that I’m trying to juggle a million different plates and keep them spinning, that I’m tired. That the potential for grumpiness hangs like a thundercloud in the Midwestern spring sky.

Instead of making things more difficult, he lightens my load through laughter.

“Yeah, today. Most of the time, nah. But, you know, today. Looking good.”

My step is lighter, a smile hovers behind a renewed twinkle in my eye. By the time I hit the driver’s seat, I’m chuckling.

It’s going to be a good day.

“Thanks, babe.”

[Note: This post is #14 of 26 of the April A-to-Z Challenge. Please see the button on the right of the page for more information.
Last year’s “N” post: New Adventures.]

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1 Comment

Filed under April A-to-Z Challenge, Life

One response to “Nuance

  1. minalobo

    Hah! Brave (and funny) man! 🙂

    Some Dark Romantic

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