sanglot: Christmas time and tears

French Christmas Pere noel santa claus holiday in france
Feeling harried this season? A little Christmas story you may relate to in the column below.

(sahn-glo) noun, masculine
    : sob

verb: sangloter (sahn-glo-tay)
    : to sob

Listen to my daughter read today's word and the following quote: Download Sanglot . Download Sanglot

"Dieu entend mieux un sanglot qu'un appel."
  --Saint Augustine

"Mama said there'd be days like this... "
(or Maman a dit qu'il y aurait des jours comme ça....)

Ever wake up "plein de bonnes intentions*?" Your heart is full and you might just save the world... with your patience, your lessons learned, and that little bit of resilience that you have painstakingly re-affirmed? ...only to crawl into bed, at the end of the day, depleted, defeated, nerve-endings astray?

Such was last night.

As for the bundle of sensitivity, located somewhere beneath stilled sanglots* and a rapid heartbeat... I do not know whether it was those capricious Christmas consumers at Carrefour,* who were ahead of the rush by three weeks or more, or whether it was the evening meal, when I looked across the table to my children...growing, growing, growing still!

These days I feel like Chicken Little, running hither and thither with my shopping cart, trying to catch the sentimental sky, before childhood or Christmas pass me by.

plein de bonnes intentions
= full of good intentions; sanglot (m) = sob; Carrefour = the name of a mega supermarket chain in France

Christmas market in France santa claus

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Robert Edwards

God hears a sob better than a call.



As soon as I read the word SANGLOT, Verlaine's poem was on my lips. I realised I could still remember it.

Blessent mon cœur
D'une langueur

Tout suffocant
Et blême, quand
Sonne l'heure,
Je me souviens
Des jours anciens
Et je pleure.

Et je m'en vais
Au vent mauvais
Qui m'emporte
Deçà, delà,
Pareil à la
Feuille morte.

I love the photo with the shadow.
... going to enjoy looking at the whole set now. Bye!

Ann at Cooking the Books

Me too! I thought of Verlain's poem as well! I, too, had to memorize Chanson d'automne for my French class.


A good word for me today. I felt one coming on as I tried to plan for our little trip to Belgique. Merci beaucoup for helping me have the right word for what I felt.

Jules Greer

Kristi my Angel,
Of course I am reading between the lines as
all mothers do - I am so sorry you are full
of sadness and pain at the beginning of the
holidays. This should be a joyous time for
all of us - next year I will spend Christmas with you - somehow this will happen. Hold that thought in your mind and
heart and we will repeat your wonderful Christmas's of childhood. Start collecting
pine cones and pheasant feathers for the tree.





Do feel better. I know the feelings you're describing, and they will pass -- and recur and pass again. The same thing hit me at around your age too -- I think it's to do with the realization that there will never be enough time to achieve all we intended and that our babies are growing up. Here's how Andrew Marvell describes it:

But at my back I always hear
Time's winged chariot hurrying near
And yonder all before us lie
Deserts of vast eternity

I am so enjoying your pictures of London. They make me homesick, so time for another visit!

Happy Thanksgiving/Buona festa di Ringraziamento!


Hi Kristin,
Ah, I know the feeling so daughter is a freshman in college, my son a junior in high school....where has the time gone? I am excited on the one hand to see them grow and mature, but am at times swept over by sadness of time passing. But I suppose these feelings are part and parcel of being a parent. I am reminded of the lyrics to Joni MItchell's song "The Circle Game":

Yesterday a child came out to wonder
Caught a dragonfly inside a jar
Fearful when the sky was full of thunder
And tearful at the falling of a star

Then the child moved ten times round the seasons
Skated over ten clear frozen streams
Words like, when you're older, must appease him
And promises of someday make his dreams

And the seasons they go round and round
And the painted ponies go up and dawn
We're captive on the carousel of time
We can't return we can only look behind
From where we came
And go round and round and round
In the circle game.

Sixteen springs and sixteen summers gone now
Cartwheels turn to car wheels thru the town
And they tell him,
Take your time, it won't be long now
Till you drag your feet to slow the circles down

And the seasons they go round and round
And the painted ponies go up and dawn
We're captive on the carousel of time
We can't return we can only look behind
From where we came
And go round and round and round
In the circle game

So the years spin by and now the boy is twenty
Though his dreams have lost some grandeur
Coming true
There'll be new dreams, maybe better dreams and plenty
Before the last revolving year is through.

And the seasons they go round and round
And the painted ponies go up and down
We're captive on the carousel of time
We can't return, we can only look behind
From where we came
And go round and round and round
In the circle game


Sanglots...Une phrase me revient a la memoire.."Les plus désespérés sont les chants les plus beaux,et j’en sais d’immortels qui sont de purs sanglots."(Alfred de Musset)

Remi Enobakhare

I think G-d often *does* hear us better when we call to Him through a sob. And if we go one better-- choosing to praise and give Him glory even when our hearts are breaking-- He delivers us in hugely obvious ways that shout, This could only have been the hand of G-d! [I'd love to give some of my personal examples, but I believe I may have used a greater amount of space than is customary, already. :)] When we trust Him in spite of everything we can see in the natural, He honors our faith and in so doing, brings honor to Himself.


Well, my dear Kristin, these moments when you actually REALIZE the passing of time and feel the longing to stop it in its flight ... though they conjure feelings of sadness and wonder ... these are precious moments ... like photographs ... that you will remember much later. So savor the moments and the feelings and also feel glad that you have them.

I love your site! It brings back many memories!

Happy Thanksgiving ~

Janine Cortell

I used to have my students recite this poem to work on their nasals!!! Chanson d'Automne of course. Janine Cortell


I hear you Kristin! Thanks for all you do. You make our world a little brighter everyday!

Christine Dashper

Oh Kristin, I do sooo get it. But take heart, you may eventually stop building Lego, sneaking bikes into bedrooms, taking bites out of bikkies (cookies) at 1 in the morning, so it looks like Santa was hungry. But although the pressies change they are still your kids and they still want to gather around the tree, or whatever the family tradition is.

I keep the traditions going, especially the silly family ones, and even thought there is some 'eye rolling' when I wave the Christmas Carol CD in their faces on December 1st, we have great times, they are just different. My 21year old and I are both busy working and she called today to make at date to go Christmas shopping with me in a couple of weeks.... you can't do better than that. I hope your winter Christmas is wonderful. As for us, it's Summer down here so lazing in the garden is on the menu All the best Chris

Tammy Straub

not poetic, but it puts a smile on our faces when we recall hearing my dad say, "if you are standing with one foot in tomorrow and one foot in yesterday, then you are pissin on today"! If you could translate that, I'm sure it would sound more beautiful in french.
Tammy @ Lake Powell

Doug McClure

Perhaps Augustine could have added, "et Dieu embrasse ceux qui fait."

As we approach this season of expectation and hope, that for many is anything but, I wish for you Kristin, (and for all of us) the sense that we are being held and upheld by God and each other. Happy Thanksgiving; we give thanks for you!


Time's flying too fast. Every Xmas, we are one more year away from our own childhood. We go through our children's childhood and enjoy every minute of it - till the day we realise our childhood, and very soon, their childhood, belong to the land of our memory.
The few tears (sanglots silencieux, larmes au bord des yeux) emerging from the stream of consciousness are very natural. In fact, I think we do need such moments of awareness to appreciate the past, to readjust to the present and to keep our head and heart full of hope for the future...
A joyful Thanksgiving Day to everyone!

Jules Greer


You are so cool, thank you for arriving in
Kristi's life.



Trish DeMallie

Newforest24, you are very insightful. Your comments helped me realize why I'm having a hard time watching my wonderful daughters (18 and 22) leave the nest.

Eve Robillard

Kristin--To catch the sentimental sky--so, so lovely. And mysterious. ps good grief, be glad you're in france. right now there's a "holiday special" on tv--a replaying of an old andy williams special. it's bad enough i watched it in 1970, or whatever . . .
cheers, eve

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