--I am taking today and tomorrow off. My sister and my nephew arrive this afternoon. When people ask what we have planned, I say, "Mostly sitting by the pool." Some people look at me with a yearning for a vacation of sitting by the pool. Some look at me as if I am a bad hostess for not planning more activities.
--I will not be reading the redacted version of the Mueller report--or any version. It's like the State of the Union address; I feel that as a good citizen, I should be interested. But I also feel that time is short. I already spend lots of time with documents that while they may inform, they do not uplift. I want to spend time with something that will make me a better human, or make me see some creative connections, or give me the solace of being away from ugliness for awhile. I don't expect that the Mueller report will do that.
--I have now made it sound like I will spend the morning with the complete work of T.S. Eliot or reading Virginia Woolf or gazing upon the paintings of Georgia O'Keefe. But I will be cleaning the house when the Mueller report is released, and that, too, seems like an activity that will make me be a better human and then when it's done, give me the solace of being away from ugliness. It's been too long since I did much cleaning, since there was always repair work right around the corner. I've been keeping the toilet clean, but the bathroom sink, bathtub, and floors need some attention. I also hope to clean the hardwood floors throughout the house. The other types of restoration that I had hoped to do (sorting through some piles of paperwork, unpacking some dishes, on and on I could go) will wait for a day/week-end/retirement when I have more time.
--My spouse will be at work, so I can do this work the way that I prefer: a bit of cleaning, a bit of writing, a bit more cleaning, perhaps some cooking, and then more cleaning. My spouse goes at a much more frantic and noisy pace.
--I will also keep track of people by way of Facebook. I wish that Facebook had an easier way of getting back to comments, a more searchable interface. I want to preserve this comment that I made to a former colleague friend who asked how I'm doing: "We are finally almost done with hurricane Irma repairs to our main house, but our cottage still needs lots of work. Unlike the main house, we can postpone that work indefinitely. I am both thrilled and exhausted at the idea that the repair work is done. Work for pay (at City College) proceeds as it always does--I'm happiest in my job when I'm helping students solve problems, and my position as Director of Education gives me lots of opportunities to do that. My creative work always brings me joy, along with sorrow that there's never enough time. I just attended some interesting conference panels on the intersections of poetry and visual arts, and these are the times I really miss having art school colleagues to discuss these ideas with. I'm doing a lot of sketching and poem writing and thinking about how these might connect. I'm wishing I had spent more time on my drawing skills and less time doubting that I had drawing skills that could be improved. I hope all is well with you and yours!"
--I also wrote this post this morning: "My spouse has been practicing Spanish by asking me questions in Spanish. I am often answering the wrong questions--or a different question--because I am not listening to teach yourself Spanish CDs, the way that he is. Is it better to answer the wrong questions because they are asked in a language you don't understand or because your declining hearing impairs the hearing of the question? Are these questions of mid-life or a poem struggling to be born?"
--This morning I saw the moon setting as I looked out my kitchen window. I can see out of my kitchen window now because I took down the wretched scrap of cloth that we used as a curtain for many years.
--I was also struck by my tulips which were mostly hidden by leaves when I bought them 2 days ago; I couldn't even tell what color they might be. This morning, I'm feeling lucky that I found this beautiful pot of tulips for just $3.99 at Trader Joes:
I thought they might be a uniform yellow when I bought them because there was just the tiniest hint of yellow in the green--but I'm much happier to have this less traditional coral-yellow set of blooms. Here, too, I see an abundance of symbol and metaphor.
--I guess this house won't clean itself. I keep hoping. Let me shift gears now.