Wednesday, February 29, 2012

February 27, 2012

Oscars with Russell and Maria and DJ. Tired of dresses.

Monday, February 27, 2012

February 26, 2012

Love Child with Jake last night at NC Stage. A comical view of a solemn updating of Ion. What could go wrong? Very funny, though the humor lay less in the script than in the heroic exertions of the actors. Full house. Champagne afterwards.

Bountiful time at the studio yesterday. Listened to the silence left by the departure of the glass boys. Then I listened to Telemann. Many visitors, one group of whom took my card and phoned yesterday afternoon to see if I were still “open.”

Live emailed with an agent in Belfast concerning In the Country of the Young.

Scarlet anemones blooming now that the purple are in decline. I adore them, but dread their fate should the real winter ever come.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

February 25, 2012

Evening at KS’s “Opera Creations.” Fun. Proof that there’s nothing you can do to The Magic Flute to keep it from being magical. Zach gave me a carnation. Above all else, testimony that you can do what you want. If you want to sing opera you don’t have to audition for the established power in the area, you can put on your own, and people will come to soak up the enthusiasm. Jonathan Ross was the best Papageno I’ve ever seen, in a room with eighty people in it on the top floor of an old Masonic hall. I wanted to play too. They had left out Sarastro– I suppose because everyone is either a soprano or a boy or playing Papageno–and I wanted to cry “I can sing that!” I suppose someone’s crying “I can sing that” is the whole point.

Tamino was snatched from Bible Camp and set down in the magic forest.

Dream before morning. Jake and Ellen and I were sitting around at some conference, telling each other what we’d been doing lately. The dream was so close to the edge of waking that I told them what I really AM doing in the world of day.

Jake was in my mind because DJ and I stopped for drinks before returning from the opera, and Jake and Rob were commiserating at Avenue M over the manifold and seemingly inexhaustible deficiencies of their department. They torment Jake for the same reason they tormented Cody, because he is already beyond their level of expertise and that seems to them a kind of insolence. They do not use and absorb what is better than they, they discredit it, or hold it at arm’s length as though energy and insight were a kind of aggression. Rob’s father just died, and yet it falls to him to salvage Jake’s feelings, and the honor of his department.

Rob’s father, Cindy’s mother, Titus the cat in two days. The Reaper’s blade swings in the dark of night.

Dancing at Avenue M. You forget how awkward contemporary social dancing looks when you’re not doing it. The women looked good, but the space is really too small for men to dance in.

Logan and Alex and the glass blowing boys have moved from the studio. Jolene points out that they made all the noise and all the mess, but I miss them, and the second floor is like a funeral home without them. They reminded me of Titus, actually: he made almost all the mess, vomited all the vomit you had to be careful of barefoot in the morning, but I miss him, and the quiet in the house is unsettling.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

February 24, 2012

Undistinguished dawn session at the Y. I thought I might spend the day napping with Palestrina in the background, but that didn’t satisfy as long as I thought it might. Entered one of the unanticipated spasms of housecleaning, coming across letters from agents–some three years old-- raving about this or that book, and from whom I probably never heard again, or else they were scammers and I researched them in time to avert disaster. Threw away hundreds of old photo negatives, but kept the prints gathered in a box, to look at later, or to ignore for another decade. Included photos I had completely forgotten of Marco and me in DC, of The Duck Variations at HART, of play readings in this house, of old paintings of mine, of the summer at Oxford, and many photos of cats, Theseus, Conrad, Jocasta, Titus in the days of their youth. I don’t know whether the photographs made me sad or happy. There are a thousand photographs of flowers, which do not squirm nor make wry faces.

A day of sunshine showers, a spring day in the midst of winter. A clump of pale daffodils are in flower, as are all the Lenten roses.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

February 22, 2012

Ash Wednesday

Titus the Cat left me today. He was the best of cats, sweet and calm and affectionate, a big loving boy. When I balance his virtues and his deficits–most of those have to do with being a slob–he comes out better than most people. Certainly better than me. I am bereft of the buddy cat, and I can’t think of it very often or very long. Maud walks through the house crying. I think she misses him. I think she enjoyed hissing at him, and thought the game would go on forever. The vet was inept, and Tutus was frightened in his last moments. My prayer for the day is to get that out of my mind-- though anger did replace grief a little in the office, and I didn’t feel quite such a fool.

Evening. Dreadful quiet house. Have hardly gotten out of bed. I had forgotten that sadness can make you sick.

But the yard is purple with crocus.

Little spirit, at the end of all things, please find me.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012


Cytology report comes back from the kind doctor. The growth is an aggressive sarcoma–I forget the name of it–which is rare in cats and even rarer where Titus has it. It has already metastasized. I hold Titus the cat as long as he’ll put up with it thanking him for being my cat.

Monday, February 20, 2012

February 20, 2012

Rick Santorum proves that there’s nothing a bigot and an idiot can say that will not elicit applause from somebody. Bigots and idiots, I suppose. He is going to be the first one to come out and admit he hates the President for being black, all other cited causes being, more or less, imaginary.

New owners at Mountain Java. A gay couple, I guess. Bears.

Weekend devoured (in a good way) by revisions. Took In the Country of the Young out of mothballs, realizing, in a bolt from the blue, what to do with it. Continued revisions on Davie Jax, also lately from the vaults. Some painting, but ultimate frustration in not being able to get a face right. I do not know how to achieve the smoothness of paintings I admire. I think I may be using my brushes too long. Or my impatience leads me to over-paint what is not dry enough.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

February 17, 2012

Did a reading for HART’s Look Homeward Angel last night, then had the rest of the evening to chat with Steve and Casey, largely about Casey’s trip to Chicago to audition for the schools he wants for his MFA. But what a lot of local theater gossip to catch up on! NC Stage is about the only one for which they do not foresee either spiritual or material dissolution. Theaters do tend to give up their spirits, especially when they see that doing crap brings in easier money than doing masterpieces. A certain kind of mind associates success with ease and superfluity, and when those minds get control of an arts organization, the game is over. C’s mind is quick and makes cogent summaries. Of one local company he sneered, “They do TV,” and I realized he is exactly right, putting his finger on a quality I was myself unable to define. Theater grad school is a different world from what I know, competitive and potentially soul-destroying at every level; yet people love it enough to go through it, and we playwrights are grateful for all that energy and dedication. Our students are less well served by their training than others, so must rely on their innate qualities. Casey has those qualities, but even that does not predict his immediate road. Steve and Casey are far more specific about their ambitions than I ever was. They want this role; they want to produce that play. I wanted to surge forward in whatever way seemed opened to me. All my life was poetry, and then when another door opened, I entered that room as well, thinking to give destiny as many opportunities as possible to do right by me. I never thought it was betrayal, but rather enlargement, but who knows what the Muses thought? I’m not sure which choice was the right one. Steve seems to be doing exactly what he wants to do. Casey is on the brink of doing what he wants. If I look back with an objective eye, I make the astonishing deduction that I too have done pretty much what I wanted to do. . . though admitting a certain dissatisfaction with the outcome. If only I could get that non-attachment thing right. . . .

The production of King Lear by which I was shafted has collapsed. I was hoping it would go all the way and waste everybody’s time and be horrible, but this is the next best thing.

Cats eating out of the same bowl again, Titus apparently having been forgiven his mortality. He’s managing to go the bathroom, after a fashion, but one wishes these efforts were more localized.

The guy who’s fixing my Prius is a ski racer.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012


Titus is home for a while. Dr. H did exploratory surgery (just as Dr R had done) and also concluded there is no chance of surgery. Unlike R, he took samples of the –growth (he thinks it’s no polyp) to send somewhere for analysis. He thinks it’s cancerous. When I went for him, Titus was so sick, drooling and collapsing, pressing his tired head against my chest. Later the drooling stopped, but he was groggy and unsuccessful in getting up on the couch. I was ashamed that I laughed. But the T-man is home for a while, and slept outside my door. I can’t explain the change his sickness makes. The other cats won’t come near him. Maud is downright hostile. I brushed him rigorously to get the medicine smell off, but maybe that wasn’t the problem. Dr H warned there would be bloodstains here and there where he lay, and there were. I am not good at this, even at the level at which it is now presented me. My sister had all my father’s sickroom duties, and I think that was a providence.
February 14, 2012

Lecture last night on the general agnosticism, or at best deism, of the Founding Fathers. Jefferson seems actually to have sat in the seat of the mockers. No surprises, except for the tart vehemence of their opposition to the things most Republican demagogues imagine that they supported.

Report from one of Sam’s students that I was “random and inspiring.”

Thinking of how quiet it is in the house without Titus. Circe and Maud are excellent cats, but reserved, cat-like, feminine. Titus was a boy, noisy and messy, and, I see now, the energy of the mornings. I don’t have to tread carefully in the morning dark, for fear of cat-vomit. I don’t have to worry about his surprisingly strong body blocking my way and pitching me forward into darkness. Nobody’s head to press into my fingertips as if I can’t possibly scratch hard enough. All sweetness and openness, like the twelve year old he is. I speak in the past tense as if getting myself ready for what I feel, in the light of past events, must be bad news.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

February 13, 2012

Returned from school this afternoon, the first time in twelve and a half years that
Titus the cat was not there to greet me at the door. Dropped him at the vet’s this morning. . .frantic inside. . . like afire in a jug.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Hawk and Warbler

February 12, 2012

Odd how I did not mention two beautiful things, both in the air. When I was getting into the car I looked up and saw a warbler on the branch above me, his golden breast modulating into cream behind. It’s long since I’ve known the warblers on sight, and I didn’t rush to my field guides, so I’ll let him be a blessed mystery. Then, when I was walking to the sorority pot luck, I took a moment to sit in a little park nestled between Karpen and the university road. There was a great sir above me. Our red-tailed hawk had her nest in a branch of the pine above me. I watched her fold her wings, settle in, preen for a moment, and then hop out onto a neighboring branch, exactly like a countryman deciding to sit on the front porch for a while before going in. I could hear her feathers rustling.

News from the vet had been on my cell phone, un-listened to. Titus goes in tomorrow for surgery. I tell him every few minutes, “Don’t worry, we’re going to have it fixed in two days.” I hope he understands me in some way. Maud has made up with Circe, but not with him. She has no patience with mortality.

Cantaria pot-luck last night was, after all, unexpectedly sweet and homey, with all the guests gathered over their meals and over the pink tablecloths listening to the entertainment, which was quite good. Barry and Will sang “Au font du temple saint,” which I love. I have a dozen versions of it on I-tunes, and theirs would stand proudly among them.

AJ offered to proofread my novels. Since I am so manifestly bad at it, I took him up on it.

Got some painting done while the snow flew against the windows. This was a new direction, and had nothing to do with the show. I tell myself I have plenty for the show. I hope I’m right.

Took a morning nap yesterday. It was still dark when I lay down. When I rose up it was brilliant outside, and I thought I had slept very late indeed, but it was dawn on the falling snow. Soon the sun had climbed above the clouds and it was a dull winter day again.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

February 11, 2012

Wind howling in the dark outside.

The vet confab about Titus never took place, or they didn’t inform me of their thoughts, if it did. Keats would frown at my resistence to living in uncertainty.

A body shop in Weaverville across from a great slanted cow pasture will be tending to my wounded car next week. Far better scenery than I expected from a body shop. David the owner is buoyant and armed with high tech all about, and very efficient. He kept shaking his head at my car and murmuring, “and it’s brand new.” He is taking his daughter skiing for the first time this weekend.

The faculty reading was entertaining and well-received, I thought. I read from Night, Sleep, and the Dreams of Lovers, the part where the boys find the bones. I was happy hearing it aloud, hoping they were too. My susceptibility to typos is almost comic.

The girls of Gamma Phi Delta sorority invited their favorite professors to a pot luck last evening, and I was honored to go. The truth was that only recently did I know we had fraternities and sororities, but we do, and they seem supportive and useful things. The girls were dressed up and radiant.

Reading at Downtown Books and News afterwards-- a full day. The night readings were, on the whole, not very good. The widely-published poet was just plain– plain– and one wondered what there was about her lack of inspiration which attracted reputable publishers. Maybe I’ve answered my own question. “With this we can fulfill our poetry quota with arousing any emotions at all.” The widely published novelist was an engaged wordsmith, but scarcely allowed us any sympathy for, or any sure understanding of, what she was saying. All manner and no matter. Maybe there should be a temporary moratorium of books with the word “Girl” in their titles. The students were better far.

I’m all the time speculating on where the line draws between the competent and the excellent. Yesterday there were some readers who did nothing wrong–if they were in a class with you, you’d have nothing to correct, no precise objection to register– and yet also hadn’t done it right. How to explain this? My impulse is to say that there is a temptation to exert too much control, and those in question succumbed to that temptation– but how much control is too much? My answer at this second is, “When the author too clearly knows what’s going to happen in the next line.” I think Proust and Joyce could let the architecture show, but the modern ear–mine, anyway– wishes for at least a simulacrum of discovery.

It is atill dark. I have been up two hours. It is everything I can do not to stagger back to bed, already spent.
February 10, 2012

Days devoured by anxiety over cat and car. Took Titus to a new vet. I wonder if he was aware of my will trying to drill into his brain “Do something for my buddy, NOW.” His affect was altogether different from the first one, far more direct and assertive. I put that down to gender, but who knows? In any case, he is consulting with colleagues today to see what might be done. He recommended mixing canned pumpkin with Titus’ food to loosen the stool, and that seems to have worked. That I could be so joyful over regular old cat turds would have been, under other circumstances, absurd. Titus is the sweetest cat in the world, nuzzling against the doctor who, moments before, had him drooling with pain and fear with his fingers up his rectum. But it is still a waiting game.

The Toyota people couldn’t fix the Prius (lacking a body shop) so I took it here and there for estimates, as I assumed the insurance company would desire. It never occurred to me to make a claim until the Toyota folks said, “get your insurance company involved,” which was the first signal that it was worse than I thought. It drove fine, so I figured it was fine. The kind people at Moss Paint and Body revealed the full horror, which I would as soon forget as itemize. I liked hanging out along the railroad tracks at Emma Road during the investigation, buying coffee, drinking it leaning up against the gas pump at the Ice Service Store, chatting with locals who had been sent by co-workers in the garages and welding shops roundabout for refills of coffee. Taking it to the insurance-company-approved body shop today to cut paperwork.

I need to take a look at the near-mania I have for circumventing process. My first impulse, when presented with procedures for what should, in my estimation, be much simpler, is to rebel, refuse, thwart. I am this way because 85% of procedures are unnecessary and 65% can be circumvented. But sometimes. . . not. I tried to shrug out of the insurance company process by paying it myself, but it got too expensive, and now I go from step to piddling step. I tried to get Titus help, and dwell in a state of upheaval because it was not done in one timely stroke. Consulting. . . running it past the committee. . . a time of discernment. . .please sign these papers first. . . engage my fury as almost nothing else. Prudence is a rich, ugly old maid courted by incapacity.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Cars and Cats

February 8, 2012

Circe and Maud are reacting strangely to their brother’s sickness, or perhaps to the traces of his visit to the vet. They will not go near him. They were not huddling at the bedroom door this morning, scratching to get in. They insure that they are not in the same room as Titus. They shied from me a little this morning. They did not go to the food bowl first thing, nor have they gone yet, as far as I can see. Circe is at my hand as I type, but Maud is still in hiding. What do they sense? How do they interpret it?

Titus hides in a corner in the closet. He has never once hidden before, not even for a second, allowing his great calm self to strut before the world.

Proposition 8 is struck down in California. The idea of defending “the sanctity of marriage” is so hilarious one stops dead in the middle of hilarity, questioning the sanity of anyone who is not laughing. Many marriages are truly sacred. Their partners make them so. Marriage is not. Santorum sweeps three states. He may be the biggest idiot remaining in the Republican race, but it is nice to see their various idiocies troubled in any way.

In the morning light I saw that the car bumper had merely been knocked from its groove. I was able to work it back in by hand. The hour I spent researching body shops online was a joyful futility.


A very long day has passed, almost, and new evaluations can be made. Maud and Circe are not only angry with Titus, they are angry with each other, and stand at distance uttering horrifying deep-throat growls, followed by vicious spitting. These cats have loved each other and been constant companions since they came to me. Titus is the only variable, but how his being ill affects them, in that way, I do not understand. I don’t like it. It’s like a monster movie in which, one by one, the pets are possessed by demons. Late in the afternoon the vet calls with what she presents as good news. What’s troubling Titus is a polyp. It can be operated on, but no one around her can do it. I have Greenville and Tennessee to choose between for the surgery. I take the information but, frankly, think she’s lying. Too much of the firm’s energy goes into boosting profits for me to think of this as purely medical advice. Titus sleeps on my lap and I think of the unfairness of things.

I did fix the bumper, but when I drove over the Lakeshore speed bumps I dragged them, and I never had before. I crouched down and looked, and something is damaged and hanging down under the car, the covering of something ripped to shreds. My little red Prius is spending the night at Jim Barkley, and who knows what THAT diagnosis will be.

Something happened on the massage table, and now coldish waves of pain travel up my left leg. The day is not yet over; perhaps there’s something else to look forward to.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

February 7, 2012

Early in the night, dark and disturbing dreams centered on Emmanuel UC of C in Akron. What haunting memories could I possibly carry from there? My memory of the place is apparently very precise.

When I was driving to the Y, the moon hung in the north, directly over Merrimon, brilliant and round, like a portal one was almost high enough to enter. Driving back from the Y in the dim-but-brightening sky I saw the outline of a vast bird, far larger than a crow and wrong for a vulture. It was gliding down toward the willows along Beaver Creek, so I assume it was a heron.

Took Titus to the Cat Care Clinic, where the Vet’s first analysis was that his trouble was an abscessed gland. I drove to class rejoicing, thinking a few snips and all would be well. When I returned to pick him up, the solemn-faced Vet said that it was something she had never encountered before, that she didn’t know what it was, and that she had to send a sample of it to a specialist to see if it was operable or curable in any way. To say that my heart sank hardly does the moment credit. A further note of interest is that the original price of the procedure was $385. After not having done the procedure, and having omitting blood work that she decided against–she didn’t say so, but I knew–because the cat is probably dying, the price was still $305. They were going to get their money whether our problems were solved or not. For a moment I hated the Vet so much my fist was doubling in my pocket. Now Titus drags through the house, leaving a little pool of blood wherever he rests.

Dinner with JL, with fascinating stories of his time in China. When we were leaving, I swerved to avoid an oncoming car and went over an embankment behind the liquor store and into a pothole, smashing my left front bumper. It was been a fascinating day.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

February 6, 2012

Memorial service for Hans after Cantaria. I read Donne’s Holy Sonnet X, realizing in the midst of it that the sentiment was not quite right. Hans did not die the knotty and turbulent death the poem assumes.

Actress Kelly McGillis attended church in the morning. I saw one strange, striking woman; maybe it was she. More interested that Jake and his mother were there. I had forgotten she is clergy. She spoke of being at All Souls like coming back from the missionary field and being among peers again. Jake is probably the best son in the world.

My first Superbowl party ever: DJ and Maria and Russell and MP and me with way too much food. Madonna did a good halftime show. Very Vegas. I was not all that interested, but leaned vaguely toward the Giants, so it was well.

Monday, February 6, 2012

February 5, 2012

Michael Porter rolled into town last night from Boise, ready to conduct Cosi Fan Tutti for ALO. DJ and I took him to Charlotte Street for dinner, the downtown being so packed it was unparkable. Great to have him back home. We took up our old ways in half an hour. He was put up in one of those gorgeous condos which used to be the Altamont parking lot, where there are appliances I never heard of. Great to chew a corner of ALO gossip again. Michael presents Boise as a sort of pre-adolescent Asheville.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

February 4, 2012

One mystery is solved. Our big opossum lives under DJ’s deck. I saw him sauntering there as calm as morning light. He is very dark, more black than gray.

Ecstatic morning writing, one short play written from nothing, one completed from a languishing idea, one rounded out and brought to fulness. Then I went to the studio and met a big calm dog and her mistress, and painted in my own space in perfect joy. A mother and daughter visited for a while, What they commented on was the Pepsi crate I had brought to carry things in. “Now THIS,” said mom appreciatively, her back to my paintings, “is an antique!”

Making chili for DJ’s Superbowl party.

Titus is sick. Blood in his stool, irregular bathroom habits, using the floor for the first time–well, in all my history of cats. He eats with relish, but I notice–for the first time-- how his sides concave a little, as though he were starving. Panic rises up like a wall in my brain, and other thoughts flee. God did well in not allowing me to be a father. The emergency vet says it will wait until I can make an appointment with my regular vet, and I suppose it will. I shuffle backward through my journals to determine how old Titus the Cat is. He and Conrad came to live with me in September, 1999. I have now to turn my mind elsewhere--

Friday, February 3, 2012

February 3, 2012

Fresh, invigorating fragrance fills the house. I look for what it is, and see Jessie’s hyacinth blooming mightily from the vitrine. I didn’t plant it outside, as I thought it would, but let it spill its perfume in my private air. Lilac crocus blooming beside the windflowers–as though the terrace were a color card of graduated purples. Spears of daffodil leaves emerge from the ground, all surging forward too early in this false winter.

Reading a huge volume on Hans Holbein. His is the skill I would have if I could choose any painter’s. Susan Foister’s, the writer’s, erudition is exquisite, and though I won’t (nor will I have any need to) remember the half of it, I’m impressed by how much erudition there is in the world, how much there is to know, and for every thing there is to know, that there is someone willing to search it out, examine and judge and bring it into perfect light. She has read payment records five hundred years old. She has curtailed speculation where speculation ought not to have happened. She has learned names of men that even their families forgot before the Industrial Age. One might rest assured that someone has paid attention to every last detail. I feel the same sense of awe in my little Thursday morning reading group, where we consider morality and literature. Some in the circle have read everything and reference French postmodern theory without a sneer; I squeak into my little corner of comfort and hope I can follow along as long as possible.

Some painting today, though the din of C’s stereo clashing with L’s finally drove me out. C’s is worse, because closer, and because she has the worst musical taste I’ve ever encountered. Can’t describe it. . . sort of bubble-gum, I-love-Jesus-almost -as-much-as-my-boyfriend girlie mall muzak cranked to the level of physical pain. Can’t even close the door against it because her speakers aim at my wall. Did ask her to turn it down, but by then the mood was gone. The mood returns tonight, and if I weren’t already drunk I’d load up and head for the studio.

The retaining wall collapsed behind Marco’s house. His luck is the worst.

In the dark of the morning I put together the volume Go, Song, having discovered I have enough poems in forms for a whole book.

Drank a quart of Gatorade against the muscle spasms I blame on dehydration. Hydrating cures them, in any case. Gave myself a fresh round of them laughing from describing to Zach, me on the massage table, having them last night on the toilet and being consequently unable to wipe myself until everything settled down, referencing particularly the resultant blue streak of blasphemy. When I’d recovered from that I recounted the time I was in bed and realized the power was off, and that it was a thrown breaker switch, and when I got up to grope my way outside and down into the cellar to the breaker box, I twisted so as to induce excruciating muscle spasms, and in flailing around I knocked over a lamp, which broke on the floor. I had to get water to end the spasms, so down my foot went on the floor, right into the glass. So, bleeding and cramped double. I limped to the bathroom. Couldn’t see, but I knew I was gushing blood. Tried to bend over and drink out of the bathroom faucet, but the cramps redoubled when I did. Stood in the bathtub so I wouldn’t bleed over everything, blind, unable to bend over and grope for the glass in my foot because when I did the spasms in my gut were too agonizing. Finally walked on my heels to the kitchen, screaming in pain all the way. Found the flashlight. . . drank the water until the spasms eased. . . went out into the freezing night, bleeding into my sneakers, to flip the breaker switch.

Tom and I regaled this AM in Starbucks by Sojourn, who has enormous hands, and who works at the VA changing beds and who remembers not too many nights ago being so drunk he had to hold onto the grass to keep from floating up into the sky. Tom attracts even more half-sane monologists than I.

SW brilliant on Tartuffe in my class.

Everyone is asking for photos, and my head shots, too, have miraculously disappeared from the computer.

I have the feeling that wonderful things happened today, but when I sat down to write of them, only the feeling remained. That is enough.

Recurrent image of the NE corner of W 46th and 8th Avenue in New York. I am waiting for something there– what? Who knows?

Thursday, February 2, 2012

February 2, 2012

More fantastic dreams. In these I was giving friends a tour of Dream Ireland. I should have chosen Ireland for March, I know, but it will be cold and Malta will be warm. The dreams may have been occasioned by my being in bed by 8 PM, exhausted and, I thought, sick, though maybe it was just exhaustion. Missed choir. It would have been a misery had I gone. I have in fact been working hard. Guest speaker in Sam’s class yesterday. They were lively and interested. Put The Asheville Cantos together in a matter of three days, though I’d started writing them during Christmas break. The difficulty of publishing has been the single largest factor in my life as a writer–one of the big two or three issues in my general life-- and yet it is so universal it can hardly be spoken of. It’s like talking about a plague that everyone has or a flood that had put everyone on the roof. It has changed my nature from what it might have been. That at least must be acknowledged
February 1, 2012

Complicated dreams– AD had a sort of ballet farm–her style involved a bit of long-distance running– and I was developing my chops as a ballet dancer.

Dinner with JRE last night. We tried not to listen to the trivia contest. She gave me a potted pink hyacinth, which I will put into the unseasonable ground today. It may be finished blooming by the time real winter comes.
January 31, 2012

Computer back-up yesterday is hard to figure out. It seems to have erased some files (unnecessary ones, so far) in the process, files that had been on the drive that was being backed up. Can’t figure that out, exactly. Haven’t panicked, because the files weren’t at the heart of things. Just. . . odd.

Bought passage and reserved rooms for Gala in Denver. The talk about it in the group made me think some great labor or decision-making process was involved. It took five minutes. The options couldn’t be clearer. I learned long ago that big decisions are exactly as complicated as little ones. They grow in the imagination of you let them, if you delay and dither. We live amid a throng of ditherers.