February 28, 2013
Preview of The Mikado went well last night. Karen said it sounded better than ever; Rob thought it had lost some of the sparkle of the night before. Who knows? I did better than I had. Everything DF does as Coco is cute and right; Simone has a hugely expressive voice. I close my eyes and listen. The audience was small, young, responsive. Vast moon was rising over Christ School when we went back out into the night. I’d been sick through the day, and was getting sicker, and finally read the symptoms of oncoming phlebitis. The degree to which I feel better today than I have in a while may indicate that something bacterial had been infesting my system for a while.
The thought that we have tonight off is more blessed than I can put into words.
Facebook discussion with some Ellet friends, who post those cheery little notices about how your life is nothing but the choices you make, and if you have made the right choices, you are now having the life you want. Or, to put it another way, you choose your life, and if it doesn’t suit you, or is tragic, it is your fault. I tried to argue another side, that life is a mixture of fate, circumstance, and decision, but was buried under an avalanche of puppies and pink stars. One of my friends held up the example of her father, an amputee who was nevertheless cheerful and productive through his life. I certainly agree that one can– certainly he did– find a way to be the sun of one’s own life. I think I have done that. Almost everyone I know thinks I am cheerful and enthusiastic, and I am in public, and often enough in my own secret councils. But I also maintain, affirm, avow, and know past all certainty than in no way do I have the life I chose. Years of will, imagination, faithful application, diligence, watchfulness, openness to suggestion, intrepidness, and downright stubbornness did not yield the determined result. I did not choose this life. I did not choose anything that– to me– vaguely resembles this life. When I made the wrong decisions, there would have been no way of knowing the consequences– or, to put it another way, the consequences were often perverse and objectively unforeseeable. I do not have the life I–repeatedly and energetically–chose. Yes, I have made do (except in my private thoughts) and if that’s what they mean by choosing one’s own life, then all right. But they should say that. They should say that one might choose to make the best of things. You can grow a garden in the ruins of the sacred places, but it is a little weird to maintain you intended that all along.
Eric from Humanities comes to my office for a conference which turns out to be sweet and gratifying, as I did not expect when I saw his shape in my door. That I keep with me for comfort for a little while.
Circe sleeps with her nose against the mouse, and every time I use it she rouses, but she does not move.