Monday, June 28, 2004

Listening to Keith Jarrett, the two disc rarum set. Really nice. Just what I need these days.

To paraphrase Bart Simpson, I didn't think it was possible, but moving both sucks and blows. Tonya and I have worked out butts off this weekend and I feel like I'm barely any closer to being ready. Of course, if the little ones would quit dumping boxes or taking things out of boxes I've packed....

Trying not to be too cynical (cynicism is second nature to me), but I probably won't feel right about the move until we are actually in the house. And for a while after then I'm likely to keep expecting someone to show up at the door and say, "Oops, sorry, made a mistake, you'll have to leave." We close on the first and Tonya wants to move in right away. That's the middle of the week though, and I don't know how much help we will have. I certainly can't afford real movers. John, who brought some boxes by the other day, said he'd help if he wasn't working. And I think the little ones will stay with Tonya's parents the night before, so we should be able to get a thing or two accomplished. But I have my doubts.

Writing? Well, I even feel guilty doing this weblog. Tonya found ten more of my old short stories. They were in some slightly stinky folders with drafts of each. I wrote most of these when I was going through a self-indulgent phase (as if writing a blog isn't self-indulgent) where I assumed that long after I was gone, people would want to read every draft and note about every story I wrote, so I kept them together. Well, I took the final drafts out, scanned them, and threw away the rest of the stuff. I planned to throw away the final drafts too once they were scanned and I had made sure I had everything okay. But I've decided to keep them in a separate folder (I hope the Lysol helps). I have edited about four or five and even submitted three. I don't like most of these all that much, but they seem okay. I believe a few are worth publishing though they do represent a slightly different person than the writer I am now.

Have also, I suppose, been working on an essay. I started it a few days ago, and it was then a kind of comparison of my mother after her miscarriage and my wife at various difficult times in her life. But it has turned, it seems, into a different animal altogether. I wrote last about a funeral and a graveyard I used to walk through. I remembered a few things about growing up right before my Mom got remarried. I'm not sure what the essay will be eventually, but I suppose I have to write it to find out. I really don't know why it bothers me to think about some of this stuff, but it does, and I know I won't quite feel right until I finish this piece.

I don't believe, in all the ramblings I have made here about what I read, that I have mentioned the reading that I do with my kids. Pity. Anyway, we usually let the three youngest take turns choosing what "chapter book" we'll read next, and I sort of talked Christina into reading L'Engle's A Wrinkle in Time. We finished the chapter called "The Happy Medium" tonight. This is a wonderful book. I think the kids really liked it. The other day Max brought me one of the other books in the series and said that he might choose it when we are done (he has the next turn). Anyway, every time I look at this book I wonder why I don't read more by L'Engle. I have read one of her journals, a book of poetry, and maybe one of the other novels. She's terrific no matter what one experiences.

On a side note, I realized something as I read tonight. "The Happy Medium" is the chapter where the kids get to Camazotz. They see everything bland and the same. I could not help thinking of Ayn Rand's Anthem, which I read several months ago. I did not care for Rand's book so much, though I didn't hate it. I probably would have loved it in high school or college. Anyway, I was thinking about how both authors seemed to protest mindless conformity, but I like L'Engle's vision better. I don't think it is just because she is Christian while Rand is not, though I'm sure that has a little to do with it. I'm not sure I'll have to mull it over some. I just remember thinking of the two as I read.

Well, I don't know if I'll write again before the move, but who knows. Can't get much done at night anyway.

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