Tuesday, February 28, 2006
Saturday, February 25, 2006
You've traveled this far on the back of every mistake,
ridden in dark-eyed and morose but calm as a house
after the TV set has been pitched out the upstairs
window. Harmless as a broken ax. Emptied
of expectation. Relax.
Thursday, February 23, 2006
Kendra writes in Nathaniel's blog: "A year ago this Thursday, Jay and I were working on the nursery for a baby we didn't know yet. In central Korea, heavy snow was falling, and our son was being born.... We're having a traditional Korean Tol for him next weekend, so all manner of aunts, uncles, and grandparents are arriving over the next few days.We'll eat rice cakes, take hanbok pictures, and watch Nathaniel predict his future. The grandmothers will pray for him, and of course we'll give him his first taste of cake! It's a day of joy, but a day tinged with sorrow too, since every adoption story, no matter how joyful the ending, begins with a loss. I am sure that Nathaniel's birth mother will shed some tears this week, as will I, for that snowy day last February that made us all a family, half a planet apart."
Tuesday, February 21, 2006
Analysis of regret (paraphrased)
After one makes a decision, or even does something one likes, one may feel a certain amount of regret. Why? If the choice was rational, isn't the regret unnecessary? I disagree. I believe that regret is feeling on behalf of subjugated values. In interesting decisions, one is weighing values. Regret acts as a disincentive to subjugate one's values unnecessarily, and its effect even in rational decisions is another side of the same coin. Without regret, perhaps we might always merely choose a single value, or no values at all, or some weak compromise to sate a little of each value, in making a decision. Regret provides an incentive instead to try to achieve the best overall value fit. Eliminating regret eliminates a safeguard against stupidity.
Sunday, February 19, 2006
Thursday, February 16, 2006
Nancy and John left on a trip last night, so Emma is with us for the next ten days or so. I've been working quietly here at Nancy's house, with the dogs for good company. Uncharacteristically, they actually played with each other early this morning in my backyard, chasing each other over the piles of snow, leaping and boxing at each other.
As I've worked today I keep forgetting to restart the CD player when it stops. The song I've been humming a lot lately (Flow Gently, Sweet Afton) is one that Emma particularly likes. I was singing it softly here as the dogs nap nearby. Maybe it's just because she's a retriever and all the birds in the poem sound very tasty, but when I got to the part about
"Thou stock-dove whose echo resounds through the glen;
Ye wild whistling blackbirds in yon thorny den;
Thou green-crested lapwing, thy screaming forswear..."
Emma was dead asleep but her tail started WHACKING the floor like crazy. Hunter looked up like "what the heck is wrong with her?"
The 'caught in the act' part was when they came out into the living room to help me sort some papers, and for just a few minutes actually pretended to like each other...
...whereupon as soon as I took the picture, Hunter got up and pointed his nose in the corner and pretended Emma didn't exist, or me either for that matter.
Tuesday, February 14, 2006
Monday, February 13, 2006
Also I am overworked and overwhelmed right now, more than usual I mean. And tonight I have the option of working on catching up the blog or going to see the new Harrison Ford movie.
Sunday, February 12, 2006
LeeLani arrived this morning with a fabulous quiche to put in my oven, homemade chocolate-dipped strawberries, baguettes for French toast, and a mission to put an end to Christmas at my house. She stayed about four hours while we had a lovely civilized breakfast and then took down, resorted and packed all of the decorations and the tree, and got the boxes back down into the crawl space. I had threatened to drag the whole business out into the street and torch the damned thing for Mardi Gras, so she arrived just in time.
There is no doubt in my mind that while I could do this alone, I could not...do this alone. I think of many situations through the years that people have given me such a gift of time and energy, and those moments are what stick with me, even if small by comparison to other sacrifices we make for each other in this life. I think of Kari coming to help me pack up and move (from more than one house). Becky doing the same (from about twice as many houses as Kari). Pat and Keith taking time this week to run me around on one day when I had to shuffle dead cars and rental cars and new cars - I had the day scheduled tightly into nine transportation legs but in only two did I have the right car/driver ratio. These seem like small things but when people are so tremendously busy, it matters to me. The gift is not measured only by what it did for me. Its real value is in the sacrifice of other things in that friend's life - things that got put aside in order to show me that caring in practical terms. I need to work on catching up that score.
Saturday, February 11, 2006
Emma has been in some significant rear-end pain for a few days, and the vet thinks she might have gotten kicked by a moose or sustained some other blunt injury. We were skeptical about that (and actually still are, in terms of how that would happen with no one knowing it, as Emma is not quiet about intruders of any sort). But as to the actual opportunity, these pix from Nancy this morning make that possibility plain on a visit from a crabapple-marauding moose. (The easily-hopped fence is five feet.)
Darla follows with her own backyard pic of their young husky Riken having a close encounter too. Right after she took this picture, the moose hopped the fence into their yard, but did not seem bothered by the dog, and Darla was able to get Riken inside without incident.
Friday, February 03, 2006
After waking up the last few mornings feeling the stiffness and pain from being jolted in the car collision, this morning I woke up feeling a tremendous burden of depression. I am very used to going through this life with anxiety, worry and apprehension as my daily companions, but this was very specifically different in the sense of being dragged down, and it scared me. I never do well in situations where I have been wounded somehow and am simultaneously having to put up a full scale offense on so many fronts to manage overwhelming details. Nancy has been a champ to manage so much of it for me - the person responsible for the accident is inexplicably filing against my insurance, the car's been totaled and I'm hunting for another one and wondering if I can get decent financing (my first try for a car loan out of bankruptcy, but my credit score is great so I am trying not to worry), I'm making the phone calls and getting the police stuff done and etc.....but I am driving around in my rental car and feeling that I'm the one that's been broken and detached from the world.