5/30: back in touch

...with an old friend, to make plans to see each other when I'm in Boston next month.

5/29: fun!

My new book-to-listen-to while walking:  Eva Ibbotson's Countess Below Stairs.  Mostly it feels like a sweet guilty pleasure, but her language is good, and every now and then there's a sharp surprise in a turn of a phrase or passing detail.

5/28: the summer grimm

Last summer I read a Nathaniel Hawthorne story (or two) almost every day.  This summer it's The Brothers Grimm.  I've always wanted to be sure to read all the tales; it might finally be the right time?

5/27: it's a special kind of day...

...when the only people you've exchanged words with all day are among your favorite people in the world.

5/26: mid-day turn-around

My morning and the first part of my afternoon were rough; I couldn't shake some panicky feelings.  But part-way through the afternoon things started to look up.  I finished editing a batch of student work for posting online.  Chris drove us through some countryside.  I went kayaking.  And I worked on a new photo project which I had thought of last week as something to be fun and low-pressure.

The project is called "a bride abroad," and basically we'll take pictures of wedding cake brides in various settings.  Here's my first one:

Some days I can't seem to turn around when they're going in a direction I don't like, but I'm glad that today wasn't one of them.

5/25: ideas

Mail-art projects got put on hold this past semester, but I had some fresh ideas today and am eager to put them into action.

5/24: what a way to wake up

Almost as soon as I opened my eyes this morning, Chris asked me whether I wanted a certain book in paperback or Kindle/iPad format.  Book-purchasing before breakfast!

5/23: eureka moment

A European physicist recently wrote to me with a question about Hesiod.  I've been thinking about what and how I want to answer, and while I was kayaking this evening my thoughts crystallized in a breakthrough-for-me kind of way:  Hesiod's epistemology is based neither on knowledge nor on belief but on hope.  This is connected to ideas I've had for some time, but I don't think I've ever put it as tidily.  It'll take me some time to articulate what I mean by an "epistemology of hope" and connect it to the physicist's question, but I think it really works to describe Hesiod.

5/22: mimosa trees

They're in bloom, though they've probably past their peak.  I enjoyed spotting them along the roadside as I drove around town this afternoon.  The baby mimosa tree in our yard got just two tufty blossoms this year; here's one of them:

5/21: electric connections

Emails both to and from my mother, my sister, and my brother, all in one day.  (It's actually rare that that happens.)

5/20: loud and clear and wonderful

A whippoorwill came onto our deck in the pre-dawn hours and called.  A week or two ago I could hear that one had moved closed to our house, but I hadn't expected any of them ever to come this close....

5/19: receding

The school year.  It feels like much more than a week ago that I attended graduation.  So much about the academic year was difficult:  I'm grateful for the good things it contained and for lessons learned, but I'm relieved for it to move into past tense.

5/18: kindness

...of the air and the light on the lake tonight.

5/17: a bureaucratic task

This afternoon I did one of the biggest remaining bureaucratic tasks on my to-do list for this academic year:  writing this year's assessment report.  Sounds dry, and I'll confess that I wasn't looking forward to doing it.  But I focused on the data and on analyzing it, and it turned out to be soothing in its own way, even fun.

5/16: welcome sight

A great blue heron perched in a tree along the lake.  I didn't look at him too directly as I was kayaking lest he fly away.

5/15: punctuation

I've been doing various jobs around the house and around town today, but after each one I read a few chapters of a novel.

5/14: yes!

Back on the lake at last.  Here's to what I hope will be a great summer of paddling!  I think this evening's excursion was auspicious:  mild weather, beautiful sky, turtles, flowering plants along the shoreline, waterdrops like smooth jewels on lily pads, and even a friendly fishing-woman who chatted with me.

5/13: not on the water...

...but almost.  I spent some time today getting our kayaks ready for summer launching.  Hurray!

5/12: changing the scene

I haven't switched the images on my home-office bulletin boards in ages--a year and a half!  In that time I've received so many lovely things--postcards and mail art--from people, and so I spent some time this evening sorting through my stacks of stuff and choosing pieces to put up.  The new look looks good.

5/11: bookends

Ah, back to daily bookends I love:  writing in the morning with my coffee, and walking in the evening.  My morning writing helped me to clarify and discover some thoughts, and my walk this evening was rewarded with the sight of a bat, a bunny, and an indigo bunting.

5/10: working from home

Classes are over, final exam period has ended, my grading is done--but there is still some work to do.  Happily, I could do my tasks for the day from home, where Chris and I could keep one another company and I could intersperse my work with forays into Bechdel's new book which I got in the mail yesterday.

5/8-5/9: winding down the academic year

Bringing things to a close for the semester and the year.  I've had my last group and individual meetings with students for now, and there's only one more set of papers for me to look at tomorrow morning before submitting grades.

5/7: head start & back log

I finished my grading for the day and even began tomorrow's.

I hadn't been to our postal box in town for awhile, so there was a small stack of postcards waiting for me when I went this afternoon.  Among them, a view of Mt. Fuji (one of my favorite postcard subjects) reflected in one of the lakes around the mountain.  If a view of Mt. Fuji is lucky, will a view with a reflection bring double the luck?

5/6: grateful for

Latin inscriptions.

A bright, bright flash of a bluebird in the sunlight.

This story (click to listen for yourself) from the radio show "Snap Judgement."

5/5: lost in a book

I've had a spare book published by Persephone on my shelf, ready for a day when I needed a break/treat, and today was just such a day.  The book I'd been keeping on tap was Amy Levy's Reuben Sachs.  When I chose it I was only going on the implicit recommendation that Persephone had published it, and I'm so glad I read it.  Now I need to pick another Persephone standby.

5/4: home work

I finished my work at school early.  I needed to watch Purcell's Dido and Aeneas opera in order to read a student's paper on it, so I came home and popped in the DVD.  The cats curled up with me.  It was work--really.

5/3: morning discovery

I read through the most recent New York Times Book Review while I ate breakfast this morning, and I was excited to see that Alison Bechdel has published a new graphic novel memoir.  I ordered it right away.

5/2: steady

We're in final exam period until the 10th, and last week I drew up a schedule for test-making and paper-grading.  If I can do a steady amount every day I won't find myself with a frightening stack of stuff at the end.  So far I've stayed on track.  Here's hoping that writing about it doesn't jinx it!

5/1: open

Yesterday the cactus plant near our front door had a row of buds.  Today six of them were open, open, open.  I took some photos (of course), and here's a view that's so close-up that the color becomes nearly abstract, or a thing unto itself, like wings of light.