3/31: on the way

Stopping on the way to work this morning to watch the sunrise:

And stopping on the way home from work to talk with a colleague in the cool evening air.

3/30: better every time

The Homeric Hymn to Hermes wasn't a text I came to know and love in graduate school, but I teach it in my Myth course and over the years I've come to enjoy it so, so much.  It wasn't love at first sight, and that's kind of nice as a reminder that sometimes good relationships (whether with people or texts) need to grow slowly.  It's been a long day, but I'm so glad that I got to end it by reading this poem in preparation for tomorrow's class.

3/29: returning & finishing

I'm back home.  Whew.  And I'm within range for finishing The Buried Giant this evening.  Reading it was one of my spring break goals, and I'll get it done just a few hours before spring break is officially over.

3/28: into the rocky mountains

...for a picnic with friends after I gave my conference paper.  Sun and wind.  And a few bluebirds.

3/27: finished

...the grading of the Myth tests.  The students did very well and will be glad to get their tests back when they return from spring break next week.

3/26: better route

A friend and I had to choose:  a direct walk to the tea-house along city streets or a winding walk along a creek path.  We took the creek path, making the trip to the tea-house as good a thing as being at the tea-house.

3/25: in a day

I was traveling today, a perfect excuse to read.  And I managed to start and finish a novel--what a luxury.

3/24: rolling in the sun

Very warm and sunny today.  It felt more like early summer than spring.  Emma was happy:  he walked into a patch of sun on the porch and rolled around in the light.

3/23: minutes claimed

A very busy day today work-wise, and I almost ignored the glistening spiderwebs that I could see through our morning windows.  And then I didn't.  I didn't spend long outside, but long enough to feel like I claimed some time for pleasure.

3/22: second time

Earlier this month I made some egg-lemon soup with a student for an on-campus potluck.  It reminded me of how much I liked that soup when I was in Greece.  And yet, in all the (20+) years since then, I'd never made it myself.  Today I made it a second time, and I think I won't let decades pass before having it again.  Chris was enthusiastic about it, too, so I'm looking forward to making this a recurring offering in the house.

3/21: possible home

A stray dog who has been in our neighborhood for some months now finally needed a permanent home, and it looks like Chris may have found one.  It was hard for him to say goodbye to a dog who has become his friend and walking companion, but if the new home works out it will be a very good thing.

3/20: report from loretto

I talked with my mother this evening to hear about how she's been and what she's been up to.  Among other things I got to find out how her new kitten is faring with her older cat.  It had been my suggestion that my mother get a little girl kitten to keep her older (and easily spooked) boy cat company; I thought that a tiny female kitten might be able to get him out of his shell a little in an unthreatening way and give him some of the fellow-feeling he seems to crave but finds hard to tap into--and it sounds like that is happening.

3/19: clearing

...my desk in my school office before starting to work this morning.  It made a big difference in my thinking and my mood.

3/18: looking

...at images of ancient coins.  They made me smile.

3/17: porch office returns!

It was warm enough today for me to sit on the porch after dinner and grade quizzes there.

3/16: spring in the air

The magnolias are open at school.  And there's a bird-nest in the branches.  (What a wonderful home it would be among the blossoms!)

I walked across campus without a coat and then did a turn on the labyrinth.  I think I understood the pattern of the labyrinth's windings for the first time.

We spent a little time at the dock in the evening, enjoying with our neighbors the fresh air and the sunset's colors on the water.

And then we found a little snake enjoying the last heat of the day on our driveway.

3/15: hemmed

Hemmed:  past tense.  This is a victory.  I've had some pants that have needed to be hemmed for months and months.  Now it's done.  And that's definitely a good thing:  the state of my school pants was no longer confidence inspiring.

3/14: revisiting

...Hawthorne's version of Midas.  And though I've read it many times over the years I'm still finding new things to notice and appreciate in it.

3/13: sitting

...in the fog on the dock as the dark came on.

3/12: remembering

...why I enjoy Hesiod so much!  I had a good time having some new Hesiod thoughts on my own this morning and then talking about Hesiod with my class this afternoon.  (I'm not sure they're as enthusiastic as I am, but I think/hope they may have started to realize why he's an interesting author and not just a vexing one.)

3/11: in spite of tiredness

...I stopped at the pier on my way to work to have a quiet moment in the morning light.

...I spent an hour in the afternoon binding notebooks with students.

...I stopped at the dock on my way back from work to collect myself for a few minutes at sunset.

...I talked with my sister on the phone for an hour and laughed a lot.

...I sent out an announcement for a book discussion group I'm running on campus (and have already had a dozen people express interest in participating).

All these good things in spite of a tiredness I can't quite shake.  And now, because of tiredness, I'm going to go to bed, which is also a good thing.

3/10: new drill

I got an amazing paper drill today to help with notebook-making--just in time for tomorrow afternoon's binding session.

3/9: odilon redon

I love Redon's paintings, and today I showed my Greek class his presentation of Polyphemus (here) and talked about the few ancient authors who present the Cyclops in love.

3/8: a collection

Remembering Maria, Chris' mother, who passed away 10 years ago today.  It is still so sad that she is not with us, but I feel very lucky to have known her and to have felt her support and love for as long as I did.

Giving myself a half an hour's treat:  reading the first chapter of Kazuo Ishiguro's Buried Giant this morning while finishing my coffee in a quiet house.

Enjoying egg-lemon soup at lunch-time.  A student and I made it yesterday for a potluck, and we split the left-overs.  I hope she enjoyed her left-overs today, too.

Trying to forge ahead through some serious tiredness by going to the walking track.  I am grateful to the audiobook of The Night Gardener for giving me some momentum and keeping me going as I walked.

Writing postcards to Chris' family.  I want to be better about sending Chris' father, uncle, and aunts postcards each month this year.

Making some brain-space for myself by tidying my home office.  It's far from truly tidy (will that ever be achieved?) but I feel like I could think in my room again.  This is important because I'm heading into crunch-time for a paper due in a little under 3 weeks.

Finding this quotation from Gloria Steinhem on the Facebook feed for Lapham's Quarterly today (in honor of International Women's Day, I think):  "...a rejection of the way a woman speaks is often a way of blaming or dismissing her without dealing with the content of what she is saying."  Obviously such a state of affairs is not a good thing, but this quotation resonates with some things I was facing last year at this same time and I take comfort and strength in it.  Such criticisms are made to feel personally shaming to individual women, and it is (sadly) empowering to realize that they are a general strategy--it helps, even at the distance of a year, to wash off some of the shame and to be ready, the next time it happens, to call people on it yet again.

3/7: ice mid-melt

Both the fact of its melting and the look of it as its melting are good things.

3/6: olive relish

...made according to an ancient recipe.

3/5: snow day & a surprise

School was cancelled, so I got to sleep in and then catch up on some work (mostly emails that I had been avoiding for no good reason) while weaving in some time with Chris and some time outdoors.

And this evening I found out that part of a letter I had written to National Public Radio had been read on the air this afternoon.  Some far-flung friends and colleagues heard it and wrote me quick emails to let me know--it was nice to have an occasion to touch base with them.

3/4: nice spice

Pancakes for dinner this evening, with cardamom, clove, and cinnamon.

3/3: before

I went to a lecture this evening for which I had higher hopes than were borne out by the talk itself.  But as I was waiting for the talk to begin I read a very short short-story, "Argos" by Joy Williams, and it was unexpectedly touching.  If I hadn't gone to the talk I wouldn't have had those random minutes before it started to read something on a lark and discover something that will stay with me.

3/2: morning, afternoon, evening

Morning:  Getting to school very early so I could prepare for classes in a calm and quiet way.

Afternoon:  Finding a handful of postcards waiting for me in my in-town mailbox.

Evening:  Managing to grocer and do tomorrow's reading before my normal time to close up shop.

3/1: opening paragraph

This afternoon I wrote the first paragraph of a paper I'll be giving later this month.  I'm nervous about finding time to finish both researching and writing it, but it felt good to begin to put words down, to realize that I have words to put down.