It’s been a grey grey…

It's been a grey grey day in Chicago. Fog followed by rain followed by snow followed by darkness. Around mid-afternoon I lit all the candles in the living room; Kevin's mom gave me church candles for Christmas, which burn with a long and steady light. Kevin's home, but has a headache, so he's lying down in the bedroom. I wish he felt better, but it's still good to have him here. I have music playing quietly, and I've been catching up on little bits of paperwork and loving my life.

I feel as if I'm living in an extended charmed moment. Oh, there are petty frustrations -- times when I forget to bring an umbrella and get caught in the rain while lugging heavy groceries, or when the phone rings nine times in two hours and none of the calls are offering me an academic job, or even when I get distracted for a moment and burn my onions so that the curry that I'll be eating for the next three days has a distinct scorched aftertaste. Sometimes those all happen in the same afternoon, like today. I fret about all the reviews that haven't happened yet. I worry that no one will read my collection, or that those who do read it, won't like it. I worry that the novel is thin, or boring, or trite. I read short stories by Alice Munro and Nell Freudenberger and Sherman Alexie and think that I will never write as well as these people do. I have more than my share of neuroses.

But it is such a luxury, having the time to read and write and work on volunteer projects, having the flexibility to schedule my days and weeks as I choose. So marvellous, having the support of friends and lovers and even my family, though they're often more than a bit bewildered by what I do and wonder why I can't be just a little bit more normal... I haven't believed in a god since I was a little girl, or in the church, but right now, I feel blessed. Maybe it's just luck, maybe it's the calm before the storm, or maybe there really is something watching over me. I don't know -- but what I do know is that I have to make the most of it now, while this moment lasts. Because the poet was right -- this kind of moment is rare, and someday I'll be looking back on this moment, thinking that "Suddenly, as rare things will, it vanished." - Elizabeth Barret Browning

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