I’m sorry to do these…

I'm sorry to do these double entries to you, but sometimes I just forget or am too tired to put up the entry I've already written. Sometimes I feel that if I log in one more time I will go stark raving bonkers and start randomly hitting people (not hard. but still). So it seems safer to just avoid the computer at those times. (Am I a junkie? Oh, yes.)


My boss came back yesterday after being gone for a week, and so there wasn't even a moment of breathing room yesterday at work -- no time to write a journal entry. When I came home, I made dinner, watched a little Friends, went through some more mail, did some Tech Writing homework (finished unit 1, mostly through unit 2. Just whipping through this course so far), talked to Roshani some, cleaned my room, talked to Kevin, went to sleep. No energy for an entry.

Today is better. It's Friday, which is part of it -- I'd forgotten how much the 9-5 world moves to the rhythm of the week. Everyone's tense and cranky on Monday. By Wednesday, you're deep in the work of the week. And Friday -- Friday's hardly like working. My boss (who shares my cube) is chatty today. He put a CD in his CD player (we're listening to Chinese music; he lived in Taiwan for two years, New Zealand for one and somewhere in Eastern Europe for six months. I am painfully jealous). The weather was bright and sunshiny. Karina arrives tomorrow, hard as that is to believe. Life is not bad.

february, san francisco

sun shivering on the water
air like sparkling wine
jonquils brave in pale yellow
bare brown legs
goosebumped and happy

I'm thinking about small graces this morning. Little moments of beauty. I complain about this commute a fair bit, but there's one thing I haven't talked about -- for fifteen minutes every morning and evening I'm riding a bus along Oyster Point Road, which is right on the water. Most mornings there's sunlight on the water; most evenings there is dying light filling the sky. Some days I read straight through my commute, but sometimes I just stop and watch the water for a while. Peaceful.

Mike (Leah's husband, from my writing group, the astronomer) sent us a pointer to a new telescope, Subaru, in Hawaii. They've just published some of their First Light photos, just stunning pictures, and I'm reminded once more of how I love the stars. Take a look at these; I don't think I've ever seen a more beautiful picture of the Orion Nebula, and the photos of the Orion KL region and the Hickson Compact Group are incredible. Their mirror is the largest ever built, and they're getting some impressive results with it.

(Funny how connected love is. Seeing those photos didn't just make me appreciate their beauty. It reminded me of the artwork I have hanging in my hallway, of a girl sitting on what looks like the moon, arms around her knees, looking up at what might be Earth. And that reminds me of the moment in Diane Duane's _Deep Wizardry_ when Nita has to convince her parents that she can do magic, and she and Kit take them to the moon. And her mother's standing there, looking up at Earth with tears running down her face, with the look of someone who's had an impossible dream realized...and I remember when I first read that book, and how I knew exactly how she must have felt.

I could never have predicted two days ago that I'd be so happy today, that these little things would bring such pleasure. I was talking to Roshani about new medical technology last night. She's thinking about applying for a grant to do research this summer on new reproductive technology. And we were talking about the ethics of it all; it's very complex. Granted that a woman has the right to use whatever technology available to try to make a baby if she wants to and can afford it, does that necessarily mean that the doctor has the right/obligation to help her with it, if the techniques aren't properly tested yet? Does the answer change if the woman is near the end of her child-bearing years and can't afford to wait years for the procedure to be properly tested? Hard questions...

And then from that we moved to the questions of a doctor assisting in other ethically difficult situations, such as with euthanasia / patient-requested suicide. Hard, hard questions. And I always feel slightly hypocritical in these discussions, because while I am strongly in favor of the idea that you have a right to decide whether or not to end your own life, it feels very academic to me, in that I can't imagine commiting suicide unless I was terminally and miserably ill. I've never been able to understand it, not in my bones.

This has caused some tricky situations for me; when talking to seriously depressed friends of mine, or during the year I worked the crisis hotline. I'd be on the phone with these people who might at any moment decide to end their lives, and I *had* to take it seriously...but it was like talking to a devout fundamentalist. Or my parents about sex. There's such a chasm between us, such a lack of understanding. I feel really dense. There's clearly something I'm just missing, something really complex and important.

For me, even at my worst moments, and there were some truly miserable ones in there, I wasn't sorry to be alive. Joy and pain don't equate, for me. I don't need five hours of joy to justify five hours of pain. One single moment of pure happiness can make a lot of misery worthwhile.

Not everyone agrees with me, but I guess anyone who's witnessed my love life knows I believe that. :-)

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