Thursday, February 25, 2016

An Hour

from Mother's Milk by Edward St. Aubyn. The subject is the mother of two boys, the younger still a toddler. He's just fallen asleep.

When I feel stressed or resentful about the things I'm not doing, I think of the seasonality of life - I had years of my time, my schedule, my lunch dates, my nights of television and my mornings of reading books (reading books! in the morning! I did that!) Perhaps that is a drawback of being an older parent - mourning My Time, chafing a bit at continuous demands. Or it may be that I'm a person who needs a little restorative alone time, my tank feels a scant empty sometimes, and I long for the taskless moment and deadlineless evening (waking up at 4:30 in the morning wrenches the arc of the evening before, hurry hurry hurry, get to bed!)

But now is a glorious, maddening, hilarious time. Now is a finding one miniature ponytail holder per square foot of floor space, now is slicing strawberries, so many strawberries, now is reading the same book twice in row ('AGAIN!'). Now is the nightly search for Douglas the stuffed dog. Now is demanding that one apologize to the other and repeating that demand within five two minutes. Now is tiny white socks, everywhere, each a different size and slightly different degree of filthy. Now is the new routine of saying as we close the door, Goodnight Clementine, we're going to have a great day tomorrow and Clem shouting back 'WE WILL!'

Laughably, these are 80% of the books on my nightstand, as if I could delve into even one in the (maybe) hour I have between lunches made and lights out.

More Letters of Note: Correspondence Deserving of a Wider Audience  by Shaun Usher
Digital Photography (plus workbook, not pictured) by Henry Horenstein
Your Beauty Mark: The Ultimate Guide to Eccentric Glamour* by Dita von Teese
The Blue Bottle Craft of Coffee by James Freeman
Fodor's Montreal and Quebec City*
No-Drama Discipline by Daniel Siegel and Tina Payne Bryson
Secular Meditation: 32 Practices for Cultivating Inner Peace, Compassion, and Joy by Rick Heller of the Harvard Humanist Community
Siblings Without Rivalry by Adele Faber and Elaine Mazlish
Transfusion Medicine
100 Perfect Hair Days* by Jenny Strebe
On the Edge* by Edward St Aubyn
Bulletproof Cookbook* by Dave Asprey
Intraoperative Consultation in Surgical Pathology
Better Living Through Criticism: How to Think About Art, Pleasure, Beauty, and Truth* by A.O. Scott
1-2-3 Magic by Thomas Phelan

*library books that will eventually vacate the premises.

This pile of books reminds me of a Twilight Zone episode that I've never seen, I've only heard the synopsis from my dad: all a man wants is to be left alone to read his books and something happens to everyone else on earth -- free time galore! -- and THEN -- his glasses break and he can't read. Surrounded by books, can't read! I don't know why but this has taken on parable-esque stature for me, a cautionary tale about disengagement.

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