where i’m at

The peaceful idyll that was my maternity leave has come to an abrupt end. Work is intensely busy and extremely interesting, but I am for obvious reasons disinclined to write about it here. My life outside of work consists mostly of shepherding children to and from preschool, babysitters, pediatricians, pediatric dentists, painting class, birthday parties, grocery stores, furniture outlets, playgrounds, parks and the zoo. Jeremy is, for slightly different reasons, equally busy and overwhelmed with make-work. We have to check in with one another occasionally, like tag team wrestlers.

I read in a furtive way, as if I were covertly smoking. I gave up on Sherri Tepper halfway through the promisingly-titled-but-cartoonish Gibbons’ Decline and Fall; on the other hand, I’m loving Kage Baker, a recommendation from Skud. This is a breezy, chatty, tragic novel, sort-of-sci-fi, sort-of-hist-fic and wholly engrossing. It comes with an enthusiastic blurb from Ursula K. Le Guin (very high praise indeed) and it conforms to Le Guin’s observation (which I am in the very irritating habit of quoting) that fiction is a series of provisional answers to the question, “How are we going to live?”

How are we going to live? I am thinking a lot about politics and about Africa, about running for the San Francisco school board, about establishing the sort of visa situation that would allow me to run for the San Francisco school board, about being the kind of women I expect my daughters to be. I am thinking about education and equality and religion and institutionalized violence and kindness. I am horrified over Darfur and Iraq and Iran and North Korea. I am amazed to find myself grieving for Ariel Sharon. I am missing my mum and dad. I am reading Ethan Zuckerman’s blog and worrying about global warming and pre-emptively grieving for polar bears. Claire calls them “snow bears”, and for some reason this breaks my heart.

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