I’ve been thinking lately – or feeling, I guess; happy.

Daughter unloaded the dishwasher yesterday, without a reminder. My baby is growing up!

And we have conversations; about which version of MacBeth to watch, and why is it that “Richard III” with Ian McKellan goes for $25 used?!? And all the critical theory, and discussions of actors’ interpretations. And “let’s try this.”

It’s different than it used to be. But then again, so am I. And so is Daughter.

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Tree, yesterday morning, before work.

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Unca Bri, Mark and I drove out across North Dakota in the dead of February to see a total eclipse.

We didn’t get as far west as we needed to, to see totality, but we got the diamond ring. The shadows the weeds cast in snow were crescent shaped. My dog, the first one, Joe, freaked out and locked the car doors. Mark talked us into watching WKRP that night for the first time. It was the turkey episode.

The night I came home from Brian’s funeral, the fog was so thick that I pulled into a motel to spend the night. I turned on the tv, and there it was again.

Tonight I’m blowing up set of headphones, listening to Abbey Road, and thinking maybe I’m spending too much time in the past.

“Boy, you’re gonna carry that weight…”

It is so happy. I’m taking a MOOC – massive online something something. (Hmm, I used to know all the words. Hmm.) A Coursera class on Soren Kierkegaard, which starts with a huge discussion on Socrates, and then Hegel. My brain is soooo grateful.

Which I hope means I will be able to remember things for more than .3 seconds. I also worked really really hard and figured out how to read the charts on The Aeolian Shawl, which is actually done except for the cast-off and blocking. I wonder why I haven’t worked on it today? Washing dishes just isn’t all THAT important.

I’m also working on gloves, the directions for which were difficult a few months ago, and are now indecipherable – at least in their present form. When I calm down and re-write things, I do pretty well.

All my most recent photos are on the other camera, from which I am not yet able to download, I think. So you get bad pictures of my birthday cake instead.

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It was that lurid. It was also a Duff’s cake mix. I don’t recommend, really; all sweet, no flavor. We had purple and orange sprinkles though, which made it better.

“Beepbeep m beepbeep YEAH!” (I kind of broke our agreed-upon etiquette, and sang along to most of the album with my headphones on.) It’s a 2009 remix. There are chords and chord progressions that I have never heard before. But! I admit there’s a rebalancing in one or two places that I don’t like, and they cut that first chord from “I’m looking through you.” It was a little like when an elevator drops an inch or two. Overall, I love it.

I found this poster on Facebook;

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And I realized it could all be expressed in formulas.

People (hurt) = Hurt people

Anger is a negative. But if the next factor is a positive (smile), you get a positive effect.

“Forgive and forget about finding fault” just means multiply that negative stuff by nothing. Anything times zero is zero. Poof! It’s gone.

And just like algebra, this shit is hard. But you need it to graduate/get on with your life.

And so ends your homily for the day.

Because Bach.

I’m just a silly person, but to me listening to Casals, it’s like he worships Bach and puts him up on a pedestal. And Rostropovich takes the music out for drinking and dancing and wild sex. This guy, it’s more an earth-bound spiritual thing, I think. Sometimes the music feels like gentle rain.

I promise that someday I’ll listen to Yo Yo Ma doing this.

Aside from blue, I mean. I took it out into the sun to take pictures, and lo there were many shades of blue and purple, and it was a joy to behold and all was good. Then I took off my polarized sunglasses, and it became blue again.

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The Aeolian Shawl, back when we were happy.

I thought I had figured out why my brain was having such problems, and the next row went great, and the purl back went great, so I went on to the next row – and got about 35 stitches in and had to rip it back, so the shawl is on hold till I get my courage back. I have to admit that even all scrunched up, it is beautiful. And I really like nupps, now that I know how to deal with them. Also, beads.

On the plus side, the glove I put aside many many months ago has suddenly become the easiest thing in the world to knit! So the first one is done and the second it 3/4 the way to the thumb gusset. (I promise to take pictures of it while I’m working on one of the fingers, when it has six needles sticking out of it and a separate chunk is resting on a scrap piece of yarn.)

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But first, a little slice of the big city.

We went to the bakery to get a cup of coffee and a roll, because I was incredibly hungry for bread. I had my camera, because of the leaf-snapping. So we walked to a little corner city garden to look around. It was beautiful, a long row of sage to smell, succulents in bloom, really pretty.

And then we saw this petunia, coming up out of the pavement.

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Just as happy as could be.

We’re going over to a campground across the bay. Today you get more social justice stuff.

I was reading Rebecca Solnit’s book, Hope in the Dark: Untold Histories, Wild Possibilities. I didn’t get all the way through it. I do that to a lot of books; get to what I need to hear, and move on. Her point was essentially this; that you can’t do this sort of thing any more, because people are taking their strength back.

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Hope is the vision that things could be other than they are. Hope gives you the strength to cut through the jungle of assumptions to get to the new world.

Hope is an ax.

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