1. I don't understand my reproductive system. At all. Never have, never will. It has been impossible my entire adult life. Last night I lay awake, trying not to writhe in agony from cramps that felt like actual labor pain, from 1am until 5am, when I finally shut off my alarm which was set for 5:45 and just said, OKAY FINE, DAY, IF THAT EVEN IS YOUR REAL NAME, YOU WIN. I took a shower and stuffed 27 layers of protection into my pants and did the morning thing and I've been in a weird state of twilight since.
2. Confession: at peak pain, I pretended I was Marina Abramović and tried to find the portal through it, to a higher consciousness. It didn't work.
3. Today started off grey and gloomy, but now the sun's out and the green outside my window is almost indecent. I have felt myself, in the last few years, growing closer to nature. Not that I always want to get down in it--but I crave it, and stare at it, and notice it in what feels like a new way. All of it is amazing.
4. Last night Simone came to me and said she couldn't find something that was "really really special" to her. I said why is it so special? She said, because it's mine. Her eyes were very enormous and her tattered nightgown that she refuses to give up made her look like The Little Match Girl. I said, can I just hold you for one second? She got into the chair where I was reading and I had this feeling like I wanted to put her back inside my body, a feeling which butted against another feeling: I don't ever want my love to feel like a burden. She can't go back inside my body because she lives in her own body now.
5. Would be nice to find 7 minutes in every day where I'm not mourning something, even as I'm enjoying something else.
6. People had such lovely and comforting things to say in the wake of my eye surgery. Thank you. I had my follow-up on Tuesday and it was uneventful. Everything seems to be healing nicely and I should be able to get my new prescription at my next visit, in a few weeks.
7. Two stories of mine were recently published in journals I've long admired: Ploughshares and Zyzzyva. It's a special kind of private joy to see your name in a literary magazine, because so few people (in the scheme of people who read things) read them, but it's those people, that particular audience, that mean so much. You see a person just casually reading an issue of Ploughshares and you're like, hey girl, hey. Readers of lit mags, subscribers to lit mags: you da real MVPs. Thank you for your careful, quiet attention. Writers who submit to lit mags: keep going. I remember the days before Submittable, can you even believe it. I have received more rejections since 2003 than I can count, and I know I will get at least as many more. It's good. It's more than good. It's a privilege to write the story, always, and whatever comes after the story gets written is either fun for the ego or--much better yet--good for the mind and the soul.
8. My dog Frankie is terribly annoying. Why can't I love him more? Is love a finite thing, after all?