Monday, January 11, 2016

Dear confluence,

Today was the first day of school.

Today was the day all the people in my world were mourning David Bowie.

Today was the day the radiologist reported that an MRI the historian had last week showed nothing to be alarmed about.

Today was my son Isaac's birthday.

Today my youngest son got in his new car, towing a U-Haul trailer with his earthly goods, and started to drive across America.

At certain points today, confluence, I wasn't sure which thing I was crying about.

I got up and made us all breakfast, and my son and his friend sat down with me and the historian to eat this meal. I could feel him stretching his muscles and his readiness. It's a good thing, which of course doesn't mean I have to like it.

I answered student email. I found some readings. I worked on a syllabus--the one for the class I don't teach till Friday. I made my schedules.

I went out, faxed something for my son. I mailed a package to my daughter. I mailed copies of my book to (almost) the last people on my list. I bought a pineapple and a loaf of bread and some fontina and some butter. I worked out.

At some point, I lay down and slept. I slept and I just wanted to keep sleeping.

Happiness, sadness, the work needing to be done.

We had the last of our squash soup and melted cheese on bread for dinner. I cleaned up the kitchen. I ironed six white shirts.

The sky is clear and cold. My son is in Kearney, Nebraska, about a third of the way there.

Happy birthday, Isaac. I will miss you, David Bowie.

Confluence, you are the secret manager of the order of all rivers, and therefore, of flow.

Keep moving,



  1. You. You break my heart.

  2. What a day, but my, it is beautiful to know that you are the river. To quote a different singer, "Whatever may come and whatever may go, That river flows."

  3. This line says it all: "Happiness, sadness, the work needing to be done." So glad there was soup and sleep and other lovely bits in your day.



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