The limited power of faux deadlines

Happy 4th!

The Merciful One is flopped out on the bed editing video of our fabulous fourth while I chuck aside a bio of George Eliot I’m culling for local color in favor of a small chat. And just called over to see the rough cut of everyone lighting sparklers Sunday night. I never get tired of seeing the way he cuts and slices and gradually pulls out the telling bits—Dan’s large fistful of smoking sparklers, Gideon’s shy happiness, Eowyn’s bobbing, blurred grin, Aaron taking a call and twirling his sparkler at the same time. The little pieces that go together in mosaic to make people who they are.

Yes, but the bio of George Eliot. Am on a biography kick lately, jotting down notes to myself about phrenology and xenophobia and the relative economy of living in Germany in the 1850s.

Spent the day watching our twin 2yr old nieces, so no revisions today. I’ve had intermittent insomnia since I was a teenager, though marriage seems to have gone a long way toward curing it. Then, oddly, in the last month I’ve been watching the twins once a week and EVERY TIME I have terrible insomnia the night before. The first two times I literally didn’t fall asleep at all. 3rd time I slept 4 hours, last night 3.

Goes to show, I suppose, how deliciously maladaptive the psyche can be.

Carl often tells me he’s “training for the war” when I ask why he’s eating his bread without butter or not bothering to microwave his leftovers. Chalk this up to training for a different kind of war, I guess, watching twins on zero sleep.

Or maybe Henri Nouwen is right, maybe suffering is only valuable when it acts as the gateway to our participation in the suffering of all humanity, when it becomes not so much “our” bad experience, but an impetus to growing empathy, membership to the collective ache.

Those are the kinds of half-baked morbidities that seem profound at 4 in the morning after a cup of hot milk and 50 pages of bleary-eyed reading.

In case you wondered.

Must snooze. Have a full day of revision tomorrow, and am SO ready to dig into things. Hoping to get them finished by the end of July… a date that is currently treading the ambiguous ground between deadline and punchline.