I have not been eaten by the snake!
I knew that things were getting more than a bit dire when my excellent friend asked, during a phone home from England, what was happening with this blog--not twenty-four hours after my parents had asked the same question. The answer is, roughly, that what's going on with this blog is the same thing that's going on with the rest of my life: too little because of too much.
I plan to ruminate more on this idea of too-little-too-much as the week takes off--because this week already looks less hairy than last week, and I've had more time this weekend to prepare for the days ahead. But, a quick recap of the days I was gone:
Not long after the snake crawled over my foot and my purple shoe, my parents arrived for the weekend. The next afternoon, my brother rolled in from Tennessee. Much low-key togetherness and recharging followed, as well as a belated celebration of my mother's birthday through a lovely meal and some monumental card-playing. The excellent Monster was utterly in his element, with attention and delicious food coming at him from every angle.
Things flowed along so happily and in such lovely fashion that I did not take pictures of anything except these pink flowers in my excellent friend's front garden (which I water but can take no other responsibility for).
Once my family departed on Monday morning, the week was already in full swing, and though I thought that everything would slow down at least a bit once my tenure materials were in, I found that I was wrong--or at least that "a bit" was actually "only a very little bit." By Tuesday afternoon, I realized that I needed to start keeping a master syllabus again, lest I should forget someone's appointment or a meeting or my own reading assignments, all of which came at me in spades this week. Most were fine. One in particular was dreadful. No limbs or eyes were lost, and it seems probable that nearly everyone learned something.
As a marker of how distracted things became, though, I can offer the following visual anecdote. I've just now transferred last week's pictures from camera to computer, and in processing the ones of Tuesday's sunset (above), I've discovered what I was too otherwise-focused even to notice, much less try to photograph: the deer grazing at the edge of the lawn on which I was standing.
(Look to the right of the speed limit sign's pole.) This oversight might not seem like a big deal, but it feels awfully suggestive--in the sense of suggesting things I feel to be more or less awful--to me. I note it in order to register its meaning to me--as a marker not of my own capabilities but of an effect on my attention.
When I opened my eyes on Wednesday and Thursday, it turned out that autumn is already making big plans for its equinox.
And by Friday, the very best I could do was speed-walk through the woods with the dog, watch the DVD bonus episode of Dollhouse, and get into my bed by 10, feeling proud of having realized that finishing out a week without mismanaging something major is, in fact, something like success in and of itself. Or at least can be for now.