And back once again.

The weather and all signs were pointing in one direction: I suppose I should have known, when I was still very close to my parents' house, how the end of this day would turn out to feel--an excellent job talk and an excellent hanging about with good friends notwithstanding. But I'm tired, and I'm willing to peg most of my current feeling on that fact.

And then I think, well: even if it's not just that I'm tired, even if (say) it's something about being back here right at this minute that's making me feel less than buoyant, it's not necessarily a terrible thing. I'm only touching down briefly. But oh, how much of your life have you lived that way, letting present ills go simply because you know you're going to change your scenery in fairly short order? Somehow it doesn't seem like any way to live. And the fact that my left hand just hit an "o" instead of an "i," slipping in "any way to love" when I intended to say "any way to live"--well, that doesn't make anything any easier, frankly.

Seriously, how would you feel if last night (sometime after you took advantage of her deafness and clandestinely caught this photo) this dog managed, somehow, to grab your right hand between her front paws and fall asleep with her head pillowed on your arm, as though she really cared you were there, as though you really mattered to the quality of her sleep and of her well-being in general?

It's hard to leave the ones who love you.