What it's like here.

Things are growing in my brain, ways of being, ways of knowing who I am. I think that I am re-learning myself, those things that make my mind fizz, those things that dip me down. It's a strange thing to have this much time to spend with one's brain. Tomorrow I think I'll lace up my new Gore-Tex trainers--all-weather replacements for the old Nikes that came back out of my enormous backpack a few hours before I left home--and see how far I can walk. Maybe tomorrow I'll go west again, rather than into town.

Robert Browning knew some things, you know? Today, I'm finally getting a chance to read the nineteenth-century essays that are the background, the context and texture, of my work. In his "Introductory Essay" (to some letters of Shelley's that turned out not to be Shelley's at all), written in 1851 and published in 1852, Browning notes, "It is with this world, as starting point and basis alike, that we shall always have to concern ourselves: the world is not to be learned and thrown aside, but reverted to and relearned." Reading that just before lunch, all I could do was say, yes, yes, and where are my index cards?

Index cards were among the things I purchased during my afternoon's walk to town.

Somehow the ends of my days come earlier here than at home, and their beginnings come sooner, too. I am still no morning person. But I do find myself up and about by 8 most mornings, an unthinkable thing where I'm coming from. And five days out of seven, I'm waking up without my alarm.

No one can even imagine the things I'm coming to know.