On Saturday, after I stretched myself from head to finger to toe, after I photographed the ice outside, after I read some things and watched some things, after my brain had ratcheted down from the week, I picked the three greeny-blue ones out of my carton of organic eggs and I broke them together with some water and whisked them up and cooked them into a cheesy omelette, forgetting for a moment that a year ago I had no idea how to do this very thing.

Too often lately I'm feeling as though the best I can do is keep my head in the neighborhood of above water. The good news is that most things are less emotionally fraught than perhaps ever before in my life, as I finally accept some of the things that people tell me about myself and where I fit in the world. (I did not tell you that a few weeks ago, I faced the question of what word I wanted to have guiding this year. You may recall that last year, I decided that 2008 would be the year of writing--and lo and behold, it did go in that direction in a couple of surprising ways, as witness the article whose proofs I returned yesterday, and the project from which that article comes. But when I confronted this year's question, I was startled by how quickly "power" surfaced as what I wanted this year's word/whatever to be. As in: what if I actually dared to step up and take full hold of the power that I know I have? We'll see where that goes. It's such a different idea than "control" or "strength"--the former of which I gave up even wanting, years ago; the latter of which I already hold firm in the look of my eye and the pit of the small of my back and the spread of my toes. And I know that part of the reason I want to feel out this idea of power this year is that the fall will see me up for tenure, and I can already feel transitions taking place that are making me ever more aware of the ways in which I could just donate my life away if I'm not careful and deliberate.)

That paragraph? That's how it is these days: on the surface, I get my things done, I eat my meals, I walk to my office, I teach my classes with as much depth and gusto as I can put into them, I go on to my meetings, I walk my way back home. But underneath and around, lots of parentheticals await my fuller attention, lots more even than what's here tonight.

While I cooked up those eggs, you would not have believed the way the world was shining.