How come and why for

I don’t know if I can really write anything cogent today. The Supreme Court arguments are hovering over my mind with a cloudy and ominous aura.

Yesterday I was a little under the weather from my COVID booster, but not as bad as I thought it might be. Dave (who also got boosted) fell asleep at 8:30pm, and I watched most of Sleepless in Seattle in bed before also falling asleep. Annie had just arrived in Seattle to look for Sam. It seemed like a hopeful turn to pause on, a reasonable pivot into dreams.

We had our yard cleaned up and now all the fallen cactus parts have been swept away; the prickly pears got heavy and distended during the monsoon, and pieces of them fell off all over the yard. Now the yard is clean and expectant.

I don’t know if this counts as cogent, but I’m fine with that. At some point I should write out my year in reading, but I am comfortable putting that off by another week, given that the year’s not over. I have an overdue book to return to the library. Last night I read some of Shirley Jackson’s collected letters in the bath. She seems like someone it would have been nice to get letters from, if you were in her circle. The prose style not the same as in her fiction, battier and more cheerful in a way I relate to: I often worry that the dissonance between my literary voice and my ordinary cheerful presentation of self is indicative of some weakness of mind, though that is a 3am kind of worry, not a serious and life-changing one. Even so, it was comforting to sit in a bubble bath and read about how excited Shirley Jackson was every time she bought a new car, about navigating up a hill in the snow, about her daughter choosing dresses and brushing her hair, about throwing parties she was hoping not to have to throw, about worrying and writing and making plans.

I still have not finished Sleepless in Seattle (this re-watch, anyway), so for the moment Annie is still wandering around Pike Place Market and Sam is still spellbound by his one brief sighting of her at SeaTac, and the world is boundless possibility—well, not boundless. Bounded by plot, by intent, by desire. But bounded only towards a happy conclusion, despite the cumulative sadness of their pasts (Annie’s sadness being, of course, more ordinary, but it is I think still very real to want something unnamable, and want it so much that you start to cry while listening to the radio on a roadway.)

Forward-bounded we proceed towards whatever predetermined future we are due. We might hope for a happy conclusion, or hope at least to recognize that a near-term conclusion is not the end of all time, that a future conclusion is bound up in whatever comes next, and next, next.