thoughts from the cool side of my pillow.

"Imagine this: some morning we awake to the cultural consensus that a family, however else defined, is a sort of compact of mutual loyalty, organized around the hope of giving rich, human meaning to the lives of its members.  Toward this end they do what people do - play with their babies, comfort their sick, keep their holidays, commemorate their occasions, sing songs, tell jokes, fight and reconcile, teach and learn what they know about right and wrong, about what is beautiful and what is to be valued.  They enjoy each other and make themselves enjoyable.  They are kind and receive kindness, they are generous and sustained and enriched by others' generosity.  

The antidote to fear, distrust or weakness, or even disloyalty, is always loyalty."

(M. Robinson, The Death of Adam)


The rain woke me last night. I heard it start in the dark, just for a moment, when I was finding the cool side of my pillow.

I lay on my side, my mind working slowly, straining through the dim lights and tangled circumstances of the past few days to see the reality of the way things are more clearly.

While reading My Life in Middlemarch, I came across a phrase that I have been mulling over in my mind ever since. I jotted down the words on a pale yellow post-it note, sticking inside the cover of my moleskin planner. "Painfully self-exposing," I scribbled, "filled with the enthusiasm and obliviousness and unearthed world-weariness of youth" (p.27).

Slipping back into sleep, I thought about that sentence. For all the reasons it struck me so deeply just now, and why I was compelled to write it down. I thought about loyalty and love, fear and forgiveness. And before I could think of anything more, I fell back asleep.


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