August 8, 2017 (Tuesday)

by Yule Heibel on August 7, 2018

It rained again during the night. Wet summers – often with the rain coming down all day, but mostly with rain falling during the night – aren’t unusual here. What is unusual, or at least seems that way to me, is the lack of heatwaves. It has been spectacularly pleasant in my opinion, and, for what usually passes as a New England summer, this is highly unusual. Sometimes I think the Earth is playing tricks on us. As its internal and surface mechanisms tick along, it produces these spikes or drops to confound the “averages” we measure. I can’t help but wonder what this (for here) cool summer will do to the stats.

So I’m looking out at thick cloud cover, a uniform silver gray on top, some banding near the horizon line. Down there, a small ridge of clouds looks like a vague mountain range (I have the Olympics, visible from Victoria, imprinted for comparison, so I know these cloud imposter mountains are merely vague – and vaporous), a differentiating strip of blue above them suggesting sky. But it’s not sky, it’s just a different color of cloud, coming together to create the effect of landscape.

I’m getting increasingly little done; my energy levels appear to be at a low point, too. I wrote yesterday about how having kids changes everything about how you “control” your day, your time. For me, the aftereffects have been enormous, too. It’s as though I used all my sorcery to catapult myself from a social and class status that was initially way below what I aspired to and attained: graduate degrees (including a PhD from Harvard), teaching positions at MIT, at Brown, at Harvard Extension School, book published by Princeton University Press, peer-reviewed articles published, essay contributions to other books, and so on. And yet all of this magic, this effort, this ginormous leverage off and away from my class roots – done blind, no mentors, and no one in the family to guide me – coincided with becoming a mother, a parent, and losing control over a vast percentage of my time. It cracked me, …and then the homeschooling and all that. It cracked me, and I haven’t yet been able to mend the break, to find the reason for continued effort.

And so I often coast; drift, even. Take this idea for a novel: I can’t seem to convince myself to write it. I’ve lost the “why” of writing it (it was clear for a while, but things tend to dissolve into this fog). These morning pages, too, used to feel fresh to me and suggest some insights. Now I feel I’m complaining. I’m complaining because I don’t like drifting. But I’m sick of bonking up against my own inability to find intellectually interesting people around here. The “sheeple” mentality bred by our current political climate isn’t helping. I’m not interested in talking to sheep.

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