Good morning! Today is my 52nd birthday, and I am determined to enjoy it. Right now I am drinking hot black coffee and basking in the easy warmth of a brand-new propane heater. The electricity in this house is functioning beautifully, and the well water is clean and plentiful. My kitchen table is decorated with a pale blue beeswax candle, a tiny pumpkin, and a fresh notebook. The Red Sox will be playing a day game, and today is also outfielder Mookie Betts's birthday, so they are sure to win. I am going to do some paying work in the morning, and then spend the afternoon working on poems and cleaning house. I am going to take pleasure in washing the floors. I am going to open the birthday presents that my parents sent me. I am going to answer friendly birthday phone calls. I am going to welcome Tom home for dinner. I am so glad to be alive.
Yesterday I made a point to give myself some space, and that decision paid off spectacularly: I finally figured out how to construct the new poetry collection. Once I saw what had to be done, the poems floated into place and the title rose full formed into my mind. Now the collection is called Songs about Women and Men, and I have sent it to the editor who asked to see it. Maybe she'll take it; maybe she won't. But I do feel that I've finally been able to step back into myself after these months of tense distraction.
I am so glad to be alive.