I slept until 7, which is a miracle, and now I am sitting in the dim living room, drinking black coffee, and looking regretfully at a vase of fading daffodils, and watching a few snowflakes flit and scatter in the still air outside the windows. Supposedly rain is on the way, so I am expecting a weekend of slop and slush and general grumpiness.
Not that I'm grumpy now. I spent much of yesterday morning reading essays and writing notes to students about their drafts. It has been a treat, this opportunity to be a real teacher for a few weeks. I feel optimistic about the tone and tenor of the class sessions, I'm so interested in the submitted work, and I'm having a lovely time delving into my essay anthologies and collections hunting for pieces to recommend or discuss. Right now I am rereading The Best American Essays, 2013, which I happen to own because my "Not Writing the Poem" appears on the list of "notable essays" that didn't make the year's final cut. Given that the winners include the likes of Alice Munro, how could I be disappointed? In fact, I feel a small frisson of mostly suppressed semi-hubris every time I recall that my name is printed in the same volume as hers. Puritan modesty requires me to squelch that pride, but the truth will out.
Today I will keep working my way through the essays in the anthology, and maybe I'll add a few lines to my own burgeoning apron essay, and certainly I'll be wading through the slush to the grocery store, and probably I'll do whatever house stuff Tom might find helpful, and I hope I'll be replacing these dying daffodils on the coffee table with something less melancholy. But first I'm going to refill my coffee cup and make the cat stop jumping on the counters. Talk about hopeless tasks. . . .