Family health has returned, I'm happy to say. I did bake my black cakes, which came out beautifully this year. Now they are refrigerating comfortably in their brandy bath, and I am turning my thoughts to the weekend. This morning I'll prep for the writing retreat, which mostly means doing yoga, rereading poems and my syllabus, digging the webcam out of the closet, and taking deep and calming breaths. In addition to all of its other pleasures, the last session helped me write two decent poems; I'm hoping for that again this weekend, so I want to be in an oxygen-rich state of mind.
I think we'll be getting some rain this afternoon. Certainly the weather has turned colder. I will bake bread and fill the wood box, and read Byron and Iris Murdoch, and tickle the cat, and laugh with my sons, my dear sons. What a gift they are, in these dark days. In any days. My older son, for instance, has invented a public persona for our incoming Second Gentleman, which involves a four-year-long junk-car restoration project taking place in the driveway of the V.P. mansion. Our patter about this project is greatly amusing us.