The idea is that by right living I might come to right feeling. Therefore: run three times a week even in the freezing cold, go to sleep by 10PM, write 500 words of prose a day six days a week, eat well, listen when the children are speaking, have sex with husband, etc.Mothers by Rachel Zucker
Hi. I feel shy. I just forgot my wordpress password, moments after my fingers hesitated over typing edgeofevening. I do think of you. Often actually, especially when I’m cooking & so writing anything down is especially inconvenient. I compose whole blog posts in my head. An alternative way of looking at this is that often, when I’m cooking, I talk to myself in blog posts. Anyway. Here we are: Thursday night & it’s already getting late & everything I wanted to say has vanished.
This morning there was a frost & the rose leaves were edged in white, the last buds still closed. Today, Pops & I have written the invitations to his fourth birthday party. Big(ger) children have worked hard on decorating strips of paper which will one day be fashioned into paper chains for Christmas (!!). We had our Thursday evening ‘family meal’. I thought of Kerry as I always do when I make Anna Jones’s lentil ragù, heeding Kerry’s hard-won advice that an oven glove is necessary for the successful pouring of half an empty tomato tin of boiling water.
I’ve been having a problem with narrative. A few weeks ago, I picked up Lauren Groff’s acclaimed novel Fates and Furies at the library. I enjoyed the first couple of chapters, but then I just couldn’t go on. The narrative had moved back to the childhood of one of the main characters & my interest was waning. I reread Kerry’s review. I read James Wood’s damning (and plot revealing) review. Then I spent half an hour skipping around, missing whole chunks of the hefty book, finding the pieces that I wanted to read. The end still moved me, but the idea of spending a week or two of my reading life within its pages wasn’t appealing.
The novels I’ve enjoyed the most this year have either dispensed with plot — Ben Lerner’s 10.04, Renata Adler’s Speedboat — or skipped through time, like In Certain Circles, or, like Elena Ferrante’s The Lost Child, been restricted to a time frame of a few days. I’ve become annoyed with books that are long seemingly just for the sake of being long.
Like Zucker, I hope to come to right-feeling by right-living. February was lived right: a routine that I stuck to, time that I zealously guarded as my own, pages of handwritten notes that quickly filled notebooks. I find February easy. It’s short, the year is still young. Everything is still possible. This is never how I feel about March.
But here it is anyway, waving daffodils and fat waxy magnolia buds at me. When the sun shines it’s hard not to be seduced. A friend is picking Popsy up from pre-school today. When I got back from drop-off at 10.10, I had a whole five hours to myself. I discovered cat shit on the kitchen floor, changed the litter, took the bins round from the back to the front for tomorrow’s collection, made coffee. Still four & a half hours. I wrote, I ran, I showered, I ate lunch. I visited you, dear old blog. And look, still half an hour to go. The smell of spring in the air. Fingers moving lightly over the keys.