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Even my birds get upset when I move their cage from place to place before they are ready to sleep. 

Dear Kim:

I am sure, as you suggest, that Rod, the man for whom I house-sat would have his own version of his homecoming. But since he doesn't seem to communicate much except through anger, it is hard to know what that version might be.

Beginning with Rod's return, the past few days have felt chaotic.

(Kim: Things have been pretty chaotic for me too. Having decided how long I'm going to work has put me in a different frame of mind. I'm in the process of making some decisions at school that some people aren't happy about. That is hard for me to do.

One of our dept. chair's dad died yesterday, and a faculty member who is a little older than me had a very serious operation today. Again a reminder of my mortality . . . and the fragile life of all who are so dear to me.

I'm imagining life as a penny spinning on its edge, and at any moment it could fall over.

It sounds like you are ready to come back to St. Louis and stop being a caretaker.)

As my parents had a realtor’s showing at their place the morning after I arrived in Chicago, neither I nor my bags were needed to provide additional clutter. So I went to my sister's place.

However, she is redoing the floors in her bedroom so we slept together in her living room surrounded by dust, and clothes and boxes that had temporarily migrated. The next night, I slept on the couch in my parents' living room.

Even when I am happy to be there, it is unsettling to move from one place to another within short periods of time and to try to negotiate sleeping when I find sleeping difficult under the most optimal of conditions. Even my birds get upset when I move their cage from place to place before they are ready to sleep.

My heart goes out to people uprooted by Hurricane Katrina and their circumstances. In addition to all of their other losses, they also find themselves in jammed and cluttered living quarters not of their own choosing, trying to maintain their delicate center in the midst of chaos.

(Kim: Yes, sometimes I forget how fortunate I am to have so much space. Life certainly is very very strange.)

We are so much influenced by our connection to our environment. Delighted though she was to see him, Rod's dog Angie did not want to sleep with him in the study the night he got back. She wanted to sleep in the kennel. In her own space.

Later,

Joan

Thursday, Feb 23, 2006

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