Abandon Text!

W. H. Auden once said: "Poems are not finished; they are abandoned." I have been abandoning writing projects for many years, since only the pressure of deadline and high expectations ever got me to finish, or even start, anything of merit. This blog is an attempt to create a more consistent, self-directed writing habit. Hopefully a direction and voice will emerge.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Holiday Letter

2006 was our first full year here in our new home outside Hillsborough. Slowly we're starting to make it look like a real home: blinds, drapes, pictures on the walls. The whole family made a heroic road trip to IKEA in Washington DC to come back with new cabinets, beds, and chairs. (We actually got more items than the IKEA cash register could handle on one order. They should ring a bell or something when that happens.) Aidan got his own bunkbed for his room, which have a special allure for any five-year-old boy, combining "secret cave" and "mountaintop" in one cozy, private place. We're starting to forget what it was like to live anywhere else.

Aidan started kindergarten this fall at Emerson Waldorf School. The transition was surprisingly smooth. He mellowed out considerably since preschool, when he was literally roaring and clawing the air at other kids. Now he has, like, real friends, and he (mostly) looks forward to school. But he knows the difference between weekdays and weekends, and prefers the latter, which is a certain loss of innocence. The Waldorf curriculum is heavy on handcrafts, which Aidan has taken to with fiendish intensity, splitting his time between modelling in beeswax and doing finger-knitting and making pom-poms (think Koosh balls made of yarn). He inhaled the entire Little House series of books (twice), as well as the complete collection of Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle. He is enormous and has way more energy and intellect than his personality can keep up with.

While Aidan is in school, Janet is mostly working on the Emerson Waldorf campus. What started as a small project to coordinate volunteers for a painting job has turned into an intense three-month-long campaign to finish a new nursery building on campus, painting and sanding and staining her way into the upper echelons of the school community. Now people barely recognize her when she's not wearing ratty work-clothes. And all this while doing PR work for the school, and still running her Attachment Parenting group in Orange County. She recovers from work with heavy doses of Ashtanga yoga and mojitos on mom's-night-out.

Malcolm works with his mother on the job site, getting his boots caked in so much mud he can barely walk. Mostly he enjoys it, and I think his penchant for trains and trucks can be attributed to his time in a construction zone. But he's moving into the tantrum zone of development, too, and his usually sweet disposition can be punctuated with Jerry Springer-like heaving of chairs and banging of heads. He recovers by cooking at his own play stove, and taking naps, and doing whatever his brother happens to be doing, whether it's a good idea or not.

Georg still works with Relevant Automation as a software consultant, mostly at home and sometimes on the road. Work is somewhat more demanding, since the company has doubled its employees and brought in lots of new technology. But work is also a lot nicer now that he has the "corner office," with a beautiful view of trees and kids playing in the back yard. Georg has a blog (abandontext.blogspot.com) where he posts daily, nurturing the hope that he might yet find a career in writing and teaching. Certain the pace has picked up with the Self Knowledge Symposium, where Georg continues to teach at UNC, NCSU, and Duke.

We are a little older, a little wiser, and still very grateful for all the blessings of this life, and wishing you the same.



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