Monday, August 17, 2009

Passing Afternoon

It's been a while since I updated. Where has the summer gone? Smells of autumn are already subtly sifting through the air... my favorite time of the year.

Visiting friends. Spontaneous trips. Russian novels. Bread Baking. Moving house. Cats! Plants. New friendships. Breaking one's own records. Researching graduate schools. "These are just a few of my favorite things..."

It has been a busy summer thusfar. School began today and I find myself nostalgic, restless even. I so deeply miss the excitement of new classes, buying notebooks and pens, flipping through syllabi and "new" used textbooks. Not being in school anymore has that feeling of being in one place when you know you're missing out on another... some party somewhere, something exciting going on that you aren't a part of, but could be, or should be attending. Oh graduate school! Where art thou?!

If only the decision could come to me, but it hasn't yet. Where, or what, to study next... In the meantime, I've already begun cracking the books on GRE preparation. This, coupled with some unfounded feeling of doom and insecurity over actually getting into a graduate program (with cum laude and research honors, one would hope I shouldn't have a problem getting in). Nonetheless, the fear inherent in the possibility of not getting accepted into a program of choice sets in an inordinate amount of anxiety.

Here are a few of the highlights I mentioned above: Currently reading Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy. This author's depth and breadth of human understanding and piercingly precise depiction of the human heart and human mind is astounding. I began the novel identifying the most with the character of Constantine Levin, and immidiately picked-up on the notion that this character's moralistic viewpoints and subtlties of personality might actually reflect those of the author himself. (Jessica later verified this to be true). Now, at nearly half-way through, I find myself actually identifying the most with Anna. Caught between a man she doesn't love but is in a relationship with, and in-love with a man she can't be with, is an all too familiar situation. The expression of her inner struggles with the helplessness of her predicament, the inevitability and uncontrollable needs of the heart, are spoken of here by Tolstoy with such clarity that he has enlightened moments of my own past for me... shown me exactly what I felt but was so painfully unable to articulate. Can you tell I am in-love with this writer?? And there is so much, so much, poured into these pages (all 800 of them)! I am enjoying the time it is taking me to finish this novel. I am grateful that it's so goddamn long... so many books I enjoy end too quickly, and I miss them sorely when they're over. This one is like three books in one. I get to enjoy it, and enjoy it, and enjoy it some more.

And what better way to enjoy Anna Karenina then on the front porch of my new apartment? It's spectacular! All four of the cats... yes, four.... love it here. With plenty of porch and plenty of yard to play in, it's like they've discovered one giant litter box outside, which makes mama (me) very happy. The new place is positioned right between Little Five and Candler Park, so that the running path I so often enjoy is just a block away, work is less than a mile down the street (biking to and from is pure bliss), the coffee shops, the clothing stores, the healthfood grocery is all within walking distance. The apartment itself has 12ft ceilings, hardwood floors, built-in bookshelves.... it's like a fairytale. I wake in the morning, have coffee at the table on the porch, and do morning yoga there on the wrap-around.

I've also been working at the art of baking bread. After a few early mishaps (not kneeding correctly, forgetting to add salt), I've finally reached a place where I can now play around with my recipes. Last week I added roasted garlic, thyme and basil oil to the mix for a delicious loaf that was eaten in three days flat!

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