With new determination I open up a Microsoft Word document that's been untouched for months, and I begin again.
At the concert we sit closest to the violists and bass players. This way we're more aware of all the layers in the music, its rich harmonies, and the one moment where the lead bass player strikes a note out of tune. We're happy to hear all of it.
They sit around a table in the cafeteria pouring liquids of different densities into tall plastic containers - corn syrup, dish washing soap, vegetable oil, water, alcohol - and mostly they don't care about the bigger picture, only that it's fun to look at the liquid layers and see if their friends have made a mess. But from time to time they'll connect what they're doing to chemistry and to the properties of the world, before returning to the really important questions: will something spill? Or blow up?
On two different subway trips, a musical duo sing in Spanish and strum on guitars as they stroll from car to car.
The mild cold I come down with helps me mellow out a little.
One school I visit reminds of a nest with birds huddled close beside a clutch of eggs. Another school reminds me of an airport terminal where litter blows across the clean bare floors.
At bedtime their parents slip out of the room for a short while to unwind, and I read them a story, then another one: The Berenstain Bears in their treehouse with the pink-trimmed windows poking out of the upper leaves. Brother and Sister Bear learn that if they watch too much TV or fight all day, they'll miss out on life.