Tonight was the first meeting of the Totem Book Club, which I thoroughly enjoyed - wine, cheese, and a discussion of Brave New World with a group of world travelers. Conversations ranged from straightforward book analysis, to more general philosophizing about life, work, happiness, failure, limitations, and cultural differences.
I'm in the middle of a couple of other books right now. One is How to Be Alone by Jonathan Franzen, an essay collection. Though I'm skimming through some of it, a quote jumped out at me today that I relate to:
"...I admit an almost physical craving for the comforts of the suburban mall. Natural opiates flood my neural receptors when I step from the parking lot into the airlock...I have cash in my wallet, my skin is white, and I feel utterly, utterly welcome...
"My craving for city life feels entirely different... cities represent an older, less advanced stage in the development of buying and selling, in which producers work cheek by jowl with consumers and the whole economic mechanism is open to inspection and so is less susceptible to the seamless enchantment of modern sales pitches; and, more generally, that there's something in the very nature of cities which enforces adult responsibility... it's far easier on the streets of New York to have experiences that have nothing to do with the spending of money than it is in the typical galleria."
I'm in a sitting-and-reflecting frame of mind because today is Sunday. Isa came down with a stomach flu, so I had to take care of her, and Baz, Ayla and I have been stuck in the apartment all day. Sad to see the sun come out, from our 3rd-floor window, a rare, missed opportunity.
Even without Isa being sick, Sundays are typically our day at home. It’s the day when the kids can stay in their pajamas, when we read and play card games and sometimes watch a movie. I really hate Sundays. Although I feel like a bad parent for not being able to enjoy this “down” time, the truth is, I can’t. Give me a chance to take my kids out for a walk, or to a museum, or anywhere, and I would have a much better time. I had promised myself that last week was the last time I would sit around all day. So now I’ll say it again – today, this is the last Sunday of complete inactivity for the Kennedy clan.