Today I stayed offline until 7:47 pm. The day had been replete with dog walks, brunch with friends, readings in the philosophy of hope. Occasions in the life of a scholar abiding in a small town. Then darkness fell, my view of the hills was obscured, the husband woke from his nap and turned on the telly. Voices swelled with wants and hopes for the future. Audiences roared: someone had answered a quiz question correctly, a race was won and lost, a ball zoomed home. By then I couldn't resist a cigarette. Compelled by an insatiable yet directionless curiosity, I toured the usual websites: babies, animals, screeds.
Yearning replaced silence. I ate half a tub of ice cream, to satisfy something I can't name, not quite hunger as I have everything I need, not quite ennui as I am engaged with my work, despite how much I gripe about it and my failings. A substitute, perhaps, for fulfillment, for happiness, for wholeness. Oh, to have a direction, a wilfulness toward purpose, rather than this restlessness that has characterised the course of my adult life.
The best time of the day is when Sam curls in my lap. I smell the top of his head, warm against my face. His soft fur, his solid, small body, his grunts of pleasure--all of this relaxes me, like an unbidden daydream, reminding me of the mind's capacity to wander where it will, freed by the imagination.