At last my daughter is on the mend. A bout of hand, mouth and foot disease. Not to be confused with hoof and mouth disease. No, a cloven beast she is not. Still “Only a face a mother could love” was seriously strained by her symptoms. Blisters inside her mouth, around her lips, on the palms of her hands and the soles of her feet. This and other maladies, mild but unending, make up my life. I am not complaining; life is good. But they are my practical realities. Not turning pages or thinking and even less writing about them. In two months, I’ve read just over a book and a half, Wise Blood, in its entirety (awesome), Tender is the Night, abandoned half way through (lame), and now Be Near Me, only a few chapters in but can tell that O’Hagan is a gifted writer. Years ago it would have been unthinkable to me reading as little as I now do. I would have predicted great suffering as the result. But I’m more adaptable than I gave myself credit. Reading is still important, but it ranks below family, food and exercise. When I do read, I don’t underline sentences anymore. I don’t take notes or plant flags along the way. That just takes too long. There’s a salmon to cook and an Argentinian pinot to drink and a kid to toss in the air. If reading ranks below my other necessities, it certainly ranks higher than blogging. Nietzsche once quipped that he says in a maxim what others say in a book. I can’t match that. But I can say in a postcard what I used to say in a post: “A Yes, a No, a straight line, a goal.” Yes, a goal.