Where’s the duty roster?

Ahoy Milo–

A day in the kitchen. I made risotto with broccoli yesterday, and today I am eating a small delicious kind of green lettuce thing from Italy. I don’t know what it is. With parmesan, and pierogi. My hair is tied in a braid with the little rectangular wire stripe of metal-in-plastic that they use to seal bread in Poland, which is superior to our twist ties and our weird green and yellow plastic discs.

A day of writing. There are always more documents to be written–I wrote another one today. You know you’re stalling on getting someone an important document when you decide to watch a DS9 episode and the very first thing that happens is Sisko says to Kira, "Where’s the duty roster?" and she says "I’ll have it for you first thing tomorrow" and Sisko says "You said that yesterday." Oops.

I’m in the midst of a couple days of catch-up phone calls; my parents, my brother, my partner in crime, R., from my MFA. I have been so out of touch with people for so long. It’s good to be back.

When you live in your home country, you don’t feel that every single day has to be an adventure of cultural tourism. You feel justified in spending a day indoors writing, or catching up with friends. It’s hard not to feel guilty doing the same thing in Poland. Being here, how can you not be out there? *All the time?* Excavating, photographing, experiencing?

But writing is what I do; it’s what I’m doing here, too; and I write better at home than at important cultural sites, libraries, even coffeehouses. I’ve learned this. So I think one of the things I will have to learn, in balancing my time here, is to have space for both. Going out and experiencing things, and then writing. Back and forth.

Another moment of guilt; catching up on nonessential books in English, like Annie Proulx’s house-building memoir "Bird Cloud." These few days off have been so necessary. I need another rubber stamp that says "I really needed this."

The FB orientation begins next week. We received the official schedule today. It’s really happening. It really is.