An intense day, neighborhood alive with five border collie puppies adopted up and down the street, with reports on behaviour and places to walk. Some are requiring obedience classes. They do look pretty in the snow. Black and caramel and white with spots over their eyes, and long gentle forepaws. They smell of hay and of my own childhood lolling among my father’s hunting hounds. Human minidramas rev up in the lull after Christmas. The snow brings laughter, is just powder to shovel, though the Al Gore global warming video is still passed round. I suppose we’re past forgetfulness here on the street. I’m tense but I manage.

I dog-sit a full grown border collie named Kit now and then and she and I do a lot of eye rolling at one another when the puppies visit. High strung and nippy. Satirical inside more than I like to be and unsure of the validity of my perceptions half the time. Reading fiction and history. Into everything. Technologically and physically sound. People seem to like the studio and there’s a sort of Margaret Drabble and Anita Brookner buzz to the crew with a good thread of Margaret Rutherford playing Miss Marple through it all, homely as a brush fence and just this side of lampoon. And lunatic Don Juans and geisha-men. Leaning to the left especially with wine. We’ve all had scares and losses and we eye one another a little too anxiously, for any good it does, for mental instability and use terminology of the analytical session but we’re some of us seriously schooled enough to keep the standards deeper than a ham glaze. I find I can work with present company in the studio and their collies. Coming and going starting at nine this morning. Odd to see people face to face . Mostly we pass our data back and forth down dirt roads and these wires or by beaming it. I confess to a little physical nostalgia for the old days sometimes. There was though, talk with the woman across the street about her almost literary fascination with the psychotic mental birdcages her patients wove around themselves. Over morning coffee. You could do worse. Everyone seems to have a sense of vocation and mine gutters and flares in gusts of text and images with me remembering the details and smiling or wincing as it goes. The lips and the eyes of a person alone are like a screen-saver responding to a music playlist. Like marks made on paper. Simple really. Instinctive and conscious, public and personal etc. To the groovy sounds of. Just this side of snapping half the time just the same, but for wiry wiry love.

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