Monday morning with no work at all, since I finished that copyediting last night. I've been let out for two whole weeks and it's a strange, tremulous feeling. Too much hangs on it. No plans, and too many. The weather's fine too - greyish this morning, but warm and dry, with more sunshine forecast.
No plans, just a list scribbled on the air of chores practical and cultural, names of friends I ought to phone, would like to see. Home leave from prison, I've always thought, must be very difficult. Freedom it's not, when you have to go back. Who can live in the present, not project forward in every moment to the prison gates clanging shut again? Few. Not me.
Birdsong: quiet chirruping and a pigeon's insistent bleat. Cars, just quietly too, in the parallel street that takes almost all the traffic. Between these small sounds, space, but space already shrinking. Seize the precious space, then, and stuff it with activity? Stay here in stillness, let the space be, feel it, be it? Or let sleep, the compelling, thwarted lover, beckon me back? I'm sick of myself already, wincing at the voice I ache for when too busy to hear it.
Switch on the radio: only twelve percent of women in Afghanistan are literate, someone is saying; their life expectancy is 34.