On the happy side, weekend visitors provided a pleasant respite (and did a fair amount of that book packing); we took a pretty lazy approach to the time together and ended up showing them the new house, driving out to Chelsea (where we ate, finally, at the Common Grill---an altogether pleasant brunch experience---and wandered around an antique fair) (I got an old hotel desk bell for 5 bucks and 2 postcards), and making meals at the house: various munchie platters now and then, plus Thai by Holly Sat. night and a fine creamy risotto by Lorne Sun. night. Good conversation and just being together; wish it could have gone on longer.
Among other topics we discussed the monk's life and its various appeals. A long time ago I heard about a guy---just an old teenager like us---going into Homer's in Omaha to sell his entire record collection, as he was going into the monastery. At the time such an option was a real head-scratcher to me. Of course for women I imagine it's a different choice entirely, with different sorts of communities and traditions and expectations, and those not so appealing (to me).
Not that I'm in any great danger of renouncing the worldly and doing that there. (How could I, while we still have the joy of blurbing references in with colored pencils?)