I had composed a long post about what it means to be an aspirational reader (versus an aspirational writer) but reread it a week later and realized I couldn’t whittle it down enough to make it sound less pompous. I still want to explore this notion, but I think I need to find another mental avenue.

I think about the welfare of our hens a lot and tend to tell Guion newsy bits about them over and over again without realizing it. Yesterday, for instance, I apparently told him three times that I had retrieved two eggs. It is not even interesting information. But I relay it with great sincerity and import. I just want them to be happy. They seem happier, now that they get to roam during the day (and I am more relaxed about it since the family men put up chicken wire on the back of the garden fence, so that they are even more protected from the shepherds). In the sun, their black feathers achieve an iridescent emerald sheen. They skitter around the garden, raking up little piles of dirt with their talons, and I think they look fat and cheerfully complacent.

Next month, I am going to participate in the #write_on challenge, initiated by Egg Press, to write 30 letters in 30 days. Care to join me? Revive the beautiful impracticality of snail mail! I relish the foolishness, the costliness, the extravagance of a handwritten letter. In 2015, writing by hand means so much more than it ever has. It makes less and less sense, as technology expands, and that is why I love the practice of writing by hand. It will cost you. Time and money. And thus it is more meaningful: a beautiful and special and un-reproducible practice.

What do you think qualifies a person as a Christian?

Lately, two frivolous things fill my mental space: (1) how much hair I’m going to chop off next week, and if it is an unwise move, as I am still unlikely to wake up looking like Annie Clark, and (2) when my front yard perennials are going to resurrect themselves and whether the lavender, which I feel very emotionally invested in, will make it, and also the tiny hydrangea from Andrew that was brutalized by winter, and the beloved Japanese maple from Kyle. These are things I think about. And the chickens. Always the chickens.

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