Skylar is really under the weather today. And she's scheduled to have surgery to remove her tonsils tomorrow morning. It has to happen. But we can't go ahead with the procedure unless she's well enough to keep her spirits up. On top of that, I'm getting more and more distressed with each passing news story about the situation in New Orleans. _luaineach and I have been having a productively tough-minded debate in private correspondence about the role of the state in dealing with natural disasters. Having the distraction has been helpful on a day when I would otherwise be treading the same ten centimeters into shiny hardness. Because I'm feeling extremely stressed out and weepy, though, I'm having a hard time sustaining the dispassion necessary to prevent that sort of back-and-forth from deteriorating into statements like "It's hopeless. We will never come to an understanding." Before Kim came home I brought the futon out of the garage for Bean and put on the DVD for Andy Goldsworthy's Rivers and Tides. It lulled her to sleep very quickly and made me feel considerably more relaxed. Now I have to go run an errand for her, however, and then rush down to teach, so my stress level is heading for another peak. It says something about my state of mind that I keep seeing a mirage of rising water everywhere I turn.