I had a very blah moment this afternoon. Desi (the cat) caught a baby mouse - it wasn't even an inch long, but its eyes were open, and it was absolutely gorgeous - and broke its neck. When I saw the mouse, its neck was already broken, but it was still alive. I picked it up and held it in my hand. It took about 30 seconds to die - making these tiny little gasps, little mouth open wide. It was so incredibly sad. I put the baby mouse outside in a sunspot, and later I wished I had done something more ceremonial, and even later than that I realized that no ceremony would have been quite right, and that a sunspot was a good resting place.
The baby mouse made The Wall - this part of the semester where there's no break in sight, tests around every bend, and homework up to your eyeballs - look pretty bad. What a bleak day when adorable baby mice die in the palm of my hand for no good reason, not to mention the piles of work.
A little bit later I realized that actually, I'm fine. The baby mouse was sad, and yes, I do cry about such little things, but that little sadness didn't have to ruin the day. I'm busy and tired, and sometimes I just want to go to sleep, but does that necessarily mean that I'm doing badly? I don't think so. I think I'm ok. Sometimes I get stuck in this strange frame of mind, where "good" is this unattainable state of rest and contentment, with no outstanding responsibilities to speak of. That doesn't happen here at MIT. But that's all right - there are other ways to define "good". Like, this morning I made eggs on toast. And an old friend visited me. And I sat on the roofdeck in the windstorm and watched the sunset.