It’s amazing watching the mind of our baby unfold. My mom just taught her how to make sounds when mom taps her hand over her mouth. And smarty-smart baby figured out a day later how to use her own hand to do the same thing.
I love love having a piano in the house. I don’t remember practicing much as a kid but this time round I am enjoying it so much, the little bits of time that I have. It’s painful to have to turn away to work! I’ve been working on Moonlight Sonata and it is a feeling of flow that I haven’t had in a while as I immerse myself in it, feel my fingers and feet doing what the music needs.

I had lunch today in a house in my neighbourhood that inspired me with its minimalism. No clutter, just furniture, useful objects, some art, and space. It was so peaceful and beautiful I was inspired to come home and get rid of half our stuff from the front room. Sadly, inertia and attachment overcame me once I was home – I parted with a couple of items but couldn’t make significant headway. I wonder what might move me forward? On the plus side, I’ve been getting rid of one or a few objects every day. Slow but steady progress. And I’m starting to read through my book stash: the books I picked up to read when I didn’t have anything else to read but don’t plan to keep.

Speaking of books, I’ve identified my one major block with minimalism: I want a library. Yes, I have attachments to other objects but can usually talk myself into a moral argument to do without. But a library: that is a moral object in and of itself! I remember as a kid going regularly to my family’s bookshelves – in one of our last homes we had two big ones almost 5 feet wide and ceiling high, stuffed with books – scouring the contents and pulling out a stack to read, curling up on a couch or bed to revel in the riches. That is something I want for me; for my children; for friends and guests. I want, not just the memories of the books but the actual objects themselves so I can share them with others and they too can be transported or transformed by the encounter. That vision is probably a big reason why I struggle to whittle my collection down (including children’s books I’ve guesstimated it at maybe 1000 books ).

Had a frustrating call with the credit card company tonight in relation to my name change. Taking M’s last name has occasionally been exhilarating but also emotionally and practically challenging. Though I don’t love my original last name, it’s mine. I feel a bit like I’m betraying the feminist cause by taking a man’s name. Yet he was more than willing to take mine … I’m the one who decided I liked his more. And since we both want a shared family name, this seemed the route to take. Actually doing it, though, takes a bit more than you might think. Anyhow, the phone call was about my written request for a new credit card in my married name. I’m keeping my original signature (why? Why not? And when I went to get my driver’s licence, my first new id in this name, I hadn’t developed a “new” signature yet, and didn’t want to just make one up – signatures need to evolve over time and practice – so I went with my original. I know it, I do it, it’s me). And so my original signature is on my driver’s licence ($75). And on my passport ($130 approx. + pictures + TIME). However, the credit card company tells me that I need to use my new last name in the signature because if they don’t match, “that is credit card fraud.” In all fairness, they may have said “that is considered credit card fraud.” So after much back and forth and consulting with supervisors I said, fine, I’ll send in a new request with a new signature. And then I checked my documents, and oops, my d.l. and passport have the original signature. So it’s a no-win situation. I need a credit card in my new name because they often ask for photo ID and those are now all in my new name. However, the new picture IDs all have my old signature – but my card “should” have my new signature. So either the names don’t match or the signatures don’t match. Or I get new other documents at a cost of over $200. Or just submit the new signature to the company but sign the card in the old signature … but if something goes wrong, that’s not what they’ll have on file.
Anyhow – M’s reaction when I told him about the situation really was perfect. He was all “Of course! Can you believe those credit card companies?” and “But a signature can be anything you want – it doesn’t need to have anything to do with your name.” And then sympathy: I’m sorry you’re having to deal with this – I’m sorry it’s so challenging. And appreciation: I appreciate you doing all this work; I know it’s hard for you to change your name. Supportive and connected. Nice.

Am exhausted. Up at 5 with A. Will go to bed now.

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