Titles by Kij Johnson are available for purchase online

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I am struggling a bit here, because I’m trying to shake off some negative stuff. I want to write it all out and get other people as indignant as I am, but that wouldn’t fix anything for me or anyone else involved, and it certainly wouldn’t change the situation or the wrongdoer’s behavior. Injustice is a particular sore spot for me. I’m trying to be better about avoiding intrusive thoughts, not getting derailed into obsessing with unfairness – and that means that for today at least, I am not going to talk about all this, and instead I will remind myself of all the other things in life. (To be fair, most of the time I can ignore this entirely.)

I was going to say, “Why are we never derailed into obsession by pleasant things?” and then I thought, Oh that’s right. Good books, great shows, sex, love, dancing, climbing. I can remember  lots of intrusive delights in my life, things I couldn’t stop thinking about, looking forward to, pining for. I know, I know, not the same thing. Or is it?

It’s hard to believe that we are just over a month out from the end of the semester! And the end of my fulltime KU career. This will be the longest I have ever worked for a organization, after the five years (or so) I spent at Wizards of the Coast/TSR, which I think was a consequence, not of my enjoyment of the job (…) but of how difficult it is to get disentangled. And now what?

I’m going to keep this short today, so that I can get a few other things done. But here’s a list of cool things that happened this week:

  • a really delightful brunch with Chris, Lauren, and Jean…
  • …and a lovely dinner and cocktails with Paul (for someone who doesn’t eat out a lot, I eat out a lot)
  • and spring is here, and the windows are all open and the house is filling with the smells of sunlight…and pollen
  • and coffee and tea are both delicious
  • and I am enjoying learning to embroider again
  • thirteen books (birds, east Asian novels, Anglo-Saxon art) came from Cornell UP, the delightful consequence of doing something interesting I might have done anyway.

Hmm, ever since I typed “intrusive delights,” I have been thinking about that. I’ve been reading the complete Winsor McCay Little Nemo comics in the giant Taschen edition, and I was remembering all of a sudden a bunch of dream types I don’t have any more. One of them was soaring – that I could launch myself into the air, from a teeter-totter or a slide, and find myself taking ever higher bounds into space, higher and higher, with a dizzying drop back down to earth, to kick off and soar even higher. (At some point, I would realize that my bounds were now dangerously high, and that this time I would certainly hurt myself when I landed – but that is another story.) I loved that sensation. I suppose I was turning the familiar experience of swinging at the playground into this dreamland experience. I loved the way my stomach rose and fell, the tingle in my chest as my heart responded to the shifting Gs, loved loved loved it. It was a delight, sure. Was it an intrusive delight?

If an intrusion is something that breaches a barrier, then I suppose not. Did I fantasize about sliding when I was bored in class? Did I find myself caught up thinking about the sensation at unexpected times? Did it break into other thoughts? Maybe swinging did not, but remembering soaring in dreams did. And much more often, climbing and sex did. These were of course physical actions, which means that their intrusions into my thoughts had a strong physical component – but then, I guess negative intrusive thoughts might have a similarly strong (but not so easy to parse) physical component.

Just thinking aloud, here.