To whom it may concern:
Please excuse me, Cecilia, from all activities that require organizational skills, outside of the work place. This includes, but is not limited to arranging my daughter's social life, arranging my husband's social life, sending out notices about book groups, writing letters, or thank you notes (email partially excepted), buying food, doing laundry, and especially from dealing with the pile of papers on my desk, and my husband's relatives, or my relatives (excluding short birthday calls to immediate family members). I know this overall excuse for all activities of daily life besides keeping my immediate family fed (if my husband buys the food), and doing some laundry, seems excessive, but I, Cecilia, have had a lot on my mind the last year and a half, and truth be told, for more years than that. I could blame it on my job filling all the organizational spaces in my mind, and the way it is like walking into the tunnel of other people's lives from September through mid June, but I could equally blame it on cancer and surgical anesthesia. But there is also the squirrel, distracting me by climbing on the concrete wall outside, several feet away from the sheltering fir. I could blame it on the excessively blue building across the way, or the cold winter sky, with the moisture turning blue to white. I could blame it on the flutter of leaves on that maple, a most disturbing blend of orange, brown, and green, in constant motion in the fall wind, and the way the branches cross and re-cross each other in every violation of the rules of pruning. Is it possible the dendrites in my brain are beginning to do the same, losing track of the appropriate axons? That I could be like a Greek geometer, finding order and God in a list of rules from which I could derive all the known world, and distances through the heavens. Some people have a knack for this kind of thing; their papers are gently shuffled into place, they fold the child's laundry in the blue light of the TV, and they've memorized the schedule of lessons and practices out three months. They are never surprised the day before an event, or reminded that it is time to schedule a birthday party; somehow they just know, and they go for their CAT scans, and it is always, clean, clean, clean. Please excuse me, Cecilia, from all activities that require keeping track, outside of the work that I do for other people's children, excuse me from meetings, excuse me from the books of records, and limit my job description to no more than a page.
Cecilia Landau is a writer and teacher who lives in the San Francisco Bay Area with her husband and school-aged child.