C's bookshelf: read

The Peculiar
Maggot Moon
The City and the City
The Road
A Certain Slant of Light
The Muses Among Us: Eloquent Listening and Other Pleasures of the Writer's Craft
Persepolis: The Story of a Childhood
Brown Girl in the Ring
Well Wished
The Innkeeper's Song
Understanding Comics: The Invisible Art
American Indian Myths and Legends
The Left Hand of Darkness
The Return of the King
The Fellowship of the Ring
The Two Towers

C S Peterson's favorite books »

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Rated AAA Risk Free

It is Wednesday and I am going to write for 15 minutes. . . I had thoughts in the car, listening on the radio. Yes, today I am going to do it.  Sit down and write. I am.

My dear husband has Wednesday afternoons handled.  He picks up all four of our offspring from their respective institutions of learning and trundles them all off to circus arts classes at the Boulder Circus Center. Then he feeds them junky American fast food on the way home (if I were a good mother I would pack them a nutritious dinner the night before and leave it in the fridge…but…sigh).  I guess the exercise offsets the fried chicken sandwiches.

So back to my point, Wednesdays I can write.  I will come home, sit down and write.  I had thoughts -  in the car - listening to the radio.  Two bright young women were talking about the European Debit Crisis and I was feeling October 2008 déjà vu all over again.  So I will write. 

I walk in the door and I see that my blessed husband has cleaned the kitchen and folded last night’s laundry.  Still, my house starts screaming at me: another load of laundry! Sort through that box of stuff! Bake a few of those little somethings so you won’t be tempted to buy them at the coffee shop tomorrow! You’ve not watered those plants in a while! The bathrooms could use some attention! For the love of God woman – CLEAN SOMETHING!

But TODAY I WILL WRITE!  I had thoughts of my own, about risk, in the car.  The two women were talking about how ratings of AAA were taken to be essentially without risk and that this is the second time this has happened recently.  The mortgage backed securities were rated AAA, so were treasuries issued by Italy and Greece – AAA – risk free.  Yet…

I put a load in the washer, mix up a yeast dough and let it stand in the warm oven and run upstairs to write while the washer runs the first cycle and the bread rises.  My husband and the children will be home soon.  Nothing is without risk.  They could get hit in the head with juggling clubs, fall off their unicycles or eat tainted chicken and cantaloupe.  The washer could leak, the bread could fail to rise, a meteor could crash into the planet and send us all reeling into a dystopic nightmare.  As I kneed the bread I spin out possible futures: Greece and Germany dance in a mirror, reversing roles in 1919 demands for reparations from the Great War.  Europe deftly shoots itself in the foot, again.

The garage door opens and my family is home:

“Mom! Mom! I was juggling on a unicycle and I was swinging the poi but the they collided and then I dropped them and I fell off but I’m all right then I went on the bola-bola and tried the diablo but the string was too short so I could just toss it but I didn’t quite catch it.  I did do a pinwheel though! Two of us on unicycles held hands and went around in a circle and Quarto (the youngest, who is eight) was riding on the teacher’s shoulders!”

Nothing is risk free.

Just ask Dr. Who


  1. So this is why you posted on Facebook last week that you were watching too, too much Dr. Who? I remembered! Katie, I wish that you would write more because I love every word. You have such a voice that pings at all the right moments. Thanks for the every-woman-chuckle-or-is-it-sob?

  2. I thought I had the only house that screamed! I wrote today amidst the screams of "Laundry,, vacuum, vacuum!" It was difficult, but I wrote first then laundried and vacuumed it nearly to death. Thank you for speaking for all of us with screaming houses!

  3. It is so wonderful to know I'm not alone in the screaming house department :-) Thanks for the encouraging comments!