Is it insomnia when I don’t want to sleep? I went up early, lay down beside J while she watched whatever it was she watched, something about horrible things happening to people but with happy endings on TLC.

I came downstairs around 0300 to fix her tuna salad, pack her lunch. Then I wanted coffee, the real thing, no decaf. I made a pot.

My son is still in hospital, getting better, but his lipase is elevated, along with his bilirubin. He did walk around yesterday.

So I sit now. A freight train just passed through Ashland. It was a big one, going on forever.

Today I get a haircut, take shirts and trousers to be laundered, do the things I said I would do yesterday. There is a pair of trousers I bought in late winter I never bothered to have hemmed and cuffed. Today will be the day.

Amidst all the feelings I feel in early morning is a deep sadness about the state of the world. I think we have managed to “settle” for personal freedom, such as driving anywhere we want in a car, not being bound by “heteronormative, patriarchal standards” in directing our sexual behavior and relationships, or deciding when to end our lives. But is that freedom? Of course, at one level, it is.

Peggy Lee, the great American chanteuse, had a big hit in the 60’s, “Is That All There Is?“. I hear that refrain from time to time. Then I think of Job, the biblical character, who wondered why horrible things happened to him.

The fundamental human conceit is the notion that we have a right to know the answers to the mysteries of the universe. I am reminded of Icarus, the son of Daedalus, in Greek mythology. Daedalus had mastered flying by fashioning wings with feathers held in place by wax. Icarus used this mastery to fly too close to the sun, melting the wax, destroying his wings, sending him plunging into the sea.There should be no consequences for the effects of our curiosity, we declare.

I don’t know. Maybe I should just stick to getting my hair cut and my trousers hemmed. Now I am sleepy.