the final countdown is upon us. i am nearly through the summer. jon finishes his job in three days time, at which point the boys and i will flee to my mother's home for two weeks to allow him to write the first chapter of his dissertation. we are nearing the end of this long schooling process, even. and yet we are not near enough.

the boys just now are sick, both sleeping with fevers in this awful heat. i am fearful of contracting my own version of the illness, lest i feel unable to function more than i already feel unable, or unwilling, to do so.

the relationship issues have been looking up. we began to talk to someone else, which has greatly aided our emotional miscommunication that has followed us about, slowly torturing me, the last nine years. that, at least, is getting better.

i began my work serving on the board of directors of the cleveland food co-op, in addition to my duties as editor and writer of the monthly newsletter, which i've been doing since january. we shall see where that takes me. it feels good to have something to be truly responsible to outside the home, and i like that i have finally taken on the activist mantle of my family, at least now in a legitimized sense.

i also joined a consciousness raising group, which is proving wonderful, so far, and which will hopefully really serve those needs in me to feel a part of something larger than myself, as well as help to process the issues surrounding all that i am active in. i would like to spend more time thinking on things. more time, once again, spent exploring the conceptual in relation to the real, rather than simply utilizing my mental capabilities to create new modes of efficiency on the domestic front, that very, unnervingly real aspect of myself. though, at times, the domestic front seems indeed the only real thing in a world full of bullshit, of rationalizations of duty to the varying modes of capitalistic endeavor. it seems the only real doing thing left in this world. everything else is reduced to institution and limited by its legitimacy.

in some ways, my domesticity leaves me free to be who i am, accountable to no one but the society that raised me, echoing in my head. any guilt gained from my occupation is cultural conditioning, filtered through my familial upbringing, speaking in the sound of my own voice to me. this is still clearly entrenched in institution, but less so than everyone with a paying job who is actually held accountable to those systems in an overwhelmingly daily manner.

i am an artist who sells no art, a writer that hardly ever writes, and a mother, isolated by my culture, as well as from it. society will only ask me to report should a helpful citizen decide i have stepped too far outside cultural norms and notify children's services. i hardly exist outside of statistics, used so often as fodder from both leftist and rightist talking heads making points about what it is that we americans do or need and why.

i am only referred to, never engaged beyond the survey. in this way, i remain an outlaw, just beyond the reach of the hum of order, civilization, progress. in no way is it acknowledged that this work - this unending, arduous, deeply fulfilling, biologically impertinent work - which i do for free, is in fact the basis, the foundation, on which western civilization - nay, all civilization - rests. and i, as a middle-class white woman, am even less depended upon in this sense than the poor and mothers (and mother-figures) of color, because i am a member of a market, the only thing more "legitimate" in this capitalist state than being a worker-slave integrated into an institution body, mind, and soul. the fact that the economy rests on the bone-cruishingly unpaid work of women is thus ignored and the work itself relegated to the lofty fields of pricelessness and personal sacrifice. why not martyrdom as well, while we're at it?

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