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    Not one word.

    No overwhelming sense of the day.

    Just normal.

    Except not, at all.

    Which is why its so weird.

    That nothing pulls me towards itself.

    Read, worked, did interesting new things, met new people, went to yoga three minutes late but so worth it, played with a toddler at dinner, hoisted him on my hip and got him a slice of cheesecake with berries, saw resident slides, edited and chose poems to send to my cohort (last time, for my MFA), listened to music, the president of VSC riffing with our visiting writer. Me on the couch talking to his wife, a poet. Is this the new normal?

    My new normal is strolling, not power walking because I might be late. Or sometimes jogging but that has nothing to do with arriving on time.

    Yesterday, 85 degrees and maybe 95% humidity. Today, 55 degrees and almsot none. Or none that felt sticky and close. 30 degree swings in July, breath showing as fog, maybe a normal thing here.

    Tonight the sky so close it feels like the stars could be touched on a ladder.

    Most days feel extraordinary. So it is a bit intriguing to feel the beginning of routine, a typical day in this new life. Average, run-of-the-mill. But because this place is exceptional, uncommon, even as it is my new everyday, there is a tension there. Or just something to be aware of, not to become complacent. To remember it is not usual, what I am doing here.

    Lucky to be abnormal on daily basis.



    [nawr-muh l]


    1. conforming to the standard or the common type; usual; expected; regular; natural.

    2. serving to establish a standard; customary

    3. Psychology.

    • approximately average in any psychological trait, as intelligence,personality, or emotional adjustment.

    • free from any mental disorder; sane.

    4. Biology, Medicine/Medical.

    • free from any infection or other form of disease or malformation, orfrom experimental therapy or manipulation.

    • of natural occurrence.

    5. Mathematics.

    • being at right angles, as a line; perpendicular.

    • of the nature of or pertaining to a mathematical normal.

    • (of an orthogonal system of real functions) defined so that theintegral of the square of the absolute value of any function is 1.

    • (of a topological space) having the property that corresponding toevery pair of disjoint closed sets are two disjoint open sets, each containing one of the closed sets.

    • (of a subgroup) having the property that the same set of elementsresults when all the elements of the subgroup are operated onconsistently on the left and consistently on the right by anyelement of the group; invariant.

    6. Chemistry.

    • (of a solution) containing one equivalent weight of the constituentin question in one liter of solution.

    • pertaining to an aliphatic hydrocarbon having a straightunbranched carbon chain, each carbon atom of which is joined tono more than two other carbon atoms.

    • of or relating to a neutral salt in which any replaceable hydroxylgroups or hydrogen atoms have been replaced by other groups oratoms, as sodium sulfate, Na 2 SO 4.


    7. the average or mean: Production may fall below normal.

    8. the standard or type.the usual, average, or typical state or condition.

    9. Mathematics.

    • a perpendicular line or plane, especially one perpendicular to atangent line of a curve, or a tangent plane of a surface, at thepoint of contact.

    • the portion of this perpendicular line included between its point ofcontact with the curve and the x- axis.


    mid 17th century (in the sense ‘right-angled’): from Latin normalis, from norma ‘carpenter's square’ (see norm). Current senses date from the early 19th century.

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