Children when they’re far away.
The smell of a vinyl record as you slide it out of its sleeve, placing it on the turntable to watch the undulating grooves, the crackling moment when the needle touches down.
Worms (the earth variety, not tape or thread).
Beginning a new teaching semester, the promise of new students, new conversations, emanations and realizations.
The sound of the dishwasher. The sound of the washing machine. A roast dinner that someone else has cooked. Sitting on a lawn someone else has mown.
Telling a class about House of Leaves by Mark Z. Danielewski only to discover that someone has read it, both of you banding together to tell the class they MUST READ IT.
Holding a match to the wick of a new candle at dinner.
Ending a teaching semester, the promise of sleep, of absorption into your own reading and writing.
Pie – sweet or savoury, especially with a puff pastry crust (but not chicken with carrot lumps and short crust pastry – you once sat in the primary school canteen refusing to eat this pie, the thought of which still constricts your throat. You can’t remember how the stand-off ended, but you imagine the dry chicken and pastry thudded as it hit the bottom of the bin).
The rarity of new things (except for shoes, they usually make you regret you ever walked into a shoe shop).
A new pen that glides across the page with the lovely promise that it will make writing easy.
Stroking the hot fur of a black cat lying in the sun.
Ending a list with a cat, with sun and with bliss.