2 Here are the labeled piano keys, and yes this photo did inspire me to dust.

I’ve been running through stacks of music, and getting pretty quick with it. I still have to adjust sharps and flats by ear, so I suppose I need to learn that stuff.

It might make my bell choir director quit yelling “It’s two sharps!” at me in what he appears to think is communication, but is actually meaningless shouting on his part. When shouted at me, that is. He could just say, “Beep! Beep!”

There was also work going on chez fibermom yesterday, and scrubbing, and 2Pilates. Cooking and baking.

Quilting, even. This is the table runner I started last year around this time. The middle sections are quilted, and I should be able to finish the red parts this week. Then I have to decide how to do the outside borders. I was thinking clam shells to maintain some semblance of French style to go with the fabrics, but I don’t think that would be as enjoyable as some nice curvy lines.

I have to decide whether it would be more satisfying to have the chance to quilt the sinuous shapes, or to look at it in future, should I ever finish it, and see the French style evident in its quilting.

It will be covered with pies or salads, regardless.

Today is Darwin Day. Go read Darwin here, if you have never done so before. He was an interesting guy. I know that there is a widespread belief among those unfamiliar with Darwin’s work that reading it is somehow dangerous, but I have to say that there are altogether too many people running around today discussing Darwin without having read anything he wrote.

Davies continued to write about the mind and then about the soul and the self. He does not discuss evolution and mentions biology only glancingly, but puts a lot of thought into the question of whether the mind/soul/self exist in time and space. Having brought up numerous interesting arguments on both sides — and, really, interesting though that is, I find that it is impossible for me to entertain the possibility that the soul/mind/self doesn’t exist at all, since I only have my mind/self/soul with which to entertain the possibility. Anyway, just as you feel as though your head might fly away with the complexity and slipperiness of the whole question, Davies explodes it. “Do you believe in haircuts? Where are they?” he asks. And goes on to list all sorts of things that clearly exist, without having physical existence in time and space.

He was just toying with us. Or else he was trying to make photons more palatable. Feynman explains how photons come into being by saying it’s like words: before you speak words, they don’t exist. Nor do they not exist. That is how photons appear when electrons make transitions. And that also, Davies suggests, is the way it is with souls.

My Wednesday afternoon study group has the habit of asking, “How is your soul?” This always strikes me as an unanswerable and maybe a foolish question. Obviously, my soul is fine. How else could it be? My body may have the flu, my mind may be troubled with worldly problems, but my soul is in God’s care and I really don’t have to worry about it at all.

Davies, while agreeing that the mind must have some physical connection with the brain, since it can be affected by drugs and brain damage, still finds himself unable to draw a clear distinction among the mind, the soul, and the self. Our thoughts about ourselves and our feeling of having a self must take place in our minds, so how can we prove that there is a self distinct from our minds? And if we have a soul which lives on beyond death, he says, how could we know that if we didn’t have memories or characteristics of our mind and self which also live on with our souls?

So this gives us something interesting to contemplate while we do our daily tasks today. I will be up at the store, probably mostly faxing press releases and stuff like that. If there are people signed up for the workshops next week, I’ll be making their packets. If not, my soul won’t care at all.

Last night, after I finished working and before I got back to reading Davies, we were trying to help #1 son with his job hunt.

It is not hard to find jobs around here, but #1 son is suffering — as I might, I admit — with the feeling that there is probably nothing out there that he really wants to do. His job hunt is thus hampered by his settled belief that all steps toward employment will lead only to misery.

I think he is wrong. I went online and read out to him all the various jobs that are available in town right now, for which he might be qualified. They need a lot of engineers around here at the moment, I must say. But there are also plenty of service sector jobs that a young man with no particular skills or training can do.

I had just told him about the job weighing stuff at the quarry (see, I would never have guessed that there was a job like that; I didn’t even know there was a quarry here), when his dad weighed in with poultry work. Apparently, there is a job that involves walking softly around the poultry farm looking for sick chickens, which you then have to kill.

We stared at my husband in consternation. Did he really think #1 son was suited to that work? Apparently it pays well. However, when you are doing this with turkeys, he told us, you have to go very softly, because if you walk quickly, they will have heart attacks and die.

I thanked him for this useful information. #1 son assured his dad that there was no way he was going to take a job that involved killing poultry.

My husband then went on to explain about the jobs that are actually about killing poultry. And cattle. He has a lot of very detailed information about the whole abattoir industry. I don’t know why he knows this. Unable to interest #1 son in such work, he proposed that I could do it. It would pay better than my current work, he said, as well as offering insurance.

“Have you known me very long?” I asked him. “Do you really think that that would be a good job for me?”

He was not paying attention, though. He was demonstrating in mime how exactly one would slice up a cow hanging from a hook.

#2 daughter was participating in the discussion via IM. “Does he understand that he would have to become a vegetarian if you had that job?” she asked.

Actually, I think a job like that might be bad for my soul. Or at least for my mind.