You know what word I love? Mercy.

It's not a word that we hear much anymore. Or did we ever? To me it suggests compassion, generosity, and grace. (Grace is big this year for me; I've been reading Invisible Acts of Power, Channeling Grace into Your Everyday Life" by Caroline Myss.)

My work has slowed and I seem to be writing more emails than chapters, but I haven't had the energy -- emotional, or physical -- to keep up with the novel.

To be honest, Caroline's and Emery's dramatic personal lives have been a source of distraction that I've welcomed.

Mercy comes to mind when I think of the way you handle yourself in friendship. It's the way you listen. I've watched the way you actively engage in conversation with your friends outside our social circle and you're not just waiting for your turn to talk, you are listening to what is being said. You rarely interject--as I am prone to do--(See?)--or interrupt--and you maintain interest when others would simply excuse themselves and slip out of a boring conversation. That's not just a skill, that's an art.

You have a tolerance for compassion and mercy beyond anyone I know, that I know for sure.

So, if you are wondering where your compassion is for your husband's sudden about-face, maybe this is one situation where mercy isn't called for.