Looking up from my book, I say to Karl, I LOVE Kerouac but we just can’t run around like that. We have to focus. You are just getting this? says Karl. He’s right, but I had been looking for inspiration, knowing, ideas. These days we have to extricate the girls from their rooms. Pry them from their computers. Force-feed them healthy food. While the dogs follow us around, room to room, like beggars, our girls we feel completely outwitted by--what is this horrible adolescence?--did we actually live through it? In the beginning, to us, theirs had something to do with schools. But now that’s all gone vague. Now it’s about survival. Have you eaten? we say. Slept? Then, on the worst days: It’s all going to be okay. Go to your art, we tell the oldest who won’t talk. What are you out of? Paint? Canvas? Film? And stumped, to the youngest, the horse rescuer, we say, Let’s just get you to the farm.