Like the silence after a slammed door. The light is soft and diffuse: rain showers wander in, window-shop, wander away. I have been off balance for several days. A growing sense that I am off track, seriously astray. I need to slow down and take stock. Fortunately, this is exactly the right sky for that.
Partly, we are coming on to the Season Of Not Being Who Anybody Wants Me To Be -- some call it the Holiday Season -- and I'm hunching my shoulders against it. But it's more than that. I am, in fact, astray. And at this point in my life, the losing and finding of myself make such a deep palimpsest that the sheer multiplicity is confusing. I've rolled out so many versions of myself, with so many promised features, that I can't keep them straight any more: all I know is that the marketing people are way ahead of the developers.
Well, first: take the time. The world can do without me for a little bit.
Second: back way, way off. There was a time when The Big Picture was something I spent too much time on. Now I spend too little on it. Time to zoom way out and ask some large simple questions, again: what do I really want? Which pursuits, and how much time to each, and how to judge if each chase has a beast in view?
Third, take soundings. Check facts. Don't be railroaded by hearsay and speculation.
When I do take the long view, the first fact that presents itself is this: I have already won. I have already beaten the odds; I have already made a rich and joyful life out of improbable, unprepossessing materials. The desperation that used to be the bass-line of my awareness -- I can let that fade, now. There is other music to hear.