Saturday, March 31, 2007

60 in 6, part 4

Okay, with this one, I'm caught up. See the afterword.
2/ 12/2006 (Mon)
Hit 250 and have plateaued here for a few days, which tells me it’s a real loss. The feeling in my heart is lessened. I feel a little better.
I felt real joy this weekend, for a moment. For a moment.

Goal weight: 255 lb.
Actual weight: 250 lb.

2/ 19/2006 (Mon)
Still on track, but still have lost no additional weight. Still plateaued, but also not trying as hard. Focussing on getting work done. Also, have a semblance of an appetite back, and have been eating more in the past week, which does not facilitate loss, but encourages maintenance (not over eating).
Goal weight: 250 lb.
Actual weight: 250 lb.

2/ 28/2006 (Wed)
After a fantastic weekend walking around NYC, I found I lost another 5! I am renewed. I am inspired. I am reborn. Life is magical.

Goal weight: 248 lb./BMI index 33
Actual weight: 245 lb.

3/ 7/2006 (Wed)
Half way through to the goal-achieved date. Yesterday I pulled a suit out of the closet, which my sister bought for me as a college graduation present in 1986. Nice wool 3-piece. I’m wearing the pants today. It fits well!

I want to buy some leg weights this weekend, though a friend advised me against it. Said friends in her High School messed up their backs with those. But my take is, I’m used to carrying…what, another 45 lbs on my frame? I want to keep carrying that until I’m where I want to be. I think I want the weights. But in the interest of health, I’ll research first.

Goal weight: 246 lb.
Actual weight: 242 lb.

3/ 23/2006 (Wed)
Okay, a slight skip in sequencing here, as the past week has gone by with no significant loss. I hovered around 242, then 243, then 240 then 242 again. Very frustrating, but also acknowledging that I’ve not been focused for the past week or so. Then I got focused on Monday, really started curbing what I was eating. The problem is that I’ve been feeling so much better that my appetite has been returning, which is always a problem, because then I stop being aware of what I’m eating, or even that I’m eating. Got it back under control now, and have stayed steady at 240 for three days. However, this brings me not so far ahead of my planned curve anymore, which means its more likely that soon I might slip behind.

Goal weight: 242 lb.
Actual weight: 240 lb./BMI 31

3/ 26/2006 (Mon)
I really want to get down to 200. I know my initial goal is 220 (60 in 6) but my firmer goal is 200. My BMI goal is 180, but I’ve never been that light and kind of fear that a bit. Don’t know yet. But June is coming. Right now, I’m yo-yoing now around 240-up to 242, down to 238.

Weekends continue to be especially hard. I find myself distracted, lacking focus and motivation, and just generally disconcerted. Anticipating this, I’ve built some flexibility around my goal weight moving forward, giving myself 3 plateaus to stay at for 2 weeks, before I start sweating that I’m falling behind. Also, as a motivator, today I posted the first part of this blog online. That will kick the pressure up, and hopefully increase motivation.

A lot of people are asking me lately how I’ve done this. I go into changing my eating habits, changing my exercise routine, the amazing burst of energy that keeps feeding this process, and my own strong desire for change. But the truth is, I made the change because I want this change. When I’d decided that, really decided it, the rest has been relatively easy. Sometimes the desire to change is the hardest thing.

Goal weight: 240 lb.
Actual weight: 240 lb.

3/ 31/2006 (Sat)
I am still at 240, and have been for several days, as the above shows. I still consider myself 40lbs away from my goal, but with the goal being 60 in 6, I still have 3 months to lose that last 40. And when I get the next 20 off, again, I may decide that's the place I want to be. I don't know yet. I'm having a hard time figuring out where the place I want to be, is. Or, more accurately, figuring out how to get to that place that I do want to be. The desire for change is the biggest thing, sometimes. That's the impetus for change, the inciting incident, in screenwriting terms. But the impetus to keep that change moving in a desired direction is an effort that is wearing. Like being born, or being in love, or surviving a catastrophe; it's exhausting in large doses, but incredibly necessary, compared to the alternative.

Sometimes I pray for the universe to just take over, to put my mind at ease, and just move me in the direction I'm supposed to go in, and pray that it coincides with the direction I want. Because I don't know how to accept any other alternative. I don't think I can.

In the interim, I'm still going.

Thursday, March 29, 2007

60 in 6, part 3

1/ 15/2006 (Mon)-MLK Day
I’ve been 260 for a few days now. The past two I’ve been sitting at the computer too long, and Friday I ate too much-a full dinner, plus two beers. Too much, with too little exercise. But I got down to 259, and just bounced back to 260. But I need to watch that if I want to reach my February goal of 250.

Goal weight: 264 lb.
Actual weight: 260 lb.

1/ 18/2006 (Thurs)
Particularly vigorous day yesterday. I couldn’t sit down for very long. Took several walks, several workouts, lots of water. And I finally broke the 260 mark. Exhausted.

Goal weight: 262 lb.
Actual weight: 258 lb.

1/ 25/2006 (Mon)
Nothing to add. Feel no closer. Feel slower. At least I’m maintaining, not gaining. Still no appetite. I look in the mirror, still not happy.

Goal weight: 262 lb.
Actual weight: 257 lb.

1/ 29/2006 (Mon)
Bad sign. No loss his week. Going to redouble again. 30 pushups five x day, and need to get back to the sit-ups. I wish there was a low impact alternative, as this hurts my back when I do them. Photoshoot this Friday. Good opportunity to burn a lot of calories running around. That will be a high caffeine day, though, as well.

Goal weight: 260 lb.
Actual weight: 258 lb.

2/ 7/2006 (Wed)
I am holding steady, inching slowly toward a consistent 250, but not there, yet. God, I feel like I am so up-and-down and up-and-down emotionally. I’m exhausted.

Goal weight: 258 lb.
Actual weight: 252 lb

To be continued.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

60 in 6, Part 2

Still nothing specifically to blog, so posting the next section of 60 in 6.


12/ 27/2006 (Wed)
This Christmas has been tough, and for almost a week there, I ditched my eating plan. Thankfully, did not gain anything, but did not lose, either. No exercise either. Then, WHAM-sick as a dog since Christmas, from the intestinal virus Trace brought home. Spent yesterday in the bed and in the bathroom…Sick. But as a result I’ve lost another 5 lbs. Not how I’d choose to do this…
Goal weight: 272 lb.
Actual weight: 265 lb.

1/ 1/2006 (Mon)
Happy New Year. I’m stuck at 265, for two weeks now. Ahead of schedule but not ahead of the progress I’ve set out for myself. I bought some hand weights and have begun building my arms. As you bulk up, muscle weighs more than fat. But telling myself that is a bit of an excuse. I can be ripped AND thin. I just need to redouble efforts, again.

Goal weight: 270 lb.
Actual weight: 265 lb

1/ 3/2006 (Wed)
People have begun to notice the weight loss, and especially the speed. To tell the truth, I’m losing weight faster than I had expected. Hyperactive creative desire at work. I eat normally for at least one meal a day, but in that meal I have no problem eating slowly as food just doesn’t taste the same to me. Just sincerely lost all appetite. May write more on the why of this later. Maybe not. Probably not.

Goal weight: 270 lb.
Actual weight: 265 lb.

1/ 5/2006 (Fri)
Been a week from hell. I lost nothing for about 2 weeks, and could not figure out why. I got some advice from a friend to start out the day with a hard boiled egg instead of, or at least in addition to, the two cups of coffee I had been going with. The protein starts a slow burn that helps break down fat. It seems to be working. Eggs two days in a row, with the escalated workout routine, have started to move me again in the right direction.

Goal weight: 268 lb.
Actual weight: 263 lb.

1/ 11/2006 (Thur)
I’ve slowed way down, again, and feel a little stuck. If this were summer, I’d start a running or biking routine to get another kick-start. Looking forward to the warmer weather to start biking to work. That would be incredible. Being winter, it’s hard to even get out for regular walks. But still progressing. I will give blood today, so this is my pre-donation weight.

Goal weight: 266 lb.
Actual weight: 261 lb./BMI 34.4

To be continued.

Monday, March 26, 2007

60 in 6, Part 1

I've been keeping a second personal blog offline, tracking my 60 in 6 plan. That plan started as a result of my desire to lose weight, and a lot of other upheaval in my life. My original plan was to start posting once I had reached my goal. But in retrospect, that's kind of cowardly. I mean, to say, hey, here's what I wanted to do," and not tell anyone until I had done it, speaks a bit to a lack of confidence in my ability to accomplish. So,what I plan to do, over the next couple of months, is post selected entries from that blog, outlining my loss, around my other blog entries. This should 1) encourage me to post more often, lest I have to fall back on posting these entries, or 2) shame me into accelerating that goal. In any event, this may be interesting, it may be merely self-serving. Seeing where I started, certainly this will be a bit embarassing. But it is what it is.


12/1/2006 (Fri)
I’ve gone through a hellish month of introspection, self-deprecation and anger at myself and the world…and others, in alternating waves. It’s a kind of pain I haven’t felt in over 20 years. As with the last time I went through something like this, the only way I can make it through is to know its sparking some change, some birthing pain that makes the effort of survival worthwhile.

Therefore I’ve dedicated myself to the proposition of losing 60 pounds in 6 months. Six months from now is June 2007. I want a record of this, and I plan to post it on the blog. 60 lbs in 6 months, so sworn. So let it be done.

Starting weight: 284 lb.

12/ 6/2006 (Wed)
Losing weight very fast and effectively. Working out daily, and lack of appetite is playing into that. Hopefully my muscles will get larger as my girth gets smaller. 2-3 coffees a day, vitamins in the morning, soup at noon, and a light dinner. Feeling a bit light headed often, but can’t tell if I’m light-headed because I’m not hungry, or if I’m not hungry because I’m light headed. Doing pushups daily, trying to rip up my arms and chest, pushing myself to new limits that are nowhere near my limits at my peak. But I will get there. I will.

Goal weight: 280 lb.
Actual weight: 278 lb.


12/11/2006 (Mon)
Birthday celebration for a friend on Friday. Had the light dinner, but also two beers. First alcohol I’ve had since I started. Left me light headed, and glad I had the dinner to counteract. Eating less makes me a lightweight. Good. Was consequently hard on myself this weekend with extra pushups and ice-skating on Saturday. Pushing my limits.

I had hoped to be down to 270 this Monday, even though that would be ahead of schedule. But still shows I need to continue to push myself. No pushups over the weekend, though I did some ice-skating on Saturday. I will do pushups today, and add a walking routine to my daily schedule.

Goal weight: 276 lb.
Actual weight: 272 lb.


12/ 18/2006 (Mon)
Slowing down. Less diligent in eating well, and need to step up exercise routine. Doing 3-4 sets of pushups, but need to add sit ups to the routine somehow. Found out today by my BMI, I’m obese. Shit. BMI index is calculated this way:

Formula: weight (lb) / [height (in) 2] x 703
Calculate BMI by dividing weight in pounds (lbs) by height in inches squared and multiplying by a conversion factor of 703.

Actual Calculation: [weight (lb) / 5329] x 703=My BMI (My height is 6 ft. 1 in.)

The normal range is from 18.5—24.9. I’m 35. Shit. Everything over 30 is obese.
I need to keep this in mind.

Goal weight: 274 lb.
Actual weight: 270 lb

To be continued.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Yours, truly

A bit of esoterica that I find interesting. Once all letters ended this way. “Yours Truly.” Even letters among friends. They shouldn’t have. I mean, if I’m a eighteenth century gent writing to one of my prep school buds (as if. How many black prep schools were there in the late 1700s?) I may have ended a letter that way. I shouldn’t have.

American Heritage Dictionary defines it as:
1. A closing formula for a letter, as in It was signed "Yours truly, Mary Smith." [Late 1700s]
2. I, me, myself, as in Jane sends her love, as does yours truly. [Colloquial; mid-1800s]

But that’s not what it ought to mean. Sincerely is much better, for this usage. Sincerely infers that all that proceeds has been heartfelt. “Yours truly” implies a promise, or ought to; “I am truly yours. I belong to you. You have but to claim me and I will be with you for all time. I am yours, truly, in every sense.” That’s what it ought to mean. Otherwise, it means less. At its core, Yours truly is indicative of giving, saying “I am yours, not only merely, not only colloquially, not only societally, or even physically, but truly.” Truly.

How often do we use this ending? Not often, which is likely a good thing. Not to give yourself away too easily is a lesson that’s hard learned. But how often should it be used might be a better question. The when is the key.

We don’t even write letters that much anymore, if at all. All correspondence is slowly sliding into the digital age, where records are transitory and somewhat depersonalized. This demands that the content be elevated in meaning, that what we write should compensate for the loss of the personal connection that would once have been communicated through the art of handwriting. We need to kick it up a notch, from time to time, to give our writing meaning, personality, and a sense of bonding beyond the standard.

And every once in a while, to someone who deserves it, someone for whom it is true, we should drop a note ending this way, to communicate that fundamental truth, that you are not merely your own. That you have given yourself, or an important, carefully considered part of yourself, to that other. That you are theirs, and hopefully, that they are yours. They are yours. Yours, truly.

Saturday, March 10, 2007

Faith Journey, Part Two

Okay, so I finished my faith Journey text that I'm supposed to read in church tomorrow. It's not the exact text, and it's not finished. But it's as close as I can come right now. Thanks to my friend Joe, for the joke.


I thought hard about how to start this. I thought of talking about being a kid going to Baptist church in Springfield, on occasion, and falling asleep, waking up for the same main reason I went there in the first place—for the donuts at the end of the service. Because that was the deal I made—church for donuts. Because that’s what church, and my journey, has been—about making a deal with God.

Then I thought of a better way to start. With a joke.

Okay, so there’s this guy driving to work for the most important presentation of his life. And he’s late. When he pulls into the parking lot of the building he needs to get to, he figures he has just enough time to park and get in the building. The problem is, the parking lot is entirely full. So he’s driving around, looking for a spot, and he starts to pray. ”God, “ he says, “I’ve got to get to this presentation on time. If you get me a parking spot, I swear, I’ll give up drinking and smoking and the party life, and I will go to church every Sunday!” Suddenly he pulls around a corner, and lo and behold, there’s an empty space.

He says, “Oh, nevermind, I found one!”

My journey has seemed so much about making a deal with God. But the stakes were never really clear. Until the stakes were clear, until I really needed that parking space, being a human being, I never really saw the need.

I remember we had an album of Jesus Christ Superstar, the Broadway play, that I played it for my nephew when I was about eight. He was only a year younger than me, and I knew more about Christianity than he did. I knew Christs story, at least. More specifically, I knew that Christ died for us, and how. So, with the soundtrack, I took the opportunity to impress that on him, in slow and excrutiating detail, not unlike what Mel Gibson made a movie of a couple of years ago. He was horrified. In time, I felt bad about it how I’d done that. Not a good deal.

Years later, after I met my wife, and when we were about to get married, that’s when I started to go to church in earnest. The main reason was to avoid hypocrisy. See, I’m the kind of person who thinks ahead. I plan ahead a week or two, sometimes a year or two. I have goals that are far out, twenty, thirty years forward. I didn’t want to get married and then have kids and then start going to church, because of them, because that felt hypocritical. I wanted to go with them, because I was sharing a faith with them. So, my desire for church was to establish a connection that we didn’t yet have, that I knew was important. A connection of my unborn kids to Gods Unconditional Love.

See, in the Book of Virtues, edited by William J. Bennett (good book by the way), there’s an allegory of a man who says that he wants to raise his kids without religion, until they’re old enough to make their own choices on what to believe. In that story, the analogy is made to a garden, that is left to grow to its own devices, along its own inclinations, until it’s mature enough to decide what kind of garden it wants to be. As a result, in several years it’s overgrown and out of control, lost, and irreclaimable. It’s an extreme analogy, but one that has some basis. Kids need guidance. Kids need love. Kids need faith, and a belief in Truth, and an understanding that can support them when nothing else does. Kids need that, because adults need that, and adults often don’t get that, unless they get it as kids. It’s like vitamins, or good nutrition—it’s essential for kids to get so that they can grow into a faith. But it’s just as easy for adults to get sick from the lack of it. It’s just as important, for those kids, for that adult, for the world around him or her, that they have that faith, because without it, “things fall apart; the center cannot hold.”

So that’s when I made my deal. I would follow the best that I could, the teachings of love, and belief, and trust, and sacrifice, in the name of the sacrifice that was made for me. For Love, I made a bargain with God, not for a parking space, but for Trust, and Faith. Because that’s what I think the ultimate deal is, all the deal that I hear God constantly asking—to exchange Will with a capital W for Trust, and Faith. That’s the only marker I can really say has come out of my journey, the willingness to follow something larger than myself.

I mean, maybe I could say, oh, nevermind, I found a way myself— I have the Will, I don’t need to follow. Thanks anyway! But I don’t have that level of faith in myself. I need that level of faith, and can find that level of faith, only in something larger than myself. I made the deal, because I need God. I remember a cartoon that showed graffitti on a wall, reading: "God is Dead —Nietzsche." Next to it was written "Nietzsche is dead —God." I guess I need to believe in God, in a God, in a Higher Power, a Being more powerful than muself, because I know Myself isn't going to be here forever.

And maybe at the end of the day, maybe God doesn’t really demand a deal. Maybe he just demands a journey. That we look for that spot, and trust that it’ll be there if we need it, and that we’ll do the right thing when we find it. Or trust that if we don’t find it, that there was a reason behind that. To have that Faith. That’s what I’m journeying toward. So that was my journey. Or, I should say, that’s how it started. Because I haven’t gotten there, yet. Still going. Still going.

Thursday, March 8, 2007

Hope is a thing with wings...and claws

"Hope" is the thing with feathers
That perches in the soul
And sings the tune without the words
And never stops at all.

And sweetest in the Gale is heard
And sore must be the storm
That could abash the little Bird
That kept so many warm.

I've heard it in the chillest land
And on the strangest Sea
Yet, never, in Extremity,
It asked a crumb of Me.
—Emily Dickinson

How about that Emily, huh?

But there's something that Emily kept secret.
Like most creatures with feathers, Hope also has claws.

Hope speaks softly in lilting tones, making promises and demanding action. Hope cheers you and mocks you, whispering in twin tongues that you can do it, don’t give up while also berating you that you’re not trying hard enough, not nearly hard enough. Hope claims to have secret answers buried beneath its feathers, claims to be the keeper of secrets you desire, of answers that you seek, and will not give you any hints. Hope even claims to know the questions you should ask, and the reasons you should ask them, but will not offer clues. Hope awes and frustrates, inspires and disappoints. It won’t tell you clearly where you’re going, and at times blinds you with its feathers so you can't tell if you're even moving at all. And sometimes in that blinded state, wandering in a darkness self-imposed, you'd swear you could hear Hope laughing.

But Hope will not be left behind. It seems such a sweet and innocent thing, but it uses its claws. It perches in the soul tenaciously, grabbing hold of your most tender parts and refusing to loosen its grip. It uses those claws to avoid being put into in a bag, or on a shelf, or even slid behind your back when company comes. It's then that Hope cries out for attention, in a voice only you can hear.

When you would have quiet, Hope jumps up and down in a circle around your feet, anxious, requiring, demanding, making you feel the rapid thundering of it's quickened bird heartbeat as your own. Ignored, it will bite and scratch at you, until it draws blood, scream its name in your ear. Dare to strike out, and it will call its big sisters, Fear, Anxiety, and Despair, and they-will-kick-your-@ss. Don’t mess with Hope.

There is only one thing worse than the claws of Hope. That is if you should be so unfortunate as to make those claws release, and find a way to leave Hope on the road behind you. For where you leave Hope is your last marker on the road.

And from that point you shall progress no further.

And so you stroke it, and nurture, and coax breath back into its lungs. Because it is tenacious, and sometimes painful, and sometimes obstinate and willful. But it is yours, and you are its. With it the progress may be difficult, and sometimes painful, and even seemingly without point or direction. But without it you progress not at all.

Sunday, March 4, 2007

And the moon will hide its face...

Last night we watched the lunar eclipse, and it was pretty cool. Every time I see a celestial event, it reminds me of the macrocosm, the big picture. It makes me think how, Bogey said, that all our problems “don’t amount to a hill of beans in this crazy world.” (Casablanca, 1942).

Sometimes it’s important to step back, and look at what’s important. For me, it all comes down to people, and passion, and love. You love the people who are important to you. You love your passion, be it what you do, or what you feel about what you do. And if you’re lucky enough to find all three-people, love and passion—within the span of a lifetime, you can count yourself among the luckiest sum’bitches on this little satellite. But you only count yourself, if you realize it. Like so many things in life, you can see what you have only two ways; either the fortunate way, through periodic, and careful introspection, or, less fortunately, just after you lose it.

Sometimes it’s important to shift perspectives from the intense minutia that surrounds our everyday lives and seems so important. But in a hundred years, who will cares if that deadline is missed, or that homework assignment is late, or that dinner was a little overcooked? How then, can we consider any of that important? And if that’s not, then what could be?

From space, from the rose-colored face of the moon, I imagined the view as a hundred points of light freckled over the shadowy face of the Earth. Each light represented a building, but in my imagination each light represents a person. In cities seen from space, (again, in my imagination) the cities and the streets and raods and highways that make them up appear as little spider-webs of moving light, vibrating and throbbing with intensity. The lighted lines connect the smaller lights, and from that far off vantage of the darkening moon, we can see how we are all connected. Every one of us is apart of another, the separation illusory. We’re all stuck on this tiny blue marble floating amidst other tiny dead marbles, and we’re all on it together.

That’s what I thought about as the shadow of the Earth caressed the face of the moon, making it blush at the intimacy. It felt somehow like a holiday, like something that ought to be celebrated. Then again, maybe that's the point of every day, and we just need the excuse to remember that.

Friday, March 2, 2007

The saddest season

(This isn’t meant to be sad, but it’s about being sad. Fair warning.)

They say that about this time of year is the saddest season. There is the most discontent, frustration and depression, due in part (in these northern climes) to the onset of cabin fever from the cold, and lack of vitamin D from that sweet-feeling sun, and the shortness of the days. The increase in darker hours gives power to the darker sides of our souls, or perhaps just makes us more aware of them. Suicides go up this time of year. It's an important thing to keep in mind, if you start feeling erratically.

I'm typically immune to the negative effects of this season. I'm never one of those complaining "I've had enough of the snow. I'm ready for warmer weather." To the contrary, I love the snow, even when I've got to shovel it alone. On top of that, so many elements of my life have been feeling like they're coming dramatically, miraculously, dramatically, amazingly together, this season. I’d been starting to succumb to something that I couldn’t quite name, and then just sort of stepped out of it into a patch of sunlight that seemed to go on forever. Coming back from New York, I was on a high. It made me invulnerable. The perception of invulnerability makes you stupid.

The other day I was burning a CD of some music, and started making (what I called) liner notes, talking about what the music said to me, and what it brought to mind. Some of the songs were pretty sad, and I kind of bummed myself out. Before I realized what I was doing, in accessing recollection, I didn't merely recall, but brought myself there. Big T says it often, knocking his hand to his head, "Oh, why do I have to have such a big imagination!." And he's only half kidding. For me, a vivid imagination and the ability to transport myself somewhere else, and somewhen else, is something I treasure. But it's like the Animorphs book series that Big T was into couple of years back—where kids can transform themselves into animals, as long as they don't stay in that form for more than an hour. If they do, they could be stuck there.

I may not love the blues, but I sure as hell understand them. I get why someone would write a piece of music so sad it’d break your heart, and more, I understand why someone else would listen to it. Sad music, for some reason, can have a countering effect on sadness. The heart can be like a filled balloon,pulled down into a cold ocean of sadness, down, down, by the music. Then, suddenly, at it's lowest point, it's released, and the heart flies toward the surface, not just to it but beyond it.The heart floats, and then it soars. It's like that old joke of hitting yourself in the hand with a hammer, because it feels so good when you stop. There’s something cathartic about sadness, something soothing in knowing you can still feel, from one end of the gamut to the other, that all the emotive faculties are still there and primed and in working order. I think, therefore I am; I feel, therefore I am more.

But it's not a healthy place to live. It's a tropical beach you fall asleep on, that's a desert on awakening-disorienting, and full of constantly changing perspectives. The heart's like a fine piece of old porcelain, with intricate and delicate patterns etched along its lines. When it breaks, it shatters. And being too precious to leave that way, you pick it up, and meticulously work at repairing it, searching the floor for each minute shard, carefully glueing and removing the excess and letting time and care do it's work, until it's repaired. Good as new. But, as careful as you are, there are still those hairline cracks along its form, still those edges of white where the glazing has been lost, revealing the fracture beneath. It's strong, repaired, renewed, but still changed through the experience. Blue music is about tracing those lines, and remembering the experience of shattering and renewal. And somehow, sometimes, that commisseration with evocative emotion aids recovery.

But, again, it's not a good place to stay. A long evening drive (pardon my greenhouse gasses) and listening to a new William Shatner CD actually shook me out of it pretty effectively. I stepped from the car at my house, and looked around at the trees and the black, starless sky. Instantly, I'm high again, breaking the surface to rise into the air, and the sky is a bright, dazzling, golden white, and warm and crisp,smack in the middle of the saddest season.

Sure, I'll go back there again, to that dark place, that place that calls to memory and demands recognition. It's a nice place to visit.

But I don't want to live there.