Oh, and thank you so much for reading, Katrina. I have a few friends in Nashville and have to worry about them so often as these storms barrel through (once I'm finished worrying about my neighbors here, then in Lexington, then Parsons, then...).

Some great beauty and drama can be found in some large cities, that cannot be denied. And many will claim this is true of places like Nashville or Chicago. For my money (and I am no less prejudiced than anyone) the greatest beauty and drama (drama meaning where you can locate the greatest learning) has to be from the oldest places and those with the most natural beauty.

For me, the ocean water provides both because that has always been where both history and the wildness of nature coincide. (Which is why I so regret being caught here, so far from the water for so long...but, such is life.)

The magnificent sea lanes of old—even with the tragedies they often speak of—tell us so much about life. Those tragedies themselves speak to us about the weakness at the heart of our souls, and the fact that they surround us, everywhere around the world, and always have, like the waters themselves.

But, like the waters there is beauty in them, and we cannot live without them. So we must find a way to control them and outfox the forces that cause the weakness to surface.

I went to San Francisco the first time and, to make that long story short, was led by a shore bird the very first time I saw the Pacific Ocean on a “wild goose chase,” following him closer and closer to the edge of the roaring sea until I looked up and he was gone. I turned around and he was all the way back where we had begun, back toward the land. Staring at me. Waiting. Then I heard the roar of the wave behind me. He was smart and I was not. He knew what I didn’t.

There are things we need to learn that we can only learn from the places we go and the experiences we have there. Sometimes we have the opportunity, sometimes we do not. Life is short. Learning is long. We do what we can do and get from it what we can.

Life is a loving experience.

Possessor of Paul Newman eyes. Author of many things straightforward and strange. Some of them appear here. “Women zai shuo ba” as the Mandarin say. Born 2016.

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