Trust in Allah, but tie your camel.

Patterns...connections between people, momentary, lifelong, indestructible, healthy, not so much. Cycles and habits, difficulties in breaking out of, stubbornness stickiness of the mind, like we're sailing along as happy little expressions of the universe and we trip over ourselves, our possessions, other people. We have our weak spots, things and people that can unbalance us despite our best efforts at equilibrium and equanimity. You can feel connection between people, whether it's happy or not...breathe deep, open your mind's eye, and instead of imagining something for yourself, let the world project into you and see what it shows. You hear the small noises of reaction, you see the meaningful looks (maybe broadcast but not received), a smile with nothing special about it holds a deeper communication for the two. The threads can be palpable, pulsing, twisted tight dark, relaxed glowing warm. This is the joy of being with people...not to observe but to participate.

Visiting my uncle and grandmother in New Hampshire is the surrealist flavor of any trip out East to see family, and each year seems to strive for new heights. This year, my grandmother, after 70 years, has suddenly remembered that she speaks German, and often answers questions, barks commands, and is a pain in the ass in German. She's generally speaking really simple sentences, and I know enough nouns to follow along (mostly it's variations on "Give me some apple juice"), plus my parents speak German, at least well enough for her. It was kind of fun, though, because if I asked her what stuff meant, she'd tell me. She's an interesting study of how psychology might interact with neurology: her senses are well in place when she seems interested in them. Someone told her she had a sandwich in front of her, and she said, "Where is it?", but seconds before that she very clearly saw the chocolate pudding six inches next to the sandwich, and unerringly picked up the spoon instead of the knife or fork next to it. She could also see my face clearly and react to it from about ten feet away, and she could hear just fine when it suited her.

My love for the state of New Hampshire fails to grow, yet again. Bit of a mystery to me why anyone would want to live there when Vermont and Massachusetts are right nearby. *smile*

It's worth reading at least a little bit of this page to remind yourself, in this holiday season, how genuinely pathetic some people are and how badly they need our compassion.

Sunday morning I head home to California, which is home despite some of my best efforts at denying it. My family is here, so it's a good place to visit, but I don't know anyone, I have absolutely no community here, so my roots are in the Bay Area. Of course, when I'm there I say I'm going home to Massachusetts, but that lasts until I realize more strongly each time that I wouldn't live here, for a whole host of reasons: community, aikido, work, climate, culture. As I settle myself down and stop looking to be happy in some unknown situation other than the one I'm in, I'm settling down to the Left Coast.