The Commonwealth of Virginia just passed this charming law. What is it about so many states, the majority being in the South, that keeps telling me they didn't learn anything from the Civil War deeper than "Shit, we can't own black people any more"?
Got a speeding ticket? Read it carefully.
Some days you feel like a warrior, some days you feel like an insecure shadow that never quite got over junior high school. The difference is what you feel is really you; is there a baseline you try to get back to rather than a state you try to avoid; what comes out in a crisis.
I visited a friend tonight with whom I had a marvelous relationship for most of last year, and thinking of my odd feelings of late and what exactly they are and how I might work with them. I've been thinking that I lack challenge, but it occurred to me tonight that that wasn't ringing true for me because it's not: work may not be especially intellectually stimulating, but it has its challenges in learning to work with other people and approach the manifold stupidities of life in a neutral, equivocal manner. There is a basic challenge in motivating myself to go to aikido; even more elemental, since my meditation cushion is all of four feet from my bed, would be to do zazen regularly.
So what I'm missing is not challenge, but risk. I'm pretty short on things I could possibly fail at, and even shorter on things with a consequence for failure. About the only arena where I actually get to put anything on the line is in a romantic relationship, where I have to grow and change not just according to the whims and urges of my own self and life, but in consideration of some other person. I have to do that most difficult of things: open up to somebody, trust them, and just shove on through knowing someone could well get hurt.
It's like that's the only risk there is.