well, no wonder.

Of all the screwy things, it's raining here. We had gusty-to-gale-force winds a few days ago, then it snowed in the Sierras, and now it's kinda chilly and raining. This isn't unheard of, but to give a sense of its rarity, EDIS said, when warning people about this storm system, that the last measurable rain in June at San Francisco Airport was in 2001 (0.10") and in San Francisco was 2002 (0.03").

At dinner tonight my aikido teacher thumped me on the back a bunch of times and said, "I love you. You're so...sturdy." And I am. It's a reassuring, ego-reinforcing place to be for your high school reunion. I haven't bloated or anything: I weigh 215 pounds, but you have to look carefully, and you might not notice until you try to push me or something. I have some fat I could lose, maybe 20 or 30 pounds, but mostly I'm sturdy muscle and bone. Pretty flexible, too, at least for the size. It's nice.

You can't communicate to someone exactly how big a ride their life can be. When you're younger it just doesn't make any sense, or there's that sense of all-knowingness we carry until the universe kicks us in the head once or twice. While you can kind of prep yourself, there's really no conveying the power and the effects of living, of loving and losing and choosing and laughing. It's seasoning. I often describe people in flavors, and we grow from bright, energetic, passionate, monochrome flavors to complex, subtle, spicy flavors. We acquire color and texture and depth. Nothing, no trauma or precociousness, can substitute for aging: it is the essence of itself. The good news is that it's much, much, much more interesting than just getting older and having your own mortality become a more and more immediate issue. Honestly, I feel like we've been undersold on growing up, in part because of our cultural fear of death (so being closer to dying is all anyone can focus on), and maybe as part of the American celebrity ideal. My friends and I are having a great time: I can't speak for anyone else specifically, but I feel better now than I did when I was 22. Aikido has helped my body balance out, and as I mentioned briefly the other day, by way of karma or genetics I was born with my sense of self in a lot of little pieces, so with time I become more and more myself as I bring my Self back together: stronger, softer, more powerful, more resilient, more aware.

Many if not most strains of Buddhism (and Hinduim too, I think) claim that we are blessed to be born human, because it is only in human form that we can free ourselves and attain enlightenment--the gods are stuck in and attached to their paradises, so they lack our opportunity. Sometimes this idea of the human experience as special seems like a philosophical point, driven by our need for the universe to revolve around us. Other days, it makes perfect sense.