One amazing and wonderful thing is that I'm sick right now, and I still feel healthier than I did a year ago. But I'm all set to stop coughing and start sleeping past 4am any day now.

More changes: I'm really not that interested in TV or website content right now, a pretty serious change. I'm a severe information sponge, so it says something that I'm not sucked in by the distraction. Even the books I'm reading and the job I'm doing feel like distractions from a core sense of quiet that I just want to bask in. It's never been this quiet, certainly not these past few years. Everything is still and perfect and moving and right, and I just want to revel in breathing and eating raisins and watching trees against the sky. But I know that's not how it works. I have a long way to go, still, and the challenge is always to take the stillness out into our busy lives.

There's a role I sometimes play, which I'm fairly good at. It doesn't have a name, but I refer to it as "integrative": basically, when a group or organization is flailing, I identify what needs to be done, I go around and talk to people individually to collect information, then put the information together into a cogent and correct solution. This is also known as "the guy who ran around and talked to everybody to solve the problem no one else wanted to solve". I feel like I have this weird ability to provide a bit of focus to projects, by putting everything together and articulating a wider view that wasn't otherwise present.

In this case I'm also trying to smooth over the results of a few months' worth of disastrous communication and poor intent. It's a good aiki exercise, in choosing my words carefully, being mindful of how to move the conversation in a constructive way. There are ways of approaching a conversation that imply respect for the person you're talking to, even as you need to disagree with them (or, in this case, correct their version of reality). It's tricky, but doable, even at my level.

Fortunately the integrative role is temporary, and I'll get to go back to my quiet.