I had a date last night, of all the nutty things. More surprising was that it went well and we want to see each other again. Most startling was the level of energy between us, which was lovely, but unnerving. It's strange now to be so drawn to somebody I don't know at all--do we actually have anything in common? I have no idea--partly to realize how separate that feeling is from just carrying on a conversation, but mainly because I have made uncountable bad decisions based just on that attractive energy, including a marriage proposal. So it brings up nervousness and fear, knowing to be directed by that energy can be to throw yourself into a hell it can take a while to get out of. Then again, I do have this nifty t-shirt now:
After a couple of experiences I had at work in March or so, one involving white-hot rage and another involving deep annoyance, I was sitting and letting them percolate, and suddenly I realized how important, and how complicated, true patience is. Think about it: to be patient, you're waiting for things to unfold in their own time. Instead of imposing your will on the universe (and getting annoyed or angry when it doesn't work), you're accepting the reality of what is, and using that as your starting point. And I think that real acceptance--not in the sense of "this is okay and doesn't need to be changed," but the sense of "this is the state of things"--can't exist separately from compassion. When you allow someone or something, instead of fighting them, wishing they were different or that they weren't there, you begin to understand them, and once you get your selfish desires out of the way, compassion naturally arises. You don't have to agree with them or tolerate their behavior, but it's quite a different feeling from fighting them.
Patience is every positive human quality tied into one.
Also, there's an aerial photograph of San Francisco after the 1906 quake, taken from camera on a kite at 2000 feet. There's a large version of the photo (download it to your computer, because it will make your web browser cry), and an article about it.