I turned twenty-four today.
I left two jobs this year. The first time was like the tadpole, swimming as he has for countless days past, who suddenly realizes that his gills are gone. I can’t be this way any more. I can’t breathe.
The second time was less dramatic.
I lived in San Francisco. Every day that I walked outside I wished for a different reality, for myself and for others. At some point I stopped walking. When I pulled onto the southbound 101 for the last time, burdened with all of my possessions, I felt light, unbound, free.
I traveled to other states and countries. I found out that the bubble I live in lives in a bubble.
This year, I learned about plants—cycads, the Araucaria, photosynthesis and its variants. Sometimes, unexpectedly, I come across solitary trees from relict genera, still reaching for the Mesozoic sun. Oblivious that their crowns no longer float over the Brazilian cloud forest, that instead their roots are upturning the parking lot at Kelly-Moore Paints.
Or maybe they know.
I started to draw. Here are two of my favorites:
Among the gnarled yucca of the high desert, under the towering redwoods of the coastal forest, and in the haunting tones of the great horned owl.
The labored devotion of the artist and the punctuated frustration of the engineer.
The difference between heat and warmth.
Life. Here’s to another year of it.