REDLANDS CA, FEB. 10, 2006 - It's dawn again, the waxing moon shines brightly in our back yard, and the birds already think its both daylight and spring! I sip my Americano (espresso cut with hot water) in my tenth wedding anniversary mug. Steam rising out of it carry my thoughts to where I came from and where I'm going to - accidents like the present are an opportunity to reassess my priorities for certes! But have I had a few too many such occasions? Rather than think I attract mishaps, I rather think that I let events unfold to their logical conclusion. I'm riding a fine line between (a) not giving up my power and holding onto my ethics and priciples, and (b) listening to others and taking my community into account (family near and far, co-workers and co-counselors, and friends and the world @ large in decreasing order of priority).

It's my listening skill that are both a unheralded strength and a perceived weakness. Listening helps me avoid riding off into the sunset, when you're standing in the sunrise... Indeed looking into the sunshine can be hard! Is it not tempting to turn away and not face the world? The comfort of self-perception in the past... The discomfort of reality and the future... Luckily I have sunglasses of the soul - soul shades not cool shades, if you will - through the community that I encountered first then built over 45 years (the oldest I've know two of you, aside from family). I thank your great alliedship at home, at work, in town and overseas.

I remember the moving boxes from Australia that said "across the street or around the world". It typifies my situation now. As I leave ESRI after five years, I have leads that let me work in Redlands or from home, through Colorado and England, all the way to Austria my highest priority @ present. Although we never planned on settling here, we hadn't planned in moving quite just yet! Thank God Sandra might defend her thesis before we possibly leave early May. And Petra's only eight and adaptable (let's not assume anything though) - better now than five or ten years from now, I suppose. I also found others who arrived after me and are green-carded; so that while 9/11 did slow things down, "The firm" didn't do as much as it purported to...

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So what do me and my family want? I want not so much stability as a sense of belonging. Twenty years in Calgary suggest that wanderlust wasn't my middle name. We don't seem, however, to have spent more than five years anywhere in the last fifteen (I met Sandra that many years ago next fall at Hallowe'en!). I chose a career that seemed to anchor me until I outgrew Calgary and opportunities knocked in Texas, then England and California. I've also been skipping among jobs looking for a sustainable community. At least I found one at home and through co-counseling! Although I still consider myself Canadian, southern England is what attracts me most at present. One thing is for sure, that I vowed to take better care of my body and soul...

A recent appointment with an osteopath revealed that I had trust issues from family, work and friends (doh!). She also found what was wrong with my left ear, which is what lead to re-operating my right ear (while that was necessary, no-one looked at my left ear). It's amazing how a string of doctors uncover discrete bits of my health! Is that why their rare treatments seemingly bear no correlation to my well-being? Only staying in work and on counseling appears to help, and that mostly depends on me. Why do I feel like one of Dali's paintings, with drawers poking out of my body, as it's been treated in parts and not a whole? I suppose only I can keep those drawers closed, as they say 'with a little help from my friends'.

I am, however, a middle-class middle-aged white man with wife and child. I therefore must follow my work. Both my education and specialty afford me opportunities. But not the sort that 'lets me stay at the ranch'. If anything I feel like a roving cowboy, like bouncing between Montana and Texas in Brokeback Mountain. [It's a movie shot in southern Alberta, about two cowboys wrestling with their homosexuality and married life, bouncing between Texas and Montana until one retires in isolation and the other falls afoul of society's mores (] I did not take those two cowboys' sexuality in a literal sense - thought honoring it is an important issue we must all face - as much as acknowledging the dislocation most of us experience in the decisions we must take in life. Being gay leaves one on the outside looking in: Is that not what the vast majority of mankind does? Pretending otherwise will only lead to further denials around global warming, reliance on oil, forcing morals on other societies or parts of our own, and the list goes on and on...