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2003-09-15 8:49 p.m.

In Santa Cruz; on a hill; enjoying a day in my life.

I have been mostly happy, as I now live a life unencumbered. All of my ties have been severed without my consent, as if the universe is trying to shove me from complacency to somewhere else—and not a gentle shove, but a mighty one.

When my mind starts to spin or my thoughts flood over the shallow sides of my brain I try to catch myself and ask the simple question, "How is this moment, the one I am in right now?" Right now I am in Santa Cruz, I can hear a fountain. It is a heavy indian summer day in this city by the sea. I thrive in the heat, so I smile. I have two healthy legs and two healthy arms and so many other healthy body parts that I would just waste my whole day listing them. I have a little red car that is paid for and works more often than not—and I have the skill to fix the little car when it breaks! I have friends. I have family. I have faith. With the exception of my lower back—still dominated by persistent pain—I feel amazing. If you ask me, this moment seems pretty good.

I got down and looked at the dry grass up close. It was so golden. I understood why the alchemists believed that they could extract gold from it.

I don't always remember the moment, though. I was sad two nights ago at Amy's birthday dinner. My world felt fine until the end of dinner, when a wave a depression washed over me. I didn't have a particular excuse or logical reason to be sad. I just felt down—down, down, down.

I asked Boris to come away from the table to talk with me for a minute. I told him to pretend I was a girl: I was not being logical and all I needed was him to talk with me for a few minutes. He did, and I felt much better. I am trying to forgive myself when I feel down—I can't expect myself to always be chipper. Forgiving myself means accepting those moments for what they are and not feeling guilty about asking for help. Ah, so many lessons to learn.