A moderate breeze is pushing east across the lake and I’m trying to create and hold a peaceful scene. Casey’s tail wags slowly, and I wonder if it’s just the idea of being outside that changes her day, and I simultaneously envy her and feel a little revulsion at my inconsistent attempts to be a little more. Sunlight flicks off of rhythmic, rounding crests and I think about sand dunes and also mounds of snow and diagrams of wavelengths from an introductory physics text and wonder why I won’t just wake up in the morning or go to bed at night trying a little bit harder to be a little bit nicer. I wonder if there is a cartographer’s map of what level of energy passes through me before I allow an imbalance in quadrants one through four to disrupt what should be harmony in the vivisection of what constitutes me (see figure 37.4), this alleged vessel. Phil sent a Bukowksi pic, and I think about all of the times ol’ Chuck must have sat down with a bottle or five and poured his guts into a short story, and I wonder whether he ever felt better about any of it, or if he was just grudgingly satisfied with the way the weathervane pointed. It’s going to be record highs this week, and I can’t remember what I read earlier this week about how habits can build or destroy you, and I wonder if I can slow my thoughts down enough to match my breathing. I’m picturing towns from a travel article describing the forested northwestern corner of the state, and Casey’s left eye winks at me when she looks back and up at me from a dandelion-dotted shore. Earlier this week I followed or liked or saved a bunch of VR software companies, and I’m fairly certain Brautigan would kayak right up to us as we stand here for just a minute, calmly place his paddle across his lap, and tilt his head while holding eye contact until I say, “I would like to think of” and my thoughts break off. He’s probably more of a canoe guy. Rust and gold and even lavender are a little more insistent than last week in the tree line opposite us, and I hope autumn lasts as long as promised.