getting rid of baggage, physical and mental. i guess it started with selling the tv. i find myself backing off from engagement in "big picture" politics and world events. the peak of my immersion in that sea of things over which i have no control was during the last presidential election. when the outcome (over which i had no control) was surprisingly not what i expected, i was thrown into a state of near depression. having to a large extent recused myself from "the fight", i find myself much more relaxed, and slouching towards something resembling, *gasp*, happiness. as the date of my complete excision from the american dream nightmare grows closer, i find myself simultaneously excited and afraid. it's a good fear, though, like you get when you are approaching the top of a rollercoaster. you know you are going to be tested, but you know you will survive. i also find myself more and more detached from the notion that the U S of A is the center of the universe or even the world. i feel no great ties to this nation, despite the many wonderful things emanating from the stinking cesspool of its racist and misogynist past. maybe it is the inherent contradiction of that statement that forces the disconnect i am currently implementing. regardless, i am slowly but surely withdrawing from the self-important struggle that rich americans (and this is all of us) delude themself into believing is noble. drinking a four dollar latte while your four hundred dollar bicycle sits outside and brushing off the homeless vet asking for a quarter is not compatible with lambasting israel for bombing lebanon. i make no claim to moral superiority here, i fully intend to make use of the ill gotten gains bestowed upon me by birthright. i won't however, perpetuate the mirage any more by participating in it. at least not after next summer.