to paraphrase obiwan, there has been a great disturbance in the force. when you look up at the moon through a leafless tree, it appears that the branches and twigs are arranged in a circle. a daisy cutter bomb sucks all the oxygen out of a square mile area, including caves. i was in a field last week that had been cleared for development. four trees and a saguaro were left standing. at the base of the saguaro was a dead field mouse. tomorrow i am going hiking in one of the most beautiful places on earth. i am going alone. the world's largest nuclear reactor will be running at full capacity as i hike. gasoline is well under a dollar a gallon across most of the country. i have been accused of lecturing in my journal. i wish i knew someone who would play a few games of chess with me every week. ritual is comforting. i miss my irani friends. i miss the close, unconditional friendships that seemed twenty years ago as if they would last forever. there is much to be said for staying in the same place for your whole life. i wonder what a lifelong friendship is like? i wonder if the peace corps would take someone as old as i? is habitat for humanity building anything around here? i need to participate. i am going to serve food on thanksgiving. where, i don't know. there is a six foot barrel cactus lying on its side in my back yard, near death. why haven't i stood it up? am i too old to change? am i too old to make true friends? no, and no. i won't be going to the ljlabash. i will miss seeing a couple of people, and meeting a couple more, but i am not a party person. peter gabriel said "if you want to keep control, you've got to keep it small". is control what i want? no. i want to feel comfortable relinquishing control. i want to connect with the world around me, with the people around me. i want to see into people's souls through their eyes. i want to teach without preaching. i want to give without strings. i want to love without fear. i want to be an open book. i want my toes to taste the sand of a thousand beaches. i want my lungs to sift the air of every nation. i want to swim rivers, run up mountains, fly over canyons. i want to bungee jump off a bridge. i want to understand everything there is to know about grasshoppers. i want to roll in the soil of another world. i want the conscience of every human to take center stage. i want us all to discover the capacity to see through each other's eyes and hearts. i sure could use a backrub.