States of Mind

The nearly constant heavy rains and thunderstorms of the last few days have yet to dampen our spirits. Here's why:

- cycling all day in a marine element lubricates the sticky latch mechanism on my wallet, allowing my Scroogian psyche to spring for a motel at the end of the day. The creature comforts of even a modest inn are so overwhelming, so purely decadent and hedonistic compared to turning a crank under a waterfall for 8 hours, that every night is Christmas morning.

- I've been listening to an audiobook by Oliver Sacks called Musicology, which investigates "the power of music to move us, to heal us, and to haunt us". One of the cases describes a 42 year old physician hit by lightning while emerging from a phone booth (for the younger readers, ask your parents what a phone booth is) and suddenly developing a new zest for life and amazing musical powers, teaching himself piano and composing classical pieces (we'll skip lightly over the part where these new passions led to a certain untidiness in his personal life, including divorce). Anyway, as we ride through crackling lightning on our wonderfully-conductive frames, I see only the upside: I get to play the piano.

- When playful classmates referred to me as Elephant Boy during my formative years, the allusion was not to any particular deformity of feature, but because my skin had the colour and texture of an especially non-metrosexual pachyderm. Well... for any of you still suffering in dermo hell, let me tell you that if you perform low-impact, drudgery-infested aerobic activity in monsoon conditions for multiple hours a day, the outer you will simply glow.

Our hands are really clean.

Yours with inner sunshine,


P.S. The bottom photo, blue skied and paradisal, was taken from the bridge onto Dauphin Island, Alabama about a week ago. Sure it was nice and everything, but we had to use sun screen like crazy...