Each morning I get up and feed the beasties. The dog has her breakfast of sweet potato slices and cottage cheese. She slops the curds over the rim of her bowl rooting for the potato. The black cats are both dead now; time was I fed them kibble and filled their cobalt bowl with fresh water. The crows have crusts of bread or corn. I brew coffee and drink a shot of carrot juice.

I moved my desk upstairs to the southwest corner of the house. From this vantage, I assess the clouds and guess the weather for the day. Rain, I think, wind. I watch the quail family bob and fret on the hill. I notice the brass icon nailed up to the fence post years ago. I turn on the lamp. I uncap my pen.

Maybe problems are never solved, only outgrown as we change time zones. I dreamt of boarding a train and changing my socks. I left the corporate world after 25 years and only now do I begin to hear my own thoughts. I sleep later yet still wake, startled, wondering what projects are stacked in the day, what problems wait like sinister fish in black water. I look at the clock in the dark.

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