This letter is to apologize to you for taking some pieces of rock from the forest. I am very sorry. I am also sorry that I told a lie to the man at the gate who asked me if I had removed anything from the park. The three pieces of rock that I am returning are all that I took. I picked them up at the Agate Bridge area. I rationalized that a few small pieces would not hurt. I did not see the note on your brochure about a “few small pieces” until I returned home and now realize the effect if everyone took a “few small pieces.”
I can assure you that I have been smitten of conscience since I returned home and instead of pleasant memories of your park, I feel guilty. So, again, I am very sorry. As far as I know, nothing like this has ever happened to me before and I assure you that it will not again. I hope you understand.
A Guilty Traveler
Plant life in Estado Libre y Soberano de Baja California
Mule and Cow
Last week I was in Baja California. The grey whales come here in the winter to give birth and mate.
We also saw a mother and baby whale swimming side by side. The adults move rhythmically with the waves while breathing, surfacing through the water like its soft butter, but the baby, still wrinkled and slate gray and no more than a week old, was bobbing in and out at her side like a buoy, trying to master the movement of breathing and also sneaking a peek at our boat from time to time.
I know that photos of the backs of whales aren’t all that impressive, but imagine the rarity. We were out on these fishing boats for well over an hour, and probably spent a minute total actually being able to see the whales.
2014 was the year of feelings. I had a lot of them. I had a lot of them and I talked about them a lot. I felt them acutely. I argued with them and bartered with them and sometimes I threw them in the back of the closet, vowing not to look at them again until spring. They were the subjects of analysis and the specimens in science projects. I did everything I could, you see, to deal with them. And I know feelings are manufactured in the brain, but I did everything I could to downsize the department that produced feelings with which I was unhappy, and promote the department that made feelings that I approved of. I do not know which department judged these feelings. We are still, despite it being the end of the year, and it being so long since we began this investigation, getting to the bottom of that. Auditing takes a long time, especially when you are finding things in files you didn’t know existed or that haven’t been dusted off for 20 years.
In 2014 I talked in metaphors to help people understand what was going on in my brain:
Vortex (25 mentions)
Whirlwind (3, before ‘vortex’ was found)
Ship lost at sea (12)
"Boats against the current" (2)
2014 was the year that I was put in charge of an event that 10,000 people came to so they could watch cat videos together. Witnessing that and feeling partially responsible for the joy that people felt then is worth a mention.
In 2014, when I felt that I had fallen apart, I began to find the little pieces that make up who I am, the stuff deep down, underneath “likes” and “don’t likes.” They are being set aside in a safe place, to be used for positive and meaningful reconstruction in 2015.