In which it turns out I am more delicate than I thought

"I would argue that nothing gives life more purpose than the realization that every moment of consciousness is a precious and fragile gift."
Steven Pinker

In brief, I had an emotional breakdown in February this year. I abandoned Brevity Quest 2023 and left you hanging. mea culpa maxima Months in Hermitville are not good for a soul it seems, and I should know that but it's a lesson I forever forget to learn. In any case, I am back for the now and will catch up on everything in the next few days. I'd promised gifts to participants, and gifts there shall be. Be patient with me a little longer, I beg.

I'm clearly less the person I was in years past; weaker and more fragile in every aspect. I am the victim of too much empathy, all those feelings, man! They make me drag myself through a mire of my own making. Emotions are hard, and as I mentioned to my daughter recently, love is hard and it can hurt. But of course that's not all: age is creeping up ever faster and I don't feel like raging against the dying of the light, I want a fireplace and a cup of cocoa, and by Golly slippers. Because damnit, I feel like I deserve it.

I'll keep checking in and poking at things, I'll probably even write stuff, just with less energy and frequency, and with a tad of pain, despair and almost certainly, a soupçon of self-pity.

Brevity Quest updates

30 September: Wow there were a lot of BQ23 entrants. I'm working through the list now, adding as I go. I expect to be done over the weekend Okay, as far as I can tell I have all the entries in the list. Please check, and let me know if I missed one of yours.

1 October: Okay, I'm ready to start going through all the entries and picking favourites. If you'd like a postcard from me, please send me a mailing address!



The woman I love is finally moving away. She's heading across the country and I am not going with her. Her children are almost as much a delight to me as to her, they love me as she does, but that love is not enough for the leap of faith it would take to invite me. But I understand.

To you, dear Dryad, I say that I will still help you organise and pack your things, I will fetch and carry in the few remaining days, I will be a loving support for you and your children. When the time comes I will wave you off with your family and your cats. I will miss you, and the candle will burn in the window, but for me the heron's patience is doomed. I wish you well, truly, and I will weep when you go. But my tears are mine now, and for all that could have been. And I still understand. Stay safe as you travel, and when you are planted in your new ground, you and your saplings, a sliver of me will be there with you.