I started writing this a few weeks ago, after intending to write it for some weeks before that, but then I decided to wait for the right time to polish and post it. A recent entry of Mary Anne's (about hedonism and the ability to enjoy sensual pleasures) almost got me to post this, but then I got busy and moody. But it's now my birthday (just barely), which seems like a good time for this.

Amid all the stress of recent weeks, and notwithstanding the car problem, the gray and gloomy skies on and off (yes, I know I'm spoiled, this is March after all, but it was spring for a few days there, and I got a little sad when it went away again, and I'm awfully glad that it seems to be back), general grumpiness, computer problems of all sorts, and serious lack of sleep—amid all that, I've had occasion several times in recent weeks to realize that in many ways, I'm pretty damn lucky. Even at moments when I'm not particularly happy, I have to admit that I have a lot to be thankful for.

It's not just the basics—enough to eat, roof over head, etc. And it's not just the extras—the money, the freedom, the lifestyle, the fact that I mostly enjoy my work, the fact that I'm surrounded by incredibly cool people (including wonderful friends and lovers). All of that's great, but what I'm specifically thinking of is something else.

Three of my very favorite things in the entire world are these:

  • Warm sunlight on skin
  • Warm water on skin
  • Warm skin on skin

And I've more or less had my share of all of those at various times in recent weeks. There's certainly always room for more; but there's been enough to satisfy me.

Life is good. Stressful sometimes, but good.

I was going to quote Lui Collins's song "Blessed" here, but found that the lyrics don't capture the feeling. (Mary Anne and I were talking a few weeks back about the number of songs (often religious ones) that convey a feeling of joy; there are plenty of stories that make me happy when I read them, but I can't think of any that are joyous in the way, for example, that some hymns and some rounds are, even for a non-Christian like me. (One particular "Gaudeamus Hodie" comes to mind.) But though the words to such songs are a relevant and often necessary component, I think the joy really comes through in the music. So you'll have to trust me on this one.)

Thursday evening, Kam and I are skedaddling from work early to wander up to Berkeley; dinner somewhere (Ethiopian? Thai?), then to the Freight to see the Old Blind Dogs, a Scottish band who I liked last time I saw them. Looking forward to it.

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