Took my artichoke, Pernod and cheese out back after a lovely nap on a perfect afternoon. Coolness in the sun-driven breezes. Sweet timid clouds.

The skies were a highway.

Eagles soaring. And vultures. The eagles, distinctive for the white heads and tails that catch the light; for the shapes of their wings. Low circles to high. Right overhead. Close enough to see them look at me when I waved to them. I cried when they tilted their heads to me.

I will be putting these pleasures away for a while. For the demands and necessities of commerce, of writing-as-commodity. I won’t be giving up my own writing; the writing that is the driver and the fulfillment of me. I couldn’t. But the words won’t have this view, this river, these eagles as a day-to-day backdrop.

I write as the eagles soar. Not to hunt. Not to fight or to mate. But because there is joy in it; love in the long, sweeping soar, in the view from high above. Like eagles fly, I do it because I was born to.

Friends have been asking whether I’m starting to feel excitement about the move. The answer is no. For once, in this life, so possessed of what comes next, I am here now. Part of that is the necessity of attending to the many tasks at hand. Part of it is me trying to keep a sense of balanced realism about what I’m facing. Part of it is…and here comes the confessional…ambivalence.

On days like this I wonder what could have possibly possessed me to leave this place for the other—any other. I remove the moving boxes in the living room from my eye. I make them invisible. I look for the joy that living a physically pared-down life will bring me. I anticipate decorating in an ultra-modern style that years of changing tastes and furniture acquisition have not permitted in this space. I worry about the cats; about what they will have to fascinate them when the prospects of lizard watching and grass-eating and window shopping for prey are not available to them.

My view of the world will be from 14 stories up—closer in height, as dear Glorious says, to where the eagles soar. Except that there are no eagles to see. I content myself with knowing that this view, this wondrous Nature, will be here when I get back for holidays, vacations and, one day, forever.

I will add back the arts, the museums, the restaurants, the music and dance—the urban-ness—to my resume of happinesses. And I will take the writing with me…the happiness that finds me daily…on the river, in a highrise, wherever I am. That is the permanent happiness. The one I carry with me. The only one there is.

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