Not much looking death in the eye these days or even philosophizing about life. Ever since my last belly check and the prospect of living on for quite some time yet, I have gone back to thoughts of political activism [I know: I really shouldn’t] and cosmological curiosities [space and time in particular]. Why, I’m even toying with the idea of going on over to Oxford for a few months next Spring to partake of the giddy air of that ‘inspiring spires’ town. Long ways away yet.

So things will be rather quiet here on the belly front for a while. At some point, for sure, the malady will resurface and create new urgency for rethinking the last few strides in life, but that is down the road a bit. My worldly affairs are in order and my good wife keeps bringing home some bacon [even though she does know I’m a vegetarian ;-)], so I have become a man of leisure, a would-be country gentleman if I owned a farm [three good chickens just don’t make it] and a philosopher ‘en herbe’.

I take my leave with this wonderful old Taoist story that I have always admired…

‘A farmer lived in the days when fighting was going on between small kingdoms in China. This farmer had a son. His son, with the aid of the horse, was tilling a small field. One day the horse ran away. The neighbors came and said, ‘It’s a very bad thing. You have such bad luck.’ The farmer said, ‘Maybe.’ So the next day the horse came back with half a dozen other wild horses. The neighbors came again and they said, ‘What tremendous luck.’ So he said, ‘Maybe.’ On the third day the son, while trying to ride one of the wild horses, fell and broke his leg. Again, the neighbors came and said what bad luck it was, and the farmer said, ‘Maybe.’ The next day the king’s people came to recruit strong healthy farmers into the army. When they found this farmer’s son with a broken leg they left him alone. So, again, the neighbors came and said it wasn’t such bad luck after all and that everything had turned out well. The farmer said, again, ‘Maybe.’’

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