Another winter evening fire under the stars, with a cloud cover holding in some of the heat of the earth, and a wild setting sun tossing oranges and reds in all directions. Big Sur, to the south of me an hour, is undergoing a major fire, and some 20 homes have been burnt to the ground. Some smoke seems to be wafting our way. I can’t smell it, but the sky at noon seemed to have a tinge of yellow or umber. The cliffs and forest looked so dry on my last camping trip down there a month ago. Having a big fire in mid-December is equal to having a snowstorm in July.

The world as of late seems like an uneasy place to live. I know news reports are slanted to gain my attention and arouse my fear and anger. Scientists argue the merits of climate change theory, while economists argue the wisdom of printing trillions of dollars into existence. Politicians, the masters of argument, will talk my head off to the point where I can no longer follow their logic, and thus give up caring at all about the country’s issues. Everyone I listen to has a different idea about God and whether or not such an entity is alive. In the entertainment world, the characters getting the most attention while receiving the greatest compensation, produce music and movies I can barely stand to watch. I feel like the world around me has turned into one giant July snowstorm.

High-tech companies here in California, such as Google, Facebook, and Yahoo, continue to expand their capability, delighting me with new software and new products, while at the same time I feel like my innate freedom and my natural perception and understanding of reality is being drained away from me. Today I read, for example, that if I am wearing Google glasses I can take a photograph with them by winking. This is a newsworthy development, apparently, but it leaves me feeling like I do not want to wink ever again, just as an act of rebellion.

I think I’ll go take a long walk in the early afternoon, if the tide is right, and study the patterns of the kelp and seaweed that has washed up on the beach. I’ll wear my sunglasses. Stepping out and looking for those sorts of recent events–developments, if you will–are what helps me keep my senses from getting too blurred in this modern July snowstorm. I’m optimistic that the chaos and confusion that society seems to breed will one day be subdued by our shared interior wealth, and that the act of winking will be restored to its proper place in our common humanity.

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