Winter coming smells like burned leaves and cold air. And on misty nights like this one, it feels good to live above the city, way over the street lamps. It’s a good place to call home. The thing about home is that it’s supposed to make me feel safe, give me the luxury of regaining my balance and let me examine and dismiss insecurities with an all-knowing smile. At least an unimpressed one.

I love the solitude, the freedom and the joy that come with being Me, Inc. With them, though, come the questioning, the doubt that grows at times in the absence of a tea party to confer with, and the gasps for clarity when the enthusiasm wanes. I am under strict instructions from my coach to study this drifting feeling with utmost curiosity and report back.

So here’s what I’m getting: flashes when what made me tear up with joy and purpose feels like a joke. When what I set out to accomplish has lost weight. As if I have turned against myself and life is draining out. Under siege, I am no longer picking up calls from planet Earth. Instead, I am absorbed in my chain of thought, acting some imaginary play where I am stranded. The immediate reaction is to reach for my inhaler and a can of coke. Or get mundanely busy.

After moving my mass around for about two days, with various stops to regroup in the meantime, I let myself persuaded to go to an aikido practice, just to watch if not much else. My body did the rest, shook and came alive. And walking out the dojo, I smelled the burned leaves in the cold air. And I headed home.

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