It's not insomnia. Because I'm not tired. Last night it was just too hot to sleep. Today, though drowsy in the afternoon, I don't feel tired at all. Energized.
Rob once said that being sleep deprived was just the natural state of operators. The odd hours, the shift work, the obsession with the perimeter (however you define the perimeter) always half-awake listening for the pager... you don't sleep much or often or well. Your body finds a new steady state, a homeostasis of functional sleep deprivation.
I'll make myself sleep soon. Another big day tomorrow. But for now I feel like riding the wave, running out the energy. Writing (since all the people I would consider brawling with are already asleep, snoring softly).
Good day today. I don't study karate. As far as I know there isn't a Uechi instructor within 200 miles of my base. I can make a long list of all the things I don't have in common with this group, martially... and yet I love being here. Tried to put it in words today. Good people, a big family, many brilliant (research physicians, counselors, scientists, investigators) many talented (champions, athletes, martial pioneers) many dedicated (people who have studied, for the purpose of comparing, similar systems from Okinawa and China). But deep down, I think I love them because at the very base so many people here are thugs. Sorry if that sounds like a harsh word. 'Thug' is what I used to insist on when anyone seemed to be romanticizing violence: "I don't do this for noble purposes, I do this for money."
It was never really true, Marc would call me on the 'lie to children.' It was never about the paycheck and I always committed to doing the right thing-- but that's something you can say from the experienced end of it. For a beginner to rationalize it... let's just say that there appears to be no limit to the evil a person can do if they feel they are righteous.
This group though, more than almost any I have encountered, know what they are doing. They know the cost of it. The old dragons here have put people down and avoided being put down. Street time, bar time and jail time... they've done it, and survived and hung together.
And so I feel good here. Watching George as the master strategist he is (you see the effects, but never what he does). Hanging with Bear, who knows his dark side. Joking and drinking with Robb (though we haven't had to avoid police in a couple of years-- I think he's getting old). Getting my brain analyzed by Greg and my motion by Bill. Watching R slay her demons with every stroke of her bo. And the new generation of talent...
It's all good. Time to force some sleep.
Pig Out - Bebop with lunch, (above), that's Turtle on the arch-top guitar. Miss Delta, on Mississippi Street, in Portland. My lovely spouse and I celebrated our b...
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