28 September 99

Well, I suppose everything is running true to form. One problem clears up, another takes its place. I stopped drinking coffee-- not by intention, it's just that one day I got up and couldn't stand the smell or the taste, so I quit-- and the muscle cramps subsided. But now my sinuses are bothering me and I seem to have asthma. The caffeine was probably controlling it. Go figure.

Today is Confucius's birthday. The preface to his Analects says he was born in 551 BC. I am only aware of these things because I was reading a book Confucius Lives Next Door by Reid, the fellow who is a reporter for the Washington Post. I can't remember his initials. Mr. Reid and his family went to live in Japan for a while and he wrote about the experience. It seems the Japanese have a much safer, saner society than we have, mostly because the Japanese people take the teachings of Confucius very seriously, and make the effort to practice those teachings in their everyday lives. Happy birthday, Master K'ung! (K'ung Ch'iu was his given name. Confucius is a Latinization of K'ung Fu-tzu, "K'ung the Master".) Interesting.

I have been doing some other reading, too. Mostly because I have been trying to take better care of myself. Up until two weeks ago I had been running on adrenalin and caffeine, getting very little sleep, no exercise, eating poorly. I felt as if I was living under the gun with no hope of getting everything done that needed doing. I have now made myself ill and it will take time to recover. I believe that my sudden aversion to coffee is a survival instinct. I try to listen to my body; it's usually right.

Anyway, I've been taking it easy. I go to bed and let myself sleep it out. Before I go to sleep I read. I've read some old Georgette Heyer-- The Devil's Cub, Powder and Patch, The Reluctant Widow -- but this reading hardly counts as reading because I know the books by heart. (Yes, I know my penchant for Romances, especially such tame ones, is deplorable. But I love the manners.) I've also read the latest St. Germaine by Chelsea Quinn Yarbro, Communion Blood. Unfortunately, it is becoming clear what the drawback to being one of the undead is: it makes one seem more dead than alive. The dear Conte handles everything so efficiently and unemotionally after 3500 years I think he must be bored to tears-- but he can't cry. Ah, well.

I'm in the middle of Eric Idle's The Road to Mars. As a story, it isn't very good. But there is some interesting stuff in it about comedy. He has a pretty good handle on who and what are funny. Now, if he had decided to tell a story about people he cared about, he'd have had something...

I'm also in the middle of The Complete Idiot's Guide to Yoga. I used to practice yoga, many years ago, but it never became a part of my life. You've got to have a room of your own to write or do yoga. When I lost that space all those years ago, I lost the yoga. I missed it, but it became impossible. And I was quite good at it. So, now I've cleared a space for myself in the bedroom and put down a rug. I'll see if I can get back into the habit and practice some of the elementary poses to get my body back into balance. I have a feeling it isn't going to be easy to get good at it this time.

I tried reading one of P.N. Elrod's vampire novels, but I got bored. I also got bored with some book about the moon in myth and folklore. It was very ill-conceived, and the thesis poorly executed-- it was manipulative. Yuk.

Anyway, that's what I've been doing. Recharging. Hoping my body will get back to normal without medical intervention, or death setting in.





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