The usual holiday notes and calls, along with my recent California road trip/Holiday 2009 Freeloader’s Tour, emphasized life’s natural flux a bit too much for me.

It’s been rather a mixed-bag whirlwind of people joining my extended network of family and friends and of people leaving it. Of people redefining their role in it (by choice or necessity) and of people oblivious to how they’ve been redefined.

It takes a fair amount of energy to assess the level of intimacy each one seems to desire or deserve. It’s my opinion that some need to be brought closer and some set adrift, but follow-through takes more effort. And brings the risk of a battle.

But onward ho. Because while we’re born alone and die alone, in the middle there are others.

…going into the new year (over?)thinking about the way our relationships continually evolve as we support, protect, overlap, and connect in ways that feel right to us—as well as how our ties fray through benign or deliberate neglect…

(top to bottom: Strolling through Sonoma County redwoods; encountering Topher Delaney’s “Garden Play;” jellies at the Monterey Bay Aquarium; a princess fantasy made public in Balboa Park)

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