Hi,

I”ve been thinking a little about the fragility of life and a whole range of options for living any of a variety of lives.

Once again, I’m liking the concept of Intention as a frame for living, and hope that you won’t find the following insufferable.

Perhaps every woman who reads this has experienced the sensation that I’m about to describe, I don’t know. I’m pretty sure that every man could admit to the sheer adrenaline rush that comes from the unfettered and untrammeled headlong and willful exercise of power in any guise.

I suppose that it’s a control thing, variously finding expression in ways that demonstrate our mastery or excellence for all to see. A brilliant athletic maneuver, the astute shaping of an organization or effective marshaling of a campaign, or accelerating an automobile way beyond the dictate of prudence are examples.

The common element in what I’m trying to describe is the unbridled and exhilarating deployment and control of power to brink of losing control. It’s pretty intoxicating stuff.

Along with the above, probably most of us have had the experience of being brought up short–jerked back to reality by one or another of the halters of life. Sort of a cosmic “Whoa there, Sport, not so fast.”

If we’re lucky there’s no harm, no foul.

If we’re REALLY fortunate it turns into an actual learning experience, one that can even temper the headlong lust to exercise power the next time that the opportunity or temptation presents itself.

I’m thinking for the last few days about the son of Negro, one of the cab drivers here in Las Galeras. This young man was just 24 years old.

He must have had one of these exhilarating moments on Christmas night when, perhaps fueled by too much Brugal coupled with an excess of confidence he accelerated his motor around a curve and headlong into…a cow.

They were both promptly made dead by the experience.

The cow was quickly butchered and sold off. The entire community gathered with Negro and his family the following day and walked enmasse to the cemetery to bury the young guy.

As I said, we lucky ones have skated over that divide which is defined by judiciousness and have been yanked back by the Fates, sadder, perhaps a bit frightened, and hopefully somewhat wiser for the experience. Some of us more than once.

The fateful yank-back was denied the son of Negro, who slipped away into the abyss and left only his family and friends sadder and maybe wiser.

I wonder if in his final exhilarating moment he looked up and saw a stolid beast and realized that he had gone too far. I hope that realization, at least, was not denied him.

For me, from now, the prospect of a hubris-fueled come-uppance moment will always have an element of “Cowness” about it.

Usually, and in the United States, it will for me be a metaphorical cow, as in “mind the potential for an unexpected cow (you fool.)” Of course, here in the DR the caution is both figurative and literal.

After the funeral, life has resumed here in Las Galeras, although the motors seem generally a bit restrained. Perhaps that’s only my imagination, and it won’t last in any event, I’m sure.

Anyway, I hope that your New Year is peaceful, prosperous, and safe.

Mind that cow.

Best regards,

Bill

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