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October 20, 2011
"She's got to put something out there," the angel said.  "People are going to think she's died," 

My Better Angel sighed.  

"Maybe so, but there's not much going on mentally.   All she ever talks about is moving house and that her leg hurts.  You can't make an eMo out of that."

"Now hold on a minute.  What's Rule Number One?"

"You Can Make An eMo Out Of Anything."   The two angels recited my mantra together.   In my half sleep, I heard this as a gentle tinkling sound, like tiny wind chimes.  Angel speech is not like ours.   

It was enough to wake me, not that this is hard to do.  Since coming here, I've awakened in the middle of every night, unable to settle back down.  Too much to unpack and put away, too much to decide, to much still to be done.  And did I mention that my leg hurts?

"See what I mean?   The house and the leg, over and over."

"That's why she's got to republish something from the archives.  Do you realize that there are more than a thousand old eMos in there?"

The Better Angel sighed again.  "She thinks that's cheating."

"Yeah?  And I wonder whose idea THAT was?". The Better Angel looked sheepish.  "Besides, I happen to know she's done it before and the world didn't come to an end. I'm planting it.".  And before The Better Angel could even reply, I was wide awake, suddenly resolved to interrupt my recent writing paralysis by reprising an old eMo.  The Better Angel gasped.  

Her colleague spoke again, a little defensively.  "You know, there are lots of newer readers who've never seen the old ones.  There is absolutely nothing wrong with this."

The conversation of the two angels lasted only a few seconds to them, but to me it was about an hour -- angels don't do time the way we do.  So by the time they were finished talking, I had found a suitable offering and sent it off.  I tuned in the BBC on the radio in the new living room and went back to sleep.   

October 25, 2004
Your inner life and imaginings, sleeping and waking, let you know things your conscious mind would just as soon let lie. Last night, for instance, a busy one in my dreams, full of fears about my failing memory: I had a speaking engagement and no car with which to get there. I'd ride Leo, I decided, and we got there in good time, a pleasant trot. But no: it was the wrong place, the real venue was about a hundred miles north, and I was scheduled to begin in an hour. Leo can make a five mile trip pretty quickly. A hundred miles is a long day, though, and that's if he starts now and maintains a pace significantly faster than his normal amiable walk. Besides, we'd now acquired a child we had to take with us in front of me on the saddle, and Leo had learned to talk and had begun changing, occasionally, into a large man -- all these things take time. 

And yet I persisted in trying to reach my appointment in the way I had originally chosen. Certain to fail at being on time, probably to complete my obligation at all -- our retreat was only one day long: it would be over before it began. Couldn't -- wouldn't -- change my mind or change my plan. 

Stay the course. It's good to be persistent, no matter who you are, but never blindly so: when circumstances change, it's stupid to pretend they haven't. Stupid and irresponsible. If things are different now, better acknowledge it and adjust. You'll never get where you want to go if you insist that there's only one way to get there. And sometimes you must admit that the way you chose was the wrong way to begin with. I shouldn't have decided to ride a horse to that important engagement in my dream. I should have gotten my information straight about where I was really going. I should have changed my mind when it was clearly time to do so. And then I should have looked around for some real help. Maybe gotten a ride in a car. 

The Gambler 

On a warm summer's evenin' 
on a train bound for nowhere 
I met up with a gambler 
We were both too tired to sleep. 
So we took turns a-starin' out the window at the darkness 
And when boredom overtook us, 
he began to speak. 

He said, Son I've made a life out of readin' peoples' faces, 
Knowin' what the cards were by the way they held their eyes. 
So if you don't mind my sayin', 
I can see you're out of aces, 
For a taste of your whiskey, 
I'll give you some advice. 

So I handed him my bottle 
and he drank down my last swallow 
Then he bummed a cigarette 
and asked me for a light 
And the night got deathly quiet 
and his face lost all expression 
He said, 'If you're gonna play the game, boy, 
you gotta learn to play it right." 

You got to know when to hold 'em 
know when to fold'em 
know when to walk away 
know when to run. 
You never count your money 
when you're sittin' at the table 
There'll be time enough for countin' when the dealin's done. 

Every gambler knows that the secret to survivin' 
is knowing what to throw away and knowing' what to keep 
'Cause every hand's a winner 
and very hand's a loser 
And the best that you can hope for 
is to die in your sleep. 

And when he finished speakin' 
he turned back to the window 
Crushed out his cigarette and faded off to sleep. 
And somewhere in the darkness 
the gambler, he broke even 
and in his final words I found an ace that I could keep. 

You got to know when to hold 'em 
know when to fold'em 
know when to walk away 
know when to run. 
You never count your money 
when you're sittin' at the table 
There'll be time enough for countin' when the dealin's done. 

Words and music by Kenny Rogers
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