I’ve been thinking a lot lately about how your environment influences you, how places and people get woven into your identity. From a Buddhist standpoint, it shouldn’t be that way, but it seems impossible to circumvent it. This glum feeling lately stems from not having the things that remind me of me, the things that typically make me feel like me—my home and the art in it, my books, my guitar, the woods, my friends nearby, my work. They were all reflections of me and my way of understanding myself and my place in the world, and they’re gone, if only temporarily. I feel like an island. And it’s a bit depressing to be an island.


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