I continue to think about a question that was tossed out at me not too long ago. "Has your experience with your brain tumor changed your life in any way?" she asked. I answered (and wrote on this blog) that except for no longer abiding the vapid and/or the inane, I'd not noticed much difference. But it's been a few weeks since that conversation; I'm rethinking what I told her, and I think it's due to the botanical drawing classes I'm taking, the focus of which is...well...focus! Instructor Marilyn Garber has us looking very closely at the minutiae that make up our subject matter, subjects that have included a seed pod, a persimmon, mushrooms, an avocado, and now a dieffenbachia. This kind of calm, slow, exacting work is a zen-like experience, and I find myself in awe of the beauty of of what I'm drawing. I know, I know...centuries of artists have written about this, painted it, and created some of the world's greatest music as the result of having been inspired by the natural world. Like them, I've always appreciated nature...but now I see it as a metaphor for something much bigger. I haven't figured all this out yet but I know that somehow it's connected with my brush with my eventual demise. And if I ever do figure it all out, you'll be the first to know! Thanks for reading.