I write distractedly. There are as many ideas populating the chambers of my thought as there are people here at Castle Island. Kids frolic to and fro, prompting their mothers to user their full names. Out of the cloudy blue, a fallen leaf strikes. Planes, shortly after takeoff, announce their departure with a tumult, as the airport sits nearby, no doubt unlike ever before. Recent weeks, or rather, this period has no precedent, so I do not feel alone in this cacophony and chaos. Certainly, this writer is not unique for his inexplicable sense of loss. My family sits around, on this hill shaded by trees, consumed by their own musings. Defeat sat on my mind last night, a paperweight to anchor fluttering sheets – a failure to graduate as planned, an ache in my heart for my last lover, and a pity for the sorry state of confusion I find myself in. This tree, as it pelts passerby with its debris stands tall daily. I look left to right; the surveillance of my immediate surrounding offers laughter, light, and a constant bluster of the wind. How enviable, even as it sways, life can stand tall and proud. Perhaps, my bias highlights the standstill, how I long to stand firm. The frustration in my chest rises like shaken soda, but before the pressure mounts I put a lid on it. One sheet I brought to fill with color, a practice in patience and diligence, I cannot find. The thoughts, from the coloring page, pin down my displeasure. A state of mushin, freedom from all other thought could plant my feet like this elm. Could it tower with dignity, preoccupied with thoughts, needling insects, and sweltering heat? Even a parental call pales in comparison to one’s own voice. Coloring, like wordsmithing, like photography, fills life with beauty. In my experience, feelings for beauty feel puerile until the hunger for more grows ravenous. Another panel from a different manga draws on nature, I instruct anyone willing to fill in the lines, to do so with their own unique color. “If you don’t let greed get the better of you, you won’t have to spend your life running.” Nightmarish thoughts from the other night blown by, I sit and scratch my head. Leaves persist in pummeling me, the tree maintains its post, while my mind swims in deeper thought than when I first began. The thought occurs to this one that a sentinel watches; perhaps the first step to progress could be to walk.