Year of the Noble, March

“I must go to Netherfield at once.” —Elizabeth Bennet

There’s an ethereal music in my headphones. I found some instrumental writing playlist on Spotify. I’m trying to set the right mood to write to you. Maybe it’s working. There’s a string of Christmas lights hung around my desk, the only light except the kitchen light in the distance and the dim glow of my laptop in dark mode. Cars are driving past on the wet bridge outside. It will rain all night, and all day tomorrow. A good time for writing to you.

I’m about to leave for a month sabbatical in London. I’m taking a break from daily work as a software engineer and heading into an open space. I’m grateful for the chance to do this. And I don’t know what life will look like in a few weeks when I come home.

I knew I wanted a time like this to be a capstone to the Year of the Noble. A truly leisurely span, a clear state reset protected from the monstrous false dichotomy of work and holiday that slices and devours every hour. A sabbatical in the true sense of a sabbath—not a lethargic forgetfulness, but an energetic, celebrating, and refreshing spirit. Even on the sabbath there’s music and bread.

This trip is during April, so of course it’s a Foolish Journey. Nothing of interest might happen at all. I might simply enjoy myself and come home feeling rested and revitalized to return to work. Or, I might have a deep existential meaning crisis and question everything I thought I knew about myself and the world. I don’t mind either way.

I’m prepared to enjoy time exploring London, and to paint pictures of the great city. I’ve spent the last few months collecting painting supplies and canvases suitable for travel. So, there will be paintings to share along the way. Not produced as work and labor, yet made with urgency:

There seemed to be a tremendous, aching urgency in them, to capture, see, save, love, experience, live, be.

Move right along, the way life does.

I’m looking forward to observing, reflecting, and writing. Perhaps writing things I’m normally distracted from in my normal daily patterns. Perhaps feeling out the shape of a new word for the year ahead. I’ve deeply enjoyed the year of the Diver and the year of Noble—both words have been generous beacons. However, both words are also most at home in the mundane world. I have a growing curiosity pulling me toward the secret and unpredictable realms of the arcane, divine, mysterious, and mystic. Words must be tried and chosen.

Whatever might emerge over these few weeks, I’m grateful for the time to look from a new perspective—to take my time, refresh the senses, recenter and reorient myself, and continue the Game of Quality. More soon, from a noble fool lost in the labyrinth of London.