I’m traveling in some vehicle

These things happened since the calendar turned:

A municipal cat house in Istanbul.

A municipal cat house in Istanbul.

I’ve learned a handful of things. After a bunch of obviously significant events, you can be decreasingly sure of what they all mean when added up. (That’s a very Joan Didion thing of me to write.) A person can be both subversive and polite, and other people can respond well to such a combination. Istanbul has so many cats that they have municipally-maintained cat houses. If you (a) explain how to make some sort of policy change to policymakers, (b) give said policymakers extra information as they ask for it and/or you predict they need it, and (c) evince to said policymakers a well-calibrated combination of empathy and firmness, you can change policy. If you strike up a conversation with a stranger on a train about how you both got to a place, and you ask the stranger how they got to this place, the stranger may actually tell you, with a dramatic flourish: “A maaaaaagic spell.”

I’m coming to an ever-better understanding of something one of my favorite artists sang: “Life/is bigger/bigger than you.”

Toward the end of my MSW program, people asked me, of course, “What are you doing when you move? “Wherever the wind may take me,” I semi-joked. I sometimes feel like I’m living that semi-joke. I sometimes I feel like I’m living that semi-joke, albeit in a scenario where I have a device that allows its user to direct the wind. I do not direct the wind or magic spells, but I hope human beings in the United States will one day be treated with as much concern as Istanbul’s cats, and even if I get knocked over by strong gusts or strangers or a hardened belief in the ultimate incoherence of life, I’ll keep on musing about being an ever-better activist and writer of scattershot navel gaze-y essays.

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