When I was very young I thought life an unfolding rapture which multiplied each sunrise: a bright-lit pathway into glowing air. I still do. And find, to my surprise, life also comes with climbing hills up, dropping down the other side, then mustering for another climb and a revitalized view. Living creatures come equipped with resource, and taking risk is ours to use, not leave in idle.

I’ve done some travelling and even stood stock still on frenetic Brooklyn byways, sandworn Biloxi, pond-side porches of Sierra Nevada cabins, even downtown St. Petersburg / Leningrad / St. Petersburg. Adventure, the substance of life, is to be had anywhere, any time. Suddenly you’re privy to something you didn’t know before, and that something calls out loud to leap you in, and forward ho! Into the magic episodes of life, which do link and do connect, even glistening briefly in the midst of grueling effort. So, if you’ve never had a wrong day, you’re not living right.

Living a life is heroic, says my pal Sheila. She’s right. And there is much of it to be done, with courage and guts. You can pull that out of yourself or the very air when the need arises. In any abundant starry starry night, or rays of lilac dawn, friends and animals and geography I’ve loved come on the run to me and I to them to make the sad go on the slip like silt, off a dream that is good and powerful and worth paying attention to.

The book you’ve opened is about to touch ground on a few of my journeys and I hope their telling provides adventures different from the ones you’ve had.

How do you do, at long last.