My New Year's Self-Change Project

“The chief task in life is simply this: to identify and separate matters so that I can say clearly to myself which are externals not under my control, and which have to do with the choices I actually control. Where then do I look for good and evil? Not to uncontrollable externals, but within myself to the choices that are my own . . .” —EPICTETUS, DISCOURSES, 2.5.4– 5
The single most important practice in Stoic philosophy is differentiating between what we can change and what we can’t.

This is why what the NSA is doing, now the police are doing: "just collecting metadata" when they sweep up all the cellular telephone and internet data is so dangerous:

By collecting "just metadata" what the NSA is actually creating is a deep, permanent database of the intertwined relationships of American culture. In the trade, the practice is called Signals Intelligence, a craft the military and spy agencies around the world have been perfecting for hundreds of years.

Sea breath. Sea breathe. Sea breeze.

We know the stages of the tide, the breathing in & the breathing out of the sea. And we sense, more than know, we are now near the turning of slack high water.  These heartbeats alone we have to drift placidly together over our anchor, all straining slacked, before the next sea breath.  We are happy now, even joyful.  Riding high & free, before the turning of the last tide.