I'm playing jazz music continuously through my earbuds at the moment. It's curious how the way I listen to it has changed over the weeks (now several months) since I started. At the very beginning, it was a "this is new and interesting, but very strange!" reaction, and after a few minutes I'd have to switch back to another style of music so I could listen to something comfortable again. It's like how when soil goes without rain for too long, it parches up and becomes almost waterproof, unable to absorb the precipitation.

I'm noticing much less discomfort now, and a growing ability to relax into hearing long strings of Monk, Mingus, Tatum... still new, but not so much uncomfortably new. Okay, the things you're doing start making sense, start fitting into patterns. I can't play them; I sure don't understand them. But I can see there's some sort of pattern forming here in my mind of how this language sounds. There are syllables. The rain has started to soak into the soil. That's where I am with jazz music; now there are syllables.

And here I also am, feeling like a child; I'm listening to jazz, I'm playing piano, I'm eating eggs and potatoes and drinking cranberry juice from the carton, sleeping underneath a pile of jackets and blankets while others work steadily and tirelessly late into the night at 1cc, on IRC. I'm seeing conversations on picking up the pieces of last week everywhere I turn. I'm like a child sleeping soundly while the adults work; I'm peeking in on them and slipping in and out, but can't sustain my focus on all of these conversations...

...and then I realize that I can't, and that I shouldn't be. Responsible adults know when they shouldn't focus their attention, where they should drop back and rest so they can do the things that they have got to do, and my focus right now should be on clearing out some things so I can eat and sleep (that's mostly done now; I can has nutrition) and then on whaling hard on 8.2.1 testing before I leave so that can get out of the way and folks can move onwards to other things like the Fedora/Sugar Labs migration.

I'm very, very blessed to be surrounded by so many people who are Doing Things That Need To Be Done, quietly and well. There's no drama, no explosions; we don't have time for that. Just moving foward steadily, holding each other up. I contrast this with the intense, explosive teamwork I experienced as a student, the desperate last days of projects where my teammates and I started sleeping in shifts on the floor, coding in the car, burning bright and burning out together, because we could collapse afterwards. This is how you run when you know that you cannot.

It's time for me to go rejoin that marathon and continue learning how to pace my sprint.