i think what strikes me most forcibly at this point is that for all the effort i've put into living right - and there are many of us who are making this effort - going through our twelve-step programs, cleaning up our addictions, working out regularly and cultivating a healthy lifestyle, maintaining good family relationships and successful work habits, supporting our spiritual well-being and communities - all of it in the belief that we are creating something solid and lasting - at the end of the day it all has to be dismantled and taken down. I don't mean this as a negative statement - it may sound as if I do - but no, i'm just saying, this is a very different process. i still believe that the 'dismantlement' stage is firmly founded in the quality of the life we've created. the end of life hardly stands alone. people talk about a 'flow' of life, and of 'being in the flow.' For me, there has been a 'flow' of time, seasons, ideas, people, activities, and i can recognize the places in my life where i was rather slow to catch the wave, and other times when i was surfing the pipeline, but i was never capable of complete free-flow, i always needed a safe harbor, where i could 'return to base,' and i found that in my relationship with my partner and the home we created together. This will also have to be 'dismantled' - I think I find that hardest of all. And when I say 'dismantled,' I don't mean only in the physical sense of that word, but also in terms of how I think of myself, my life, my relationships. I'm going to have to find some other 'base' as I make the final transition - I can see that already. Of course, I have my faith in God, and a rich inner life, lots of spiritual artistry, so perhaps it will not be too difficult to re-form my base even more securely around that. All the great spiritual traditions tell us that this is what we need to do.