Pardon my silence. The last while has been painfully busy. I work until I drug myself to sleep so that I can rise and work again. I'm building new muscles, tearing them again before they have time to heal, and gods, they hurt. Shrove Tuesday I was running to work by four thirty in the morning, but when I was done I was racked and cracked, then massaged, then found good liquor and good friends. Our table was strewn with my masks, and we told them our worries and our plans. Tom was newly tattooed, more fatigued with pain and with high ritual than I was with work and with practice. I felt as if I stayed up late, but I was asleep shortly after ten. Today I swore I wouldn't get out of bed, and I haven't. I read. I spoke with my lover, plotting a tricky seduction. I took a bath with candles and a glass of wine. I accomplished none of the personal things that piled up while I worked. It is Ash Wednesday, and I am repentant for nothing. And staying still felt so delicious, so decadent, that my work ethic, one of the American flaws in my temperament, recoiled in horror at my sloth. I start work again in the morning. I suppose I'm ready for it.