We may underestimate our blessings
Rob, thank you for sharing the story of your being shot with a gun at age 19, how it diverted your life plan for years, and how difficult a trauma it was to recover from. This moved me deeply, almost to tears, probably in a way that it wouldn't have had I read it when much younger. (I hope that means age and experience of some traumas of my own have increased my empathy capacity, even as I consciously believe I have some of what people call "compassion fatigue".)
I'm not a big believer in the phrase "what doesn't kill you makes you stronger" ... but, paradoxically, I am intensely aware of — and look for — the good that comes from bad. This story reminds me of that, even on a personal level, because if you had not been doing all of what you were doing in Santa Cruz in 1980-85 (my years at UCSC) exactly when you were doing it, from your column to Tao Chemical concerts to radio appearances to book signings, I might not have found or benefited from your art, insights, and energy.
I have literally never considered these things that way and I think a lot and I'm pretty old. So I just learned something!
Wise words Chirpy Chirperson. love~hh (virgo)
Grateful for your positive energy and outlook always!