* I am not smart. This I feel, researching ideas for my next book. I am like a blind man who uses all of his other senses to a keen, exquisite capacity. My capabilities come from a place other than scholarly aptitude – sheesh, I can only read so much, and then my eyes get tired, and my brain swims. And I get impatient, cobbling together knowledge, a little here, a little there. What I am is gifted, and these gifts come from a place I have no control over, cannot take credit for. I absorb essence and nuance, I learn without learning. It zips right past my cogitator. Today I watched a string of people as they walked seeing-eye golden retrievers with leather harnesses, guiding them through a grid of downtown streets. With and without dark glasses, the trainers walked a dozen dogs. One guy stopped to pat his retriever. The walk sign was blinking walk. And they stood together, quiet at the curb, and the dog was duly petted, and they both looked happy.
Each of us has a gift to see the world in a unique way, has a sixth sense about things. You may or may not be smart, but how are you brilliant? *This curious little fella was watching me from a village rooftop in Chamonix, France.

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