I fell into a hole a few months ago and, try as I might, could not climb my way out. Dusk was settling in and the fog was thick as soup. I was traversing a remote woodland area, reflecting on life’s meaning and taking a much coveted respite from the rigors of mediocre academic and military careers, when the ground gave way beneath me and I plummeted into a pit of mud. Many people have asked why I have not written in this blog since November—and by “many people,” I mean my mom, dad, and dog. Well, there you go. Some think that I fell off the wagon, so to speak, making love to yet another innocent bottle of whiskey. Others were convinced that I joined a caravan of Gypsies and became essentially a vagabond or traveling minstrel. According to another theory, I’m actually living in Peru under a false identity, eking out a living by selling llama cheese to miners while at the same time supposedly operating a meth lab. No, I simply fell and couldn’t get up. When I was down there, in the muck and mire, slipping and sliding like a trapped animal, I thought much about life…and of death, but I survived. The earth came close to reclaiming this earthen vessel; indeed, my spirit is still wallowing in the mud.