Week 9, Saturday, December 6—There’s a Chinese proverb that says “He who rides a tiger is afraid to dismount.” We may give a lot of lip service to wanting a simple life, but in reality, we’re afraid to dismount and change direction. We have all kinds of reasons for not starting over or leaving everything we know behind, yet we know we created a life of obligations that has become burdensome. How do we confront that fear? In Umberto Eco’s The Mysterious Flame of Queen Loana, a man who lost his memory tries to tie together fragmented pieces of his childhood, but it remains disjointed, even as he makes connections. During my Perfect Days project, my own meandering and complex journey seemed disjointed, and I tried to put together the pieces that were my father’s illness, the pace of work, social obligations, marriage, home, and family, and I knew that no one else who put me on that tiger’s back. I was afraid to give up my lifestyle, yet my life was a whirling dervish kind of ride. More in the book . . .