My friend Geoff knows a lot about fear. But what he knows even more about is how to tame and maybe conquer it. And for what he has helped me learn about that, I will always be grateful — and think of him often. I miss his wisdom and frequent talks. Discovering recently that he's living the questions yet again has given me a new perspective on my own little situation.

I never thought I would be this fearless. I did think that the whole movingtomississippinotknowingwhereorwhatcomesnextwheni'm50something deal was pretty much on the edge of the voluntary abyss for me, but now: Literally not knowing how I'm going to keep myself for the next year is kind of out there, too. My usual response to chaos and stress is to immediately rein in all the practical details and get into serious planning mode. But for some reason I'm leaving that to chance this time and am content to know very little about the practical parts.

When I'm asked, "How are you going to live?" by concerned friends, my frequent response is, "Consciously," rather than the expected outline of how I will earn money or pay my bills. The thing is, it's working. The less I expect, the more comes along, and I have complete faith that it will just keep going that way day by day. I suspect the key to this is that so much useful energy is freed up, that I'm able to channel it productively in what feels like an effortless manner.

I remember having a discussion with someone years ago when we were both concerned about our futures. In the course of talking we developed a metaphor for our lives of driving along a road (OK, not so original, but wait: There's more.) You know, when you're driving along you don't really need to be able to see the whole road ahead of you all the way to the destination. Just the part that gets you through the next curve — or even just the bit that's illuminated by the headlamps.