I had one of those incredibly long days, the kind where you are working from the second you get up in the morning through to the evening and you can literally count the number of minutes where you weren’t doing something for the job. Fortunately, I love my job and working all day, while exhausting, means I get to think about a lot of different things in a lot of different ways. One of my students asked in seminar this afternoon how you tell the difference between the self you perform and the self you “really are.” Oh my. I don’t know, and the situation isn’t helped by the fact that I’m not at all convinced that there’s someone I “really” am. I do know, though, that steady, engaged practice over time can change how you think about yourself and your world. For example, this is my 703rd blog post about something I saw riding my bike around. In order to write this much about this many mundane things, I have to pay attention–to something outside myself–which means that even on a day as a busy as this one, it is just second nature to spend some of my free minutes looking around to see what I can see. On my ride home I stopped in front of Audubon Park to snap a picture of these snapdragons. The snapdragon was one of my favorite flowers as a kid, right after the marigold, which I mostly liked for the copious seed gathering at the end of the summer. My sister and I would take off the flowers and make them puppets, and I just liked how their blooms were so different from those of other flowers, the kind that just put their business right out there for everyone to see. Snapdragons are kind of just flowers to me now, and in New Orleans, they’re springtime, not full summer, so it’s different. But it was nice to carve out a few moments on my bike today to see them again. I rode home in the cool evening air, getting passed by a guy on a blue cruiser who ad-libbed some sports announcing to add drama to the passing, happy to have become, for now, someone who gets to ride a bike.