Color Me Changed

by

I did two things today that were completely outside my comfort zone.

To do one thing that I really wanted to do.

I, first, turned down tickets to the Opera and two, I turned down a nanny gig this evening.

Why?

I wanted to take myself to the beach and watch the sunset.

Yeah, I know, craven hooker, what was I thinking?

Ocean Beach

Sunset

Apparently I was thinking that I needed to do for myself.

Yeah, I want work shifts, but I just came off five days, including a double and two night shifts, in a row and I have an interview tomorrow.  I want to be fresh for that and I needed a day, and a night off.

Turning down the opera tickets was a little harder, but I was not prepared to head toward the downtown area when it came in.

I had dinner in the oven and was in the Inner Sunset at 7th and Irving just finishing up with my fellows.

I needed to get back to take it out of the oven, eat it, and well, I really did want to go down to the beach and walk by the tides and see the sun go down in my part of the world.

I was not disappointed with this decision.

I was immediately grateful when I walked out to Judah and saw the sun pitching itself into the ocean and the light was already spectacular on the N-Judah train tracks.

Train Tracks

Train Tracks

I hustled down the side walk listening to the sounds of Ocean Beach at sunset.

There were the rapid voices of a Chinese church community having it’s Saturday night dinner and I could hear ping pong balls being hit and children’s laughter and the rapid Mandarin rolling out the cracked door.

There was the sound of the train running down the tracks to the turn around.

The sound of the ocean was also louder.

I noticed this today.

I was not sure if it was that the tides are closer in at sunset or in the evening, or if there’s less traffic noise and therefor the sound of the surf is louder.

Either way the sound is louder and I enjoyed the laughter I heard and the chatter of the neighbors and the tourists all heading out to the beach.

I saw a new friend from the neighborhood outside of Java Beach Cafe.

“Going to watch the sunset,” he smiled, nodding at the camera in my hand.

“Yup,” I said, not slowing a bit, there were images I knew I wanted to capture.

“Never gets old,” he said and concluded, “enjoy the sunset.”

“Thanks, I will,” I said and cut across La Playa toward Great Highway.

There was a drum circle of kids in the dunes, a gay couple wrapped up in blankets on folding chairs, a waddle of children running toward the beach, lovers holding hands, runners, a few early evening surfers heading into the water, and lots of dogs bounding in and out of the surf.

I pulled off my glasses and turned on my camera.

TIdes

Colorful

Sunset

Sunset

Coast

Coast LIne

Mirror Image

Mirror

I forgot about the nanny shift, the opera tickets, the world just fell away.

Things are slowly be re-arranged inside, aren’t they?

I stayed until my feet were cold and my heart was warm.

The rosy sky ushered me back home and I sank down at my table and edited my photographs.  More of which may be seen here.

Even when I was writing out the rent check for October and watched the numbers dwindle down quickly in my register, I did not regret the decision.

I needed a day off.

A day to sit on the back patio and read and catch up with a friend on the phone.

A day to sleep in after the head ache I brought home with me last night.

A day to do laundry and the little household things that need to be done on a weekly basis.

What is funny, to me, anyhow, is that this morning when I was doing my writing, three pages long hand, every day, thank you very much, and my morning meditation (just a quick one, eleven minutes, but still any time I can get myself to sit is a good thing), I did not know what I was going to do with the day.

Had I been asked at that time to work, I probably would have said yes.

I am not good with unstructured time.

I feel often that I must go and get and achieve and do.

I forget, more often than not, but not as often as before, that the not doing anything is actually good for me and it allows me to be more efficient when I am trying to get things done.

It is all about balance.

Happiness is not excitement.

Happiness is being serene and calm and present.

I used to think that unless it evoked intense emotionality, the peaks of a roller coaster and the dramatic plunge, that it was not happiness.

Today I know better.

And I can see that I have changed for the better.

I also said I get to go do something fun for me.

I bought tickets to see Mike Doughty play at the Fillmore in November.

I once, and not too far back, would have said that I could not afford it.

But I remembered how disappointed I was with myself the last time he was in San Francisco and I decided I could not afford the ticket.

I can’t afford to not go.

I love Mike Doughty and I swear that listening to his solo album,Yes And Also Yes, while I was in Paris along with a cd compilation a lover had made for me called Something to Write to (there was another, actually, called Something to Move to, that I also frequently listened to) was the sound track to my time in Paris.

He, Doughty, is going to be performing pieces from the Soul Coughing albums.

I am super excited and I dropped the $40 for the ticket without a backward thought or glance.

I also have a number of friends that I know will be going, so that will be good times too.

I am changed.

I am different.

I am slowing down.

Color me content.

Tide

Tide

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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One Response to “Color Me Changed”

  1. Cicely Martines Says:

    The things you see, I see through your words and pictures. My world got bigger, just now.

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