Archive for the ‘Photography Lessons’ Category

That’s Ok

November 18, 2016

It’ll be taken care of.

I have the money.

God must want the city to have a few more bucks.

Just the cost of living in the city.

It’s going to happen once in a while.

I know better next time.

All the thoughts that went through my head when I saw my scooter.

Shoot!

I got a parking ticket.

I was downtown heading to my appointment to get Covered California, which I did not get, I’ll explain in a minute, and I parked between to cars off of Grant Street.

I really didn’t think I was going to get a ticket, but the truth is, I did have a pricking in my thumbs and I was hoping that I wouldn’t be at the office that long and god damn, even on a scooter it’s hella hard to find parking where I was going.

Spring Street, which is where the office is located, doesn’t even have parking on it at all.

Next time.

If there’s a next time.

I’ll pay to park in the garage.

I got popped with an $81 dollar ticket.

The nice thing was that I wasn’t upset.

I was like, well, shoot.

Then I thought.

I’ve paid for the time, I got out of the Healthy SF office far sooner than I thought, as I didn’t end up applying to Covered California, and I pulled out my camera and took some photographs.

It reminded me of the time, about four years ago, that I took a photography class with a mentor and walked around China Town with him taking hundreds of photographs.

I looked up entranced by the red dragon ledges of the building I was parked next to.

Then, I turned and Grant street, right there, so many colors and juxtapositions of signs and lamp-post and hanging lanterns, panda posters, hot pink, lime green, window displays, all the golden dragons floating across the faces of the buildings.

I was entranced and shot a rapid number of frames.

Pictures that I have been trying desperately for the last hour to figure out how to download to my computer.

I really don’t know what’s going on with it, but it won’t recognize the files.

This has happened before and I can’t remember how I got it to recognize the format of my camera and down load the photos.

I spent way too much time on it and I finally gave it up and got in the shower, which is what I should have done much sooner, I am already up past my “bed time” on a school night.

Yes.

That’s right.

Class is in this weekend.

And I have papers to turn in and lectures to attend and friends to catch up with.

I am looking forward to seeing my friends.

Not so much to classes, if the truth may be told, I’m not loving the classes I’m in quite as much as last semester, but that’s ok, I’m sure that will happen once in a while, the material is sufficient and I’m learning, I’m just not finding myself connecting with two out of the three classes as much as I would like.

So it goes.

I need to take some proactive actions this weekend around my practicum stuff too, I’ll be sitting through my lunch hour in an open house.

So much for taking a break, ever.

Ha.

Or catching a break.

I almost skipped over the didn’t get health insurance today.

It costs too much.

“Oh, that’s too much,” she said shaking her head, “you can’t afford that.”

Yeah, no shit.

I was in tears.

“Oh, no, don’t cry,” she said and patted my arm.  “My daughter’s in the same boat, she’s a nanny too.”

Ah.

Those that do the work, sometimes they get glossed over, looked over, left behind, but I won’t be upset, I won’t.

Nope.

I’m going to be grateful.

Because.

The agency is going to let me do Healthy San Francisco for another year.

Thank you!

Yes.

I will take a hit at tax time and get a penalty for not having health insurance, fuck you very much, last year it was $85 per month that I didn’t have insurance.

Whatever.

The cost of the lowest usage, least covered of the packages was still over three times greater in price than what I am paying using Healthy SF.

So.

Even taking a fine on for each month is less than what I would pay.

Plus the copays are stupid.

$75 to see my primary doctor.

Fuck you.

I won’t ever go, what’s the point?

I said thank you so much to the woman who helped me, nearly gave her a hug I did, and wrote up a really nice five-star comment about her service and slipped it into the suggestion box in the lobby before I left.

I had tons of time before work.

What do I want to do?

Get my scooter and move it now.

Too late.

There’s the ticket.

Oh well.

I was actually ok with it, I really was, I mean, hell, I thought, just the cost of finding out that I was going to stick with the health plan and services that I have currently.

I took out my camera, took my pictures, then decided I would go to Rainbow Co-operative and do some retail therapy.

I bought five pounds of Stumptown Holler Mountain coffee.

I got a discount of 10% off the cost of it for buying it in bulk and yes, I will drink it faster than you think I will.

Shhh.

I have a small, heh, caffeine habit.

Don’t tell.

I got myself a few fat and sassy persimmons.

I picked up a bottle of my favorite raw chocolate drink from Rau.

I got myself a box of Christmas cards.

It’s almost that time again.

I got some Mexican chocolate candles.

God damn they smell good.

I got some nice tea to bring to school tomorrow.

I bought some organic nutmeg in bulk.

Because nutmeg.

Then I hopped on my scooter and got to work.

Work was busy.

Another sick boy.

Another batch of broccoli soup.

And chili.

Grandparent visit and the grandpa really loves my chili so whenever they are in town I whip up a batch.

One monstrous big temper tantrum.

But.

It worked its way out and the oldest boy and I had a really sweet moment when we were navigating his feelings.

“When was the last time you got mad?” He asked me.

“Hmmm,” I thought about it, “oh!  Today, well, I was not super mad, but I got a little mad, I got a parking ticket on my scooter.”

“You did?” The mom called out from her office, “how much was it for?”

“Ugh, $81,” I said, “but I had a feeling I shouldn’t have parked there, and well, I learned to trust that voice again.”

“Do you have it?” The mom asked.

“No, I paid it immediately, dropped a check in the mailbox before coming to work,” I replied, and ruffled the eldest boys hair and squeezed his shoulder.

“How much was it?  $81?” The mom asked coming through the kitchen.

“Here,” she said and set $81 in cash on top of my purse, “I always pay a person’s parking ticket, it’s good karma.”

“What?  Are you serious, thank you!”  I was so startled, and grateful, it made me laugh, I truly believed I was going to come into money today and that my ticket was going to be negated.

And it was.

“Absolutely, if I hear someone got a parking ticket I always pay it,” she said and went back to her office, saying as she walked away, “it really is good karma.”

Holy moly.

Thanks boss lady!

Taken care of.

Just.

Like.

That.

Happy.

Joyous.

Free.

All the damn time.

Seriously.

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Picture Perfect

November 9, 2016

I got my new camera.

Oh.

She is a beauty.

I got her and got so excited.

Thinking of all the new photographs I can take and upload to my computer again now that the majority of the photographs on it have been deleted.

I have still more to delete.

I just did another big batch right now.

More photographs of Paris.

The really cool thing is reliving those moments, the really cool thing, is that I took so many photographs.

So many.

I also realized that I had more on my hard drive then I realized.

Closer to 15,0o0.

A lot in other words.

I got the same camera that I had before, but it’s obviously the newest version.

I spent a lot of time just holding it and actually, um, ha.

Crying.

I was not expecting to feel so emotional about it.

But it was unexpected to get it sooner than I had thought I was going to get it and that I will have it for oh, the super moon next week, or for my trip to Nevada for Thanksgiving, or my trip to Wisconsin in December.

And.

Oh.

Yes.

My trip to Paris in May.

All the photographs.

All the pictures I get to take.

So grateful for this gift.

When I went back to college to get my undergrad degree, after I had flunked out my first go through, a long story for another blog, or actually an old story I’ve written about before, you’ll find it in my archives somewhere, I went back with the purpose of getting a degree in photography.

I wanted to take photography classes.

I wanted to be a professional photographer.

I still have a little note that I wrote down my goals.

Things I wanted to do.

One of them was work for the National Geographic Society traveling the world and taking pictures.

I found out when I went back to school that I had to take art classes before I could do the photography class.

Boo hiss.

I did it though.

And holy mother of God.

The art class was hard.

Hands down one of the hardest classes I have ever taken.

I spent a lot of time and effort on my projects and I was actually a little bit better than what I’m letting on.

But more of it?

Fuck no.

It was too much.

It was too hard.

I wonder.

Sometimes.

I wonder if I had gotten sober sooner or if this thing there had happened instead of that thing there.

Well.

It’s just musing.

But.

I did want to be a photographer.

I really did.

But like so many things.

It fell to the wayside.

So when I went to Paris in 2007 and decided I was going to get a camera I had no clue that I was going to get the one I got.

It was much more expensive than I had budgeted for.

But.

The store was going out of business and the clerk up sold me.

It was the best up sell ever.

I had that camera until this September when I got back from Burning Man.

I knew that it had died out there, in the dust, it finally bit, well the dust.

I wasn’t able to use it for any but a couple of the days I was at the event, which did bum me out, but I had my Iphone so I was still able to take photos, they just weren’t the same as the ones I would get off my camera.

Before I moved to Paris I took a photography class with a mentor and we walked through China Town all afternoon and took pictures.

He told me I had a good eye.

And.

You know.

I do.

I was surprised going back through all the photographs at how well so many of them are framed, that there were often surprising elements that I caught, or patterns of colors.

I didn’t often know why I would stop and take a photograph and I was hell on wheels when I was walking with another person in Paris, stopping all the time to shoot an image or a scene and often times having no idea until I got home and uploaded them what I had captured.

I have an eye for balance and framing and color.

I’m not great.

But.

I’m good.

And.

Like the writing.

I love doing it.

I’m never going to make a lot of money on either, I suspect, although, who knows, I certainly don’t, but I get so much joy from it.

So.

Last night.

The package arrived.

I was so excited.

So thrilled.

My heart in my chest when I opened the box.

My hands didn’t tremble.

But.

The reverence.

I had to set it aside for a moment.

I had to pause and breathe and thank God for the gift.

I unwrapped it.

I attached the strap to it and the cover to the lense.

I loaded the batteries.

That was a revelation.

When I was in Paris.

I was going through batteries too fast.

I bought myself a battery charger and started charging my batteries.

One of the few non-essential splurges I allowed myself when I lived there.

That and a vibrator.

But.

Um.

Haha.

That’s another blog too.

Heh.

Anyway.

The battery charger was key.

And I still have those batteries, although not the charger since it was for European outlets.

The camera that came last night had batteries, but not rechargeable ones.

I will use up the juice on the ones that were sent with the camera and then I will upgrade to my rechargeable ones.

When I dropped in the batteries and settled the camera bottom back on, I turned it over, took off the lense cap and turned her on.

Oh goodness.

Tears again.

I pushed my glasses up on my head and peered through the view finder.

Yes.

It’s a digital, I could use the screen.

But.

I take better pictures when I use the view finder.

I saw the scope of my room.

I got misty eyed.

And then I laughed out loud.

How good is my life?

To get a new camera.

To get a new perspective.

To go and open up my other blog.

Yes.

I have another blog.

http://www.whereintheworldisauntiebubba.wordpress.com

And be so surprised and happy to see those photographs.

And a warning.

The first one is a doozy.

It’s my ankle after my accident on my scooter two years ago.

God damn.

That hurt.

Fuck that was bad.

It’s been two years since I have put up a photograph to that blog.

That is going to change.

And really fucking soon.

Tomorrow as a matter of fact.

I was going to hold off until the weekend.

But why?

I need to use it and get back into the practice of using it.

I want to have it back in my life.

I adore using my phone to take pictures, it’s super fun to post them up to Instagram, but I want to use a real camera again.

Even if it looks like I am a tourist.

Really.

I am.

And.

I am perfectly fine with it.

I only have this life to be a tourist.

I might as well make the most of it.

The only thing left to get is a new camera case.

I tossed the other one.

I figured, it was hella old, dusty, and it wasn’t a great case.

That’s the only reason why I didn’t take it to work with me today, I don’t have a case yet.

I will by tomorrow.

Well.

I’ll have a case ordered by tomorrow.

I don’t know that I will get out to a shop.

But.

Fuck.

Pictures.

And words.

“What do you want to do Carmen,” he asked me and leaned back waiting for my answer.

“I don’t know,” I wailed.

“Yes, you do!” He sat forward on the back couch at Ritual, when there was still a couch in the back.

I was so startled, I blurted out, without knowing what I was about to say, “I want to travel and write and take photographs.”

“Then travel and write and take photographs,” he settled back down.

I made a huge decision to leap in that moment.

I haven’t regretted it once.

I just emptied out another 388 photographs into my trash.

Got to make room for the new ones

The new experiences.

The new adventures.

The new travels.

Can’t wait to show you how I see the world.

My gift to you.

Good night.

Sweet dreams.

Rest.

For tomorrow.

And every day I can.

Photographs.

Oh the joy.

I cannot express.

For.

There is so much.

Yes.

There is so much.

So

Very much.

To see.

Deleting Photographs

November 3, 2016

Listening to jazz.

Specifically Art Tatum.

The scratchy sound of the needle dragging though the vinyl is succulent and the glow in my cozy, sweet home is warm and inviting.

I’m deleting photographs in waves.

I had over 10,700 on my hard drive.

They have all been safely moved to my external drive and I’m now in the process of deleting them off my laptop.

I have to say it’s challenging.

There’s a tiny part of me that wants to not delete them, what if they didn’t transfer?

But they did.

And the photos are taking up way too much space on my laptop.

It’s been running slow, telling me constantly to delete files, disk is full.

Yeah.

Yeah.

I hear you, I’m working on it computer.

Thanks to my special help, it takes a village, it does, I was able to secure my pix and now, ha!  Now I can take more.

Well.

Not yet.

But soon.

I’m figuring January.

I’ll be flush enough to get a new camera.

I’m not sitting horribly at the moment, but I did buy a ticket to Wisconsin and a ticket to Paris this past month, just paid rent, just wrote the check from my health insurance and bought my mom her birthday present.

I’ll be sending that off tomorrow.

I love sending presents.

I love the idea of seeing someone’s face when they get something I have gotten for them.

I like to give.

I’m a giver.

Shocking.

I know.

When I have been in financial straits I tend to make things, and truth be told, I’m thinking about doing that this year.

I’m not really in straits, I’m just not as flush as I would like.

I’m doing ok and I’m not going to stress, but I was also thinking that I love cooking and it might be nice to make chicken soup for friends at school.

Last year around this time I went over to a friend’s house and cooked food for him for what probably lasted him weeks if not a month while he was going through a challenging time.

Cream of broccoli soup with cheddar cheese and bacon.

And.

Chili with sirloin and three kinds of beans.

Plus a huge pan of cornbread.

It was right around this time, I do remember, it might have actually have been Halloween, I remember there were trick or treaters going around and I used candied corn and bacon, because I roll like that, in the pan of cornbread I made.

I miss baking.

I don’t miss eating it, though I can get nostalgic for it.

But I do miss baking.

Sometimes I wish I could just get all the stuff and bake up a storm like I used to when I lived in Wisconsin.

Sugar cookies with frosting.

Brazil nut toffee.

Popcorn balls.

Fudge.

With and without nuts, but frankly, it’s so much better with nuts.

I miss making cheesecakes and pies, pumpkin pies and apple pies especially at this time of year.

I miss that feeling that, warm, soft glowing feeling that I got as I puttered around my kitchen, mixing and measuring, baking, and kneading, frosting sugar cookies.

I do.

I always get a bit nostalgic for it when I’m heading into the holidays.

The photographs I have been deleting also reminded me of that.

I’m currently in the middle of the 1,000s of photos I took when I lived in Paris.

And I have to say.

Fuck.

I’m a pretty damn good amateur photographer.

There were some really good shots.

And I loved seeing the Paris around Christmas time photographs.

The lights were so gorgeous.

Definitely different from what you see in the states, but they had an allure.

I was also so broke when I lived there, taking pictures was all I could afford to do.

Although I did splurge during the holidays.

Mostly on postage.

I sent my family and friends postcards and Christmas cards from Paris.

I found a photograph of my table, one of my favorite perches at the neighborhood cafe at that was on the same corner where I lived, Rue de Bellefond, in the 9th, Odette and Aime.

I had a glass of water.

A cafe allonge, which is basically an Americano, or a black coffee–I was already skimping on the milk, the cafe cremes were just too pricey.

My notebook.

My bag of pens.

And tons of cards and postcards and stickers from the librairie that was by Square D’Anvers that I made myself a nuisance at.

I couldn’t really afford the pens and paper there, but I would treat myself once in a while, I would buy a card or if I was feeling extravagant, a Claire Fontaine notebook, I would wander the aisles and look at everything.

I was very polite to the owners and once that got used to me and the fact that I always bought something, even if it was tiny, went along way.

Bonjour Madame.

Bonjour.

And I would wile away the time in the aisles longingly caressing the notebooks and smelling the good paper smell.

I love paper.

I love books.

I love, love, love the way they feel and look and well, Paris was a hard place for that luxury when I was living there.

When I went back last Christmas I gave myself carte blanche to buy whatever I wanted to paper wise.

I actually had a challenging time with it for a little while.

Grow up poor and in scarcity, even when there is none, even when I had fat Euro, for me, in my pocket, Euro that was not needing to go to rent or groceries, or god forbid a cafe creme, I had a hard time spending it.

For a few days I was acting as though I couldn’t part with them.

I actually forced myself the first time to buy a notebook at a papeterie my first day there.

Yes, there are paper stores there.

Exclusively paper and pens and auto collants.

STICKERS.

God I love me some stickers.

Shut up.

I did get past it and I did allow a few splurges.

But truth be told.

I could have let myself have more.

That’s a thing.

Letting myself have more.

Nice coffee.

Nice candles.

Nice hair products.

It’s ok to take care of myself.

I still want to give, I do love gifting, there is just something about it, but I also want to let myself have things.

Whether it is an experience, which is usually where I spend my money–traveling.

Or.

A nice pair of pants.

I deserve to have nice things.

I am lovable and worthy of love.

Lest I forget.

And the best thing about the photographs?

They remind me, gently of how far I have come.

When I moved back from Paris three years ago I was broke.

I mean.

I had ten dollars in my wallet.

I have come a long fucking way.

Let me tell you.

And I’m so grateful for the perspective.

And that I documented my experience.

The photographs have been a joy to relive.

Looking forward to making more.

Having more.

Allowing more into my life.

Happy.

Joyous.

And.

Free.

Yes.

Yes, please.

Yes, always.

I Would Read That Book

April 22, 2013

 

“And you do need an agent,” he finished.  “That is the way to go, you are right in the not self-publishing.”

That being said he also described how the aperture on the publishing industry had grown 20 % smaller in the last seven years.

Of course it has.

“But you have faith and you keep putting it out there and you will get published and I will read your stories.”  He added, and then asked, “what’s the title?”

“Baby Girl,” I replied.

“Good title!”  He exclaimed then smiled.

It was validation to my little writer’s heart to hear that from a published writer.

Then I told him about the follow up pieces, “The Iowa Waltz,” “Madison,” and “Mother”.

His eyes grew round beneath his black frame glasses, “all good titles!”

I wanted to roll around like a little puppy at his feet, groveling for more attention, or maybe the name of his agent, but I refrained.

It did however, rekindle the small flame that although not guttering out, was beginning to not burn as fervent as it had in the first weeks after I finished the final edits (which when I see my friend in San Francisco I suspect, will not be the final, final edits), the weeks in which I was querying for agency every day.

Every day.

Since I made the decision to turn around and ride the horse the direction it was galloping, (it was suggested to me that it is easier to ride the horse the direction it is running) to Oakland, back to the Bay Area to be of service for those that are of service to Burning Man, I have not been querying as much.

I have sent out some follow up e-mails and I have sent out a few more queries, but it has not been a daily practice.

I began focusing on trying to figure out how and where I was going to land and what I was going to do and where I was going to work and how am I going to get money together for rent, and ad naseum, that I forgot the whole reason I came over here was to write.

Granted, I will not brow beat myself here, I am writing now.  I wrote this morning, sitting at a table in a kitchen in Rome with my notebook and pen, as well.

I continue to write everyday; however, I wish to re-commit to getting my work out there as well.   I need to find agency.

Yes and I do still want to work at Burning Man.

As more than just a nanny or a fluffer.

I like both those positions, and I have had some ideas about putting together a book proposal for Chronicle Books in San Francisco—“You do What At Burning Man?” tales of a Burning Man nanny.  I have had it for some time, this idea, it is time to do it.

It would be mainly essays and photography.

I write every day and I was blogging while I was at Burning Man the last few years.  I also take photographs and I have a lot of them.

Holy Jesus the Pope dropped his hat; I have a lot of them.

Slight segue, I think this is why my computer is running slower and the fan sounds like an over active vibrator.  Whenever I download my photos from the day to my hard drive it kicks into gear.  And whenever I post photographs to my blog it goes haywire.

I just saw yesterday that I have over 4,500 photographs on my computer.

The majority of them have been taken in this last year.

I have to get them off, off, off.  The next project in the list of things to do.

Yes, so writing, publishing, getting myself and my words out there.

And my photographs, I really do have fun taking them.

I got rained on a lot today.  I would stop, try to hold the umbrella, point and shoot and frame and set up the shot.  I gave up trying to stay dry and I just would stop, gather my things about me to the best of my abilities and take the photo.

After I came back from my walk about Rome I sat and down loaded them and edited them, cropped them, adjusted color and exposure, brightness, shadows, high-lights.

I love the ritual of doing this.

It often takes me an hour to an hour and a half and I joke that it is the job that does not pay.

Just like my regular blog.

Except that in both case that is not the truth.

This blog does pay; I received another lovely infusion of 40 Euro to get me through the rest of the week.  Thank you!  Thank you!  Thank you!

I have a lot of hugs to give to people when I get back to the Bay.

They both pay, really, in the joy of creating, in allowing my artistic side to come out.  I told a friend of mine recently that I had an ex-boyfriend who knew I wanted to be a photographer and he bought me a really nice camera.

Except that I did not know how to use it and it overwhelmed me and when I developed the film and discovered that only one of the 80 photographs I took turned out I became discouraged and put it on the shelf and when we broke up he asked for it back.

I gave it back.

I also changed my track in college.  I had originally gone back to school after the fabulous flame out I had my original go around, to be a photographer, to perhaps be a photo-journalist, or a nature photographer, work for National Geographic, who knows.

Except that I had to take a load of art classes and I was not a sketcher or painter and although I appreciated art, loved art, got high off of it even before I knew what it was doing for me, I did not believe myself an artist.

I did not believe that I could make it through the art classes so after one beginning art class, I dropped it and decided I was not going to be a photographer.

Cue my trip to Paris four years ago and buying a digital camera.

Add to that one photography workshop with John Ater last spring and a year later, I won’t say I am a great photographer, but I can frame a good shot and I love doing it.

That is what being an artist is about.

Not doing it to be great, but doing it because I love it.

I love the writing too.

I want to continue to do both.

So, I will.

Who’s stopping me anyhow?

“Honey,” John Ater said to me in a deep sonorous voice, “you are you own enemy, you step on your neck all the time, you hold you down.”

He continued, “you are a good writer, I have read what you write and you are a good photographer, I like you photographs, so get the fuck out of your own way.”

Here’s to me doing just that.

Whether in Rome.

In Paris.

In Oakland.

Or where ever I am supposed to be.

Because if he will read that book, then so will a lot of other people too.

 

Let The Good Times Roll

July 16, 2012

 

Up here in the Russian River zone having a 70s esque cowboy/girl porno shoot on the couch of the rental house seven and a half miles outside of Healdsburg California.

 

Magic Marc

Magic Marc

It is Jayne’s 40th.

 

The music is not what we were hoping for—the house despite having three bedrooms, an enormous kitchen, four different televisions, a hot tub and other assorted amenities—there is no Ipod dock.

 

There are innumerable people dithering about making phone calls and we just say let it go and it’s all going to be what it is going to be.

 

The stereo is an ancient dinosaur but it does boot out the tunes.  97.7 FM the Rock/Santa Rosa.

 

It is like being at the country house of my mom’s friends in the high summer when I was about five.

 

Except there is no booze, drugs, or sex.

 

There is the drama of not having the music be right up our alley, but really in the grand scheme of things, we do have tunes.  I have been places where there is not even a radio station to listen to and everybody was bummed that the boom box was out of batteries and the tape deck ate the cassette and we would just sit around in the dark next to the fire and be happy conversing with one another.

 

It is a huge help that Mark is so game to be a silly goose.  He had striped down to some athletic shorts for the hot tub and got caught up posing on the couch with a fur pillow oh so strategically located.

 

That’s what happens when you get a gaggle of kids up from the city to the river.

 

The traffic was horrendous, but I am like a dog, “are we going for a ride, we’re going for a ride, yes, yes?  Awesome.  Oh look cows.  Oh trees. Oh smell that.  OH.”

 

I am not the best driver, well I am a good driver, but when I drive it is not about enjoying the ride, it is not about the secret special route, unless it is a faster route, it is about getting from one point to another.

 

Fast.

 

Now.

 

Quick like.

 

When I am the passenger, however, I actually relax.  I sit back, I get into the music, I get into the scenery, the flash of a black charred wild oak tree underneath the blue press of sky deep into the Marin hills.  The sweep of the vultures wings, the striation of the feathers and how you can tell when it is a turkey vulture or a true hawk.

 

I saw dozens of vultures and three hawks.

 

Deer.

 

There are deer here.

 

Joan and I got tot the house first.  I went right to the hammock between the two old growth redwoods toward the front of the property, next to, I kid not, the babbling of a brook.

 

I closed my eyes and despite the two coffees I had on the road I could have drifted right off into the song of the brook and the soft wind whisking through the boughs.

 

Divine.

 

A moment of absolute stillness when the hammock found its sway and the hook stopped creaking and there was not a sound, not a car, not a squawk of noise from the street, just pure quiet and the song of the water slipping over the rocks.

 

I might have stayed there all the rest of the day, I had not even brought all my gear inside the house, the hammock had arrested me on sight.

 

Then I heard, “ahhhhhhhh” very loudly from the back of the house.  A cry of pain?  Did Joan bump her toes, drop something in the kitchen?  I swung my legs out of the hammock and dashed up to the house to investigate.

 

Joan had not in fact hurt herself, she had just submerged herself in the hot tub.

 

I striped out of my San Francisco resort wear, underneath the many layers I was ready, I had put my swimsuit on this morning after getting out of the shower at 8:30a.m.

 

It was ten hours later, the traffic was horrendous and took twice as long to get here than normal, and I was ready to get down to business.

 

I had put on my swimsuit, pulled out my flip-flops, and put my sunblock on, I sat down to  write my morning pages and got really excited about the idea of getting out to a part of California that was actually sunny.

 

It was not sunny today.

 

It was foggy.

 

It was cold.

 

It was misty.

 

I thought, maybe I should put on a pair of tights just to do the laundry.  Then I realized that I should also put on a shirt and socks and real shoes.  Despite being quite content in my bathing suit and cut off blue jean skirt and flip-flops, I was in fact sitting in my room with the space heater going full blast.

 

Um, probably not quite so warm out there then, I realized looking out the window, in the Mission and it was foggy.  Does not bode well for dashing across the street in the little attire I had on.

 

I pulled the black tights out, the button down shirt, the sweat shirt, the jean jacket, and a pair of socks.

 

I took the laundry over to the mat, half a block down and one block down, and I wished I had worn a scarf as well.

 

July my ass.

 

It is fucking winter.

 

But not here, not here, right up the road outside of Healdsburg.  The time is currently 11:47 p.m. and I am in my swim suit, and flip-flops.  It is not summer time in the Midwest hot, but it is certainly warmer than anywhere in San Francisco.

 

Tomorrow off to the Russian River after breakfast with friends—Mary, Jayne, Bonnie, Mark, Joan—to go inner tubing.

 

I’m going to drift down the river, soaked in sunshine.

 

In fact, I’m already gone.

 

Yes, I’m already gone.

 

Heaven’s knows it wasn’t you that set me free.

 

Me, I’m already gone. 


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