Posts Tagged ‘Dog Patch’


July 22, 2016

I hear it’s this thing.

This weird little things, where people post videos of themselves unboxing packages, iphones, laptops, Disney tchotchkes, etc.

Although, I think it’s meant specifically for technology gadgets.

I had an official unboxing moment just now.


Perhaps I should call it an “unenveloping.”








Couldn’t help myself.

I knew that the ticket had arrived as I got a message via e-mail that it had been delivered earlier this afternoon while I was at work.

That put a big old smile on my face.

Great big smile.

And there it was, just outside my door, sitting patiently waiting for me, in a brown envelope from UPS in the shared hallway of my spot.

I got it.

I put it on my table.

I hung up my coat.

I returned a few texts.

I lit some candles.

I mean.



Burning Man is sexy, no?


I delayed gratification.

I ate a sweet, ripe, black plum.

Which, though you may not know is very apropos.

“My favorite fruit is a black plum,” Shadrach told me, biting into a luscious black plum he’d gotten at the Civic Center Farmer’s Market.

Then he told me a story about this little girl in kindergarten who had a very sad lunch and he shared what he had all the while thinking, she can have anything she wants, just not the plum, plums are my favorite.

“Oh!  I just love plums,” she said and smiled.

I can see it.

I can see the sweet inner turmoil of six year old Shadrach.


He smiles and hands it to her.

I love plums.

Mostly because of that story.

And though it was not meant to be a serendipitous thing, it was, I now realize, the absolutely right thing to do, to stop and eat a plum before I opened my Burning Man tickets.

Shadrach died years ago.

His death is the reason I went to Burning Man in the first place.

He used to host Decompression parties at his loft in the Dogpatch.

“You are so Burning Man!” He would tell me. “You so need to go!”

He was right, he usually was.

But I never quite got it together.

I always was a little behind the ball.

Shadrach was in a coma for a week in the ICU at General Hospital, the details don’t bear repeating, suffice to say, it was an excruciating week and also one filled with so much love and tenderness and family and fellowship and community.

I still feel the ripple affects of that week in my life and in my heart.

He officially died the 30th of July.

One month later I was at Burning Man with a packet of his ashes.

“Do you think it’s too late to go?” I asked a friend at the hospital, “Burning Man, that is, I should go, I should take his ashes there, do you think that would be appropriate?”

The response was a resounding yes, a quiet yes, but a yes nonetheless that allowed the seed that Shadrach had planted years before in my heart to finally crack open.

“Sometimes God breaks your heart open so that you can know more love,” she said to me, quietly in passing as I bawled in a church somewhere in the Mission.

And out of that broken wide open heart grew this wilding wilderness of flowers and fire and magic and danger and excitement and glory and friends and more friends and extraordinary, beyond belief experiences.

This year marks number 10 for me.

Ten burns.

In a row.

Not bad.

Not bad at all.

Each its own challenge.

Each its own experience.

Each having its own heartbreaks, awakenings, striped raw emotional catharsis.

Always the same.

And yet.

Always different.





Extreme fluctuations in weather, rainbows, rain storms, fucking hail one year, double rainbows, warm nights, freezing cold oh my god I’m going to die of exposure nights.

The year that I had a severe allergic reaction to wood smoke from a forest fire that was so big the smoke was drifting in from hundreds of miles away and I ended up in the med tents getting my nasal cavity washed out and crying like a helpless baby.

All the dancing.

Every year.

On top of cars, art cars, ships broke down in the sea of playa, on my bicycle, in the dust, at the trash fence, at the burn, riding around in sailing sloops, getting a hold of golf carts and riding out into deep playa on art tours.

Going out and taking photographs.




Oh, it’s home.

And I know I sound like a kid, a happy, crazy, woo-woo kid, but I sort of don’t care.

Especially since I went through the heart break of thinking I wasn’t going to get to go.

And now.


Over the moon might actually be a bit of an understatement.

I was thinking about things today as well, prep and all the stuff and things.

And I realized that I am going to have to really just let it all happen exactly how it’s suppose to happen, to not force things, manipulate things, to go light and bright, easy breezy carefree.

Maybe I don’t co-ordinate with my OG playa family and get my bike back up and running.

Maybe I walk like I did my first event.

Maybe I stop worrying about a tent and just go with the two man that was offered to me.

It’s not like I’m going to be there very long.

The ride, again, will happen, there and back.

I know it.

Things just work out the way they are supposed to.

My heart is wide open and the flower planted there so long ago continues to bloom and unfurl.

The love has not faded.

Only grown deeper, stronger, more entrenched in me.

Grateful beyond words for this experience.

Luckiest girl in the world.


I’ll see you in the dust.



Saying Goodbye

September 13, 2014

To turn around and say hello.

In the span of an hour I said goodbye to my little girl Thursday, who for today, was my little girl Friday, and then hello to my newest set of monkeys.

I headed over to the new gig with tears in my eyes from saying goodbye.

A goodbye that they never quite get, and a goodbye that I never am able to say without some tears.

I know it’s good-bye and there’s always a treat.

A splurge, a little sugar kiss to say I love you and you may not know how much, but I do.

Sometimes it’s that one bakery in the Mission on 24th street by the park with the ceramic tile snake hidden deep down on 24th behind a gate with the original water park action (before they redid Mission Park and Pool on Valencia and 19th), where there’s a shelf full of white flour Mexican cookies with thick crusted white frosting topped crazy and donut colored sprinkles.

Two of those please.

This is me saying goodbye, let me give you a treat I would never, ever give you, since I don’t eat sugar it’s not in my tool kit to feed it to a child I take care of.

I don’t mind it, really, it’s just that I don’t often get into the practice of buying cookies, more for my own mental health than anything else.

It’s sort of like buying someone a beer when you don’t drink.

Or an ice cream when you don’t cone.

I took my little lady bug to BiRIte and she got a cup, child serving, of vanilla malted and was gloriously and mind melding happy in her little universe.

I treated myself to an Americano at The Mill, probably the last one I will have there in some time.

I won’t be nannying in the NOPA any longer.

Or Cole Valley.


I will be in the Mission.

After my Americano was drank and my little charge scooped the last dregs of melted ice cream soup from her little compostable BiRite cup I said my official goodbye, with an admonishment from the parent that it would not be our last time.

I know, but it always does feel like the last time.

I headed out.

I went out the door and managed not to sob until I hit the second flight of stairs and then when I got outside she was pressed to the window, three stories up, waving her little heart out.

I blew her kisses and crossed the street to catch the 24 bus down Divisadero.

I couldn’t wait at the bus stop.

It was too close to the house.

I didn’t want to be seen teary eyed and mopey waiting for the bus.

I walked down a few blocks and waited there.

I composed myself and made sure that I was not a smeary teary mess and got on the next bus.

I hopped off at 18th and Castro and took the 33 down into the Mission.

Friday happy hour bars overflowing.

Friday rush hour traffic.

Friday in the Mission.

The sunset warmer already than it was in the NOPA, the fog hadn’t yet reached its chilly paws into the Mission, I pulled off my jacket and texted the next mom that I was on my way and see them soon.

I got there as dinner was being served and took a moment to collect my things and get my stuff and not interrupt the eating.

Very important that.

Keeping to a schedule, not interrupting an important routine, I tried to make myself small.

But the smallest one crawled into my arms and I was welcomed to the dinner table and I signed the contract and the paperwork and cancelled a check and handed it to the mom and voila.

Like that.

New job.

New family.

New movement forward.

New love planted in my heart and sowed and watered, with a few tears from the job just left and a few tears of gratitude for the new job to come and the new experience and getting to be working back in the Mission (not excited about the commute, but hey, at least I still am living in San Francisco), getting to be in a neighborhood I know so well.

Grateful for this experience.

Blown away how it all falls into place.

How the solution and the problem have nothing to do with each other.

How I get to be in the solution.

And then.

Back out the door with the hugs of a new set of charges infusing my heart and off to a special dinner celebration, by myself, yes, but so.

I am awesome good company.

A little splurging, not really has anyone ever said that going to dinner at Herbivore is a splurge?

A nice quiet early dinner by myself.

Which is good, I needed to practice my pieces, the talent show is tomorrow night.

Then a walk through the neighborhood.

I got reaquainted on my walk back to the 33 line.

I had places to be this evening, a little speaking engagement in the Castro.


Met with a friend after and had tea at Samovar.

I love my life.

I am so lucky.

We talked shoes and ships and sailing wax, cabbages and kings.

And Burning Man.

Lots of that.

It was my friend’s first time this year and we compared notes and talked Decompression, which is not nearly as much fun as the event, but it’s a place I still go to as I will get to see all the people I love and cherish out in the dust, back in the city in the Dogpatch neighborhood.

And even sometimes I see people who were at Burning Man that I never got a chance to see because I was busy doing “Workingman” and not going to Burning Man.

All the things.

I wish for you all the things.

My friend said that to me.

I think I am finally getting to see what that means.

I wish for you all the things too.

The hellos.

The goodbyes.

The “family” reunions.

All the love.

Most of all.

All the love.

Whether it find you in the bottom of a tea cup.

Or in the last sweet vanilla malted kiss of ice cream licked from a small wooden spoon.

May you have all the things.

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