Posts Tagged ‘I left my heart in San Francisco’

Poetry In Translation

February 6, 2017

Is like taking a shower in a raincoat.

Yes.

I went and saw a movie today.

That was a line between two of the characters.

It was lyric and sweet and the sweep of it was soft and gorgeous.

I was unexpectedly free this afternoon.

I had some things come up and I had to change my plans.

I had managed to get up and go to yoga, even though I really didn’t think I was going to after the late night I had last night.

I had turned off my alarm and just planned to let myself sleep in, but I was up in time to make the late morning yoga class and I went.

I really didn’t think I was going to, even after I had gotten out of bed.

I went and washed my face and brushed my teeth, drank a glass of water, took my iron supplement and flax-seed oil and went to get dressed.

I opened the door to the closet and pulled off my yoga pants from the rack and put them on.

I almost laughed out loud.

It was just so automated, my body telling my brain what it wanted to do and just doing it regardless of the brain that was like, no, you’re not going, my body was like, sorry Charlie, as my hands pulled up my yoga pants and then my sports bra and top, I actually chuckled at myself, I was that surprised.

Sometimes I have smart feet and they just carried me along despite my brains weak protestations that I could just go at another time.

Yeah.

Sure brain.

You get me into some hot spots you know, why don’t you just take a back seat today.

The yoga was good, but hard, I mean, it was a super challenging class, but I found myself letting it be hard and doing what I could to keep up and just being there was more than good enough.

I came back home, changed and made breakfast.

I did some inventory and decided that I needed to change-up my plans for the day, but I was till going to head down to Let It Bleed and see my tattoo artist.

I need some touching up on the star tattoo I got two weeks ago.

But.

Shoot.

It’s not fully healed.

“Nope, I’m not going to touch it, the skin’s too tight, it’ll end up tearing, you’ll scar, we need to wait a little longer,” he told me.

So.

No tattoo for me today.

Suddenly having time, I called a friend in the Mission, let’s hang out, I said on the message.

I started to walk towards the Mission and decided to go see a movie before I headed over to my friend’s house.

I ducked into Opera Plaza and saw Paterson.

It was just the perfect reprieve and the perfect place to watch a matinée on a rainy Sunday in San Francisco.

The theater was actually quite a bit fuller than I had expected and it was cozy, smelling of warm buttered popcorn and the soft warmth lulled me and the movie with its fluidity of images and poetic moments, its small details and artistry drew me in.

I left happy and content and meandered a nice mellow walk to my friend’s house.

We chatted, had tea, he fed me an apple and a thick slice of brie, we caught up, compared notes about this and that, school, mutual friends, life.

It was just right.

Then I headed over to Firewood Cafe up in the Castro and had a big heart to heart with my person about the events of my day and got some suggestions and afterwards we went over to Diamond and 18th and hung out with a big group of fellows and I got to be held and it felt so good to sit next to someone who loves me and gives me perspective and also doesn’t sugar coat anything and yet advocates for me in a way I am not sure anyone has ever done before.

And now home.

Some Jeff Buckley on the stereo, I was just talking about the show that I saw him in when he was on tour with his album Grace last night with my friend in Oakland.

I love you.

But.

I am afraid to love you.

How I heard the news when he died, drowning in a river, the Mississippi to be exact.

I was setting up the Angelic Brewing Company for that night’s dinner service and had cued up Grace to play on the sound system and one of the waitresses walked past and stopped and said, “God, weren’t you devastated when you heard he’d died?  I haven’t been able to listen to this yet, thanks for playing it now.”

I gasped.

I had remembered only that day wondering when he was going to be on tour again, impatiently waiting for his long over due album My Sweetheart, The Drunk.

I ended up giving him a eulogy in my speech class that semester and crying shamelessly during it.

Music moves me.

When he sang Leonard Cohen’s version of Hallelujah during the encore at the Barrymore Theater in Madison I just about collapsed with the joy and the exquisite pain of the music.

But you don’t really care for music.

Do you?

Things change.

But somethings are indelible on my soul and that song, those words, landed and stuck.

I have a great deal of perspective since then and have grown, moved, changed, evolved, but poetry is poetry is poetry.

And when I walked through the streets of San Francisco in the overcast grey and threatening rain I was glad for the light and the rain and the soft forlorn grey and the sweet surreal beauty of the sky over the Opera House, in the alleys of the Mission, the graffiti murals washed clean and bright in the tepid grey of the day, my heart shifted and the bloom of the umbrella over my head sheltered me and led me forward into the heart of the city that I am so-called to be a part of and belong to.

I am.

Even when the day was different then what I expected.

The open window lets the rain in.

The open heart lets the love in.

Thank you San Francisco.

I do so love you.

I do.

Thank you for loving me back.

It has not gone unnoticed.

No.

It has not.

 

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Doing All The Things

May 23, 2016

I mean.

Seriously.

I broke it off today.

And I don’t feel broken, albeit tired, albeit a little keyed up from the day, but so in love with myself and the gift I gave to myself of doing this trip.

Now.

Don’t get me wrong.

I have had some moments of dis-ease (disease) and had to quietly pull myself back and get real and be grateful for all the things I have been given and all the experiences I have gotten to do.

Twice over the last two days or so I had moments of wishing I was not alone having a meal or walking through Brooklyn.

I wanted to be with someone.

I wanted to be holding a hand.

I wanted to be sharing conversation.

I wanted to be coupled up.

And those things are not wrong, that’s just human nature.

I just have to tread carefully in those areas because I can fall into the self-pity pot all to easily and frankly I’m all for avoiding potholes at this time in my life.

I’m being a good girl.

I mean I am being a very, very, very good girl.

I did no Tinder’ing while I was here, frankly the idea of trying to figure out how to hook up with someone out here was just too much to even fucking contemplate.

And yeah.

I like sex.

A LOT.

However, I don’t need it that bad.

I’m not desperate.

And I’m not an addict.

Although I play one on tv.

Just kidding.

Oh.

And I had the opportunity.

Believe me.

It was on the table.

However.

I turned down the offer after finding out said offer was not in my best interest–really too complicated and stupid to even write about here.

And.

I also ran into someone I met at Burning Man in 2013.

“I’m sorry, I know it seems I’ve been staring at you for the last hour,” he said to me sidling into my space yesterday afternoon after we had closed up and said the prayers and did the deal.  “I mean,” he eyed me up and down (I can’t remember the last time I was that blatantly, to my face, scoped out), “I really like your look.”

“Thanks I said,” and I his, let me be honest.

“And I remember where I know you from,” he added, “you go to Burning Man, you’re hair’s different, but I recognized your tattoos.”  He paused, “you’ve gotten a few more I see, and you’re hair was blue the last time I saw you.”

He handed me his card and asked what I was doing the rest of the day.

My friend swooped in, “Hey, _______, I see you met Carmen, she’s one of my oldest friends, I’m stealing her back now,” he said and took my elbow.

I mean, tall, dark and handsome was tempting, but my friend, my old friend, my friend from the early days of the crazy, he was who I wanted to spend time with.

And there was a time when I would have ditched a friend in a heart beat for a piece of action.

Not so much now.

My friends are treasures and I don’t get out here often, twice in the eight years my old friend has lived here–we caught up at the deal in Atlanta last July and I usually see him for a minute if he gets out to SF, but he’s busy, I’m busy, so no getting busy for me.

And I’m grateful for that.

Then.

Another gentleman who had reached out to me this trip.

I texted him back.

“Hey, when you get a chance, give me a call,” I wrote earlier this afternoon.

I was surprised to not get a call for awhile then just a few minutes back, he finally did.

“Ah, I knew it was coming,” he said to me on the phone, his voice thick with the chagrin and the knowing of what I had decided I was going to tell him.

“You’re first year is a gift I don’t want to intrude on,” I summed it up, “I don’t date guys when they’ve got less than a year.”

It’s not my place, I don’t want to mess up anyone’s shit, and yeah, I know my pussy’s not that powerful, I’m not the reason some one relapses or stays sober, but I see a lot of folks that get focused on the dating deal and not doing the deal and I respect and like this guy.

So after consulting with the powers that be, “I need to tell on myself,” I told my person as I walked around Chelsea today after an amazing afternoon at The New Whitney Museum.

“It’s just really nice to be told how beautiful you are, that someone who is attractive finds me so compelling, I mean, it’s super ego feeding and I know that I can’t see this guy, I know it’s not right, it’s just, well, yeah, tempting.”

“Good on you for telling on yourself, and now you won’t do that, because that’s not the woman you are,”  I was told.

Yup.

“Get your year,” I said, “don’t let me interfere with it.”

He knew, he told me that was what he thought I was going to say.

He was sweet.

And I hung up the phone feeling like.

Well.

An adult.

Perhaps an adult with the hormones of a horny sixteen year old girl, but an adult.

I wear my heart on my sleeve, but I don’t want to hurt anyone.

Sometimes it’s inevitable and someone gets hurt and I can be sorry for that and still not engage, and that’s what an adult does too.

And sometimes God blows magic fairy dust all over me and I am suddenly Alice in the looking glass.

“OH, I was just about to bring that in,” he said as I was snapping pictures of this spectacular piece of sculpture art in the front area of one of the historic brownstones in Fort Greene Brooklyn.

“I love it,” I said, “It just, well, it’s amazing.”

We started to talk.

He was the artist, Doug Beube.

He told me a few things, we chatted about me and my travels and being a nanny and a grad school student and then somehow onto Burning Man and I asked, I don’t know why, serendipity, God, what have you.

I told him about my favorite piece from last year-Storied Haven.

And then.

He cocked his head at me and said, “I don’t suppose you want to see my studio?”

OH my God.

I was so floored.

“I know, trying to get a beautiful woman into my house, and all, but,” he paused, “I think you’ll like it.”

I joked, “as long as your studio isn’t in your bedroom, I’d be honored.”

I was not only honored.

I was blown the fuck away.

The man’s work is amazing.

AMAZING.

I was in tears a number of time, over awed by the depth and breadth and beauty of his work.

I took a lot of photos-they’re up on my facecrack page and on twitter and intstagram, and I’d put them here, but they just do not do them justice, my photos, so check out his website.

www.dougbeube.com

So good.

He works with old books and cuts them up and remakes them and he does photography and organic art and found art and these cunning little sculptures and so much political art that was poignant and beautiful, so insightful, so thoughtful, it was just such an over the moon experience.

I mean I got to go to the Brooklyn Museum, the MOMA, and The New Whitney and then, to top it off I get a private tour of this amazing artist out of nowhere?

Who is the luckiest girl in the world?

Me.

Hands down.

And perhaps I should change that up as I realize I have been a woman.

A proud woman, a respectful woman, a woman who looks the world in the face and who above all is not afraid to smile and thank someone for their contributions.

We all want to be seen.

And when I am allowed to see someone and the things that they do that make them artists, I am so very grateful.

I am blessed.

I am graced.

I am loved.

Thanks New York, thanks Brooklyn, thanks to my friends who drank coffee with me and the ones I called and said, hey where should I eat today, and all the friends who said, hey check this place out and to all those people who smiled at me in the city and said, “nice outfit!”

I like being seen too.

It’s been special New York.

Thank you.

From the bottom of my heart.

Which I left in San Francisco.

Time for me to go back home.

But you will not soon be forgot.

I promise.

Kisses.

And.

Big.

Big.

Big.

Love.

 

Good To Be Home

June 1, 2015

Home is where the heart is.

My heart travels with me well and I am blessed, blessed, I say, to get to travel right back home to where I belong, home, home, down by the sea in San Francisco.

“Uh, where are you visiting from,” one of my cousins awkwardly asked as he reached for second helpings of grandma’s rice.  “I mean, where are you from, I, uh, haha, this is coming out funny, where do you live?”

San Francisco.

How do I love thee?

Let me count the ways.

Not because of your fog, though I was not disheartened to see it rolling in over the hills, there was some sunshine out at SFO when I landed and for a moment I rejoiced even harder.

Sunshine!

In San Francisco, at this time of year.

Yay.

But the celebration was cut short.

I realized, um, yeah, the airport is on the opposite side of the city and not actually in San Francisco and is not foggy, but the fog, it is there, right there.

I can see you fog.

Hunkered down, grey, cool, misty.

I may change my tune after a couple of days of it, but I wasn’t upset to see it and it was just another characteristic of this place I love so much.

“Did you see that the median apartment in San Francisco is $4,200?”  My uncle asked me asked yesterday as he was reading an article on his new iPad.

“Yeah, it’s creepy, and I remember all the fuss about how the minimum wage has gone up, but really, nobody making minimum wage can live in the city,” I acknowledged my uncle.

“I don’t pay that much, $1300 for my studio,” I said.

My uncle still raised his eyebrows at the price and then told me about a friend who has a studio twice as large as mine and pays $500 for it.

The three bedroom house across the street goes for $1300.

Yeah.

But is it in San Francisco?

I think not.

I mean I’m sure Nevada City is great and all.

But.

Um.

No.

I don’t often question it and I don’t think about it, but I feel that I am spoiled by the beauty that surrounds me, the character of living here, even if a lot of people I know are getting priced out of living in the city.

Hell.

One of my dear friends is a doctor and her husband is a doctor too and they couldn’t afford to buy a house in San Francisco.

They found a sweet place in North Berkeley and they commute.

Many of the artists and craftsman and creatives that make San Francisco, San Francisco, have left, gone over to Oakland or further Seattle, Portland, Brooklyn.

And I am still here.

Hanging on by a tether to the edge of the sea and every time.

EVERY.

SINGLE.

TIME.

The wheels touch down and the plane lands, I smile.

I know I am home.

“Hello house!” I said when I walked in.

“So good to see you.”

Yeah.

I know.

I talk to my house.

But it is an animate space full of color and art and creativity and it’s my little space and it is my little piece of San Francisco.

And in my own teeny tiny way.

I believe I add some of that special San Francisco treat to the area I live in.

I am a character.

I am colorful.

And I don’t know where better to express who I am with as much joy as I have for being who I am, than in San Francisco.

“I love your hair!” The baggage handler said to me as I checked my bag.

My flight was delayed, see above, fog in San Francisco, and I checked my bag through to SFO rather than carry on.

There was no charge and since it was a direct flight I wasn’t worried about losing it in transit.

Plus I was going to hop on BART and then the N-Judah to get home.

I was in no rush.

The flight was short and I would say that I spent more time in transit to and from the airports than I did actually on the plane.

I made some phone calls, caught up with some lady bugs, sighed content with happiness to see the familiar Victorians going by the MUNI glass windows and when I hit Sunset on the N-Judah I called ahead to Thai Cottage and placed an order for Tom Ka soup with chicken and a side of brown rice.

“Ready in fifteen minutes!”

Yes.

I got off at 46th and Judah, hustled my bag home, and turned around and walked over to Thai Cottage to grab my lunch and dinner.

I was not cooking today.

In fact, I did make it out to the grocery store, but only to make sure I have coffee for tomorrow and apples for the making of oatmeal all week.

I’m not sure what I’ll do for food at work this week, but I just did not have it in me to cook up a bunch of food.

In fact, I am all tuckered out.

Travel can do that to me.

Even though it wasn’t a great big journey.

it was a big deal.

Saying good-bye to my grandma was a big deal, a bigger deal than I expected.

I hugged her and said “I love you,” at the curb side check in.

“I love you too,” she said.

And we looked at each other.

There.

Right there.

Don’t start crying.

It surprised me.

Where did that come from?

I understand myself well enough to see that I had some expectations going into it, not knowing what to expect I created something for myself to hold onto, the idea of history, or story, of finding out where I am from.

Instead what I got to see is this small, resilient woman, who raised four children and walked through 87 years of life see me for who I am and love me despite myself.

“You look good with flowers in your hair,” she confided in me out of the blue last night in the kitchen.

“I used to wear fresh gardenia’s in my hair, when I lived in Paia (on Maui)” she continued, “I would pick them and wash out the ants,” and she mimicked putting one behind her ear.

I am seen.

And I got to see my grandmother.

A friend jokingly responded to a photograph I posted on Instagram, “gee, no resemblance, at all.”

I laughed.

It is there.

Not just in the flowers in our hair.

But in the survival, the resiliency, the strength of a woman, the getting through, the doing the best one can with what one has.

I hope I am able to summon as much quiet strength and grace as my grandma displayed to me as I go forward.

I don’t know exactly where I will end up.

But fingers crossed.

It will still be San Francisco.

I am with myself wherever I go.

But it feels best when I am home.

Where my heart is.

I left it here and shall return again and again and again.

To reclaim it.

Dust off it’s weary travel self.

And.

Put it right back on my sleeve where it belongs.

In San Francisco


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