Posts Tagged ‘Pacific Ocean’

Whirlwind

September 12, 2018

It has been a busy couple of days and it’s just Tuesday.

I’ve been running around and cramming the extra stuff in.

Today it was therapy before work and a long day at work juggling new school schedules and dentist appointments, followed by seeing a couple of clients.

And last night it was a late night as I was busy….

SIGNING A LEASE ON MY NEW APARTMENT!

Oh my God.

I have a home.

I am so fucking happy.

I cannot even begin to express it.

I went over to my new home after seeing clients last night, so I was literally signing my lease at 9:30 p.m. at night, I hadn’t even gone home yet, but it was the time we could connect, so it was the time to sign.

I have a home.

God.

I love saying that.

And it really feels like it’s mine.

I mean.

The moment I saw the ad it felt like where I was supposed to be.

And it all fell into place so nicely.

It was like knocking over dominoes.

I am very happy to report that I will still be by the beach, even closer than I am here and I’m pretty close here.

My new home is at 48th and Balboa.

So, just on the other side of Golden Gate Park.

The ocean is literally a block and a half away, from my place now its three blocks.

And the commute is only one minute longer than my commute now.

I am very, very, very happy.

So happy.

That when I got home I packed a box.

I have packed three boxes now.

I’m actually not sure I can muster the energy to pack more tonight.

I am pretty pooped.

I was also so giddy about getting to be in my new home that I ordered a new couch and a new chair online.

The same couch that I had found the night I saw the ad and began decorating in my head.

I have gotten a few more things for the house as well.

My house is not exactly a house, per se, but it is my home and I am so over the moon at how lovely it is.

All brand new appliances.

Gorgeous hard wood floors.

500ft.

Which is quite big for a studio in-law.

My current in-law, though I don’t know the footage exactly, is 12 x 15.

My new in-law is 19×20!

Much bigger.

Oh yeah.

And loads of windows.

Seven to be exact and a sliding glass door out to my deck.

My deck.

Oh my god.

I have a deck.

Adirondack chairs here I come.

Bring on the hammock.

Bring on the studying in the sun.

Oh, I know, not always, it will get just as damn foggy on the other side of the park as it does here, but when it is pretty, like it has been the last couple of days, it is glorious.

And I honored what I said.

I paid the damage deposit and six months of rent in advance.

I don’t think I have ever written a check for that large of an amount before.

I don’t have to pay rent until March of 2019.

Yay!

I will also get the other half of the buyout monies when I turn in the key, so I have some extra dosh to throw at furnishing the place.

I literally have nothing.

Aside from my bed.

I have a nice bed.

But everything in my studio was staging stuff from my landlady, I basically have been living in a furnished studio for the past five years.

I am starting from scratch.

And don’t get me wrong, the furnishings here have been sweet, but they’ve never been quite 100% me.

I get to pick what I want.

Like, heh. I ordered a pink couch.

I know!

PINK.

But its gorgeous, it was $1000 less if I ordered on-line versus trying to find something comparable in San Francisco that I could just walk into a furniture store and buy.

It made sense to get it and I got a matching chair.

The line is called the Matrix and it’s by Article.

It’s done in a soft velvet rose and its circa 1970 Paris.

Mid Century Modern.

The chair matches.

I was in heaven when I ordered it, a tiny bit anxious about pulling the trigger, but really excited when I did.

I want to create a beautiful home for myself.

I plan on being there for a while.

I mean, I don’t want to have to move again while I am working on this PhD.

I signed a year lease which will go to a month to month after a year.

The landlord was looking for a long-term tenant and I assured him that I am such a person, that I really could see myself there for five years, as long as it took to do the PhD and that I didn’t want the stress of having to move during my program again.

I want to hunker down in a pretty little, heh, not so little, space and surround myself with nice things.

Not crazy nice, but you know, sweet things.

I deserve them.

I work so fucking hard.

And I’m not home that much, I want my home to be pretty and sweet, accommodating and warm, welcoming, nourishing, safe.

I have my own separate entrance, no more going in through the garage, and I decided today that I am not going to wait until next weekend to move.

I am doing it this weekend.

I had thought I would push it off, but I realized as soon as I packed on box that it was on.

I cancelled the few plans I could cancel, I still have to go to my orientation for my new internship on Sunday but I cleared everything after that and I managed to clear one commitment off on Saturday, although I still have to go to group supervision as well.

I am hopeful that I can pack the majority of my stuff on Saturday and then move it all on Sunday.

I sent my notice into the lawyer, haven’t heard back yet, but gave myself until the 23rd of the month.

I figure I’ll move this weekend and whatever I can’t get to I will wrap up with next weekend and then clean the studio.

I have changed my address for the post office, updated my address for my bank, and I have ordered a couple of things for the house to be delivered to my new address–laundry hamper and a compost bin.

I will try to get some furniture Saturday if I can.

I don’t want to order a kitchen table on-line, I want to get something sooner and I figure that I can pop into Stuff on Valencia Street or Harrington’s and get a good used table and chairs and maybe a few other odds and ends.

I can’t wait to get out of here.

I’m grateful for what the last five years has been.

But.

I’m more grateful to get to move into something better.

Much.

Much.

Much.

Better.

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A Tire Swing

June 2, 2018

Floating in the air over the dense thick grass of a lawn between a thicket of trees and a few farm sheds and cabins.

A hammock in the background that is almost as tempting, an invitation to loaf, snooze, to fall upwards while laying back, high into the blue skies and the clots of cream fluff clouds drifting lazily by.

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I adore a good tire swing.

This was one of the better ones I have seen.

If not the best.

The swing was rigged from a line of rope strung between two trees, not from a tree specifically, so it drifted back and forth on this kind of clothes line, swinging in loopy circles and ovals.

I did not go for a ride on the swing.

Though I was sorely tempted.

I could feel it in my body, the desire to climb in, push myself up into the air and drift through the warm breezes ruffling through the trees.

It was such a pretty day.

Sunny and warm.

Not typical San Francisco weather.

Then again.

I wasn’t in San Francisco.

I was outside of a small town to the south of Half Moon Bay called San Gregorio.

San Gregorio is tiny.

Population 214.

There’s a general store and a post office.

And then just beautiful rolling mountains.

It’s close to the coast so the drive in was gorgeous and breathtaking.

I am always so stunned when I get to drive down the One, it’s just such a tremendous gift to live next to such beauty.

I am in awe of the Pacific ocean, the sunlight, the green mountains, the twisty curving roads.

The family I work for have friends staying in San Gregorio and they were moving back to Finland, so there was a drive to meet them for lunch at the Air BnB they were staying at.

On a goat farm.

Yes.

I got to go hang out with some kids, not just the ones I work for.

It was precious and sweet, and the sound of the baby laughing in my arms as the goats crowded around me melted my heart.

I love animals.

And I am good with them.

I am not afraid of them or of getting messy, though for a minute I was like, damn it man, had I known we were going to a goat farm I would have dressed differently.

Especially knowing that where we were going was warmer.

Ha.

I was all in black, black leggings, black therapy dress, black, black, black, and the dress is long-sleeved.

It’s a super comfy, but professional little jersey dress I got from the Gap last year when I started seeing clients, it works for nannying and with a simple switch out from my nanny shoes to my “therapy shoes” I feel like I can be very professionally attired to see my clients in the evenings after I finish my nanny shift.

Though perhaps a great outfit for in the city, not necessarily the best for a goat farm.

Three times I had to take the hem out of the mouth of a goat.

It made me laugh though.

And after the week I have had up in my head about the whole 90 days to move thing it was a relief.

Sidebar.

Phone call message from the Tenant’s Union confirmed that my landlady does not have just cause to ask me to move out.  I got the message while I was in transition from nannying to my internship, so I missed the call, but the woman left me a lengthy message addressing all the points I had brought up and she confirmed that legally my landlady does not have the right to ask me to move out.

She encouraged me to get my copy of the Tenant’s Union handbook when I go into my drop in session tomorrow, and that I was protected despite not being on a lease and living in an illegal unit.

That was a relief to hear and also a bit like, ok, here we go, this is really happening, what do I need to do next.

I spent some time talking out loud in the car on my way home, how would I say it, would I write it down, would I ask another person to be there with me, what would happen, I could tell I was getting scared, I don’t like conflict, but also that really I just need to take the emotional bit out of it and be business like.

I have rights, here they are, make counter offer.

Done.

And of course, more will be revealed tomorrow when I sit down with the counselor and see exactly what my rights are.

No need to have the conversation before I have all the information.

Anyway.

Like I said.

A relief to be outside, in the fresh air, in the sun, getting to play with the children and push my oldest charge on the tire swing.

He had trepidations at first, but I had a feeling that once he had a ride he would fall in love with it like I did when I was his age.

And he did.

It was the sweetest thing to watch the simple pleasure on his face as he floated through the air up high, against the bright green of the trees.

Such joy.

It filled me up.

There was a house in Wisconsin that we lived at briefly in all our transitions from here to there (I told my therapist how hard it was to separate this thing happening with the notice to move out with the shame and fear and running away in the middle of the night my mom did on more than one occasion to avoid getting evicted by the police for not paying rent.  I am not my mother, I have paid and I’m not doing anything wrong, but that voice inside that insisted, you’ve been bad and now you’re being punished, took a whole lot of talk to calm down) when my mother had moved us cross-country from California to Wisconsin where she had grown up, in Lodi, a small town 30 ish miles to the North of Madison in Columbia County.

I don’t remember the house very well, we were only there for a brief time, I think she was crashing with friends on the couch until we moved into a small apartment in Baraboo, but I do remember the tire swing.

It was my savior.

This succor from the trauma of running away in the middle of the night, the constant moving, the constant uprooting, the wondering where I was going to sleep next, if it would be safe, was there anywhere that was safe?

The tire swing.

It was safe.

Although it was exciting to go high, really, I just like being held secure in the middle of the tire, arms wrapped around it, swaying back and forth in slow swoops and circles, staring up into the leaves of the old oak tree that it hung from.

I was in that swing every day until we moved.

I can still feel the rope in my hands and smell the faint rubber smell of the tire and see the smooth patch around the rope where many small hands had worn the treads smooth.

My childhood was not one I would wish upon another, but it was mine and to say that there never was joy in it would be a lie.

I was a happy kid when I was allowed to be happy.

I was happy in that swing.

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And I was happy pushing my sweet little boy charge in the tire at the goat farm for his first time ever, quiet and sure that he would be as safely held as I was.

The light dappled down over me and the warm smell of hay arose in my nose and I let my eyes close for a moment as I pushed his small weight towards the sky, remembering again and again that I am loved, safe, and perfectly held.

Now.

And.

Always.

 

I Tried

April 15, 2018

But I did not go.

I got up.

I didn’t feel so hot.

I didn’t feel so bad either, except in my head, let’s be honest, the head wanted to have some make me feel like shit say, but I didn’t feel great either.

I ended up last night having some reflux before bed, so I didn’t get off scot-free, but it wasn’t a bad day for it.

So to today, I feel like there’s a little happening, but it’s not been a bad day.

The, sigh, the part that has been challenging, is that I’ve been bloated.

I have no idea what that’s all about, may have something to do with whatever’s going on, that’s what it feels like, another symptom of whatever the issue is that needs to be addressed, but a symptom that’s a bit noisome, frankly, not one I’m a fan of.

And there’s a feeling of always being rather full, even when I haven’t eaten.

I felt like I could muster the will power to go to yoga class, but then I just felt like I was going to be nauseous the whole time.

I talked with my best friend on the phone and I realized when I was in tears that I was mostly frustrated because I had made plans in my brain and those plans weren’t happening and I was mad at myself and mad at my body.

My friend suggested a nice long walk instead of yoga, go move my body, but just in a gentler way.

Fuck.

I honestly wouldn’t have thought about that, I would have beat myself up for not going to yoga and then felt bad.

Instead.

I took the suggestion and since I was in my yoga clothes anyway, I went for a long walk on the beach.

Sometimes I forget how close it is and that it’s right there, just three scant blocks away, the big beautiful Pacific Ocean, and the big swath of Ocean Beach that I’m at in about five minutes from leaving my house.

I walked for an hour.

I felt better.

Oh.

Sure my stomach is not itself, hasn’t been in some time, but I felt better, I felt better having sunlight on my face, I felt better because I was active, mildly active, but still, and I felt better for having the sound of the ocean in my ears, which was meditative.

So too, the sight of the water, calming and soothing.

I am so lucky to live by the ocean.

I remember growing up how much I wanted to get back to California, how much I missed it, how important to me the ocean was, the dream of being by it, of living by it.

I still want a home and I often think, that although it’s crazy to think I could possibly buy a house in San Francisco, I still think that I could, and wouldn’t it be nice to have a place by the sea?

I have found myself rather fond of it out here.

Oh I know.

It’s not all that central, but it’s sweet and has a neighborhood feel that I much appreciate, and there’s the ocean, which is such an intense and wonderful source of power for me.

I appreciate living in the outer most reaches of the city for reasons I could not have expected when I first moved to San Francisco.

The Outer Sunset felt like another country to me.

But having a scooter and more recently, a car, it’s not too bad getting around, and well, there’s actually parking most of the time.

Oh, sometimes I have to park further away than I want, but I generally find it pretty quick.

Granted.

My car is hella small so I probably find spaces others can’t fit, but I wager I would have a much harder time in other parts of the city.

I mean, I cannot fathom the idea of having a car in the Mission.

Not unless I did own a home or have access to a garage.

So being out here is great, the parking, the ocean, the quietness of it, and the feeling of being a part of the neighborhood.

I do like that.

And I like how that walk on the beach rather set a different and unexpected tone to my day.

I felt resourced and taken care of and I came home and had a nice breakfast, which in hindsight does really speak to the fact that something is happening for me, I got up at 8:15 a.m., did laundry, put fresh sheets on my bed, talked to my best friend, went for an hour-long walk on the beach, and I didn’t have breakfast until nearly two, two and a half hours later.

Normally, before the tummy trouble, I would have been bats if I waited two hours to eat.

But I didn’t feel hungry, it was just something I noted as I went about making my breakfast, the thought that it was late in my morning to just then be eating.

I don’t know if I will do yoga tomorrow or not.

I’m not going to sign up tonight, I made that decision, but if I feel ok in the morning I can sign up for a class.

And if I don’t, well, I go for another walk, I at least take the time I would have been doing yoga to move my body and get fresh air.

Or I go for a bike ride, I thought about that too.

Then home, a good hot shower, a nice breakfast, meeting with a few ladies to do the deal and then some food prep for the week and some work on my Research Methods paper.

After which up to the Castro for my Sunday night commitment and then off to Frances for a late dinner with my best friend.

It’s going to be a really lovely day.

I feel it in my bones.

So grateful for the sweet unfolding of my day today and all the small unexpected beautiful moments therein.

Luckiest girl in the world.

Seriously.

I’m Free

March 2, 2015

I was drifting down towards the sea on Lincoln Ave after just by passing a long line of cars on Chain of Lakes, on my bicycle, happy, happy, free.

I’m free.

I smiled so big I think I could have broken my smile muscles.

But no fear.

They still work.

I’m smiling now.

I could also entitle this blog “I Don’t Care.”

“So how do you feel about that,” he asked me over roasted herb chicken at Firewood Cafe, “about…”

I interrupted without thought, “I don’t care.”

I smiled.

I really don’t.

We were talking about the few dates I went on last week and how that was and what I was thinking about it and it just popped out.

I don’t care.

Oh my god what a relief.

I don’t give a fuck.

I don’t care if I have a date or not this next week, I’m happy.

I’m doing so well in my life right now.

Things just seem so smooth that I could care less whether or not I’m getting asked out or asking out anyone.

In fact, I’m sort of bored with it.

The asking out thing.

I mean, I am so grateful I did all that work and worked some more around my ideal, my sexual ideal, which is just a version of myself that I am striving for, I don’t expect him to come in on a white charger to save my ass.

I already saved it.

I didn’t have some wild and crazy Sunday, it was sunny, I went grocery shopping, I rode my bicycle along Great Highway and saw the ocean, I did some laundry, I met with a lady bug and talked about amending behaviors and did some amending myself.

With no thought as to the results.

I don’t care.

I took the action.

That’s where it’s at, the action.

That’s where the faith comes in.

I believe in myself and I take action to care for myself and when I looked around my sweet little studio, with my new antlers hanging on the wall (on a back board of wood in the shape of a heart), my fresh made bed, my jackalopes perched in their corners, my bunnies all arrayed in their spots, I knew that there was nothing I needed.

I have it all.

I don’t know how long this feeling will last.

This too shall pass, the good and the bad, it all passes, but the serenity in the face of the ups and downs and the passing and going hither and yon, I don’t think that is going to pass.

As long as I continue to take the actions indicated and not rest on my laurels.

When I was riding my bicycle to the Castro to meet with my three o’clock sit down and do the deal, I was reminded, a scent memory, a visual reminder, of a day in my childhood with the bright sun shining down and the carnival or circus or fair I was at with my mom and dad and grandmother.

I remember the palm trees shaking against the blue sky and the little rubber ducks that went by on a stream of water and the small, bright, balloons on the peg board, I remember holding a hand, my grandmother’s or my mothers.

I remember strings of lights over head, but they weren’t lit yet, it was still sunny, I remember the feel of asphalt under my feet and the white paint that felt just a touch tacky as if the paint was still wet.

I was in a cotton dress.

Violet or soft purple, I can’t quite see it, it flits at the edge of the memory.

I remember walking through stalls, as though at a farmer’s market, so perhaps it was the state fair, I don’t know.

But the memory washed over and my heart opened and I grinned happy to know that my life is so full and rich and wonderful.

I have a lot of memories that I don’t remember from my childhood.

That is a side effect of trauma.

I went through a lot of it.

I don’t remember it.

Thank you God.

Instead, I remember the smell of popcorn on the wind and my grandmother buying me a small plastic bird that she stopped to fill with water and when I blew on the stem it bubbled and spit a little then trilled a warbling song of childhood.

A memory of laughter caught in the plastic throat of a toy bird.

I remember my grandmother giving me a glass of coconut milk from the white paper pint carton in the refrigerator.

How sweet it was and the pulp that squashed between my teeth.

“You’re golden, like someone from Polynesia,” he said to me on Friday.

I laughed, “I’m half Puerto Rican and Polynesian, as a matter of fact.”

No wonder I love dousing myself in coconut butter lotion and hair conditioner.

I just did.

I climbed out of the shower after my day of bicycle riding and grocery shopping, of cooking (Chicken and shrimp with ginger and garlic, onions, green beans, carrots, broccoli, pea pods, cabbage, and brown rice–throw some Braggs Amino’s on that and it’s a party) and I heard Regina Spektor on my stereo and I thought.

I really am free.

Free to do what I want.

Free to be the woman I want to be.

Free to wear funky eyewear and a flower in my hair.

Free to remember the good parts and not be ashamed of the hard things and the growth experiences I went through to get here.

It’s all a gift, folks.

This life, this love.

This light.

This sunshine.

So much love.

So much freedom.

“I don’t care,” I smiled, then I laughed, I laughed so hard I almost cried, a tear slid out from behind my fabulous eyewear and I took off my glasses and wiped it off the top of my cheek.

“It’s amazing!”

“Girl, you’ve done the work,” he closed the book and held out his hands to me.

We held hands and said some words and breathed and the world breathed right along with us.

I’m free.

Sings so soft as if she’ll break.

Laugh so loud.

Because I know that there’s nothing wrong.

For on this day I’ve learned to fly.

Profoundly Happy

March 16, 2014

“We absolutely insist on enjoying life,” she told me adamantly today from across the table at Tart to Tart.

I am.

I swear.

“That’s your principle today, happiness.”

Enough said.

I am down with the getting happy.

I had a happy day.

I was, I realized, as I was riding my bicycle, slowly, obeying all traffic laws, ahem, through the Irving Street melee of Saturday afternoon parking, shopping, pedestrians, and drunken Irish revelers in green beads and sequined foam green top hats, that I was profoundly, deeply happy.

Part of it is a sense memory from being a child.

I grew up out here, remember, until I was just about five years old, so my earliest memories are of the area, most specifically what I seem to remember the most is the sun, the sky, the smell of ocean.

I was  sailing my bicycle down Irving, once I was through the crazy of 19th to 25th, Irving gets really quiet and it’s such a pretty, straight shot, right to the ocean, the sun was warm on my skin, my hair blowing off my face, the wind cool, and there, just there, a swelling of memory like a song of joy in my body.

This warmth, this sun, this wind, some of my earliest feelings of contentment and joy.

I felt a vast yearning to call my mom and say, thank you for having me in California.  Thank you for not birthing me in Wisconsin, thank you for planting the California seed deep in my heart.

I am glad for my Mid-Western upbringing, I like manners, I like hearing the sound of Mason jars popping when I canned my soup this afternoon, I like that I know how to cook soup and make jam and pie crusts from hand, I like that I know what the sound of snow falling on snow sounds like and the smell of wood burning sharp on a cold night in January.

However, the deep sensual feel of sunshine and wind on my skin that blows in from the ocean is one of my most cherished sensory memories and I was so softened with the emotion of being in the moment with the sun and the wind and the vast, deep indigo expanse of the ocean unfurling in front of me.

I wanted to stop all time, because all time had become right now, right with God, right in my body, right with happy and joyous and free.

Nothing says happy, joyous free, like riding a bicycle down the middle of the road with no traffic, in a new dress, with my hair blowing out behind me and the sun smothering me in warmth and light.

I felt like I was a song.

Just a bicycle ride you know, but something lovely and sweet and powerful in that.

I laughed earlier today as I had gotten up and showered, written, meditated, read,  ate breakfast, drank coffee, did trash and recycling, chatted with the housemate, tidied up and realized I had more than enough time to go grocery shopping too, and I rode my bicycle along the path that runs parallel to Ocean Beach on my way to the store.

How many folks can say that they ride their bicycles to the grocery store to buy laundry detergent while the Pacific Ocean keeps them company?

Not many I say.

Some, yes, but not many.

And I get to have this experience.

I suppose the novelty will eventually wear off and then I will be just going to the SafeWay on Fulton and it will be a chore, but right now, I revel in the going to SafeWay.

Not something I have ever, ever said before.

Most of the time I despise Safeway.

But, I have to say, this one is not so bad, oh, I still have to do my real shopping thereafter, I almost never get what I really need there, but I do get some staples–paper towels, a few toiletries, today it was for laundry detergent.  I think it’s partially because it’s not one of the newer remodeled ones with the weird lighting.

I got my stuff, headed back to the house, unloaded and went right back out in the opposite direction and got organic apples at the Noriega Produce Market, and then jetted it up to 7th and Irving, managing to also send off my niece’s birthday card and present at the post office.

Not bad actions to be taking all before noon.

On my return to the homestead I made soup.

Yup.

Food prep done for the week.

Chicken soup with kidney beans, cannelli beans, corn, carrots, celery, onions, and garlic, big pot of brown rice.  I canned it all up and set aside some in the freezer and boom.

Done for the week.

Toss it in the bag, grab a couple of carrot sticks and an apple and I am set.

So nice to have it out-of-the-way.

Then.

Relax.

Read.

Sit and sip some tea and enjoy the view of the blue sky flecked with the passing raven or three winging through the air over the back yard.

I read for an hour, did some laundry, then headed back out the door around 4p.m. to run up to Noe Valley where I had an evening commitment, but not until after I went and got a spa manicure and pedicure.

I splurged a little and went to the nicer place.

I realize that part of being profoundly happy is allowing for small splurges like this (besides the manicure lasts days longer then when I go to a cheap place) and letting in the happy.

I also allowed myself to buy tickets to go dancing next Friday, there’s a benefit at Public Works for the Flaming Lotus Girls–The Space Cowboy Collective will be playing along with Distrikt and the crew from Opulent Temple–great dance music and girlfriends.

I randomly saw a post on facecrack that a friend was contemplating going and I just decided to say yes and I bought a ticket, then Bonne said she got one and then Jesse got one and Beth got one and Tami got one and holy shit, I got a posse of girls to go dancing with next Friday.

And if that doesn’t make a girl profoundly happy.

I don’t know what does.

 

Close To Home

November 4, 2013

I did not go do anything wild and crazy today.

Unless you consider hula hooping on the beach wild and crazy.

It was unexpected, but I would not go so far as to say wild and crazy.

I got up earlier than I expected, thanks Day Light Savings Time, and had a quick bite to eat before heading up to Trouble Coffee and Coconut Club to get a large coffee with my housemate and head to the beach to take a walk.

We talked about the guy and the me, and the me getting the fuck out-of-the-way.

I should have walked away from it a long time back.

I recalled, last night, as I was typing something a confidant had once told me, “stop banging your head on the closed-door and walk to the open one.”

Please, dear God.

My housemate suggested I write his name in the sand and let the tides take it.

The ocean does have a tendency to erase all the noise in my head.

I didn’t even get the first few letters out before a great wash of tide rolled in and splashed up on me and I shouted in surprise and no small joy.

I love being down at the beach.

I am enamored of it as said to a new friend I met today down by the shore, a neighbor out for a stroll with a large coffee in his hand, this one from Java Beach, my other favorite spot to kick it on a Sunday, when the sun is out and the patio is not too overrun, it is a great place to sit, watch some local flavor and read the Sunday paper.

Today, though, it was the beach that called.

That water washed all my worries away.

It was just sea and sand, salt and air.

God damn the way the air smells is so good.

So good.

I cannot wait to get back in and do some more surfing, although there was no surfing, that even had I a board and a companion to go out with, to be had today.

The water was not having it.

I did not see a single surfer out.

The waves were wild.

High, violent, aggressive.

Wild.

Beautiful to watch though and I took a few photographs of the beach and the water and my friend and I strolled along talking about working out, how she could run me through a few things, I was adamant about not exercising today, I just want to walk on the beach, I said, to her when she suggested we do it briskly.

“You know, a brisk walk,” she said jogging up and down in her hot pink Nikes.

“Nope,” I said again, “I will go down to the beach and you can sprint ahead of me.”

Neither the stroll nor the sprint happened.

Instead we were captured by an elf on the shore with hula hoops.

A 49-year-old Chinese woman who turns out is a healer with a large business on Lombard Street where she teaches meditation and does healing work and acupuncture.

“That sure looks like fun,” my house mate said to the small sprite of a woman, in her blue jeggings and red yoga top.

The woman had a gold and pink hula hoop that she was putting through its paces.

I was rather amazed at how much she was doing and she was having a great time doing it.

Next thing you know my house mate and I are also hula hooping, meeting Kim our neighbor, and talking about meditation and the spiritual pulse points of the city, how they have moved, and yet, here, out here at the ocean, they have yet to be sullied.

We hooped and laughed and danced around in the sand.

The ravens and sea gulls waged war on each other, swooping and calling, chasing above the foam for the prize food capture one had snuck out from another.

Children waded in shallow pools where the outgoing tides had left large shallow dips of water reflecting diamond lights of brilliance.

“Exercise need to be fun,” Kim said, laughing.

I handed her back her hoop, she showed my housemate a trick and they both giggled, 40, 44, 49-year-old women, dancing on the beach with hoops, making friends where least expected.

I turned a cart-wheel.

I turned another.

I laughed out loud.

I did a third, getting dizzy, but joyfully so.

When was the last time that I had turned a cart-wheel?

Years.

I am sure of it.

We must have stayed and hooped with her for over an hour.

We drew an admirer who also happened to be a local and the surprise group stood hooping and jumping and stretching and listening to the ocean, talking about how we all got where we were and exchanging numbers and e-mails.

After a tender footed walk back to the house, I had left my flip-flops on by the entrance to the beach at the Great Highway cross walk and they were gone, my housemate and I separated for a quick hour to eat lunch and do a couple of chores.

I got my bedding washed and shot out a few e-mails.

Three o’clock rolls around and we head out to the store to get weighted hula hoops.

We are both converts.

Despite not having success, the stores were sold out, apparently we are not the only hoopers in the neighborhood, we did gleefully chat about ordering a bunch online and having some hooping going on.

Surfing, swimming, hooping, walks on the beach, cartwheels, what the heck is going on?

Beach life.

I am really getting into it.

It is really good for me.

My day aside from the beach was chill, made some soup, did a little shopping, hung out with my housemate and did some writing.

Yeah.

This blog here marks my third writing of the day.

Not too bad.

Not sure I am going to follow all the dictates of the write a novel in a month, but I am sitting down, have done so every day since the 1st of the month, and I am writing.

Already I am surprised by what is coming out.

Who knows where it is going, but I am going to be there to be a conduit for it.

That’s the best I can do.

That and be absurdly grateful that I am a conduit at all.

That somewhere, something, some divinity, muse, God, Universe, love, has words to share with me.

I am gifted.

Not because I have talent, that is debatable, but because I have been given a present.

I just need to not be so scared to use it.

Going to the beach help clear the cobwebs from my head.

From my heart.

From my eyes.

That and some unexpected exercise and new friends and neighbors converging to do what we humans do best, connect with each other with love and respect.

And play.

“Go on! Try! It’s fun,” she said to me.

I took the hoop.

And got some happy.

Serenity by the Sea

September 15, 2013

“It’s so peaceful out here,” my ladybug said to me this afternoon as we walked from Trouble Coffee back to my place.

It is indeed.

I sat on the back porch twice today for my meals.

Lunch and dinner al fresco, the sun broke through the fog, the ravens took wing swooping and diving and occasionally deigning to sit upon a roof top and survey the world with bright eyes before careening off into the blue sky again.

I woke up rested in my new bed, ate a leisurely breakfast, did some writing and then a hot shower, coffee, and the meeting of minds at the coffee shop.

I caught a ride to the Upper Haight with her and went grocery shopping, returning via the N-Judah with sacks of supplies to eat my lunch on the porch right outside my door.

It is really sublime to open the door and step out to the sun and hear the crash of the surf and smell the ocean, just there, just a few blocks down, three to be exact, and feel so calm, so relaxed.

So serene.

After lunch I chit chatted with my friend, landlord, room-mate, but not really room-mate, our spaces are pretty autonomous even though we have a common entry way, there is enough space between her space and my place.

Yet, it is also near enough and open enough that I can just holler up the stairs and see what she is up to.

She had busy work, her weekends are geared to work and her daughter was recovering from a slumber party, who sleeps at slumber parties?  They should be called up all night and giggling parties, and she was pretty chill with her My Pretty Ponies corralled up in a nest of cushions on the floor.

Not a bad way to spend a Saturday afternoon.

I checked in with my friend about furnishings she said I could borrow for the in-law and I showed her the new set up, my bed basically, and how the space was shaping up.

I got the go ahead on the chaise lounge in the garage and the next thing you know she has dusted off two chairs and pulled out a shabby chic beach blue table with folding leaves, and a couple of night stands and voila!

I am totally set up.

It is amazing.

I have a home.

It feels a tiny bit like a motel room to me as everything is so brand new and clean and un-marked.  I have not put any art on the walls or photographs.

I am awaiting the right time to go out to a friend’s house way out in the Excelsior and get my boxes out of storage–photos and art and notebooks, my grandfather’s spice rack, and if I am not mistaken a couple of lamps.

When those things are procured I will have my space fully realized.

That and a rug, a throw pillow for the chaise, and a soap dish for the bathroom.

And that’s it.

I have  a home.

I have a home I want to stay put in, for a long time.

This feels like home in a new way and in an old way too.

“I grew up in the bay area and my first memories are of the beach,” I told my ladybug as the sounds of the Beach Boys was playing at Trouble Coffee.

“I feel like I have come all the way home, after a very long meander,” I finished, sipping the hot Americano and looking out the door at the light in the sky.

That special kind of light that bounces off the water and paints the  buildings in sand washed warmth.

When the last tweaks on my in-law were done and I had a cup of hot tea in me I decided it was time to take my inaugural walk to the beach.

I slipped off my Converse and socks and put on a pair of polka dot flip-flops and headed to the ocean.

Flip Flops

Polka Dot Flip Flops

I took them off as soon as I hit the sand and climbed up the dunes to the crest to see the sea spread before me, splendid and board, all-encompassing, shattered with light and sunshine.

Sand Dune

Sand Dune

Pacific Ocean

Pacific Ocean

I breathed in deep.

Delighted to be here, the crash of the waves drowning out any noise in my head.

I understood in a split second why, early into my sobriety, I was drawn to the sea.

The noise was louder than the noise in my head.

The serenity of not hearing the constant monkey wrench grind of my thoughts and the chitty chitty bang-bang of useless dreck being constantly manufactured.

Just the bash of the waves and the crescendo of the surf.

It created a kind of dream like meditative state.

I felt like I was walking in a silence that was deep and powerful and lulling.

The lullaby of the ocean.

How have I lived this long without that noise in my ears?

I walked out to the surf and got my toes wet.

The water swirled around my feet and my heart soared above me, a kind of delirious feeling of vertigo threatened to over take me and I swayed watching the clear bubbles draining away back to the ocean as the tide pulled back out.

Dogs splashed past me, lovers leaned into each other and laughed, sharing a private moment on the vast beach.

Lovers

Lovers

The sun and sky.

The wind and the water.

Tide

Tide

I wondered, as I took my camera and aimed it at a kite surfer, will I get bored with this?

Will it become blase?

Or will it continue to delight and soothe and comfort me?

I tend to think the latter.

I am grateful to be here and excited to see what develops in this land of sand and salt.

The tears in my eyes were probably caused by the wind pushing its way past my glasses, my vision blurred as I pointed the camera directly to the sun and shot another photograph.

Kite Surfer

Kite Surfer

My heart burst with the beat of the ocean and I brushed the moisture off my face, pocketing my glasses, I stood, eyes closed, surf rolling over my feet, and said a few words of grace.

For graced I am.

Blessed.

Loved.

Salt saturated.

Serene.

Home.

Home by the sea.


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