Posts Tagged ‘The Sunset’

What The Fuck Was That?

February 12, 2015

I just had the most intense flight or fight response I have had in quite sometime.

I got a lot of news about some people I care for in short period of time.

Including a friend who has been trying to use like a gentleman and not having a good go of it, someone I love and care about and had to tell, hey, I love you, but I can’t talk to you when your intoxicated.

Then not being able to get a hold of someone who I was worried about and had a brief monstrous flash of what could be wrong.

Fortunately I was incorrect, but it was an intense moment, standing in the door way of my studio pacing back and forth trying to get a hold of someone on the phone while receiving texts about my friend using drugs at the same time.

Ack.

Then, well, I go where I need to go and on Wednesdays that’s changed since the break up with my ex.

I used to see him on Wednesdays on the regular before we were dating at this one spot in the Inner Sunset.

Then my job changed and I stopped going there, and when we broke up, it was completely off the table to show up there.

We agreed to the 90 days no contact and I have honored that.

So.

You know, surprised, might be an understatement, to see him walk into the Beach Burrito not ten feet away from where I am standing at 8:25 p.m. this evening.

Fuck me.

I went tharn.

That would be, like a rabbit caught in the headlights as it’s about to be mowed down by a car, made up word stolen from one of my favorite works of fiction.

Watership Down, Richard Adams.

I was knocked over by the feeling.

Ow.

My heart.

Really?

Right then.

Relapsing friend.

Another friend missing in action.

Catching my breath, trying to breathe, then my ex walks into the fucking burrito shop ten feet away from me.

He waved.

I don’t know that I did, I don’t think I waved, that is.

I don’t know what I did.

I did of course.

Tear up.

Wallop!

Smash!

Run!

My heart beat, my eyes watered, I was shell-shocked.

It shouldn’t hurt like that.

Like what?

I mean, I don’t know.

I haven’t been in a serious relationship in a while.

Despite it being short, it was sober and real and intense and lots of emotions were stirred up and it was a deep learning experience.

I feel things.

I am a sensitive bunny.

That’s why I like the jackalope, it’s got some horns.  One doesn’t fuck with a jackalope, one might get pronged.

Ah.

My heart on a pair of horns.

But my God has me, takes care of me, makes sure that I can handle exactly everything that I have been handed.

My best friend calls thirty seconds after I see the ex go into the burrito joint with another woman.

I am standing looking into a room while I am on the phone with her, the room, full of smiling faces, warmth, laughter, friends, all I have to do is take a breath, pray, and walk over that threshold.

Sit down and be enveloped in my fellowship.

Thank you God for this experience.

I have not been painted into a corner, I was just made vulnerable, soft, washed out with salt and tears and hollowed out to hold the light that was there, Christmas lights, white on the floor, glowing in the dark, softly blurred from the tears running down my face.

I am grateful for this.

I am grateful for these feelings.

It means I am alive.

And I can hold more than one emotion at a time.

There’s room for them all.

Even for humor.

I mean, it’s funny, the details are more convoluted and ridiculous the more that I looked at them, how human, how connected the people in my life are and how the picture continues to change and grow.

“Look at all your hair,” he, a friend I was surprised to see in my neck of the woods, said to me afterward, when the lights came up, the candlelight done for the week, to return next Wednesday, same time, same channel, hopefully less an  ex boyfriend eating Mexican next door.

I hugged him.

God he felt good.

“What are you doing over here, didn’t you move to Berkeley?”  I asked.

“Ayup, class today,” he said and sparkled at me.

Damn.

You look good.

But you’re not on the list.

I asked you out once before.

You said no, let’s be friends.

And friends we are, but you know.

When you bury your face in my neck and smell me, I wonder, you know.

We caught up.

I told him about what had happened, in a bit more detail than here.

There are things I can write about are through my own lens and there are things that I can’t.  I don’t want to write about people I know and love except in the vaguest way–anything that is unkind or breaking a confidence, I just cannot put here.

Other people and their lives are not my business to write about, how I feel, what I do, how I live my life, my experiences, those are the things I can write about.

I’m tiptoeing a fine line is what I’m saying, but I could tell my friend that I saw tonight in a bit more detail, namely because he didn’t know any of the people I was talking about.

Then we talked about money.

Student loans specifically.

“I figure I just take the next action and if I get in, God will put the money there, it will happen,” I said.  “I mean, it’s only $50,000 a year, for three years.”  I think I may have blanched saying that, but since my friend’s in nursing school he knows, his tuition at a private university is about the same.

Just a little thing called faith.

“Hey let’s bounce,” my friend’s ride came over.

He hugged me again, I mean hugged me.

It was snuggly.

Boy howdy I needed that.

Then it slipped out, “are you sure we shouldn’t get together and snuggle,” I whispered in his ear.

“I mean, I know you don’t want to date me, we’ve already covered that ground before,” I teased him.

“Well, I think, maybe, I should rethink that, we should go out and have dinner,” he said.

“Yes we should.”  I said and hugged him back.

I wasn’t expecting that.

I don’t know that it could have happened at a better time.

And though he wasn’t on the list, since, I had asked him out over a year ago, he would have been on the top of it at a certain point in our acquaintanceship.

Everything works out.

I don’t have to know the how and the why of it.

I just need to know that it will.

Fall into place.

 

Everything falls into place.

It falls right into place.

Because you’ve got a big heart, baby.

Oh, you’ve got a big heart, it’s true.

All The Pretty Sunsets

January 26, 2015

In the Sunset.

I live in the Outer Sunset of San Francisco and today was the kind of day that everybody comes out to the beach for.

Clear skies.

Sunny.

Great waves breaking.

Warm.

Not hot.

But warm enough for flip-flops and grilling out and playing Ultimate frisbee in the sand, for tall cans and high jinks, to go cups of coffee from Trouble Coffee and Coconut Club, sandwiches wrapped up in white deli paper from Java Beach Cafe, and the ubiquitous joint or three from a kid on the MUNI who “lives” in the park.

It was as if the entire hipster nation came in from the Mission.

Not that I mind sharing the beach with the rest of the city, the Mission shares its burritos with me, but that I am not always used to it being so crowded.

I did want to be down at the beach, though, it was too pretty to stay at home for the sunset.

I had myself a really lovely, low-key, mellow day.

I had two ladies over, back to back, for tea and writing and reading.

I did my laundry and changed my sheets and took a nice shower and ate a good breakfast, wrote lots long hand, went grocery shopping on my bicycle.

It was the grocery shopping on my bicycle that both confirmed for me that the entire city was ocean side, and also sealed the deal that I would, despite the crowds, go down too.

It was just dreamy.

Riding my bicycle on the Great Highway and the sun warm on my face, the breeze, yes cool, I didn’t want to be in the shade today, which in San Francisco is its own mircro climate, but gorgeous, truly.

January 25th and the temperature was in the mid sixties.

I’ll take it.

Although my preference was to take it easy.

I haven’t had an easy Sunday for a while.

I have been coming and going and doing and being and breaking up and having feelings and you know, stuff.

Today.

Well.

It all fell away, like a dream, I woke up and there was the beach beckoning and my back yard beckoning and I could not but heed the call.

I had lunch on my patio and sat with my feet in a chair listening to Coleman Hawkins on the stereo and dining al fresco in the sun.

It is just protected enough by the houses surrounding it that it tends to be just a bit warmer than if I was outside in front of the house.

It soaks up the sunshine and reflects it back.

When it’s hot, it’s not too pleasant, but it is infrequently hot.

I read a magazine.

I closed my eyes and drifted in and out.

I read more of my Stephen King novel, Doctor Sleep.

I drank some tea.

I listened to the birds.

Ravens.

Finches.

Gulls.

I heard the scream of a hunting hawk.

I heard the faint shush of the sea.

During the day it’s a lot harder to hear, too much back ground noise, but in between the birdsong and the N-Judah train running, occasionally I would catch just the barest hint of surf crashing.

Muffled.

Yet joyful.

When I first moved out here and it was suggested that I take Sundays and allow myself to have some down time and to not make plans, I got really freaked out.

Spend time with myself?

No way man.

I might have feelings.

I have places to be, things to do.

I have to get ahead, man.

However, I am a suggestion monster, and so I did.

I sat.

I got still.

I listened to the sea.

I listened to my heart.

I did cry.

And then something happened.

The stillness sunk in and I started to need it.

I started to crave it.

And then I forgot, sort of, all about it, when I got into the relationship.

I do recall having thoughts about going down for a walk on the beach with the ex-boyfriend, but he wasn’t much for walking on the beach.

I don’t believe I ever asked either, I’m sure he would have been game, but we never did.

Add to ideal.

Ugh.

Yes.

I would like to go for walks by the sea.

I mean, yeah, it’s a stupid cliché.

But it’s also my back yard and I like walking and really, when I live so close, it seems silly to not enjoy it.

I mean.

Come on.

It’s gorgeous.

Sunset Ocean Beach

Sunset Ocean Beach

I had made a few resolutions about today.

Deal with my taxes, meaning, contact my families from 2014 and find out what they are claiming for child care, if they are claiming, and request that information by the 31st of the month.

Done and done.

I sent out the e-mail earlier.

Order a pair of jeans online.

I know my size, I know what kind I like to wear, so order them.

Thanks Ebay!

I found a pair of the normally $175 jeans for $19.99 plus shipping.

$25.88 and I have a new pair of jeans coming to me in the mail.

Next.

Walk to the beach and watch the sunset.

Allow myself to enjoy my neighborhood and not be wary of running into my ex.

Then it happened.

I realized I wasn’t afraid to run into my ex.

It wasn’t like I wanted to.

It was more that, as I was walking down Judah toward the beach, that I suddenly knew that whenever we saw each other next, it would be alright.

The thought of seeing him didn’t make me want to cross the street to avoid him.

Which is a good thing since he lives four and a half blocks away.

I didn’t run into him, in case you were wondering.

But I’m not afraid to.

And that felt nice.

Like.

Oh.

The world.

It has moved on.

And so have I.

I am back into my groove.

I have my jazz on the stereo, my face full of sunshine, my belly replete with tea and good food, the weekend was restful, I got to read, I accomplished the basic household stuff that needs to be done, grocery shopped, and did the deal.

And I got to go for a romantic walk on the beach with the best girl in the neighborhood.

Me.

 

“To love oneself is the begging of a life-long romance.”

-Oscar Wilde

 

 

It’s Not The Woman In Your Life

November 4, 2014

It’s the life in your woman.

The life in your woman.

I am one lively woman right now.

Just got off a brisk, oh its almost time for more layers, bicycle ride down Irving.

It is November.

Although, a lovely November, warm, I mean yesterday I was in flip-flops most of the day.

It was a bit of a manic day for me, not intentionally, not that I was looking for mania, it just struck, as it does at times, on a Monday.

The boys were just super high energy with me today and I had to step it up to keep up.

There was also some sugar involved, which I had completely forgotten about, and when I asked one of the boys who had slipped them the caffeine pills it struck me, that’s exactly what’s going on, too much of something–the  special cookie treat at school when the mom and I picked up the eldest to head to swimming.

The two-year old was really affected and a bit of a handful.

The last few hours of the day went by so fast I could barely catch my breath, in fact, a few times I asked the boys to pause and take big deep breaths.

I think I was telling myself to pause and take really big, deep breaths, I needed to slow down.

I did get them to settle down when I challenged them to tongue twisters.

The eldest boy got completely caught up in rubber, baby, buggy bumpers.

The youngest just winged around the room like a whirling dervish and I am still amazed that I got out alive.

Monday’s are my longest, busiest day.

I get there early for the family and have the youngest quite a bit before nap time, there’s always lots to do for food prep and errands and children’s laundry, and there’s the swimming in the afternoon, which precipitates a lot of prep to get out the door, to the school, to pick up the four-year old, navigate through San Francisco traffic from the Mission to the Presidio, get all the gear, and the boys, and the bags into La Petite Bailene, then changed, then to class, then out of the pool, showers, changed back into clothes, back into the car, and fed with snacks and milk, then back to the house for dinner and baths.

I am breathless writing about it.

Fortunate for me, swimming only happens once a week.

It’s a big deal, and the classes are only a half hour-long.

It’s a humongous amount of work for a half hour class, but the boys love it, and truth be told, I am a little envious.

I miss swimming myself.

Not sure when I would get myself into a pool, but there it is again, a longing to swim.

Though not the longing to pack up all the gear, the washing the hair, the in and out of the pool, the getting back and forth.

It’s not the swimming that is exhausting, although it can be, it’s the deal of doing it.

Now that I am back on the scooter, one payment left!  I might reconsider going to a pool again.  There’s a YMCA close to Stonestown that I could hop into and the membership looks pretty reasonable.

It might be nice to hop in once in a while on the weekends.

I am feeling more and more in my body since I have been back on my bicycle for the last six weeks.

The ankle is holding up and though still has a twinge or two of pain or a bit of stiffness, it’s healing.

Tomorrow marks five months since I had the accident and it really does appear that it will be the full six months of recovery the doctor told me.

Those doctors, they know their stuff.

I find it hilarious that I would even question someone who has more knowledge of something than I do, but I do it all the time without even realizing it.

Maybe you don’t want to try that, maybe you should pause, maybe you could try something else, maybe you don’t have that right.

Nah.

I got this.

I got nothing.

I do, at least, have an aggregate of experiences which seem to be pointing me in a general direction and that’s nice.

Still a struggle, and the crazy, well it leaks out.

But I have such an awesome support network of women that I was able to get some perspective today from a friend and I feel like we both talked each other down from mutual ledges in regards to basically the same thing.

Fear.

Fear of fucking it up, mainly.

Fucking what up?

EVERYTHING.

As though I am just that all-powerful.

I can get that thought stuck in my head and be going round and round with something and then someone says, “hey call somebody, ask how they are doing,” and what do you know, I feel better.

Life is really lovely and I don’t have answers to anything.

I do have experience, but I tell you, things are constantly a surprise, I should think by this point that I would not be surprised, but life sneaks up and says boo and whoa, what just happened?

Life.

Just life.

And I am so over awed that I get to be a part of it.

I mean really.

I live in San Francisco.

I am surrounded by the most beautiful city, landscape, the ocean is out my back door, I mean, come on, who rides along the Pacific Ocean, Great Highway, to go grocery shopping?

I do.

Ha.

I also ride through Golden Gate Park, I work on one of the prettiest blocks in the Mission, the house I am in is full of light and art, I am surrounded be beauty.

And I am beauty too.

I get to live this scrumptious life.

It’s not perfect, I am not perfect.

But it is perfection.

I am perfectly imperfect.

Learning again and again how to shift my perspective, how to show up, how to walk through fear, how to surrender, how to be more authentic.

How to leap tall buildings in a single bound.

I jest.

But that’s what it feels like sometimes.

Just the day-to-day living can be a leap of utter faith.

Good thing I have  a lot of it.

Faith, that is.

This Blog is brought to You by the Letter J

March 13, 2014

J. as in Java Beach.

I am doing the unthinkable, at least for me.

I am in a cafe blogging.

Shhhh.

Most of the time I am at the kitchen table blogging, however, for the fourth day in a row, no internet at the house.

I was about to get frustrated, but I knew that was not the answer.

I got home, saw my land lord had just sent a text, heard my phone whistle at me as I was riding into the sunset, and that is not a metaphor, I was riding directly into the setting sun this evening coming home from some Inner Sunset doing the deal.

They call it the Sunset for a reason.

Holy crow, batman, that was an intense ride, it was glorious, but overwhelming too.

I could barely see.

I went real slow.

I rode in the middle of the road and I stopped at all lights, just like a good girl should.  It was still light in my studio when I got home, it was beautiful.

The text was not the one I wanted to get, but sometimes more is revealed, like oh yeah, there’s that cafe that stays open late a couple of blocks from the house.

I bet for the cost of a tea, $2, I could hit up some free WiFi.

And yes, indeed, that is the case.

It’s a bit slow, but hey, its internet and it’s nice to be on my wordpress site without having to do a jig in the corner by the door to catch whatever weak signal might be free-floating through the ether.

I had written my blog yesterday and for a brief second, I got online.

I tempted the fates, typed a quick post script at the bottom of the blog about having successfully gotten on and by the time I had gone to push the publish button, the internet was gone and did not come back for another hour and a half.

I was miffed.

Oh well.

I was also occupied in that time.

I got the scooter!

I paid my friend this month’s payment, we signed a receipt of sale, and sweet friend he, “sold” it to me than far less than what I am actually paying for the ride.

So that I don’t have to pay crazy registration fees at the DMV.

I had forgotten about that part, I am going to have to go register it and get stickers and all that jazz.

I will take the registration with me, the title, the bill of sale, and myself on down to the DMV on the 23rd of the month, take my written test, pay the applicable fees, then voila!

Scooter time.

Until then it is just something pretty to look at.

I am not the only person who thinks it’s pretty either.

Someone tried to take it last night.

My friend had parked it in front of the house and it got pushed along by someone at some point in the night.  The handle bars were locked, so they didn’t end up getting very far with it, but they did tip it over, leaving it in front of the garage about five, six feet from where it had been parked.

I freaked out a little.

Then my land lord said I could park it inside the “foyer” of the house.

There’s a big entry way that is partially dirt, a square of un paved floor that I believe may one day hold a flower garden or something, I don’t believe it gets enough sunlight to encourage anything to grow in the space, but that’s not my business.

My scooter is safe and unharmed, from what I can tell, no dings or dents and the mirror, thank God was not broken.

I have not ridden it yet and would like to have it in full working condition when I do.

The early evening of the 23rd, my friend will be coming over to my place and walking me through riding the scooter.  I am going to go into work from noon until 5:30 p.m. after I get done with the DMV, and then I will hit it home, new licence in hand and go for a few rides around the block with him to make sure I have all the handling down.

As it turns out, there is shifting that I need to do with the Vespa.

I had not realized that.

Not to say that I would have changed taking the motorcycle class at all, I am grateful that I had the experience I had and despite there being gears to shift on the Vespa, I won’t be doing it with my foot.

It’s all in the in handlebars.

I should pick it up fast.

I am excited.

The city will be my oyster.

While I am grateful for the little internet action I have right now, it is slow pants.

I may not get everything downloaded that I need to download before my computer dies out.  I did not bring my battery with me.

I don’t want to be working too long in the cafe.

It’s not a horrible experience, but it is distracting.

I’m used to it just a little quieter and well, with no one around to look at.

On the other hand, it’s nice to see a bunch of folks out on a Wednesday evening working, socializing, studying, hanging out.

I like that I am a part of this neighborhood and that I got waved at be two folks on my way to the cafe.

“Hula hooping still,” he asked, leaning over his handle bars on the hog.

I gave him the thumbs up and kept going.

Funny, too, how I am so used to doing things a certain way.

I had to stop what I was doing and take my watch off and the bandana tied around my wrist, they were getting in the way of the keyboard stroke action.

Yes, I just said stroke action in a non-sexual manner.

Get your head out of the gutter.

Time for a date.

Me thinks.

I am rambling now, I know, but it’s nice to be here, listening to music that I would not normally be listening to, smelling smells–coffee and soup and toast–hearing the rumbling conversations and the train going by outside.

The window is open and I can smell smoke out there too.

Beautiful night for a beach bonfire.

Thanks Java Beach Cafe.

This wasn’t too bad.

Not too bad at all.

I Don’t Know Where I Am Going

October 24, 2013

But it smells like sea salt and wood smoke.

I blew a stop sign with tears in my eyes from the wind and the fog rushing past my face, the lights around me haloed in the glimmer of headlights and my heart soared just in front of me, clearing the space for my body to follow.

Flying on my bicycle to the beach.

It is cold outside.

I was bundled up, long sleeves, sweatshirt, jean jacket, fingerless gloves.

But it was exhilarating coming home from the Inner Sunset, the smell in the air reminding me that the cold weather is not just coming, it is here.

It seems a little early, but that could just be me, or it could be that it gets cold here, at the edge of the world, faster, then it did when I was in the Mission District.

The fog has laid claim to my neighborhood and the wind has a bite to it, not a teasing nip, a bite.

It’s not a mean bite yet, but I sense that I am going to be bundling up differently to ride around here when the rainy season hits.

Something that should be addressed soon, the coming November rains.

November is like, uh, next fucking week.

This month is zooming by and no, I don’t know what I am going to be for Halloween.

Probably nothing.

I am not a huge fan of Halloween.

The jackassery wears me out.

Oh, I like to dress up, really, did you see me today?

Flower in the hair, glitter on the nails, sparkle in the leggings, lip gloss, pig tails.

I looked like a juvenile delinquent.

I am a juvenile delinquent, with a few grey hairs sneaking in there.

But I don’t have plans to go do anything.

It falls on a Thursday, which means I will be taking my little girl charge to music class in the Haight and I may dress her up, but myself?

Nah.

Unless I throw on my crinoline just for fun.

I could do that.

Hell, I wear my crinoline any time I feel like I need some fun in the routine.

For it is becoming a routine, slow, sure, steady.

I am finding my way about the work and the neighborhood and the recovery needs are being met and I am seeing how the bicycle is good for getting me to and fro.

I am finding times that work for bedtime and writing time and going to the job time.

I was thinking this morning that I may implement an extra fifteen minutes into my schedule into the day at the beginning by getting up at 6:45a.m. instead of 7a.m. on Mondays, Tuesday, and Wednesdays–to do more of my morning writing.

Thinking about it does not mean that I will, I just found myself with a few extra minutes this morning and really like the pace that I had to do my writing.

Plus, I was thinking of an article a friend had sent me about a person who for the last 13 years has been spending three hours a day doing daily writing.

On top of what sounded like full-time work and raising two kids.

I don’t have the two kids, unless you count the nannying, but I do have the full-time work and I get in about an hour an a half to two hours every day.

I type quite fast.

And I write quite fast.

Some practise at doing both and I can knock out the work far quicker than one would think.

I am not quite up to speed with my fingers finding the keyboard as fast as my thoughts come, but I am not far off.

I can hear the words and there is a pause between the word in my head and the word on the screen, but it is not much and it certainly is not as long as it used to be.

The same for the hand writing, which actually is faster than the typing.

Or perhaps my brain is a little slower in the morning when I am doing the pages.

Regardless, I do the writing and I do the work and it will one day pay off.

It already has in amazing ways.

I feel like people know of me and about me and I am able to share my experiences with a world that I cherish.

I like that my friends have tabs on me.

I like that folks I bump into randomly at 5th and Irving know that I have gone surfing recently and just got a wetsuit.

I find it a way to keep me accountable and not isolated.

Although it is not an excuse to not see my friends.

I like to talk to people face to face and engage that way too.

Much better than reading about it on Facecrack or whatever other social medium you use.

I like that I get information from very diffuse places and people.

I have a lot of odd connections out there to a lot of different kinds of folks from my family to my friends to people I have met at Burning Man, I like the breadth of my community.

But I also like sitting down with a friend and despite being flattered about someone reading about my day on my blog, I would like to see them as well.

I get to see Joanie this Friday and another old friend is coming into town on Sunday and we are grabbing coffee, I haven’t seen her in years, it will be good to catch up.

And I can tell them about the sea and the way it smells at night.

How yes, I look so young and dewy fresh, but it’s just the fog condensation on my cheeks not a new product from MAC.

I don’t know where I am going, I say to myself, but I do know I am going to be writing about it, wherever it is.

Today, it is a room down by the beach lit with candles and filled with music and notebooks and songs in my head.

A wetsuit waits in the closet.

A book waits to be read.

A tea-pot to be filled.

I don’t know how it all works out, but it does.

And I guarantee that the words, despite myself, will continue to come.

Because I don’t know where they are going either.

Just that they are always there for me.

Like the smell of the sea and the soft shrine of smoke adrift in my heart as I sail down the dark streets on my trusty sparkling stead heading off into the Sunset.

That Was Life Changing

October 7, 2013

My life is now and forever irrevocably changed.

I am a surfer.

Did I get up on the board?

Nope.

Did I get on my knees, five, maybe six times.

Did I get knocked over by the waves?

Yes.

A lot.

Did I ingest a little salt water?

A little bit.

Have I stopped smiling?

No.

I told my friend who just dropped me off from a full day–surfing, coffee at Java Beach, hanging out with friends in the Castro, movie a the Metreon (Gravity), and a late dinner at Golden Gate Indian (vegetable Korma and basmati rice)–that he has changed my life.

I mean really.

First, that which I was most afraid of, the cold of the water.

Not cold.

Wow.

Does a wet suit really work.

I wasn’t cold at all.

I am sure that will change, the water will get colder, it’s probably the warmest that it gets right about now.  The weather the last few days, spectacular, in the 80s, wore my flip-flops all day and my swim suit and a little tank dress.

I felt fucking naked.

It was glorious.

But the wet suit, though I must have looked a travesty getting it on, works really well.

I forgot how I was nervous about the cold immediately.

And not once did I think shark.

Not once did I think much of anything.

I was just totally in the water, in the next wave, in watching the roll of the surf come up on me.

I got knocked around a little bit, we were in the rough, I never managed to paddle out past the breaking point of the surf, but I was alright with that.

And my strength is not as much as I thought.

There is a different kind of fatigue that happens.

Probably the cold water zapping a bit out of you, and plus as my friend pointed out, when you are a beginner you really do struggle quite a bit more than a seasoned surfer, and you work a lot to get not near the results.

The more you do it, the easier it happens and the less you struggle.

Today I struggled.

And that’s ok.

I am learning.

There is so much to learn.

So much.

I learned I need more core strength and that yoga is definitely on the table for me, I can see how useful that core strength is for paddling out, for balancing, for getting up on the board.

The board I never got up on.

The board I had a hard time pulling myself up on, but did, and I did catch a few waves, from first my belly, then my knees.

If you heard shrieks of gaiety, that was from me.

I waddled about in the surf a lot, did not make it far out and had the best time.

I just kept smiling.

I had a few moments when I was scared, the waves are a lot bigger when you are in the surf than you realize.

A lot bigger.

The other thing that surprised me, and this sounds funny, but it is much saltier than I realized it would be.

And you know me, I love that salty taste.

I am so happy to have found this.

I am so grateful to have walked through the fear.

And I can tell it is going to be one hell of an adventure, but one that with a small amount of financial investment, really all I need is a surf board and a good wet suit, I will have years of enjoyment from it.

I can see surfing for a long, long time.

My friend and I talked about surfing until he’s in his 80s.

I am down for that kind of life.

I am so happy to be out by the beach.

I popped my surfing cherry at Ocean Beach, San Francisco.

I need to make that into a bumper sticker, or something.

It is taking a lot of restraint to not go off trolling on craigslist for a used board and wet suit.

I looked a little bit this morning at wet suits for rental, I borrowed my friends today, eventually I will need to get my own, his is a little too long for me, he’s a bit taller, and I will need to get the booties, but really I bet I could have my own gear within a few weeks.

Especially if I buy used.

He’s recommending a long board, and that makes sense, I rode a long board today.

I can’t believe that.

I am forty!

I surfed at 40.

Freaking awesome.

It is an amazing workout.

I can feel how tired my arms are.

I am going to sleep like a baby.

And not a fussy, teething baby, but a zonked out, tired, baby.

I am a little wired writing about it and I want to schedule my next time in right now.

Right now.

My friend recommended once or twice a week.

Yes please.

I mean, I live three blocks from the beach.

I don’t have to have a car to take a board down, I can just walk.

I can store a board in the garage, there’s room, and a wet suit too.

Although I won’t go by myself.

Uh, no fucking way.

I probably will never go by myself, but I will go again.

And the sooner the better.

I have off Thursday and Friday (doing a big overnight on Saturday).

I work tomorrow, Tuesday, and a 1/2 day on Wednesday.

I would like to get into the water again by Thursday or Friday.

I want to commit to doing this weekly.

It will take me some time to get decent.

Probably the rest of my life.

But I don’t care.

I really don’t.

I had so much fun, the riding in, even on my knees, was amazing, so fast, I can’t wait to get on my feet and cut back and forth along the waves.

Surfer.

I like that I am adding something new to my repertoire.

Who knew?

Not I.

That’s for sure.

The gifts of moving out here to the Sunset keep coming.

The gift of the present.

I was so in the moment.

There was no thinking about anything, there was just being in the water, jumping up on the board, ducking through a wave, and paddling up and over a swell.

The sun on my face.

The salt on my lips.

The smile that would not quit.

And time with my darling friend.

Life is amazing.

My life is amazing.

And just a little salty.

Color Me Changed

September 29, 2013

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

To do one thing that I really wanted to do.

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

Why?

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

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

Ocean Beach

Sunset

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

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

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

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

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

I was not disappointed with this decision.

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

Train Tracks

Train Tracks

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

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

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

The sound of the ocean was also louder.

I noticed this today.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I pulled off my glasses and turned on my camera.

TIdes

Colorful

Sunset

Sunset

Coast

Coast LIne

Mirror Image

Mirror

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

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

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

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

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

I needed a day off.

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

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

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

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

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

I am not good with unstructured time.

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

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

It is all about balance.

Happiness is not excitement.

Happiness is being serene and calm and present.

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

Today I know better.

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

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

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

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

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

I can’t afford to not go.

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

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

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

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

I am changed.

I am different.

I am slowing down.

Color me content.

Tide

Tide

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Slow and Easy

September 16, 2013

Sunday in the Sunset.

I could, um, I hesitate to admit this, but, yeah, I could get used to this.

It is almost too mellow for my tastes.

I like to be all get up and go and do and run and jump and bike and move out the way bitch.

But today, with nothing on my plate, nothing, I just showed up and discovered more of my new neighborhood.

I did the typical morning routine, with the exception of getting back into bed for 15 more minutes, why, because why not?  It’s Sunday and the day was a slow start, with a long, lovely burn.

Breakfast, some coffee, some writing, some meditating, and then, a walk.

Right along the Great Highway, right next to the sea.

I watched surfers catch waves, smelled the great salt breeze and shambled slowly from Judah to Quintara.  I had put a Japanese sweet potato in the oven and given myself an hour and a half to walk as far and as leisurely as I wanted.

I figured I would be back to the house by 1:15/1:30 p.m. and I would have my lunch on the back patio, a nice little routine I am enjoying the hell out of.

I called my mom and caught up with her.

I did my best to just look out at the sea and the sky and not think about work, or lack of or what I was going to do with the rest of the day.

Lunch, as I expected, was done when I returned, all stretched out and warm from my walk, and ready for a little mid-afternoon nibble.

Which I took in the back yard nestled into an Adirondack wood chair dressed in faded white paint.

I love how washed out and beachy everything looks.

I like how many people I saw barefoot.

Surfers in wet suits walking with their boards down the sidewalk.

Nothing but their boards, the wet suit, and sunblock on their faces.

It was a gorgeous day out, no fog, all sun.

My phone kept telling me it was chillier than it felt and I wonder how accurate the weather rumours I hear about the Sunset are true.

Then again, I believe, September and October are the prettiest months in San Francisco.  The Indian Summer days are blushed warm and exuberant and sunny.

Don’t tell the tourists.

I love these next few months in the city.

It usually dies off by Halloween, it’s almost like a switch is thrown, but I shall see what will come out here.  I do predict I will be here awhile.

After my lunch I got on the bike and headed up LIncoln toward 9th Avenue.

I wandered around the neighborhood a little, running into a random friend who as it turns out, was at Burning Man and we never saw each other.

Even though I was in her camp on at least four occasions.

Too funny to run into her at a restaurant sitting outside in the sun in the Inner Sunset.

After my tiny nibble of exploration I hopped back on the bicycle and rode a few more minutes to the Botanical Gardens in Golden Gate Park.

I had gotten turned onto to them yesterday and out of curiosity,  I wanted to see what all the fuss was about.

It was fuss worthy.

The vast scope of plants and the flowers, the geese in the Great Meadow, the purple Japanese Higo Iris I saw by a small pond, all painted such a beautiful picture I was remiss to think that in all the years I have been in San Francisco, I never explored this part of the park.

I had an inkling it was there, but I never went into it.

I will be going again soon.

In fact, I believe there are all sorts of places out here I will be discovering.

In a slow and leisurely manner.

That seems to be the pace of things out here.

Slowed down.

Except right at Sunset.

Then I saw people actually running toward the beach to catch the last rays of the sun before it dipped into the ocean.

“Tonight the sun goes down at 7:17 p.m.” my friend told me as she pattered about the kitchen putting away dishes and folding laundry, getting things ready for the start of a new week.

“You are more than welcome to join us” she continued, “movie night, dinner, hanging out, the door’s open.”  She concluded and put away another stack of folded kitchen towels.

But the words, the sun sets at, kept ringing in the ears.

I wound my way back downstairs to my spot and had a quick bite of dinner, then I grabbed a bottle of sparkling water from the fridge and my camera and headed out the door just a few minutes after 7 o’clock.

I watched a door pop open and a girl in bare feet and bikini bottoms and a white tank top, fleet as a golden hart in the woods, ran laughing ahead of her boyfriend who was slow running after in his black worn down Converse and low slung jeans behind her toward the beach.

They dashed over the Great Highway and climbed the dunes to see the view.

The tops of the dunes were daubed with people faces turned out toward the horizon waiting for the last dip of sunshine before ending their days, packing their blankets, and heading back home.

The girl shivered as the sun bent low and her boyfriend wrapped his arms around her and they both faced out.

I dropped my flip-flops in sand and shuffled up the side of another dune, stopping to catch a photograph of the grass topped dunes to my right.

Dunes and grass

Dunes and grass

Then I turned toward the red line on the horizon.

The sunset was not as spectacular as I had hoped, yet, it filled me with a kind of warm wonder as the crimson cream color spread along the edge of the ocean separating the water from the gray cloud bank overhead.

Horizon

Horizon

I stayed for a few more minutes, but it appeared that was all the fireworks that were to happen this sunset.

I suspect I may catch a few more before my time here is done.

I suspect my time here is going to be a long one.

I can feel myself getting rooted in the sand like the grass on top of the dunes.

I walked to the beach twice today, rode my bicycle through the park, went to the Botanical Gardens in Gold Gate Park and ate my meals under the blue sky with the sharp tang of the sea to whet my appetite.

I may get used to this slowing down a lot faster than I think.

I might just become a beach bum.

Sooner rather than later.

 

Whole Lot Of Running Around

September 14, 2013

With not much accomplished.

Is what today felt like.

I write and emphasize “felt”.

I actually had a pretty chill day when I sit back and reflect on it.

The bike ride this morning from the Sunset to the Mission was quite nice and I do like the Pan Handle part of the commute in which I am sailing along beneath the canopies of Eucalyptus trees and the fog is misty my cheeks.

I am sure there will be time when I forget the simple pleasure of this ride and it becomes a get me from point A to point B sort of ride, but today, the novelty of it was still in force and I enjoyed the hell out of it, not trying to race to my destination, just floating along the path.

I got to the Mission early and locked up at the office on Valencia Street to get a message that the meet up had been changed to my friend’s house, which was fantastic as I was looking forward to meeting the new puppy in the household.

Such a sweet mop of a dog!

She’s like some floppy muppet, a golden doodle, and she came tumbling down the stairs and greeted me with soft, warm, sloppy kisses.

Not a bad way to start my visit.

My friend hosted the most divine little lunch and we had cups of tea and swapped Burning Man stories and caught up.

We also discussed how there is not much of a need for my services for her business right now.

And guess what?

I did not freak out.

I was too happy sitting in my patch of sunlight, enjoying her company, to give a hoot.

There is more out there for me and the absence of work for her does not mean that there is an absence of abundance for me, it’s just going to come from somewhere else.

And who knows, she may get busy in three days and need my help.

I felt a pick of anxiety and said, ok, that’s good, now move forward.

If I have learned anything in this last year of travel, rotating homes, couches, futons, house sitting, et al, is that I am always taken care of.

This does not mean I sit on my ass and wait for it to come to me, it just means that I don’t have to worry about the outcome of not having as much work right now as I would like.

It is ok for me to be a little light on the work at the moment.

Probably not for too long, but I can make rent right now for October if it were suddenly to be demanded.

I have enough.

I have enough brains too to get more work.

I may need to nanny more.

I may need to get my ass to a temp agency.

What ever.

The job (s) will come.

The money will come.

The anxiety about it can just not come.

“Why don’t you worry real hard about that and see what happens,” John Ater said to me once.

“Because I have noticed,” he continued as I squirmed uncomfortably in my seat wanting to tell him to fuck off, “that all that worry seems to work, as it never happens.”

Argh.

But so true.

I have not gone hungry this last year.

I have always had a place to sleep.

I have always had a way to get to where I needed to go–by bicycle, bus, foot, train, plane, automobile, trolley, cable car, subway, Metro, or golf cart–I have never been dropped.

Why the hell should I believe that I will now?

So my friends announcement did not put the panic in me, it actually did the opposite, a small voice said, “nature abhors a vacuum, there is something even better coming for you, be ready for it.”

Ok, then.

I am ready.

I left her and headed back to the Sunset, I had brought my computer with me and did not want to haul it around anymore, I also wanted to free up room in my messenger bag for a potential grocery shopping trip.

I made a couple of quick pit stops–Community Thrift in the Mission, and a little Asian market on Irving street–to pick up a couple of household things I wanted to have.

I got a wooden spoon, a small bowl, a carrot peeler, some batteries, and a set of salt and pepper shakers–the old-fashioned metal canister kind.

The kind that used to sit on my grandparents kitchen table in Lodi, Wisconsin.

I have been finding myself thinking a lot of them, my grandfather’s garden, my grandmother’s pickles and relish dishes.  I have certain smells and tastes in my heart that always remind me of them–fresh dill (grandma’s pickles) in my fridge has been nudging those thoughts and remembrances.

Then the salt and pepper shakers, just a kind of nostalgic novelty now, I suppose.

But they took me back and I could taste the ear of corn from my grandfather’s garden, slathered in butter and the liberal sprinkling of salt from the fat cannister with the small handle on it’s side.

I dropped my goodies off at the house and scooted back out the door, the painters were touching up the last of the walls in my studio and I did not want to be in the way, really there was nowhere to hang out anyhow, so I hopped the N-Judah with aspirations of picking up a few more household items.

This did not happen.

However, I did connect with my friend Calvin and we sat and had iced teas and shot the shit and connected and gossiped and shopped for his girlfriend.

I got to see two of my favorite people in one day.

And I got a ride back to Church and Market to get reconnected with my people.

Then the N-Judah back to the Sunset, a late dinner of Thai Cottage take out left overs, so good and a cup of tea, and voila.

The running around and getting “nothing” done, a figment of my way too active imagination.

Rather a relaxing day in which I watched anxiety float away like the fog being burned off by the sun.

I do not know what will happen next.

However, I feel assured that it will be wonderful.

I am exactly where I am supposed to be and I don’t believe I am going anywhere soon.

Except, maybe, down to the beach.

Sock I(kea)t To Me

September 12, 2013

Big deep breath.

In.

Out.

And repeat.

It will be ok.

The store will not eat me.

It may suck up all my prudent reserve though, which I have sat and figured and re-figured out how much I can afford to spend at the Norwegian/Scandinavian, what is it anyhow, super store, in Emeryville.

The last time I went there it was for my studio in Nob Hill, many moons back, just after, yes that is correct, I came back from a nanny gig at Burning Man.

I am apparently all about the moving directly after I get back from Burning Man, I have done it three times now?  Maybe four.

I am, fingers crossed, done with the moving.

I am getting up early and going with my friend after she drops her daughter off at school.  I looked at a catalog today at work, a quick half day, and by the time 1 p.m. had rolled around I was ready with my list.

One bed frame.

One mattress.

Two side tables.

One “kitchen” table/desk.

Sheets, duvet, duvet covers, pillows, throw rug, can opener, dish strainer and mat, pictures ledges, frames, a soap dish, a throw blanket and a few other miscellaneous objects.

Maybe a pot for my new orchid.

I also went to the Farmer’s Market in the Castro by Cafe Flore today after I met with John Ater. I rode my bicycle back to the Sunset and my “room-mate” was leaving to pick up her daughter in the same neighborhood I was in and offered a ride to and from the market.

I was down.

Not having to haul groceries along on a bicycle in a messenger bag is a huge treat.

I am not going to say I am aghast at what I spent, but it was more than I would have had I not been with company and just really felt like treating myself well.

I deserve nice food.

And I bought some.

Damn you Frog Hollow fruit sample man.

Not like I don’t love them anyway, but I know what I a getting from them and it is always the nectarines.  I will enjoy a peach and that is what they are known for (their peaches have the highest measured fruit sugars of any peaches in California, probably in the United States), but give me a nectarine.

I like the tang and the lack of fuzz.

It is the end of the stone fruit season and now is the time to get those last-minute fruits.

I was just going to get the nectarines.

Then I was offered a sample of a Warren Pear.

Holy Toledo!

It blew my hair back, it has to be the best tasting pear I have ever had in my life, it tasted like it was dipped in honey and slowly glazed in the sun and soaked to the brim with translucent juices.  And only $4.90 a pound.

Good grief, Charlie Brown.

I bought a fucking five dollar pear.

I am looking at it perched in the kitchen on the plate with the other fruit I scored at the market–organic Golden Delicious, Fire Island Nectarines, and yes!  The first persimmons of the season.

I don’t hardly know where to start.

I also got baby pickling cucumbers, heirloom tomatoes, fresh dill, baby gem lettuces, Easer Egg radishes, and the most beautiful head of cauliflower I have ever seen.

Also a five dollar and change purchase.

The cauliflower!

But damn it was tasty in my dinner salad: 1 baby gem lettuce, 1/2 a Hass avocado, four sliced radishes, with the radish greens chopped up and tossed in, fresh dill, one baby cucumber, a handful of heirloom black cherry tomatoes, an organic carrot, one hard-boiled egg, and some sea salt, Bragg Amino’s, olive oil, and a splash of Gravenstein apple cider vinegar.

I had a nectarine for desert and felt so full and replete and satiated and happy.

I barely had room for my tea.

I was going to go down to the beach and finally take a stroll, but I found it easier to repose back to my little room–I had dinner with my friend and her boyfriend and daughter in the up stairs unit–and clean up my dishes and look over the Ikea online catalog one last time.

I am not going to be able to fit the bed frame and the mattress in the Pathfinder, so I am going to get the same day delivery, add-on $89, and I may even pay to have it assembled.

The dollar signs flashing like warning signs in my brain.

But, I also know that I deserve a nice bed to sleep in and a place to write my words and a chair to sit on, a home.

I am not going nuts.

I have a spending plan.

But I am also not going to cause myself unnecessary stress or anxiety.

“What’s the worst that can happen,” John Ater asked be today as I was re-telling the tried and true “tale” of my financial woes and worries.

“I couch surf,” I said and laughed.

“I start over,” I shook my head, “I know this, I know I am not going to be out in the streets in the gutter, I told myself to simmer the fuck down, the thoughts don’t help.”

Nope they do not.

I am not going to live the next part of my life with holding nice things, like pears and persimmons, or a soft mattress and a nice pillow.

I am not going to live with that kind of mentality.

I am embracing abundance and I believe that I will be allowed to live here, in this home in a manner that does not disregard financial responsibility, but also does not place me in a space of such frugality that I sleep my nights away on a blow up mattress.

Nope.

This is my last night on a blow up mattress.

Tomorrow, the Ikea, the bed, the same day delivery, set it up and let me make it up with new pillows and sheets and a duvet and a throw blanket that is soft and cuddly.

If I blow my entire budget on my bed I will be ok with it.

I deserve it.

And I believe that I am being taken care of.

As long as I take care of myself.

To that end, I also bought myself a bouquet of sweet pansies and my first orchid.

I love flowers in my space.

My space.

Ah.

I like the sound of that.

My space, my home.

My little nest.

By the sea.


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