30 December 2004

Snow Globe

Death twitches my ear. “Live,” he says. “I’m coming.” - Virgil

I was home for a day and a half and then off to Cleveland. That was nearly a month ago now… has it been that long since my last confession, regression, reflection? I don’t think I’d ever been to Ohio before. I can’t really say I was in Ohio. I was for a day and a half. And it snowed. I sat in the meeting and stared out the windows from time to time, musing at the courtyard as the first snow descended. What a magical time to be anywhere, during the first snow.

It was clean and white and relentless. I’d been reading Alice Sebold’s new book Lovely Bones on the airplane and it begins with a little girl lamenting the fate of a scarf-clad penguin in a snow globe. Not to worry, her father assures, he’s just trapped in a perfect world. And I’d laugh a little to myself as the day progressed, thinking about how we’re all just trapped in a perfect world. I need to remember that.

The day I left Cleveland, I’ve decided, is among the worst days of my life. Which is a testament to how my life hasn’t really been that bad and perhaps also a sad commentary on my yardstick of personal suffering. The meeting went just a bit long and the taxi was just a bit late. I needed to go to the bathroom. I needed to pee, but I figured the airport was a mere fourteen miles away and I didn’t want to risk missing the first taxi and logic informed that I should wait. I waited and indeed got in the first taxi which promptly was stuck in traffic due to that perfect world of a first snow. It took two and half hours to make that sojourn. The taxi stopping and starting, vibrating and the cold making me shiver even more. My bladder ached – it’s all I could think about for two and half hours… counting the seconds which crawled on their belly. Talk about the notion of ever lasting life. If every two and a half hour segment of time moved as slowly as that one I’d say it would feel like we lived forever. Maybe salvation is living wholly in the present in excruciating discomfort.

Trapped in a perfect world…

I think it is interesting that indeed I’ve experienced the loss of those I love, the death of those who died young and terrible deaths. I think it’s interesting that I don’t count those losses as paramount to the discomfort of sitting in a taxi cab for two and half hours whilst needing to pee. I reflected on this and muse that perhaps those losses are still happening on some level. Or maybe, in fact, they have stopped happening on some level. When someone we love dies, although the act of their dying may take place in a split second, we divide the grief of their death up over time. It’s like it’s not an acute event for us, the living. That needing to pee had a beginning, a middle and an end, like a short story. But death and loss is not. It’s more like a marsh - there are no clear borders where one world starts and the other stops.

Trapped in a perfect world…

It’s sometimes hard to hold, isn’t it, that these things are all constituents of a perfect world? I find this interesting about me too. Some of the things that people enjoy about me are my insights, my perspective and the way(s) that I articulate these things. It’s also these same things that people want to shut up and down. But it’s the same people. They at once want and don’t want, love and loathe, my gifts. As though we can all have it both ways. The double edged sword – it can cut the vines to clear the view and your heart all at once.

Trapped in a perfect world…

Are you following my metaphors? Sliding down my similes to a perfect sibilant yes? There are things beneath the things, hiding snuggly under the covers.

Trapped in a perfect world…

I got a library card yesterday. I leafed through an Annie Liebowitz picture book called Women with a forward by Susan Sontag. A woman I once knew was photographed for the book. I cannot begin to express how dissed I feel by this woman. How insignificant and invisible in history some people can make us feel. And I wonder, does it matter? Does it change anything, what is spoken and what remains silent? As I look through the mirror, darkly, I see myself lurking in time and I see time lurking in me too.

Trapped in a perfect world…

11 December 2004

We Have No Right

We have no right to ask, when sorrow comes, “Why did this happen to me?” unless we ask the same question for every moment of happiness.. - Source Unknown

I arrived back from St Louis last night and leave for Cleveland in the morning. I sat on airplanes and in airports and waited with the patience of a saint to make it back here to be among the things I love. What a strange and sad statement that I don’t carry these things more steadfastly in my heart. How desperate and lonely I will be when Death takes them and I failed to find a way to love them rightly and deeply enough such that nothing, even Death, can take them from me.

Death twitches my ear. “Live,” he says. “I’m coming.” - Virgil

07 December 2004

Big Brown Eyes

She looked at me with her big brown eyes and all she felt was that for reasons she couldn’t comprehend she was enduring relentless punishment.

On the day she was got her stitches out I’d planned a celebration in the park with a cadre of her pals. Within an hour and a half of the sutures being removed the wound had re-split and we were starting all over again with the restriction, the cone and the pills. She’d just finished the course of antibiotics for the Lyme’s disease as well. All this bum luck plopped in her paws at once. I was in the vet office when they re-cut the skin to make rough edges for healing and held her while they sutured her again – that is until I felt faint and sad and asked the vet tech to step in.

And then Ed slammed himself in the head with a tire iron – a huge Harry Potter-style scar runs the length of his forehead (now showing some kinship with Secret whose own scar has now acquired a heel and looks suspiciously like Italy.) He achieved a concussion and to top off a stellar week his car exploded on 19th Avenue and he had to spend near $100 for a taxi home. (This would turn out to be a small blessing as I found him a new vehicle on Craigslist – a fabulous Isuzu Rodeo. I make him drive me about and I say things like, “Whoa.. did you see that cow!?” or “Hey there now, be careful for that horse.” These things happen in the Rodeo you know…. Or “Did you know you have the most dangerous profession on land – you know, a rodeo clown…” It’s been a few weeks, he’s not so amused anymore.)

01 November 2004

No Amount Of Love Can Set It Right

Lisa is in Oregon at a job interview with the kids and the dog. I did a Haz Mat clean up on the yard so that we could perch up front and pass out Halloween candy to children and wine to adults. I picked up an entire kitchen trash bag of shit and I didn’t get it all. I was ready to call the humane society and CPS myself – it seems like there ought to be something reportable about it.

Halloween would have been quite fun had it not been for the mishap that left me distracted. It all began as an innocent walk in the park – as usual. Exactly what happened is a little unclear, though we all agree that she tried to jump up the cliff because the log in her mouth was too wide for the pass, which was flanked by the hillside and a tree, causing her to attempt an alternate route. There had been a sighting of paws on the ledge of the 12 foot rise - proof of a valiant attempt to achieve the impossible – and then she disappeared out of site. She reappeared at the bottom of the waterfall and without a peep or any sign of injury ran with grace and fury to rejoin us.

I was just being my doting self when in the clearing at the top of the hill, before the truly strenuous part of the hike commenced, I decided to check her from head to toe. That’s when I saw it - a gash, a chunk missing really, quite large on the left hind leg. At that point there wasn’t any blood – though by the time we walked the mile back to the car there was plenty of blood. She never limped and she’d never made even the slightly sight or sound of injury.

I think her heart stopped after I got home and I was in the shower – because suddenly she felt very far away and frightened and I was overcome with grief. But then she felt closer and I knew she’d be okay.

We were up most of the night tending to her after we brought her home from surgery. She was afraid and whimpering and not at all liking the cone she will wear for the next twelve days. She urinated on herself and the sofa in her delirium and she was afraid.

Today she woke up timid and disoriented but as the day wears on her eyes look clearer and sometimes she resembles herself. Ultimately she’ll be okay but these next two weeks don’t promise to be her most joyful. She has this look about her, as though she wonders what precisely she did to deserve this punishment. It feels like no amount of love can explain things to her and set it right.

18 October 2004

Cozied Up

Here I sit, on the other side of that moment I talked about in my last entry. I’m a little dizzied and dazed. When I arrived home yesterday I went to see the lovely Tatiana – she’s magical. An hour and a half massage later I felt all wiggly and right. Then I cozied up on the sofa with Ed and Secret Agent Dog, which is where I awoke this morning – san Ed.

Secret Agent Dog smushed up against me all night and we vied for the pillow whilst ensconced in fleece and down blankets. It was a happy way to sleep and a happy way to wake up.

15 October 2004

Can't Touch This

Tonight’s the night. In 50 some hours it will all be done with and I’ll be in that post-deadline/event melancholia no doubt. There’s this moment, I’m not sure exactly when it begins, when a ball is set in motion and you just have to sit back and watch it ride its way out – cringe a little as it collides with this or that and careens off to unexpected places but then somehow ends up exactly where it’s supposed to be. Maybe that moment happens for each of us on the day we’re conceived.

12 October 2004

My Honey Bee's Ennui

Breathe, breathe, breathe. I’m totally freaked out. I have a big work-related event this weekend – and I’m overwhelmed. I’m trying to keep my freak out right-sized. Breathe, breathe, breathe. Whoa, there it goes again, expanding to fill the size of the space available to it. It’s a greedy bastard. Damned freak out.

Yesterday, enroute to my mountain with Secret Agent Dog, she stopped. We’d walked all of six blocks and she stopped and lay down right there in the middle of the street. She wouldn’t walk on no more. She was done. I’ve known something’s not right. She’s been lagging behind on the mountain, fatigues easily and seemed stricken with a general malaise. Since she needed booster shots anyways, what better time, I thought, to just have her looked at all over – the toe, the weepy eye, the whole kit and caboodle. Yes, yes, a terrible infection around the nail bed and what’s this… Lyme’s disease. The cause of my Honey Bee’s ennui is Lyme’s disease.

08 October 2004

Drive By

Cassie did a drive by lasagna yesterday. When I arrived home from my doctor’s appointment in The City to be slammed by deadlines, frazzled and preoccupied with the magnitude of work before me, there before me, as opposed to a magnitude of work, was one of Cassie’s lasagna’s – sitting in a box in the car port.

I must pause and give thanks. It was unexpected. It was perfect, I mean the most perfect thing anyone could have done for me yesterday.

The world has been spinning around, I can’t seem to catch my breath and then out of the blue there’s this amazing food, made with love and it’s not only the nourishment – it just saved me over an hour I would have spent cooking and there just wasn’t a better gesture of kindness, friendship or even help anyone could have extended. It was just perfect, at the right time and it filled me with tears and joy all at once. She’s the bomb.

I don’t love her because she makes the best lasagna on the planet – but let’s just say it doesn’t hurt (grin.)

((Thank you so much, honey. I love you dearly!))

21 September 2004

Turning 40

Oh bother. I’m remiss in my lament of turning forty. Now, suddenly, I feel rushed – like there’s just not the time to honor and regret this momentous occasion. There’s not time to write the tome that chronicles four decades of kisses, the touch that never saved me, the stories unwritten, songs unsung and futures unexplored. Now, suddenly, I feel rushed.

It seems no matter how much time I set aside, no matter how much preparation on my spiritual mountains, I’m not prepared for what comes and what goes. I just need time to think. Time to sort all this out. I’m sure the answer is in here somewhere if I just had time to reflect on this all. And I’m certain, perhaps tomorrow, there will be time and there will be time. Now, suddenly, I feel rushed.

I will perhaps regret not finding the time to lament this day fully but it feels there’s so little time left and it seems such a silly waste to spend it on such futile labours.

19 September 2004

Wedding Day Blues and Oranges

The wedding was quaint. The bride wore a bright orange Chinese silk print dress with slits up to there, hair died to match, a flaming sea of orange offsetting a bright blue flower. Her daughter, the beautiful Ute, in a complimenting blue silk two piece, looked almost ornamental – like jewelry – between the two. It was her day too. The wedding reception would double as her first birthday party.

We arrived fashionably late, which was right on time. We took a row boat onto Stow Lake and Ed complained about the ballast of the boat and rowed as Secret Agent Dog and I diligently spied ducks and harbored knowing thoughts about the nearness of the reeds and our captains steering abilities. While I was told to provide steering direction he resisted instruction. We arrived, however, as I say, fashionably late, which was right on time.

They were wed in the Chinese Pagoda on Stow Lake – some constellation of guests convened with their string quartet to watch and serenade from inside the pagoda. Other’s like myself, Ed and Secret Agent Dog arrived by row or paddle boat and were aquatic onlookers to the event.

The reception and birthday party was celebrated as pot luck barbeque in a field with a tent in Golden Gate Park. The entertainment was an accordion player, dressed in a rainbow colored house dress, doing very bad drag in tribute to Julia Childs, who’d occasionally burst into Aerosmith covers. Ed manned the grill, taking great pride in cooking the groom’s steak.

We sat on the big green fleece blanket I’d taken from the sofa, along with Secret’s Mustard-colored fleece throw, ate food, played with Ms. Honey Bee, and chatted with the various guests who’d come our way. It was much warmer there on the lawn than it was under the big white tent which housed the lion’s share of the guests and the wedding party. There was a handful of us who scattered across lawn and took in what warmth the sun offered through the fog which hung high over the City, which means it wasn’t so damp or cold as a typical summer day in San Francisco.

17 September 2004

Prayer and Consequences

I remember reading recently that salvation, the Lord being there now and at the hour of our deaths, is a freebie – there for the taking for all who ask. One would think I’d spend a little more time meditating on salvation – to not be alone in the world now or when I die. Nope, I use up my karma points with Mr. Big on work deadlines. What’s up with that? That’s why it’s embarrassing – it feels so secular, material, menial. As though my work deadlines are of interest or consequence to some Supreme Radiant Being. Honestly, I would hope that He or She gave more attention to things like starvation, disease, poverty and violence. But I don’t want to sound ungrateful either. For any and all assistance You provided me to get these rather fiercely out of control deadlines to step back in formation a bit, I am grateful, humbled and thankful.

Ah.. and next posting I’ll be sure to concentrate more on my lament of turning forty. You know, it’s on my list, lament turning 40. Eventually I’ll get around to it.. heh.

13 September 2004

Ante Up

I’ll be turning forty soon. Sigh. It’s been leaving me introspective. As silly as it may seem it’s also been inspiring me to go through my armoire. “Forty year old women don’t wear shorts that look like this,” I’ll say to myself as I toss another this or that in a Goodwill bag. I’ve decided that forty year old women don’t wear unmatched socks, socks that are stretched out, underwear with threadbare elastic waste bands and shorts with unpatched holes. As I near the closet I’m certain I’ll discover other things that forty year old women don’t wear. I hope this will lead to an examination of what forty year old women do and don’t do, what inspires their happiness and sense of adventure. I hope turning forty isn’t merely marked by a purging clothes.

30 August 2004

Electric Blue Toes

I met Max for lunch at the Garden Court Restaurant at the Palace Hotel. I was in a particularly critical mood and took liberties to express my disapproval of his girlfriend. I wish I would have held my tongue. What Max and I have in common is his late wife. We both adored her. I shouldn’t tarnish our relationship with judgments like this. I think I just lost my way in conversation.

There was a family at the ferry building in Larkspur, overdressed, I’d thought, for a sojourn into the City. What’s really to dress up for – the concrete, the asphalt, the towering steel and glass? And there they were a few tables over, beneath the glass dome canopy of the Garden Court. It was I who is forever underdressed for the events of the day.

I stopped for a pedicure on the way home – some wild metallic electric blue/green toes – that would be good. I really don’t like getting a pedicure. It depresses me. As I rode my bicycle along the canal there were ladies lunching at the outdoor tables behind the Bon Air center. Some lounged on the grass with big brimmed hats. It’s like my lists – busying oneself so as not to notice how meaningless some days can be. Getting a pedicure is a decadent extravagance – paying someone to wash your feet and clean the toe jam from beneath your nails. Ew. It’s something I do when I’m trying to distract myself from the responsibility of my happiness. So I have fabulous electric toes, but am not once ounce happier. In fact, the very act of getting a pedicure seems to throw me into a mini existential crisis – life is meaningless, God is dead. Whoa.. I’m glad I got that out and over with…

29 August 2004

Becoming a Familiar

Secret and I rose before the sun to trek in the mountain in the quiet early morning hours. It’s been over a week since I’ve been able to make this sojourn for all the business of convalescing. Yesterday and today we unfolded back into our routine. I was distracted by the effort it took. Whenever I stop something for even the shortest spell, it can’t be resumed with the same ease of habit. It takes a period of readjustment. But as difficult as restarting something is, stopping something is much harder – filled with that soulful longing, missing and grief. Oh how I missed my mountain.

On Friday I had my post-surgical consult. I’m healing slightly ahead of schedule with no untoward events, besides all the untoward events I experienced in the week following the surgery and of course all these peripheral complications seemingly not associated with the surgery – but associated with what, I do not know. On top of everything else, my hands are peeling. The skin is just shedding. What’s up with that? Perhaps it’s just a hallmark of eternal return. Yes, yes, that’s it – I’m becoming a familiar or some mythical creature.

25 August 2004

Helena Handbasket

I pulled out the watercolors and did a first draft on a few star gazers. I haven’t had the paint out in forever and it felt homey and wonderful to splash around in colors. They look perfectly awful! There’s something so freeing about being able and willing to create really bad art on a whim, and something so titillating about feeling so happy about it.

Today was the first day back at work since the surgery. It was a little slow and grumbly for the knot in my belly and the way my body is screaming no, no, no!! I’ve gone off all my meds, including over-the-counter versions that are supposedly more benign, due to side effects. The beginning of the end, I tell you. The beginning of the end. Didn’t I just predict that the surgery was gonna kick off a string of events taking me straight to hell in a handbasket? Here we go… wheee!

I’m really not gonna worry about it. I’m really not gonna worry about anything anymore. Phew… that’s a relief. Off to bed.

24 August 2004

Perfect Stranger

The phrase perfect stranger keeps crossing through my mind. In my head it’s said by Holly Golightly. And it got me wondering what exactly a perfect stranger is. As I was taking the laundry off the line, I thought a perfect stranger would pay off my mortgage… that would be terrifically perfect. A perfect stranger would be honest, kind, gracious, pay random compliments, and, of course, my mortgage. In essence, a perfect stranger would be an extremely generous friend – generous in heart, spirit and, well, capital. No wonder Holly Golightly was saying it. I’m in the market for a perfect stranger.

22 August 2004

I Need A New Drug

In a hazy, sleepy, drug-induced state, on painkillers to take over while the anesthesia wore off, I had a dream. A memory of someone, who I loved, traced like lightening through my subconscious. I woke, feeling like there was lover I’d forgotten. A real, true love that I’d somehow misplaced. Oh yes, there it is.. ooops, no, it’s gone again. And I feel like this beloved is waiting on a street by a particular lamp post, or in a cafĂ© and it’s killing me that I just can’t remember who and where. How can something, someone, so important just be forgotten?

11 July 2004

So Damned Predictable

It’s still awfully quiet here. Is this the best you can do, offer me this profound silence?

So something… for something I haven’t touched on before. You know besides the fact that I’ve harvested several Roma tomatoes today, in addition to a small handful of yellow pear tomatoes and this would be the first time ever, in my life, that I’ve harvested my own crop of anything. Last night it was the third bountiful harvest of basil, which was promptly, as expected, turned to pesto and placed in the freezer. This, in the midst of winter, will remind me of summer. As now, in the midst of summer, I’m preparing for winter and imagining a cozy feeling. I’ve been pulling up onions now for weeks, nearly months. I’m not certain when to harvest the garlic. I’ve started snap peas for a late summer season crop.

Yesterday we walked around Lake Lagunitas. A bug flew down my shirt and bit me twice on the back. It left welts and then buzzed away. Now, what’s the likelihood of something like that happening?

10 July 2004

I’m moving away from being there to being here. Here doesn’t talk back so well. I want the repartee. I enjoy the dialog. It’s so quiet here.

Let me tell you something different, something I haven’t touched on before…

When I ride my bicycle I feel free and I know it’s teaching me something about how to approach my world and my days. Mostly I walk. Mostly I move fairly slowly and methodically through the world. I pay attention to what’s near and there’s time to see everything coming for how slowly the world approaches. The bicycle is faster. I find myself looking further ahead and aware of just a tad bit more. When I’m riding my bicycle to the ferry terminal in the morning, I find myself thinking, “Yes, this is good. Look further ahead. Yes, this is good.”

21 April 2004

How To Change The World

The violets in the mountains have broken the rocks.

-Tennessee Williams

16 February 2004

Know Thyself

I have seen myself. What’s emerging in the wake of shuffling off this mortal addiction must give us pause. It’s not me. Whoever this is, it’s not me yet. I have historically appreciated myself and this part-time monster who is me is somewhat of an annoyance. I come to the sloppy conclusion that it’s down to me to address this little problem I call myself.

I like to break a problem down into its parts. Some contend I can’t see the forest for the trees with this kind of approach. I say if you don’t look carefully you’ll miss the little gems, the hidden mushrooms and the first wild flowers of the season and it’s these private moments of discovery – well.. for me that’s what it’s all about.

I sit with my problems. Yes. Where others would have floated away, I sit masticating the moment. I will solve this puzzle and I’ll be the wiser!

31 January 2004

Loves Me Lightly

I’ve been very new age-y today. Last night I found a meditation site on the web with real audio. A ten minute guided meditation at your fingertips, replete with music and a visit to my authentic self. Very cool.

When I arrived home, Ed made an early dinner and I called to arrange for a massage. A woman named Tina, with rough hands, kneaded lavender scented oils into arms, fingers, stomach, thighs. She played Japanese music and kept telling me to breathe. My feet are tight, she wonders why the muscles in my feet are tight.

I took a shower and did a full body exfoliate with jasmine and rose oils. The lavender oils loosened everything and the shower smelled like a flower store. It was heavenly. It still is, really. The smell of everything lightly rising from my skin.

And exiting the shower Ed makes me hot tea with honey and sets it by my computer. He loves me lightly, offers up these little gifts and then disappears into the other room. Just when I need space he offers it up and asks for nothing in return. Here’s the tea, now you just do whatever you want, whatever you need. I’ll be in the other room.

Today was just a perfect day. Today this is just a perfect life.

I Need A New Joystick

I have opinions about everything – fairly strong ones. In my internal life the universe is dichotomous – there is right and wrong, good and evil, black and white. I’m the right, but interestingly not the good. There is an intense discordance in my inner life. I’m learning to be okay with it. Ed is learning to be okay with it as well – all at once being my beacon of strength and support and an emblem of all that is evil in the world. He wears these clothes well.

I had the most productive day yet. But I don’t want to measure the value of my life in yardsticks of productivity. So it was productive but not as joyful as it could or should have been. I do want to measure the value of my life in yardsticks of joy.

So what is joy? What is joy? How do I find this thing that eludes my disposition so these days? Of course I could go off in another direction in a spiraling tome, but does it get me any closer. I’m not sure of this.

I think some people on this planet are zealots for their way of being, doing and undoing. Like Nietzsche wrote, “Many are stubborn in pursuit of the path they have chosen, few in pursuit of the goal.” I’m not so different. My path is my path. I’m not so different from anyone else in this regard. You know, this is my path so fuck off. But I’m also pretty keen on the goal and maybe to some degree that sets me apart – apart with a subset of humanity who are fairly married to both to process and the product.

So even I’m wondering where this is going - how this has to do with my joy. I might be wondering this for awhile. I need to be okay with this. Today is all that matters. I really, really need to see and feel my today with more clarity, love and integrity. It’s time to get a new battery for the meditation helmet and see if I can open my third eye a little wider.

28 January 2004

Turning Corners

The mountain was beautiful today. Forget-Me-Nots and white wildflowers (I don’t know what they’re called) are popping out early. I see them and smile, like I’m opening a present that’s been waiting in a box since last spring. I took the short loop today, hoping that maybe I’d spy the first wild iris of the season. I didn’t. But I did see the purple ones. I don’t know what they’re called either. I’d seen a few fairly heavy with buds and thought that perhaps in a few days.. then I rounded the corner and there they were. Ms. Secret and I did a little spring dance right there on the hill. We climbed up off the trail. I spun in circles while she watched me then she started spinning about too – tucking her back end in and running about in that excited playful way dogs do.

These antics of mine used to frighten her. She’d look at me in a suspicious way and cow. Now as soon as I set foot off trail she seems to know that there’s something to celebrate. It truly is a wonderful life!

I still feel pretty toxic on the inside but at the same time I feel like I’m slowly turning a corner. Haroomf. Don’t we spend out entire God Damned lives turning corners? Just walk around it for crying out loud. Can we just get on with it already?

I was thinking, I was wondering… was I more intelligent when I smoked? Did I think more quickly, were the synapses firing just a bit more rat-a-tat-tat? Or was I more dull and did somehow the addiction and the drug lead me to believe I was more clever? Right now I find myself rather dull. With most other drugs, people just think that they’re more interesting but they’re not. So on some level I hope I just thought I was more interesting - and now if and when I have a thought that I find remotely compelling – well, maybe it will really be brilliant. Or something. I’m not sure.

You know.. one to lie and one to listen….

27 January 2004

You Can Call Me Baby

About six weeks ago I stopped smoking. Life has revolved around this point – waking, dreaming, laughing, screaming. And suddenly I’m not the person I thought I was. Wait, I simply don’t know who I am. Oh, it’s not so bad. When you don’t know who you are you don’t’ bicker with yourself so much, there’s not all this old baggage to address. I’m all newborn, covered with blood. Ten fingers, ten toes and a big mess you can call baby.

I’m in a rather menacing way. It’s fascinating. Dark thoughts at every turn. I don’t like it. However much I’d ceased liking who I was in that relationship with the addiction – well, I don’t care much for this girl either. On the ferry en route to San Francisco the other day, I thought about some essay I’d read here or there on mediation and prayer. The author contends that whether or not we consider ourselves religious folk and whether or not we think we pray – that we do – we pray and meditate all the time. The author urged us to be mindful of what our prayer rests on. Some people spend an inordinate amount of time thinking about money, material things, what others think of them (or what other’s aren’t thinking of them), etc. etc. So these are the kinds of things that might occupy our thoughts – which are our meditations and prayers.

Considering this unremembered author’s contentions I tried to be mindful. The bay, how beautiful the water, the sun glinting on patterns of waves in such and such a way to look like diamonds sparkling on something dark and mysterious and deep. The color of the hills surrounding San Quentin prison – electric green from the winter rains. The smell of salt and sea. The woman who asks for change on the Embarcadero – she has a lovely smile. I give her ten dollars. It’s what I would have spent on cigarettes that day – do I think for a second she is less worthy than that?

It’s all a fancy way of saying, go to a happy place. So I went to my happy place. I don’t mind saying that I have a bit of disdain that it’s a contrived place – not a natural place my thoughts and heart lands – not like it used to be. Or did it?

I keep trying to remember the wisdom in that thing that Homer Simpson said… Marge, it takes two to lie. One to lie and one to listen. It only goes to follow that it also takes two to speak the truth. Some days I feel like I’d have a real edge up on things if I were schizophrenic.