13 October 2006

Where Sleep Lives

It’s about 5:30 in the morning and I’ve just hung up from that weekly Friday conference call. Following a fitful night’s sleep… Well, I can’t even call it a night’s sleep. The last time I remember looking at the clock it was 2:30 and the alarm began sparking at 4:30. It was the quality of sleep you get on an airplane, in coach, on an international flight – pasty, dry-eyed, grumpy. Thank God Ed’s staying at LB’s. At least only one of us remained awake with my tossing and turning and swollen thoughts that hemorrhage into the space where sleep lives.

11 October 2006

At The Wonder

There were internet cable access problems in these parts today, making work after about 3:30 pm virtually impossible. I left Peter word and we took off into the water district to discover some new terrain. He’d sent me a pdf of a regional map and I’d spied something called Hidden Lake that looked intriguing. Some seven plus miles later we’d completed the journey. I’d say the first five miles were fun, the last two were a bit brutal. My toes hurt like crazy which put a damper on an otherwise spectacular trek.

Hidden Lake was a bit more of a Hidden Pond, but this time of year it was wonderful to see and feel the green algae-covered wetness, native grasses, cat tails surrounded by towering redwoods. It’s clear it’s not an oft traversed path and I like those mysterious little out of the way places best. Peter contends this was the best find, but despite how wonderful it was, I still think the second waterfall at Elliot is the best. (Probably because it’s just so brutal getting there and when I descend out of the dwarf forest, battling brush on what amounts to a rejected deer trail, onto the moonscape vista of the creek and the two swimming holes – particularly in May/June when brilliant splays of wild tiger lilies glow orange against jet black rocks – I always gasp at the wonder.)

But, like I say, my feet hurt. I got home after dark and was able to connect to the internet and send a gaggle of email that sat waiting for the portal to open so they could sail across the wires. Under the stars and moon I sank into the hot tub and bubbled and boiled until I was wiggly and relaxed.

Ed arrived home around 8-ish, and was mostly an asshole. I tell myself, “some days are like that. Some days I’m an asshole.” He’s been on a winning streak lately. On the bright side, he’ll be staying at LB’s house watching her dog for a few days while she’s in Vegas. That will be good – we’ve been too much together lately. Some nights I want to wish him into the corn field – make him go away and have life unfold without him. Other nights, well, I don’t obviously. It makes happily awaiting his return from work rather anticlimactic. I was looking forward to this? Despite his efforts, he really couldn’t ruin the day.

Well, it’s midnight and tomorrow is a crazy mad day, so I’m off with me – to dream about wet hidden places in earth blanketed with soft nettles, a hundred different words for green and Secret Agent Dog running fast as the wind, lugging logs through the forest, drowning sticks and chasing crows. I love her. She’s so cool.

09 October 2006

Ante Up

Okay… here’s today. Well, last night first. Went to see Departed at the Fairfax theatre. That was fun. And then the afternoon before the night - went bowling at the Country Club Alley in San Rafael on Vivian. I so totally suck at any sport that involves a ball – but I’m amused all the same. And I must say I kick ass on this Area 51-like shoot’em-up game in the arcade area. And all the while I’m limping around because I hauled my sorry self out of bed at 7:30 on Saturday morning to get back in the grind of yoga and between that contortionist bruha and the bowling I’m limping around today with what I’ve heretofore described as bowling-butt but it’s got a richer, deeper and more meaningful ache as it feels like I’ve torn my muscle away from my butt bone doing yoga (ouch. Could that really be possible??) Why this manifests in some sort of extra added foot cramp, I dunno… but it’s a little icing on the cake of these bones. “Hello,” she says, this body, “I’m here. I’m alive.”

I arose for another early morning conference call – this time I got to sleep in until 7, but again, it turned out not to happen so the Baltimorian (Baltimorani? Baltimorer?) colleague and I used a regular direct land line (it’s so old school) and did most of the work between the two of us. It sucks being one of the responsible ones.

Since I was up early, I took my morning coffee in the hot tub. Anything to soothe the bowling butt – to no avail. The sky is relentlessly blue today. The redwoods in the yard next door tower precariously (deliciously.) Talk about a murder of crows – this change of season has brought on a multiple homicide of crows (a mass murder of crows?). They bomb the house with walnuts from the neighbors brilliant tree (I like it more than almost any tree I the hood – and I have several favorites.) Secret Agent Dog climbs the teetering redwood steps up to the hot tub and looks over the edge – she always leans forward to kiss me – I think it’s her way of saying, relax mom, I got the house. It’s all good. What a great way to start a day. The sky, the water, the trees, the dog, the coffee.

So a change of pace.. okay, girls (and boys), who’s doin’ NaNoWriMo this year? I haven’t yet registered but the inimitable, fantabulous, sparkling Alison has raised the flag. Ante up.

06 October 2006

It's Wahed

Five in the morning and I’m sitting on hold for the weekly conference call - mute button on, San Pelligrino limonata (with a straw) at the ready, fourteen minutes left on the download for the latest Survivor episode from iTunes. I have every intention of going back to sleep once this call is over, so there’s no coffee brewing, no anticipated familiar or comforting wah of the coffee maker signaling all is well with the world. (That’s often my first question to Ed in the morning, has it wahed yet?)

Ten after five and I’m sitting silently on the call, the lone participant it would seem. Twenty after my Parisian colleague joins and we commiserate for a few moments – me on the early hour, her on her frustrations with the project at hand – and then, like a cool San Francisco fog, I curl twice around the house and went back to sleep.

I wake again near noon, patter about the house mindlessly, take my coffee in the hot tub, walk the dog at Bon Tempe lake in the silver misty afternoon. I’m a little bummed reflecting on how my intention was/is that with this reduced schedule I’d spend Fridays writing, reading, painting, exploring non-work interests, but instead I slept, lounged, didn’t even read a magazine. Next week, maybe next week I’ll do what I intended as opposed to not much. Wah.

02 October 2006

Watch This Spot

There’s a pile of lavender soaking in a pot of vodka on the kitchen counter. I plucked nearly every flower head from the plant in the driveway median. This lavender, a sticky monkey and a plug of native grasses are the only things that have taken root and taken off in what I’ve come to endearingly call the kill zone.

I’m in somewhat of a funk today – though I don’t rightly know why. I think I need to go for a walk and think. I’ll get back to you on the other side of it…

Watch this spot…. I call it the other side of it. I hiked near ten miles, soaked in a hot tub and ate English cheese to get here. I took photographs too. I’ve been lounging and reading the fabu digital photo book that Cassie gave me for my birthday. Thus far it’s saying that to take good photos I need to buy more shit. Secret Agent Dog is belly up on my right, snoring at the sky (okay, the ceiling.) There are random thoughts fleeting around the room. I grasp at them like buzzing flies - trying to catch them, make them stop. Here are just a few:

I always thought that Catholic school girl thing was an act. I’m still mystified near thirty years later that it was devastatingly real. How do you reconcile all those kisses?

On days when my world is small and I don’t leave the house much, I get pretty bitchy. It’s like somewhere inside I must believe I can control the world by yelling at it or being mean to it. Maybe I’m just looking for a reaction.

One of the recent Google “word of the day” was swan song, which clearly isn’t a word and should more rightly be in phrase of the day or couple a words of the day. See above.

01 October 2006

A Farmhouse In Flanders

Rather than be confronted with an overwhelming proof of the limitations of our understanding, we accuse the dreams of not making sense. - Erich Fromm

Just because someone boyishly etches, mixes creamy pastel watercolors and dabbles in daubs of oil paints doesn’t mean that they have a heart – doesn’t mean that they are anything less than evil. My mind keeps drifting back to this the past few days. Is it really possible to discover the heart of a monster in a farmhouse in Flanders? And even if it is, who sees the value in that lump of coal? Does someone really believe that the pressure of history will turn that blackened, shriveled thing into some diamond? Clearly, yes. Obviously yes, people will pay richly and imbue it with value. Is it the saffron of historical voyeurs?

I want to make lavender extract. Ideas on how to do that? I’ve read to soak 48 flowers in 16 oz of vodka. Does this make sense to you?