Recently, I replaced three glass lights that had been gracing a path for many years along the coast of Big Sur, California. The insides of these lights had natural debris in them from all those years. It is funny white stuff, like imaginary attic fuzz, like cobwebs but stickier. Lighter than air almost. It is Similar to the dust that miraculously assembles itself out of nothing in usually missed corners but it’s meatier. It also resembles a tissue like paper, so I am wondering if I can get away with putting this webby junk in recycling. The compost can is down the hall.
On closer inspection, which I’ve never done before, of this “stuff” I see something. Yes, a bug, a bug like a bird, all off white, tiny and papery. I pick him out and clean him off. I look for more. I see one and then another and then I see, that it is ALL a mesh of tiny preserved dired up off white bird bugs.
now I know they go back to the earth in compost..
Or does it matter?
Not to those bugs who were traveling towards the light.
I recently travelled from San Francsico to England, Spain and France and back. Going through customs and security varies. The USA being by far the most intense.
I’d think everything was off and out and yet I couldn’t get through the gateway without getting stopped.
it was my “religious” charms setting off the alarms; the guardian angel of dubious, now dull brown medal, given to me at birth and the, bought in Bali, circle dedicated to a Hindu Goddess of creativity. They share a gold chain and are messing things up and at every portal. They and my silver & crystal mala from Amma.
“Oh Yeah, and these.” I say as i lift them off my neck and over my head, into the plastic tray.
Without my charms of hope and belief, I pass easily through.
There are clearly few, who are so talented as Connie WalkerShaw.
Today I pick up the dress she made for me from special fabric that had been given to me when I was 35. I remember because it was given to me by an older woman artist who shares my birthDAY and lives in a synagogue. She gave me the fabric when she was 70. She was twice my age. The fabric has gold threads in it. It is like a color shifting fairy tale fabric that changes from lavender to gold, hinting at rose.
I am late picking up the dress, so her lesson is already underway. I try on the dress which is magical and am ready to go. As I leave, I ask the student seamstress if she knows that Connie also is in a band and that she can play two saxophones at once? The little girl says a shy “no”. I smile, shrug, raise my eyebrows and say “well, she can” and leave.
After WalkerShaw I drive to the beach.. Ocean Beach in San Francisco is like heaven. It is so empty and so nothing. I can see as far as I can see in three directions. My cells take in the empty vastness with relief. This hasn’t changed. I think then, have I changed? Each time I stand at Ocean Beach I remember other times I’ve stood before her. Before the ocean and cried out with my soul for all that I hope for. She solicits requests like that. The ocean is vastness itself. Before her, troubles shrink and expire, being obviously temporary. She emanates eternal presence, over and over, her waves sounding like a large echo of my internal self; of something that helps me let go and know.
It’s the same, and different. It always is.
Two solitary men pass me going one way; then an older couple passes the other way. That’s it. The beach’s nature to human ratio is nourishing, safe and separated from the highway by blocks and blocks of gorgeous graffiti, painted on the ocean side, I assume late at night.
There are birds. That familiar seagull silhouette is everywhere; taking off and landing. I notice a particularly nice one but sense something odd about it. It’s the wrong size. I realize it’s outdoor art of some kind as it is not a real bird and even far away it reads clearly and I like the design so I walk towards it. It takes longer than I expect. Getting closer I see it’s a sign. Not a regular government sign but still it seems official. It says something like “strawberry ice plant sanctuary ends here”, yet there’s nothing but sand for miles.
A couple of days ago, in the middle of May, I got a large envelope in the mail. It was a very official United States one from the “Bay Valley District of Consumer and Industry Affairs Office”. Needless to say, I was worried. As a self employed person putting two kids through college, I wondered what I could have done wrong on which of the countless tax and financial aid forms I fill out.
It was thin, like one sheet of paper inside. That also didn’t seem like a good thing in my fear based state. An 11×14″ white envelope with a government seal and one sheet of paper inside?
So I wait a day and then open it. To my amazement it is an apologetic letter from the post office. An announcement for an art opening I had last December somehow got itself to the “Letters to Santa” receptacle.
My card was “mistakenly treated as one of the legitimate request letters”. Who knew such a place existed? and that “every piece of mail at said receptacle is intended to be fulfilled by one of our santa helpers”!
They did not know what to do with my card. So they sent it back; with apologies, hoping I’d understand. Truth is, I’m thrilled my request got to Santa, but I don’t really understand.
In the locker room, I realize I don’t have my goggles.Coming outside to the pool, I see the dark college lifeguard is talking with a woman in the lane with the ladders. She is round and blond with pink skin. They are friendly and acknowledge me as I sit on the edge getting ready to go in.
I comment on forgetting my goggles and the lifeguard offers a box of goggles I can borrow. As I begin to look, the woman offers me her goggles which she explains are brand newish. Most of the ones in the box are broken at the nose. Before I know if all of them are broken, I put the guard box down and accept the pink woman’s goggles. The strap is the thinnest I’ve ever seen. It is made of linguini shaped translucent off white plastic with sparkles.
When I first put these over my eyes and enter my dry face into the water, all air is suctioned in, water tight. At the end of the watertight lap, I slide the goggles to the top of my head to do backstroke. I like to alternate between freestyle and backstroke which lifts for me the boredom of swimming. At the end of backstroke I pull the goggles down from my wet hair to my eyes.
They don’t fit. Not at all. Water seeps in near the nose so I swim the freestyle laps with one eye winking open and closed as my head goes in and out of the water with my breath. The goggles help some but do not allow me to see clearly.
I see clearly when I am doing backstroke, facing the sky and what I see clearly is nothing.