Tuesday, November 21, 2017

welcome to the ocean, welcome to the buddah and other shadows cast on the wall from a weekend in san francisco

 i spent the first couple of days of my 48th year zipping up and down highway one, from north beach in SF to pacifica, down to santa cruz, carmel, and point lobos wilderness reserve and back to pacifica to hear some gypsy jazz....

it had been a wild blurry night before. friends from all over the city dropped by, still demonstrating the abiding to the absurd that has helped me love them for years and years now. 
we share a commitment to the ridiculous which extends years, wars, in and out, between crisis and hope, bike crashes and heart break.  still we're at it. 

several stayed over, played checkers, gossiped, and slept on the couch.  I said goodbye to everyone a few hours later on the way out the door at 5 am. 

sometimes jettisoning one's body across a continent is just what one needs.
but it didn't feel that way that morning with the sun rising, riding to JFK.

the first thing I saw in san Francisco was the strange, effervescent light filling the sky. 
recent years have sent fires and doubt through these parts, bringing bright vivid red skies.
 they seemed alive, reminding me we are all part of this together. 

so I met ron in north beach. we at house of nanking.  walked and looked at our friends' books at city lights, murals outside, told stories, sat at the Saints Peter and Paul Church in north beach, remembered the mine troop that used to perform here, chatted at the bar at the cigar store café, back to kerouac alley where the street poetics reminded us there will be reasons for hope. 
'poetry is the shadow cast by streetlight imaginations,' posited brother Lawrence f.
'the free exploring mind of the individual is the most valuable thing in the world," john steinbech went on.
my dad used to come here to find meaning in this. just as I have always and always will. 
this cathedral of ideas reminds us of something deep inside many forget. 

 the sun was passing. so we made our way to twin peaks to see dion, walking past little orphan andy's to chat with the elder gentleman, remember vito and jose sarria who use to wander here through, drinking at the twin peaks, on top of the world. 

the next day, the city seemed to scream at us with delight as we drove down the coast, meandering between beaches, ghost trees, and sea lions bellowing in the distance. the moist smell of the sea lulled and soothed.

back in 1989, we wandered here, sitting on a couch on the beach, falling in love with this space, between here and now, reading poems...

The Dogs at Live Oak Beach, Santa Cruz
- As if there could be a world
Of absolute innocence
In which we forget ourselves

sometimes wandering these parts I remember that part of myself. 

the ghost trees of carmel always remind me. 
the Spanish Bay always beckons. 

past the cypress grove trail we hiked through the point lobos wilderness preserve, 
the trees leaned in the distance, birds floating free.
the sun would set for hours.

we've got another ten fifteen years of this to go don't we, ron wondered as we drove home. 
I hope so. I really do. 

past the cypress grove trail on the way back home

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