Archive for September, 2010

Full Moon One, Full Moon Two
September 25, 2010

It’s been awhile since my dreams this morning, so I can’t remember much. I do remember having a conversation with a famous chef in his restaurant and we were enjoying the nuances of our vocation. At one point further along in the dream I had my shirt off and I was meeting important people. Whatever that means.

A few days after my return from Hawaii, I noticed there was a shadow in my left eye. It concerned me because it was blocking my peripheral vision. I made an appointment for my eye doctor and they took me in right away. They were concerned it might be retina detachment, and I might be going blind in the left eye. Fortunately, it turned out to be a secondary cataract. The doctor took me down the hallway and lasered my eye. He said that he rather do less laser at this point, than more laser. You can always do more laser if its necessary. He said the secondary cataract would start to drop and compared it to pineapple dropping through jello until the jello hardened. Well, when I opened my eyes this morning I couldn’t see anything out of my left eye. It concerns me in the sense that if the cataract was dropping, wouldn’t I be able to see something from the top portion of my eye? I likened this experience to a sci-fi horror movie where this alien mass entered my eye and now was slowly taking over my body to turn me into ‘the thing on planet earth’. To make me feel out of sorts even more, somehow my cold symptoms that I had in Hawaii came back with a vengeance.

I got up and started the morning coffee. Ground the beans  and then sat in the living room waiting for the brew to finish. I looked out the windows and there was this brilliant full moon, hovering above the mountain on a black and blue sky with a foreground of palms. Full moon one.

I started up the computer, transferred the phones from L.A. to here and began my normal work day. Eberhard was off to a homeowners association meeting for the condo and a few other errands. We managed to do odd projects throughout the day while taking care of business. It came close to evening and I was feeling the wear and tear of the day. Eberhard wanted me to join him for a Friday afternoon cocktail and possibly dinner. Then I ‘d call it quits and bed down for the evening to recuperate. I debated with myself if I should go out or not, and in the end I thought the change of scenery might do me good. We walked to the nearest watering hole and I kept my distance from everyone. I ordered beer so that the bottle would be thrown away afterwards and no one would get my cold.

We decided on the Fisherman’s Market for dinner and we headed in that direction. When we got there, there was a line-up. In front of us was a gentleman and a lady, deep in conversation. I’m totally fascinated with the human condition and what makes people the way they are, and do what they do. The man in front was a little gregarious and a person of his own making. His conversation was about drugs and rehab and how he avoided the latter. At this point his date said ” God has a plan for you”. Her left arm was bandaged and was in  a sling around her neck. His brother, he excommunicated and was on meth. Now, turning toward us, they started to include Eberhard and myself in their conversation. It was fish selection time. In the next eight and a half minutes, I suddenly became his best friend. “The Hawaiian combo was better without the teriyaki glaze”. “Just get the mahi mahi and the salmon grilled”, he said. His date told me he was a fisherman and knew everything about fish. He entered back into the conversation and told us how he couldn’t get to the fish just a mile or two out, because of the sixty foot waves, but he’d be going back to try again soon. He sells his fish in San Pedro and he and his partner travel all the way down the Mexican coast. One of his vendors ripped him off on the last catch and instead of getting $3.25/lb., he only got $1.00/lb. for his catch. He worked for Miller Brewing Company for forty years as a fork-lift operator, and retired. Then he took up fishing, but life was still boring at times. After placing his order at the counter, he turned to me and thanked me for listening to him. At the soda machine, he said “Friend, what did you order?”. “Fish and chips”, I replied. “That’s good here too.” “Have a nice night”.

We had our meals and then we crossed the street. Eberhard was going to stay out for a while and I began my walk home. Away from the lights on the street, I looked up and in the opposite direction from this morning, there was full moon two.

Growing Old
September 24, 2010

I guess photographs do the most damage. You see a recent picture, and you ask yourself, “Is that me”? “Do I look like that”? “Is that how other people see me”? “I look my age, but I don’t feel that old inside”. “I’m still thirty of forty something on the inside, how come I look sixty or seventy on the outside”?

Our society has created a constant craving for youth. Not to be mistaken as only a current phenomena, it was around centuries ago too. Pasco de Gama was searching for the Fountain of Youth back in the 1600’s. There are always plenty of emails going around that relate to the aging process. They tell you what to look forward to as your years increase. I use to never read them until I noticed the things they talk about were actually happening to me. Health is always an issue. You take it for granted earlier on, until one day you wake up and you say “What was that I felt”? “It wasn’t there yesterday”. And then it begins. The beginning of aches and ailments. Sometimes you get a reprieve for days, weeks or even months, but then they start-up again. Because we live day-to-day, these factors of aging become bearable and acceptable. You deal with them on a one by one basis.

There are positive aspects to aging. Sales people in stores call you “Sir” or “Mame” and if there’s a disaster you’ve heard them say in movies “women, children and old people first”. But the best part about aging is that it happens to everyone. And, sooner or later we really do become equal.

The Flower Mart
September 22, 2010

I got up very early this morning to go down to the flower mart. I haven’t been there in a while. Almost a year. There were lots of changes. Some of my favorite vendors have disappeared and others had been swallowed up by larger companies. An unfortunate product of the economy.

I use to go weekly and I was always amazed at the overwhelming feeling it gave me. It still does. A niche carved into a city, just a few blocks in size that carries the whole world of flora in one spot. You could always tell what season of the year it was by the  profusion of flowers available. Even if you couldn’t tell from being outside.

Many favorite memories flooded me. Early morning espresso and French pastries with Sue, the orchid man and many events I’d done in the past with flowers from here. But today, for some reason, it made me feel sad. As beautiful as the flowers were and as vibrant as the colors were, I felt things just weren’t the same. It’s not the flower mart. It’s the world. There is so much beauty around us all the time, but why has it become so invisible to everyone? There is such immense pain, and I want to shout out.

STOP!

And not let anyone do anything until they examine their life, alone, without influences for at least a week. Question, question, question. I don’t know if it would help, but maybe if there was some awakening on the inside, then the outside would change.

Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell. ‘Don’t’ Seems To Be The Word
September 21, 2010

Don’t vote for bigotry. Don’t vote for hypocrisy. Don’t vote for screw the poor. Don’t vote for greed. Don’t vote for anyone who’s flip-flopped. Don’t vote for selfishness. Don’t vote to be narrow-minded. Don’t vote to be uneducated. Don’t vote for underhandedness. Don’t vote for deceit. Don’t vote for lies. Don’t vote for racism. Don’t vote for prejudice. Don’t vote for fear. Don’t vote ‘NO’.

Scapegoats
September 20, 2010

What a strange word when you really look at it. I wonder how it came to be. Without looking it up and taking a wild guess, I can see the possibility that ‘scape’ might have been ‘escape’ at one time and got shortened. Goat is a goat is a goat. I’m reasoning that goats are stubborn and hard to catch. Maybe the word came about as a precursor to someone who wanted to escape from a situation and chose a goat as the viable means in which to do it with.  Later it became a synonym to mean the throwing of blame on to some entity so that the owness would be taken away from the accuser. The blame could be placed on whomever. The stubbornness gets associated with the accuser. It takes a lot of common sense and reasoning to change their mind.

There are all types of scapegoats. Individual, community, state and country. When we personally try to get out of a situation we look for a scapegoat that we can throw the blame onto. It can be your computer, your car, your friend, your family or anything you can come up with. For me, its ‘my excuse for the day’. Saves me taking responsibility for my own misgivings and errors. When a community, state or country gets together it can be for the almighty ’cause’. And aren’t there a million of them to go around. Let’s rally around this or that. I understand that everything has purpose,  and some purposes are worthwhile. It’s the extremes that take us to the point where xenophobia or other worse events can take hold and destroy the sanity of society.

You’ll find scapegoats are used more often when things aren’t going well. It’s very easy to blame (what or whomever) if your life situation needs fixing and you see no way to remedy the fact. The country is doing it right now with ‘the economy’. What’s the solution?

Responsibility.

P.S. A blogger sent me this: Scapegoat: Originally, it is a Biblical reference, to Leviticus 16. The scapegoat was a goat let loose in the wilderness on Yom Kippur after the high priest symbolically laid the sins of the people on its head. The usual sense now, ‘a person or group made to bear the blame for others or to suffer in their place’, is a figurative use of the Biblical meaning.

Irreverant Anger
September 20, 2010

It’s Sunday afternoon and I’m leaving Palm Springs for Los Angeles. The sun is low on the horizon and already forming a glare off the road. I’m reminiscing over the past few days and there’s a smile on my face.  We accomplished a lot of work this weekend and crossed a lot of projects off our list. We were invited to a double birthday party and met a new group of people. The couple who hosted the wine and cheese get together before our dinner, had a beautiful home in Old Las Palmas. Very large and impressive. Our whole three bedroom condo could fit into their master bedroom. The travertine floors were so highly polished they hurt your eyes when you looked at them. Post modern and beautiful. Afterwards, we were all hosted at a restaurant we’ve never been to before. Exceptional ambience, service and food. It was a great fortieth birthday party.

I reach the freeway and I’m biding my time in the slow lane with the speed limit. There’s an SUV slightly ahead of me in the fast lane, but not moving faster than the speed limit.  A car approaches behind the SUV aggressively and is trying to edge the SUV to move faster. The SUV isn’t moving for anyone. A small gap of a quarter car length is between myself and the SUV. All of a sudden the car juts in front of me with no warning. I swerve and slam on the brakes to avoid hitting him and my natural reaction gives him the horn. The car is now in front of me. He breaks quickly and I have to swerve again to avoid hitting him a second time. I back off, but he keeps up the game of applying his brakes and slowing down. I mouth the word ‘asshole’. He must have seen it in his rear view mirror. He pulls back into the fast lane and slows until he is along side of me. I glance over and he is cursing at me. He is…. anger, and full of rage. I back off more and his impatience speeds him forward to catch up with the SUV. He swerves at the SUV before speeding off. 

So I’m thinking, unknowingly, we must have been the straw that broke the camels back. In consideration, maybe he went through a break-up, or his house was foreclosed on, or he lost his job, or maybe,….. he is……. just an asshole. It’s always an adventure to drive now a days. The rest of my drive home had its variety of speed demons and two accidents. Both accidents had cars turned in the opposite direction of the traffic. Lots of impatience out there. I’m wondering if they rush inside their house when they get there. Rush through their movement on the toilet, rush their food while eating and rush the TV shows their watching. Only to rush to bed to rush through sleep, so they can rush again the next day. Where are they going, anyways?

The sky is Halloween orange, but slowly transforms into Zinfandel as I approach L.A. Only ten more minutes and I’ll be home. What a great feeling that will be.

Scared
September 17, 2010

There he was, grabbing the microphone to do a song for karaoke. I saw him earlier and I thought he looked familiar, but I wasn’t sure. I had met him a couple of years ago. I was feeling light and airy at the time and my normal senses were submerged from alcohol. However, my intuitive senses were in high gear and very acute. We began what was a very long talk, that sometimes connected without words. As he thought things, they popped into my head and I would respond to him with answers, when he hadn’t asked any questions. At one point when I responded to something he was thinking, he burst into tears. It was like his life was an open book and he had nowhere to hide. To make a long story short, this continued for a couple of hours. I ended up buying him a few drinks and paid the cab that drove him home. After all, for someone to put up with me that long, he deserved something.  No big deal, and it turned out to be an interesting night.

I saw him a few months later and went over to him to say hello. He recognized me, but didn’t acknowledge me. Strange I thought, so I let it go. A few hours later, I said “hi” again. Same reaction. At this point, I thought I wouldn’t pursue it any longer. Maybe the first encounter had been too much for him and he had developed some kind of fear. Or maybe, because I had said “you owe me”, when we parted, he thought I was wanting to collect on that earlier statement. Whatever the reason, it was like I didn’t exist.

This scenario happened a few more times during the next year or so, until tonight. I didn’t approach him this evening and I honestly think he didn’t recognize me. Like a friend I met. Someone that has known me for eight years couldn’t remember my name when he was introducing me to his friend. Maybe it’s my personality with alcohol. I have a tendency to say too much at times. There seems to be a disconnect between my mouth and my brain. The brain doesn’t act quick enough to restrict what comes out of my mouth.

So for the two hours I was out tonight, I felt I was invisible in public. I didn’t exist. A very strange evening to say the least.

Anyways, our friend needs a few singing lessons.

Freedom(s)
September 16, 2010

I was watching the speech by the winner of the Primary in Delaware on TV. She stated that she wanted to bring back the freedoms that were being lost with the current administration and correct the turn that the country has taken in recent months. Using lofty words and expressions she made it sound like we were suffering. Of course, to vote for her in the coming election would be to restore things to the way they should be. Or, did she mean the way she views our freedoms. Once ‘the freedoms” were restored then everything would be fine.

I want to ask her at this point to give the freedom of abortion, the freedom of gays to marry and a half dozen other freedoms. Once she has her freedoms would she then busy herself at imposing her freedoms on everyone else and then take those away which don’t happen to suit her?

Most elections are a trade-off. People are replaced by other people who have agendas and human frailties. Sooner or later you end up with the same thing done by a different person. Sometimes things are better, sometimes they get worse. As long as the freedoms deal with the external world, we’ll end up with this or that. If you want true freedom, you have to start inside yourself. When you find that freedom, all the words in the world will mean nothing.

Blind Date
September 15, 2010

I saw her on a local PBS channel. It was probably fifteen or more years ago. She was quite an attractive psychic, and she was giving a reading for one of her clients. At the end of the program the credits rolled and listed her as Celeste. It gave her phone number.

Wanting to know your future can always be a mixed bag of blessings. We tend to like the good things we hear and then turn around and disregard the things that don’t appeal to us. Just like in life. I toiled with the idea of calling her and spoke with my sister Sue about both of us getting a reading. Feeling adventurous we made appointments back to back. She would tape the session so you would have a record of what was said and you could align the results with your thinking.

I always thought that if someone tells you ‘something is going to happen’ and, if you think on it long enough, and believe, you’ll cause it to happen. So did you cause the event or was it predicted?

I really can’t remember that first session, but I still have the tape, and I could replay it for content. I do know that over a period of a few years we saw Celeste a few times. During your reading, you are always told that these events will happen very shortly. Very shortly as compared to what? Your next month? A year? Or, sometime during your life of maybe seventy-five years? You start to anticipate the events and look for them to magically appear any moment. Around the next corner or during every day you breathe. I found some of Celeste’s readings to be extremely accurate. It was the time frame that she or I misjudged. When she told me about Eberhard coming into my life she was dead on with every detail.  But instead of happening in a relatively short time frame, it took ten years for the words on her tape to turn into reality. During those ten years I went through numerous events and people who I thought were the prediction. I haven’t seen a psychic in many years and I now trust my present moment to take me to the next. I’d really rather not know tomorrow.

During one of my readings, Celeste told me about one of her other clients that she thought would be perfect for me as a partner. Since she was reading both of us, I figured that she could see enough of our insides to come to a just conclusion, and it would be worth a shot to meet with him. She gave me his number and I called him to arrange a get together. It had been a while since I had been on a date. Actually,  it had been years. Jorge was my last date during this time and he’d been gone four or five years.

We arranged to meet at a restaurant in Glendale. A new upscale place that didn’t have its ya ya’s together yet. I could tell by his first look at me that I was NOT what he was looking for in a mate. I instinctively thought the same thing. But we were both polite and we went on to have a meal and kept the pretend charade going to see if maybe something might happen in our conversations that might overcome our first reactions. After all a psychic must have seen something. After a tedious amount of ‘trying to make conversation”, we both accepted our situation, almost simultaneously,  and we were honest with each other. We said it would never work and “what was Celeste thinking” anyways? We parted amiably.

Celeste was surprised about the results and we all brushed it off as ‘the Universe’.

Sweet, Sweet Billy
September 14, 2010

There’s one bar stool separating us. He keeps looking towards me and Eberhard. It’s Saturday night and we’re watching the show tunes play out. Thirty minutes later he moves to the seat next to me. I glance over and introduce myself. His name is Billy and he’s eighty-two, looking sixty-two. Silver white hair, bright blue eyes with a hand that occasionally reaches out to touch as he expresses himself.

Just two weeks before he lost his lover to a two-year illness. They had been together over forty years. They both loved Broadway, and Billy came out tonight for a few memories. ‘Don’t Cry For Me Argentina’, from Evita, was playing when I noticed Billy had contracted and held back his tears. He explained the connection between himself and his lover with the music and the production. Billy was a professor at a college in the mid west that taught theatre, arts and production. They had moved out here to retire nine years before and had bought a large house that was now empty. Evita was one of their favorite musicals.

Personal loss is something we all have to face eventually,whether we want to or not. Loss is not a pleasant experience. I’ve seen close family reactions and friends reactions. Depending on your emotional level at the time,  it can open or close the rest of your life. There’s a gap that forms inside you.  It stretches from what you knew and remember to the empty feeling you’re presently experiencing. You get trigger reactions to words, music or just seeing someone who reminds you of a past moment. You will use any moment to bring the memories into the present conversation to try to keep the past alive. The more you remember, the larger the gap seems. All your emotions are revisited in split seconds. You take on guilt and happiness all at once. But nothing fills the gap and the emptiness you feel.

The more Billy talked, the more I felt his loss and his new-found loneliness. That is probably the worst feeling. Something that was always there, is gone and there is no way to get it back. I gave him the biggest hug I could muster as he made an excuse to leave. He said he’d be back because he enjoyed his evening, and we’d chat more next time we met.

I hope it’s soon. Even though, his only healing will come from time.

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