California Bound

[Above photo: Standing at the Tropic of Capricorn in the Namib. ]

7 October 2018

Linda ran 15 miles today and felt great. I ate two pastries and some fruit salad, had a cup of good coffee, and talked with my friend of 43 years, Jon Whalen, for four hours. I felt great. Is that fair? She can probably run two miles in the time it takes me to down two pastries!

Two weeks ago I came off the island and drove for the day to the Common Ground Fair in Unity, ME. It was a blast from the past with tall, wiry, quiet, full-bearded men in plaid shirts running horse-drawn manure spreaders and their partners/spouses in long calico dresses showing prize-winning vegetables and preserves. The Reiki tent next to where Linda ran the midwifery table sported a large man who would shift into full belly laughter every few minutes throughout the day, broadcasting out from the tent to attract those who were attracted by such. An academic psychologist in a previous life now sold gorgeous watercolors he printed onto coasters and trivets; he is self-taught. Another man with 80 acres at the foot of Mt. Katahdin roams his woods for discarded moose antlers (15 pounds/side) which he slices finely. He then makes wonderful drawings on them with permanent ink, modern day scrimshaw. And a lovely farmer’s market. Seed banks, flowers, food stalls, crafts, livestock, spinners and so forth. In the spirit of community, the composting outhouses on the way in had signs saying, “Do your part.” with lines of people determined to do just that.  It all was a wonderful spectacle put on by the Organic Farmers of Maine at their headquarters and test gardens.

The next day Ari and I went to the island and cooked a yummy supper together.   She is a very good cook. I am blessed by women in my life who love to cook and do it so well!   We played Scrabble. Lots of laughter and trash talk and she whipped me the first game but I was ahead the second when we got too drowsy and called it quits. Almost a tie. We put the house away the next day in short order—with her help more quickly and thoroughly than I’ve ever done it—and returned to the mainland, she to Blue Hill and me to Bar Harbor.

I spent the next night with Chas and Susan in Brunswick and flew to Oakland the next day. I was lucky, having delayed checking in well past the 24 hour limit; I still had a window seat to Baltimore and an aisle seat to Oakland.  I somehow didn’t account for the three hour EDT-PDT time difference and asked my friend Ed to get me at OAK at 7:50PM, not 4:50PM. He, being 9 years my senior, was sharper than me and let me know he would be working at 4:50PM. I located my Senior Clipper Card in my wallet and took the BART to Downtown Berkeley, walking to his office.

After enjoying 10 days of Ed and Robins’ hospitality, I said goodbye for now and moved to my friend Marie’s home this morning.

Is this boring to read!!

I’m having a lovely time seeing friends, realizing how much I can enjoy the pleasure of gradually relaxing into intimacy with people I have known for many years and have cared about. And they have cared about, and for, me. I keep thinking of more people who have touched me who I want to see.

We smelled smoke at Jon’s today and looking out the front window towards Mt. Diablo could see it thickly whirling about. Checking the internet we learned that two “small” fires started this morning in Sonoma and the smoke came from there. Jon said it has been like this all summer. As I drove home through it my eyes were smarting. Advantage: Maine—green, wet.

I won’t comment much on the Supreme Court confirmation. I’ve never heard so many friends talking about their assassination fantasies! Obviously best left to fantasy. We are in the grips of Fascism, truly, brownshirts and all. It sounds like the Ultraright is forming a nice little club—DT, Putin, Kim Jong Un, Roberto Duterte, and, soon in a theatre near you, Jair Bolsonaro of Brazil. He pushed a woman legislator and calls women “ignorant”.  Thomas Hobbes was right in 1651: “The life of man [is] solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, and short.” The brutish and nasty stand out right now. Adding callous, arrogant, and ignorant would suffice to include our current leadership. It might not be so brutish if men weren’t so brutish. But then there is Susan Collins. She is no moderate, merely feigning that to keep her base engaged. I hope 2020 will provide a change for Maine.

However, I’m off to supper with two couples about whom I care. Some wine, some hugs, some catching up and good talk, skipping the topics of the prior paragraph. I hope the photo makes up a bit for the lack of spark in this post!



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