Monthly Archives: May 2016
I am in this little Airb&b in the pretty peaceful hills of Oakland, California where, right this minute, life is at its most excellent.
It is pure damn luck isn’t it? My friend was going to have a day just like this and it never happened…for no rhyme or reason bad things do happen. So please don’t talk nonsense about extraterrestrials or taking care of your health…just live each day the best you can and never leave home without that rabbit’s foot.
My California son, daughter-in-law and I are here for Teresa’s graduation. Yesterday at the Greek Theater on the UC Berkeley campus a whole lot of smart ambitious young people stepped up to the proverbial plate seriously believing they can make the world a better—or at least a more safely engineered, solidly constructed, environmentally promising—place to inhabit.
The commencement speaker was a refreshing and damn near inspiring change of pace from the usual platitudinous drivel. While far from a great orator he offered graduates practical, excellent and almost impossible-to-follow advice. Basically he said, “If you as engineers actually care about the crumbling infrastructure of this country, you’ll have to get elected to Congress because right now it’s full of lawyers who are educated only to argue; we must elect more engineers—who are educated to actually do, or we’ll never rebuild our country.’ He went on to say a few pointedly political things about the ever-growing ignorance of what made America previously-great, especially the things for which engineers were and are partially or wholly responsible, for example the beautiful campuses of universities like the UC system and fine roads and bridges and all of the things that make a nation work…
Never mind all that for a moment though. It was sunny and people were happy and there’s hope.
We went ‘home,’ ordered Chinese and talked meandering family talk. We are very lucky to have these perfect days in our lives.
I declare the move to the new apartment officially over–Sunday, May 8th. I say that because for the first time in over a month I’m am paying attention to WRITING again. I’ve been doing my assignments for class but otherwise journaling, blogging, reading (an essential part of writing), thinking about the book, the ‘100’ flash pieces, listening to the lectures and poems in my Coursera poetry classes, and trying to think like a writer has been on an extended break. That Is Over. Done. Back to work.
First though one last post and a small album of photos from my new place–which I seventy-five percent love. The apartment is great now that my stuff surrounds me, good layout, windows in every room (unlike my sweet but cave-like previous digs) from which I can see green. The street is–as previously stated–boring, but the neighborhood behind me is quite lovely and I’ve discovered I’m okay living in The Heights, an area that the more arts-oriented among us have long decried as soulless at worst, dull at best. Maybe I’ve just never admitted to myself I am not particularly soulful although I’ve always known I was not exactly the animated life-of-the-party type. So…I guess I Am Home. There are still some things to do, but I’m out of home-improving energy and money for now.
It’s Mothers Day. One nice son has called and told me to look for a card in the mail and the other nice son and daughter-in-law are taking the moms to the Cheesecake Factory, which has just arrived in Albuquerque, to dinner. Loved it when eating there in San Francisco so am quite happy about this day of reading, writing, good food AND A NEW HENNING MANKELL SERIES ON PBS this evening.
Sara has added to her Cheerleader Extraordinaire persona by becoming a Jumper Really-Good. Steven and I enjoyed two hours of running jumping shouting laughing healthy good-looking teenagers in the midst of one of Albuquerque’s finest spring windstorms last evening. It was great fun actually. What makes individual sports so much more interesting and difficult than team sports is the competing against yourself aspect.
Sara’s a beautiful high jumper and made it to the last round before downing the bar (or whatever you call it when you knock the bar down). And then you get back up and start all over on a new day.
A few photos before turning back to my new-apartment obsession and neglected writing. But…today…finally a writing day. Tearing myself away from fiddling with placement of this rug, that tchotchke. Writing.
April 30th. It’s a rainy evening…April showers and all that. I realize how happy I am to be in my new home. And it’s not even The Home yet! A good month and May will be even better as I properly settle in among my favorite things and even a few brand new favorite things like a dust mop, big bright green fern, and best of all an IKEA Day Bed for the guest room/library/laundry. But more about that in the future.
I wrote a small review of my life at 208 that I’ve decided to include here just to properly close out a major phase of my life.
April 8th. This morning was my last morning alone at 208. Sixteen years. A passage. From late-middle-age to pre-old-old—a small amount of nostalgia/sentimentality/memory-gorging allowed. During this16 years, here’s what I did:
- Discovered my kids siblings grandchildren cousins are my best friends and have begun transitioning into a sweet little old lady—the kind of whom it is said, “Wasn’t she just the sweetest thing ever?” Or Not.
- Made (with a lot of help from my friends) a festival called Global DanceFest of which I am very proud.
- Traveled a bunch.
- Became a blogger—of sorts.
- Discovered the wonders of gyms and walking and feeling strong.
- Been the sometimes excellent, sometimes mediocre director of a small but brilliant arts and disability organization.
- And…prepared myself for the next (possibly final!) stage of life as A Writer by blogging, getting a UCLA certificate in literary non-fiction and by Starting The Book and the 100 (more about this later also).
It’s been great
Now moving on uptown
All of the time
Anything else a crime
Because there’s no more time time time…
Perhaps I’ll be a poet.