Archive for April, 2005

4/24/05 – What would this be like now?

Sunday, April 24th, 2005

Spring has come to the oaks and I miss my boyfriend. I see a lonely, flat graveyard passing by and feel the loss of death. A single car, parked and its driver lost among the headstones, reflects a point of sunlight in the matte dispair. Earlier, I deleted Ferne from my mobile. She’s not going to call again.
What would this be like now? What would that have been like then? Ferne moved to Carmel Valley for her lungs. I love her and she’s gone.
Life is here, interesting and elusive. Where would I hit snow if I escaped to the east? Maybe we all are escaping. And what’s wrong with that?

When life clamors and rattles my psyche, I want to escape to the trail. I know the simplicity: food, water & shelter. My body. My lungs. My legs. The joys when sharing. The elation of of independence. The mastery of now. The mystery of an hour from now. The loss of the last mile.

On the trail I am doing one thing, and there’s only one thing to do. Even as I sit and write this last part, there are other things to do and the clock is ticking. I have decisions to make, and those decisions reform the hours following. It’s not all going to get done, and that creates a little background anxiety to add to the mix.

I know how to live in this world, and I know what it’s like to live on the trail. It is true that I must live in this world to spend time living on the trail. It’s what I choose to do so that I can return to the simpler days.

4/19/05 – Desert

Tuesday, April 19th, 2005

Everything is far away in the desert.
My eyes are burning because I can’t see the future.
The wind is pounding and the water’s fouled.
The streets are empty, and Mission Hills is flat.
Tammy Fae’s here somewhere and Gerald Ford is a drive.
The 70s thrive and the future is not alive.

Everything is far away in the desert.

4/17/05 – A Walk in the Desert

Sunday, April 17th, 2005

Cathedral Canyon
Gottago and I headed to find another place to hike today. I misread the trail map trying to get to a trailhead. A long walk along a levee looked like a road, but we could not drive it. Instead I had intended intercept it cutting out the presumed dull walking.
On our way we ran into Jim G., who was walking in his neighborhood. I hadn’t let him know I was here, but I refused to feel weird about it. He directed us to the Cathedral Canyon trail head with a jumble of unfamiliar street names and rights and lefts. I was a little familiar with the neighborhood, having visited Jim a few times, and got us to the trailhead, only it wasn’t where I was expecting to be. It was the private gate that the map said we had to get the property owners permission to hike beyond.
We hiked anyway on an old roadbed lined with palms as dead as the dreams of the home on the site up the canyon. Along the road, we could see a trail across the wash. We dropped down into the wash and headed what would be and had been downstream. The flat sandy bottom with steep sides created a strange place.
Gottago in Cathedral Canyon

We soon reached the trail and began climbing up and up. The trail eventually leveled out, not that it was level. The strange, buckled landscape was full of hostility. Cactus, scratchy bushes, sharp weed, pointy seeds, rattlesnakes, and angular rocks filled the lumpy landscape that was like a Star Trek planet.
Gottago saw a rattler that I walked past. I’m glad I didn’t see it, but I wouldn’t have screamed.
Our hike got to its halfway point way too soon. I had to get to work. The hike was an indulgence Sandi allowed, and I didn’t want to take advantage of her even though I could have hiked all day just to find out where this trail led and to see how the landscape changed over the miles.
Aromatic blue flower in Cathedral Canyon, near Palm Springs

We stopped to photograph an aromatic, richly blue tiny flower near the end of our hike. The green-silver of the foliage offset the blue nicely.

4/11/05 – There and back

Thursday, April 14th, 2005

Left the house at 6AM to catch a train and bus to Palm Springs. Gottago and Ray picked me up at the Amtrak bus stop at the Palm Springs airport at 7PM. I’ve come to love taking the train. With an electrical outlet, I can get lots of work done, and it’s not as hectic as catching a flight. I have the luxury of time these days. The bus is a bit of a challenge, but I was able to nap from Bakersfield to Pasadena.
In Palm Springs, we stopped for a great Mexican dinner, went to Gottago’s condo, packed up and drove to Tarzana. Ray had his car, so he rode back on his own.

4/10/05 – Santa Cruz day trip

Thursday, April 14th, 2005

Made a day trip to Santa Cruz. I would have made the drive just to go to Dance Church, but I also got to have brunch with faerie friends, go to the faerie fund raiser yard sale, and take a soak at Well Within with Walter. I drove Walter home to the Quaker Center then headed north back to Daniel and Eddie’s.

4/05/05 – Night in Napa

Thursday, April 14th, 2005

Drove down from Weed to stay with Samantha. She and I got to visit before the kids and Brian arrived. I love my sister.
I took Bailey and Jack to get pizza after dinner. Bailey ordered the wrong thing at her first dinner, and I wanted her to eat. I liked our little adventure. Jack pulled snails from the acanthus.
I’ll head back to Daniel and Eddie’s in Kensington tomorrow.

4/01/05 – I Don’t Know What Day it Was

Friday, April 1st, 2005

I walked last week, or was it earlier this week, in Tilden Park above North Berkeley. I’d been once before during my last visit to Daniel’s. I knew where I was headed. I knew the parking spot I’d pulled into, a spot not available had the newts not been migrating. The closed road led to the place that had maps. I took the same trail up, but instead of going right at the ridge, I went left. Why go someplace you’ve already been when you can go someplace new?
The day had been clear on my previous visit, during my previous walk along this ridge, but today, well, that day, it was even more clear. I could see snow-capped peaks in the Sierra. All the way across the damn San Joaquin Valley I thought. To the west a fogbank obscured the Faralons, but the small houses in the south of the San Francisco were crisp and near. Their nearness was startling, like the flatlands of Berkeley had tilted up. Those houses HAD to be on this side of the Bay. But they weren’t. As my view opened up, I could tie them to the texture of the equally crisp downtown skyscrapers. Their size made the distance more evident.
It was certainly faster to look at those buildings downtown that to get to them. First, getting to the 80 would take a certain amount of time. Then the approach to the bridge: would that be a wait? Probably. Then the bridge itself. Why is the bridge always so slow?

My walk was nice. I kept looking east in disbelief. Yep, those are, hey, there’s even more. The snow capped mountains were discernable. I was happy to be where I was, but I guess somewhere I always long to be is in the Sierra.