Final Thoughts of Final Friday of February 2021

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Hello Dearest Friends Of Old, New and Unknown:

Happy Friday!- Whatever that may or may not mean to you. For many people in quarantine/ lockdown and/or retired, Fridays mean nothing much. For me, it is the end of a long work week. It is the day my very young yet patient music instructor and I meet on Zoom for my music lessons. Staying home on Friday nights is something we both began doing some time after the pandemic began. Have you started anything new during pandemic?

This morning, I woke up and decided to gift myself with 15 minutes of writing time. What have you given yourself lately? Though I have been perusing your fantastic blogs, I haven’t taken the time to update my own.

As I write ( or rather type), I am listening to this playlist: https://open.spotify.com/playlist/37i9dQZF1E4pSmbbBcU4Jx?si=KcMb613HQVaIwA80A4Xw9g . I am sipping my hot coffee and smelling the appetizing sweet aroma of a pear arugula walnut flatbread coming from the toaster oven. The sounds of the contracted workers my landlord hired to remodel the yard outside digging and hammering away already before 7AM can be heard through my thin walls.

I have been thinking about writing so many things down over the past few weeks, but hadn’t sat down and taken the time to do so.

About a week or two ago ( I can’t really understand or grasp the concept of time), I didn’t feel well ( likely just food poisoning) and visited a local emergency room. As I sat waiting for many hours, I narrated in my head all of the stories I wanted to share with you the stories I was observing of the many visitors and workers in the hospital. I did not tell my parents I took this expensive trip to the hospital. I only mused to myself of the stories; a few of which include:

  • A seemingly regular visitor talking to himself in the corner as the nurses showed clear annoyance and familiarity with him.
  • A little boy whose mother had brought him in because he had passed out after his brother had knocked him out. He was given an echocardiogram.
  • A man who came in because of his dizziness and pain after a chiropractor visit.
  • A young man whom the nurses kicked out after his fourth visit for the week. The man had a severe headache and kept rocking himself to soothe his pain. He did not understand English well. The nurses were frustrated because of the communication barrier and threatened to have him escorted out by security since they had already seen him so many times with no results. (Doesn’t anyone use Google Translate?! Also, it’s not that difficult to find someone who speaks Spanish and English!)
  • The nurses’ conversations debating whether to allow terminal COVID-19 patients final visitors from family members because their superiors would come after them.

This morning, I am feel gratitude for so many things: my friends and family, my upcoming music lesson, my job, my home and my general good health are among many things. What do you feel grateful for this morning?

And now, it is suddenly time to finish the sip and bite of my breakfast and rush off to the final day of the work week.

I will share more stories/ thoughts again soon!

Dearest Readers, what are you reading these days?

Books in My Life I am Feeling Excited About Lately:

  • Rereading the book The Power of Full Engagement currently.
  • Joining an online multillingual book club. We’re reading La Sombra del Viento this month.

Final thought for today….

We are oscillatory beings in a oscillatory universe. Rhythmicity is our inheritance.

The Power of Full Engagement, Jim Loehr and Tony Schwartz

2021

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HAPPY NEW YEAR, ALL!

I am so happy to spend another year on this earth with all of you, my WordPress/ Xanga friends! What do you look forward to doing this year?

Here are 3 things I am looking forward to:

And so much more!

What are 3 things you look forward to this year?

Sharing a Smile

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Arrived to find these by my door! From a neighbor!
What a beautiful hand painted surprise! A lovely card! Thank you! It’s funny that you say you forgot what you painted on the card you sent because I forgot what I sent to you until you described it!

It’s Friday evening and I’m actually home. My view that normally overlooks the glow of city lights below tonight is obscured by dark clouds and soft pitter patter of the rain. I’ve just finished dinner and I’m sitting here looking outside the sliding glass doors while sipping some hot tea. In this moment, I am content. I invite you here to sit by my side in this momentary contentment so you that we may share a smile!

Another Year Wealthier (Of Loved Ones)

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This week was exhausting but the moments of connection: phone calls, cards, gifts, and so on were both surprising and wonderful no matter how exhausted I was!

Check out Josue’s WordPress (pictured left) at https://josuedannydavila.wordpress.com/

Last year, I was sick on my birthday but my parents came to visit and we went to the beach in SF. My cousins came the following weekend.

This week, I was in good health and many friends, coworkers and family called and texted for various reasons. While my week was so full and exhausting, I am feeling loved 🥰 and grateful!

Thank you 🙏🏼 to Our Firefighters and Other First Responders!

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I have been meaning to post more photos of these lovely postings of gratitude written for our fire fighters like the photo above.

This weekend, I am doubly thankful for the fire fighters.

At approximately 2am on Friday evening, I awoke to the sounds of a man’s voice from outside disturbing the night’s silence. “Everyone, wake up! Fire!!!!”

I tried to go back to sleep but the voice was persistent. And then I thought, “What if there really is a fire?” So I got up and crept to my sliding glass doors, pulling the curtains aside to peek outside. To my horror, the sky was red with flames!

My heart beating quickly, in seconds I pulled on some pants from my closet, putting them on under my t-shirt and grabbed my passport, laptop bag, cash, and backpack with yoga mat. Yes, by this time in the fire season, I can be ready to go in seconds.

I opened my door to see the wind carrying the embers and ashes towards me from a wall of flames higher on the mountain and down towards the city.

The flames were so close! Would I even be able to get to my car before the flames did?! Maybe foot would be a better bet…

But I could not leave! I began pounding on doors and calling neighbors.

As I waited for my elderly neighbors to put socks on (who puts on socks?! Last evacuation, they stayed and finished washing dishes and watering their garden!), several fire trucks arrived and parked in the streets, blocking off any possible traffic in both directions. They swiftly connected to a fire hydrant and put out the flames. They were gone by 3:15 am.

I have been somewhat exhausted the rest of my weekend but ever so grateful!!!!

Nature’s Mandala

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My nearest neighbor….
…is seeding…

With each pine cone dropping, I hear the sound of velocity and gravity like rocks dropping onto and pelting my balcony, walls and the tiles of my roof.

Each one a unique Fibonacci’s sequence: Nature’s mandala, each at the end of its impermanent life, yet dispersing seeds of new life.

It’s Me…

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I’ve been thinking about people and their personalities. When I walk into the forest, I feel unconditional love. Every tree is perfection, and that’s how I view most people in life, but that’s a mistake because people aren’t as innocent as trees. In the video clip above, Meryl Streep plays a cunning bucket orchid. Who are you? An orchid? A venus fly trap? Honeysuckle? Jasmine? A withered rose? So many personalities out there…. The thing about people is that they’re like flowers all with different intentions and personalities, but people also can take on different personalities at different times; because unlike plants, we have choices. Like flowers, however, we do all have some aura of attraction. Some people/ flowers use attraction intentionally to obtain what they need/ want. Others pollinate like seeds carried by wherever the wind blows.

I suppose, it’s ok to feel unconditional love as long as I also understand that others, like the orchid and the venus fly trap, may have intentions beneath the surface. I find that I don’t keep anything beneath the surface. I am as I appear, but I am also not like The Giving Tree any more. I’ve had enough of that. Instead, I seek the friendship of others whom are as they appear… Whom treat others kindly without deception nor motive aside from making them feel seen.

Priveste cerul

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Yesterday, I wasted my day feeling sad missing people I said, “Good bye” to this last month. Today, I was able to focus on the present. It was the last day of a 3-day weekend and I was determined to enjoy it! Sometimes our relationships (of any kind) change, and we must accept it and keep moving because things never stay the same. Impermanence is just the nature of life. Tidelines weather the shoreline and cover it again and again, bringing up new life and washing away old. Transitions come with time.

I had a productive last few days as far as laundry and cooking. The skies outside remain unhealthily smokey and the sun reddened by the fires. After much research on where the weather was best, I decided on a coastal trail nearby that was far enough to escape the heat and most of the smoke but close enough to get to via a short drive so that I didn’t lose much time in commute. I drove from over 100 degree heat wave and smoke to the coastal breeze of 75 degrees .

Ocean breeze

There was traffic as I neared the bay, lines of cars with kayaks, bicycles and surfboards on rooftops. Along Highway 1, to my left was a crowded beach with dozens of surfers and bodyboarders in the water. On my right, were lines of people parking or in search of parking. There were also fields of crop near them: miles of crops and bent in toil, covered in fabric to shield from the sun, migrant workers. I could not help but notice the contrast between the people sitting on their balconies enjoying the Labor Day at their beachside homes and the “essential workers” toiling the day away with the coast within sight of so many out-of-towners/ tourists holidaying. How would activists like Cesar Chavez feel if they were alive today?!

On the trail
Giant aloe growing wild along the coast

I drove past seaside inns, nurseries, a distillery and a tiny yet busy airport. I have been trying to select hiking trails that are easier to social distance on. Today’s trail was perfect for this despite the occasional diversity of families and dog owners because there were stretches of quiet solitude which was something I was looking forward to enjoying the day amongst the eucalyptus and cypress trees. I did not notice that the bathroom at the start of the trail was closed due to COVID until I walked half a mile to return to it to relieve myself of my morning coffee, but soon forgot about my bladder in the hours of discovering each flower, ecosystem and musical note I sang to myself when I thought no one was listening. I had not planned to stay long, but the weather was so pleasant, I changed my mind and meandered about.

I watched the lizards darting about and looked at the colors in the shadows of the giant aloe.

Shoreline lilies

I looked at wild lilies and wondered what it would be like to live so close to the ocean and yet not be able to see it, as the plants do…Or perhaps as the migrants in the fields are toiling and unable to fully appreciate the scenery. I watched the fog playing amongst the cypress and the lovers walking about, finding it amusing how much less romantic it was when I got closer and the fog dispersed. I stood on a cliffside for a few minutes watching the seals sunning themselves below, the sailboats and kayaks passing by in the wind beyond. As I stood there, a weasel popped out of the bushes and peered at me, darted about, peered at me some more and then disappeared back into the bushes.

Fields, small runway and Ohlone sign

I stopped to read and photograph some signs about the trail’s historic Ohlone tribe origins. I explored some abandoned building foundations to photograph the wildflowers and graffiti, careful to avoid the poison oak, thorns and the many different colors of shards of broken beer bottle glass littering the area. I returned to my car and meandered some more without any real plans. I perused through many a fair trade boutique still thinking about the contrast between the life of the essential workers and the fair-skinned store owners and tourists. So ironic to have so many fair trade import craft stores and yet our own food source is far from fair trade.

Door handle of a gift shop
The cafe where I ate lunch offered free coffee to our local fire fighters! ♥️🙏🏼

Overall, I have to say that my Labor Day was a happy one spent in blissful solitude. I returned to my smokey home and napped, waking to the sounds of children playing in the large pool outside. Tomorrow, it’s back to work.

Sign I came across today in the brightly colored branches of a manzanita

How was your Labor Day?

I took a few photos of graffiti today. It reminded me of “Priveste cerul” which means “Look at the sky, “ the words of graffiti I saw all over Bucharest on a trip a few years back. The artist reminded people to look up (perhaps from their cell phones).

My apologies! Accidentally deleted this post along with all of your comments! 😦 Reposting. Thanks for all of your thoughtful feedback, Dearest Readers!

Lessons on Self Love I Am Learning or Rediscovering

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Matcha latte love- I ordered this and enjoyed it while waiting for a new friend, someone I felt I had an instant connection with… Do you ever meet people like you feel like you your paths crossed for a reason?
Sometimes it hurts to trust but sometimes it doesn’t…
All the colors of life are a miracle
I love my frequent sightings of wildlife… a look in their eyes full of curiosity as they look into my eyes… I feel so blessed to see scenes like this in my backyard frequently.
Solitude (especially with wildlife) is soothing!
Learning to trust oneself is empowering. Each seemingly insignificant vocalization and decision is proof that trust doesn’t always have to be painful.
If they seek to understand you, they will respect your boundaries. If they don’t, protect yourself by finding someone more considerate to spend time with.

What treasures await beneath the surface?

Arrangement

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the last august moon
my heart a strewn
watermelon seltzer and scotch on the rocks
retelling to my friend a story unorthodox

just a few minutes
i’ll lay beside you for a just a few minutes

you drape one arm around me so tight
what happens next, did you have foresight?

i put a hand over your arm
not yet alarmed
hoping you would never let go
why did you let go?
the supple tug of your eager lips on mine
I did not decline

your frame suddenly over mine juxtaposed
my fingers caressing the smoothness of your back in silent shadows
my heart is breaking
how can such tenderness be so deafeningly agonizing
thunderous silent betrayal
such pleasure yet so painful