Monday, May 23, 2016

I wish

I wish I would not wake up ever again. I wish I had a sure fire way to end my life.  I don't want to think or feel or be.

Sunday, May 22, 2016

every heart sings incomplete until . . ..

Every heart sings a song, incomplete,until another heart whispers back. - Plato

The Golden Tunnel

I have been living in a golden light in recent months, steadily imbued with a deep sense of feeling loved and loving. But right now, I've stumbled and fumbled into a bit of a black hole. I feel like all the nonsense I've been spouting about love is pure, unadulterated baloney and I'm an idiot. But still, I am also thinking maybe I can be in the golden light and in the black hole simultaneously.

a kiss can be such bliss

I spent last night with a friend. She fussed about my needs so sweetly, fluffing my pillow, bringing an extra blanket. Then she said "Can I get you anything else?"

"Yes," I said, "I would like you to give me a kiss on the forehead with a caress on the cheek."

And she did.

It was bliss.

w/the wings of a wren

This stanza from Sexton's poem, Words, floated through me all last evening:

Sometimes I fly like an eagle
but with the wings of a wren

This morning, as every morning, I am flying with the wings of a wren. But, still, flying, so that counts for something.

one time

I almost never eat beef anymore. I did have a bone marrow burger when I had an out of town guest here for a week. I found out his idea of a vacation is eating out breakfast, lunch and dinner. He didn't want to see Big Sur, Muir Woods or even the Golden Gate. For real, he never saw the Golden Gate bridge while he was here. He said seeing it in photos was enough.  Also, he liked going to bars. So I found myself in at least one bar a day during his visit, the first time I had been in any bar in so long that I don't remember the last time.

In college, in Appleton, WI, people age 18 could drink 3.2 beer. I don't think WI allows 18 to 21 year olds to drink beer these days. Back then, with my university at one end of the main street, College Avenue (so original!), it was a thing to go to the furthest end of College Ave and have one beer at every bar on the way home, which was a lot of bars.

I guess I was 21 during my senior year in college because I remember going to a bar that a friend liked and ordering gin and tonics. I did not like gin and tonics but I never really liked any alcohol. And one had to order something so with my friend loving G&T, I drank them.

I also have fond memories of buying bottles of olives, draining the liquid, filling the jars with gin, letting the olives soak in gin all day and then eating the olives. I didn't really do that because of my fondness for gin. It was just the kind of dumb thing I did in college. My memory, which is very fuzzy, is that gin-soaked olives are delicious. Maybe I was already drunk when I ate those olives. Or maybe they were tasty.  It is unlikely I will ever repeat that experience so I'll have to live without certainty on this matter.

Forget safety

“Forget safety.
Live where you fear to live.
Destroy your reputation.
Be notorious.”
~Rumi

life goes on

I live in a new-ish apartment building, new in 2009 and I am the only person who has lived in my apartment. This building has many green elements, like low flow faucets and toilets, photovoltaics generate power for the common areas and heat for the whole building. Yeah, we need heat in N. Cali, even in mid-summer, it can get down in the forties. We have empty roof space that could have added more photovoltaics and generated enough power for all the 97 apartments but the local power company has some kind of monopoly on apartment power. This really grates one me because my taxes and fees exceed my actual electricity charges so I am paying for needless metering infrastructure as well, I guess, paying some taxes into my community.

Rainwater runoff is collected and used by the green, nonprofit office building next door, which is Leeds Platinum and was built somewhat in conjunction with my building -- both buildings are on land that used to be a surface, city-owned parking lot. Now there is a still-city-owned parking lot under these two buildings with about 20 less parking spots, managed by a private concern but still generating some income for the city. I bet the private parking lot management company generates more income for itself than for the city but that is just my guess.

My building has 60 parking spots in one of those elevator parking lots. So many folks that live here don't own cars that our property management can rent out some of those 60 spots. Usually, the bragging environmentalists in the building next door, which is more or less dedicated to environmental related nonprofits, rent these spaces. The folks behind the building next door must be very, very well connected to have scored not just part of the city parking lot land but even got to use some housing fund money to initial start up costs to launch the project. I guess both buildings were sold as a package deal, a deal lead by well connected parties repping each building: real estate developers with very good crony ties to the city. I don't think the city gives away city-owned land to just anybody, eh?

The landings on each floor have linoleum from recycled materials. This linoleum is some cheap-ass shit. I know this because the linoleum in some landings had to be replaced over the years, plus my kitchen has the same cheap-ass linoleum. This recycled material, apparently, has no surface seal. Any organic matter, like food spills, that land on the linoleum seeps into this cheap-ass shit and the stains remain forever. So no matter how much I scrub my kitchen floor, it looks stained. Some of the stains seem to flaws in this cheap-ass material because, duh, when I do, not that often, spill something on the floor, I clean it up right away. No matter how fast I pick up a spill, I nearly always get a new stain. So my kitchen floor always looks dirty and, essentially, it is dirty because those stains indicate some crap has settled into my 'green' linoleum. How green is permanently unsanitary kitchen floors?

Today, for no particular reason, I decided I was going to get my kitchen floor as clean as possible. I used kitchen gloves so I could use very hot water. I used the good-for-environment kitchen cleaner my building's owner (well a rep of the nonprofit that owns it) gave to me to encourage me to clean green. I have been using clean green products since the late seventies but of course I accepted the free cleaning stuff. I used sponges, scrubbies and, for the toughest spots, steel wool. On my hands and knees, I scrubbed and scrubbed and scrubbed.

My kitchen floor is never going to look clean again. Since the floor always looks dirty, it can get hard to feel incentive to clean it.

But it's green material!! I can live with a stained kitchen floor but I know it is unnecessary. I think the cheap shit flooring was used to save money and the recycle business was spin to justify the cheaper choice. I note that my bathroom is tiled with a much higher quality of bathroom tile and, seven years in, the bathroom floor looks the same as the day I moved in.

Who was the genius who put cheap-ass, uncleanable linoleum in kitchens?

Other than the cheesey kitchen linoleum, I really like my apartment. I got lucky and scored an apartment on the top floor, which means I get lots of sun. People who live three and floors below me get daylight but no sun. My place overlooks the courtyard but I see the Berkeley hills, patches of green rising! And in the hallways outside my front door, I see panoramic vistas of the whole Bay. My view of the Golden Gate will soon be blocked by a 19 story luxury high rise. I won't be able to see the Golden Gate, not even from the rooftop garden which has 360˚ views:  hills to the east and north, flatlands to the south and the majestic bay and its surrounding beauty, which includes Mt. Tam in Marin and, on the clearest days, I can see the bay far to the south and inland. I don't quite see San Jose from my roof but I can see where it is.


Friday, May 20, 2016

obsolete words


the bee comes


oligarchy, dicatorship and what have we got?

I lived in Bogotá, Colombia for a year, from 1973 to 1974. Colombia was openly recognized as an oligarchy. My fuzzy recollection is that for the presidential "election" held while I was living there, there was only one candidate. Maybe there was a token opponent but the outcome of the election was assured long before anyone voted. I steadily wondered "what would it be like to live under oligarchy", for oligarchy seemed very close to dicatorship. I would also often wonder what it might be like to live in a dictatorship. My young adult self seemed to believe that day-to-day life would be meaningfully different under oligarchy or dictatorship.

I also lived in Spain for six months while Franco was still alive, still the dictator of Spain. No one in Spain would ever discuss politics with this foreigner because, I gathered, Franco had so many spies that no one casually discussed politics in fear of those spies and the possible repercussions of saying something the power structure did not like. That left an impression on me. I had a lovely time in Spain but I got to know more foreigners, from all over the globe, than I ever got to know Spaniards.

Come to find I have been living under oligarchy all along right here in America, and my day-to-day life is what it is, the fact of oligarchy, of control by an elite shadow government, does affect the quality of my life and my culture but it does so in insidious ways that are hard to see.

Gross economic disparity, concentration of wealth, gradual cessation of any social safety nets, these are all deliberate tools of the oligarchy. Chemicalized food, neurotoxins in our drinking water, chemtrail spraying, poor educations, gerrymandering, voter suppression, voting machine hacking, politicians at every level who disregard the will of the people, corporations owning our government.

I live in an oligarchy and knowing this is bringing me down. At least I don't live in a dictatorship. Not yet. I do live in a culture that increasingly tolerates injustice, withholds help such as food stamps from those who need it while giving billions away to corporations and very wealthy, greedy humans.

Stop the planet and let me off.

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Saturday, May 14, 2016

waiting for when we are needed

WAITING TO GO ON
…It must be
we are waiting
for the perfect moment.
It must be
under all the struggle
we want to go on.
It must be,
that deep down,
we are creatures
getting ready
for when we are needed.
It must be that waiting
for the listening ear
or the appreciative word,
for the right
woman or the right man
or the right moment
just to ourselves,
we are getting ready
just to be ready
and nothing else.
Like this moment
just before the guests arrive
working
alone in the kitchen
sensing a deep
down symmetry
in every blessed thing.
The way
that everything
unbeknownst
to us
is preparing
to meet us too.
Just on the other
side of the door
someone
is about to knock
and our life
is just
about to change
and finally
after all these
years rehearsing,
behind
the curtain,
we might
just be
ready
to go on.
...
From ‘Waiting to Go On’: in ‘River Flow:
New and Selected Poems’
©David Whyte and Many Rivers Press