Saturday, November 04, 2006

The art of living

Where to begin? I'm still trying to capture my actual feelings in real time. Weekends are busy times around here. Amidst the youthful energy that surrounds me much of the time, I'm determined to continue my own turtle-like emotional development.

Today, my 12-year-old's soccer team won its game, 3-1. Next Saturday they will play in the championship game.

My eight-year-old's soccer team apparently won its game, 7-5, though at her level, no one keeps score, officially.

My ten-year-old had his friend here for an "overnight" last night, and they played all through the first half of today, oblivious of the soccer mania around them.

Tonight, my 25-year-old showed up with seven or eight friends briefly before they all went out for burritos, etc. Some of them, five or six, will return here later and spend the night.

I took pictures all day. The question in my mind tonight is "What is Art?" Like most questions, this one has been asked many times before, by writers much more talented than I could ever hope to be.

My favorite book on this subject is Tolstoy's book with the same title. He wrote: "Real art, like the wife of an affectionate husband, needs no ornaments."

So, what must be clear here is that I sublimate what feelings I am conscious of behind my writing, my photographs, and the language I choose. Nothing revealed, nothing lost.

But also, nothing gained.

That said, IMHO, this watercolor held by my youngest qualifies...The feelings come through clearly. What else can an artist hope to do?


Friday, November 03, 2006


Let me attempt to describe how I'm feeling. Bear with me. This could take a while. I have my own little study group here, including an eight-year-old girl who, when I told her about an upcoming play date, got red cheeks and said, "I don't know if I can express what I'm feeling."

"Are you happy," I probed, "Excited?"

"Yes, both," She answered, "But it's more than that."

Life being as chaotic as it is around here, her 10-year-old brother broke in to show me his candle from the Día de los muertos march they both were just home from here in the Mission.

I didn't find out the complexities of her emotions until this morning. It turned out she was feeling a spectrum of emotions -- not all positive. But we never got around to finishing that conversation.


It's probably long overdue, but I am now in the midst of finishing up my second divorce. All that remains, from a legal standpoint, is submitting papers about things we've long since agreed to, and getting the judge's stamp of approval. I know enough about divorce to know judges are extremely grateful for cases like ours, where nothing significant is at issue, except -- of course -- our viability as two struggling single parents to fulfill our parenting and tax-paying responsibilities in the years to come.

Without getting into inappropriate detail, let me say one feeling I have right now is resignation. There are things that happen to us in this life that we have no ability to influence, let alone control.

I am staring at a book titled "Statistics" as I write this. In some ways, statistics have been my life as much as writing, love, or travel has been. The title of this post is the sum on my credit card from yet another Safeway trip tonight. I am also feeling very excited now, because I'm anticipating my 25-year-old's arrival late tonight with a few buddies from Cal Tech.

On the spur of the moment (which is one of the perks of being 25) they are driving up to the City for this weekend. So, I'll have somewhere between 5 and 8 or 9 people overnight here tonight. Since my food supplies had become depleted this week, I wanted to stock up on all the usual suspects, so I did.

That is not a particularly large food bill. I easily spend $1,000 a month, as does almost anyone trying to feed as many people as I do. If you don't have your calculator handy, that's about $33 a day. Not too burdensome, right? But in many a month, I match that with restaurant and take-out/delivery meals...thanks to the pressure of commuting, the "hard stops" imbedded in the kids' schedules, their eating preferences, and my (many) business meals out.

I'm sure my soon-to-be ex-wife spends every bit as much on supporting the family. The problem is we live in one of the most special (and therefore expensive) places on earth.


Speaking of preferences, my little girl informed me last night she is a "Flexitarian."

I hadn't heard that one before, but she was adamant that it doesn't mean she is "flexible" about what she eats. What it means is that she may no longer eat some kinds of meat as often as she did before. Like, lamb, for instance, her favorite.

Given our Scottish genes, lamb is one of those dishes that resonate deeply with me. This feeling was reinforced by my time as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Afghanistan. So, it isn't rare for me to cook a lamb roast on Sundays...

But, children are complex mixtures of the genetic heritages of two people, not one. And her mother was a serious vegetarian when we fell in love; for years, I tried to play along with her preferences as much as possible. But, since we broke up three-and-a-half years ago, I've solidified my role as a serious carnivore, actually an omnivore, but that includes a heavy dose of Midwestern, meat-and-potatoes preferences.

Luckily, since both my youngest son and my youngest daughter show a desire to become vegetarians already, I truly love every kind of vegetable I've yet encountered. So, it won’t be that bad a transition if and when it comes, from my point of view. And I certainly agree it is a way to live lighter on the earth, and is therefore a better diet for the future -- vegetarianism, that is.

I simply love to eat meat -- it's one of main pleasures in my life. So, somewhere around $20 of that $146.88 tonight was spent on ground beef, pork sausages, sliced salami, and turkey slices...


I started out saying I would try to capture and convey my actual emotional moods. It is hard to write this blog while holding to that commitment. Sometimes, to be true, I am too sad or too angry to post anything at all. Words can cut and slash another's feelings, and I have no intention of doing that to anyone.

Tonight, I am feeling many emotions. Of course, I am sad about the divorce. I never wanted our marriage to end, but it did, definitively.

So, I also look forward to being a truly single man in the eyes of the law.

Who knows, maybe even for me there can be a third act in life. The first two were great -- I love my ex-wives and I love all of my six children equally. I love my unborn grandson, due in the next couple months; as well as all the unborn ones.

But, I also have lots of love to give still. Maybe, when all of this chaos dies down a bit, I'll be able to enter that new stage. I hope so, since next April I will attain the age that has recently been determined to be the new "middle age."

Please accept my apologies: Not many feelings have been discovered nor revealed herein tonight. After all, at the end of it all, I am only a man, not really much different from all the rest of men.


p.s. Go Blue.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

My Big Chill

One slice of the Ann Arbor delegation of the Baby Boom gathers in my apartment in the Fillmore in the early '70s.

So I grew up in Michigan. I was born in Women's Hospital in Detroit two years after the war ended. My family moved into one of the expanding suburbs, Royal Oak, amidst a cluster of other families that consisted of returning soldiers, wives and boys and girls named David, Susan, Bill, Bob, Jim, Mark, Bonnie, Nancy, Kathy, Fred, Peter, Carole, Paul, Diane, Mary, John, and so on and so forth.

We were the leading edge of the Baby Boom Generation -- a cohort so large that we broke every institution we encountered. When we got to school, there were never enough classrooms, chairs, desks, books, or other resources. Teachers suddenly had to handle many more students at once than had previously been the case.

When we reached our teens, there was not enough overt passion in the music that our parents and older siblings enjoyed. Thus, a mass market for rock and roll was born.

Meanwhile, the political economy of the nation newly victorious in the second war of wars dictated that America become an empire, as all conquerors since time immemorial have done.

As we grew up, America's empire -- imperialistic, arrogant, ugly, and consumed with fear by an alternative model -- Communism -- spread globally.

People like me grew up reading books like "Our Friend the Atom," a distinctly propagandistic reader that was our government's attempt to convince us, years before we could vote, of the rightness of its policy to develop nuclear power plants while stockpiling WMD's to protect us from the Russians, Chinese, and other socialistic foreigners.

Much of the rest of my generation's story is written contemporaneously in music, in poetry, in film, and in our collective memory. Confronted with the worldview that our fate was to conquer the world, many of us rebelled, begging to differ. (But hardly all of us, witness George W. Bush and his allies.)

The rest of us opposed the war in Vietnam. We marched in support of the civil rights movement. We launched the women's liberation movement and the gay liberation movement. We smoked dope and dropped acid and danced in the streets.

We had Dylan and the Beatles, the Stones, and so much more. One of our early heroes, when we were still kids, was Elvis. The music always reflected our own edge -- the ragged edges of a churning chainsaw that we used to slice our way through the society we were born into to try and establish a new order.

The best politician to emerge from my generation, by far, is Bill Clinton. Everyone else, in either party, pales by comparison. My hope is that his recent health problems do not force him into silence for a long, long time. The series of speeeches he gave, mostly overseas, late in his administration, remain by far the most visionary, future-oriented material uttered by any American political leader to date.


Wednesday, November 01, 2006

We Live in a Political World* (Vivimos en un mundo politico*)

The first American President I ever saw give a speech in person was Lyndon Johnson, in 1964. I was a teenager. Although politics is one of my enduring passions, I've relatively rarely gotten directly involved in covering national politics, though I do publish pieces here and there now and then.

So tonight's opportunity, to attend a huge fundraiser for the Democratic Party, which believes it is on the verge of a massive victory six days from now, was special. Let me set the scene for you. It was a cool night in downtown San Francisco, with a soft mist falling off and on.

The venue was the old Warfield Theatre on Market Street, smack in the center of the downtown area that is simultaneously seedy and toney, in ways only San Francisco can be. The borders of the Tenderloin, which have rarely shifted much in the past 125 years, still reek of the naturalism captured by the great novelist Frank Norris back in his day.

Nearby, the fanciest shopping districts, swankest hotels, and most expensive condos rise above the squalor of streets still home to the drunken, drugged, mentally ill causalities of the richest society in the history of earth. The sweet vapors of Grey Goose, sushi, and rare roast beef have barely deserted your nostrils when you re-enter the night air to pass muskier odors of urine, sweat, vomit and the sweet scents of marijuana.

In front of the Warfield tonight were scores of white-suited young people waiting to help you out of your vehicle and give you a ticket so you may reclaim it later. These are the valets -- which can be fun work if you're young and new to the city. The tips plus the chance to drive cars far more expensive than anything you'll soon be able to afford are your main rewards.

Ticket takers check IDs, but this crowd is not the type to subject to heavy-handed security. It's a well-heeled, upper middle class white crowd, middle-aged and dotted with faces that look vaguely familiar, as if you've seen them in the social pages (which you have) or in television ads (which you have) or in magazines profiling movers and shakers (which you have).

These are the political junkies who form the Democratic elite of this, the most Democratic of cities. So, of course, outside the theatre a small group of protestors harangued the crowd not from the right but from the left. Voices from the margins.

Inside, the food and drink flowed freely on the main floor, where tickets cost a minimum of $1,000 each; but up in the balcony you had to purchase your libations.

Politics long since being about celebrities, the entertainment was Jackson Browne, Graham Nash and Bonnie Raitt.

They warmed up the crowd while the even bigger celebrities made their way by helicopter and SUV to the theatre a couple hours behind schedule. The city's incredibly tall, handsome, and peripatetic mayor, Gavin Newsom, entered the floor stage left and worked the crowd, posing with guests while others tried to get their digital cameras to flash obediently. The hardest thing about being a politician must be to hold that smile with your arm around a stranger reeking of perfume and hairspray while some bumbling fellow desperately tries to get his daughter's camera to work.

But the fun part for these political players is campaigning when they sense they've reached the tipping point. The Democrats actually believe they are going to win next week -- that they will retake the House, and maybe even the Senate, and that their victory will be of sweeping, historical proportions.

That's what this crowd of partisans wanted to hear tonight. The local girl who will be the next Speaker of the House if Democratic dreams come true on Tuesday was there, Nancy Pelosi. She's a local hero to many and this was working her home turf, where all politics is personal. She introduced Phil Angelides, the unfortunate Democrat running against the Gubernator here in California, and therefore one likely to miss the victory train when and if it pulls out of the station.

Pelosi also got to introduce the star of the evening, ex-President Bill Clinton. He didn't disappoint. His speech was measured, intelligent, forceful and restrained. What he hoped to accomplish among this group of the faithful was to convince them to not rest back and savor the fait accompli of victory next week, but to energetically make the phone calls, walk the precincts, and persuade the relatives in distant places to join in the cause.

Clinton, the warhorse of the crowd, knows that the outcome is yet far from certain, if only because a man named Karl Rove still calls the shots from the other side.

I thoroughly enjoyed myself at this event. I'm not a partisan, really, because as a journalist I'm not able to be. I'm an interested observer, as I have been at both Republican and Democratic events for years.

But I'll admit to this much of a deep bias: I really like listening to a man, like Clinton, with a fine brain and the intellectual ability to deftly frame the issues that matter, as opposed to sort of man who governs on the basis of fear. FDR told us what we have to fear most some 75 years ago, and it hasn't changed.

America is its own worst enemy. Any thinking person has to long for a return to power of people who are up to intellectual challenge of leadership, as opposed to good old boys who tell fart jokes, wage ideological warfare, exploit religious differences, and hope that no one notices that it is the rich (not coincidentally their best friends) who get richer, to the detriment of the rest of us.

*Bob Dylan


Vivimos en un mundo politico*

La primera elasticidad americana de la sierra de presidente I un discurso en persona era siempre Lyndon Johnson, en 1964. Era un adolescente. Aunque la política es una de mis pasiones que aguantan, he conseguido relativamente raramente implicado directamente en política nacional de la cubierta, aunque publico pedazos aquí y allí ahora y entonces.

Tan la oportunidad de la esta noche, de atender a un fundraiser enorme para el partido democrático, que lo cree es en el borde de una victoria masiva seis días de ahora en adelante, era especial. Dejarme fijar la escena para ti. Era una noche fresca en San Francisco céntrico, con una niebla suave cayendo apagado y encendido.

El lugar era el viejo teatro de Warfield en la calle del mercado, tortazo en el centro del centro de la ciudad que es simultáneamente seedy y toney, de maneras solamente San Francisco puede estar. Las fronteras del filete, que han cambiado de puesto raramente mucho en los últimos 125 años, olor inmóvil del naturalism capturaron por la gran parte posteriora de Norris de la carta franca del novelista en su día.

Cerca, los districtos más de lujo de las compras, los hoteles más swankest, y la mayoría de los condos costosos todavía se levantan sobre la mugre de calles a casa al borracho, narcotizada, los causalities mentalmente enfermos de la sociedad más rica de la historia de la tierra. Los vapores dulces del ganso gris, de sushi, y de la carne de vaca rara de las carnes asadas han abandonado apenas tus ventanas de la nariz cuando vuelves a entrar el aire de la noche para pasar olores más muskier de la orina, sudaron, vómito y los olores dulces de la marijuana.

Delante del Warfield estaban esta noche las cuentas de la gente joven blanco-satisfecha que esperaba para ayudarte fuera de tu vehículo y para darte un boleto así que puedes reclamarlo más adelante. Éstos son los valets -- cuál puede ser trabajo de la diversión si eres joven y nuevo a la ciudad. Las extremidades más la ocasión de conducir los coches lejos más costosos que cualquier cosa pronto podrás producir eres tus recompensas principales.

Los tomadores del boleto comprueban las identificaciones, pero esta muchedumbre no es el tipo conforme a la seguridad severa. Es bien-haber inclinado, la muchedumbre blanca de la clase media superior, de mediana edad y punteado con las caras que parecen vago familiares, como si las hayas visto en las páginas sociales (que tienes) o en los anuncios de la televisión (que tienes) o en los compartimientos que perfilan los motores y las coctelera (que tienes).

Éstos son los drogadictos políticos que forman la élite democrática de esto, el más democrático de ciudades. Así pues, por supuesto, fuera del teatro al grupo pequeño de protestors harangued la muchedumbre no de la derecha sino de la izquierda. Voces de los márgenes.

Dentro de, el alimento y la bebida fluyeron libremente en el piso principal, donde los boletos costaron un mínimo de $1.000 por cada uno; pero para arriba en el balcón tuviste que comprar tus libations.

La política hace mucho tiempo que estaba sobre celebridades, la hospitalidad era Jackson Browne, Graham Nash y Bonnie Raitt.

Calentaron a muchedumbre mientras que las celebridades incluso más grandes hicieron su manera en helicóptero y SUV al teatro las horas de un par tarde. La ciudad alcalde increíblemente alto, hermoso, y peripatetic, Gavin Newsom, incorporó la etapa del piso a la izquierda y trabajó a muchedumbre, presentándose con las huéspedes mientras que otras intentadas para conseguir sus cámaras fotográficas digitales para destellar obedientemente. La cosa más dura sobre ser político debe ser sostener que sonrisa con tu brazo alrededor de apestar más extraño del perfume y de la laca de pelo mientras que algún compañero inepto intenta desesperadamente conseguir la cámara fotográfica de su hija para trabajar.

Pero la pieza de la diversión para estos jugadores políticos está haciendo campaña cuando los detectan han alcanzado el punto que inclina. Los demócratas creen realmente que van a ganar la semana próxima -- que volverán a tomar la casa, y quizá igualar el senado, y que su victoria estará de barrer, las proporciones históricas.

Eso es lo que deseó esta muchedumbre de partidarios oír esta noche. La muchacha local que será el locutor siguiente de la casa si vienen los sueños democráticos verdad el martes estaban allí, Nancy Pelosi. Ella es un héroe local a muchos y éste trabajaba su césped casero, donde está personal toda la política. Ella introdujo a Phil Angelides, el demócrata desafortunado que funcionaba contra el Gubernator aquí en California, y por lo tanto una para faltar probablemente el tren de la victoria cuando y si se saca de la estación.

Pelosi también consiguió introducir la estrella de la tarde, ex-Presidente Bill Clinton. Él no decepcionó. Su discurso era medido, inteligente, poderoso y refrenado. Qué él esperaba lograr entre este grupo del fiel era convencer a lo que no se recline detrás y a savor el accompli del fait de la victoria la semana próxima, sino enérgio haga las llamadas telefónicas, camine los recintos, y persuada a parientes en lugares distantes ensamblar en la causa.

Clinton, el warhorse de la muchedumbre, sabe que el resultado está todavía lejos de seguro, si solamente porque un hombre nombrado Karl Rove todavía llama los tiros del otro lado.

Me gocé a fondo en este acontecimiento. No soy un partidario, realmente, porque como periodista no puedo ser. Soy un observador interesado, pues he estado en los acontecimientos republicanos y democráticos por años.

Pero admitiré a este mucho de un diagonal profundo: Realmente tengo gusto de escuchar un hombre, como Clinton, con un cerebro fino y la capacidad intelectual hábilmente de enmarcar las ediciones que importan, en comparación con la clase de hombre que gobierne en base de miedo. El FDR nos dijo que lo que tenemos que temer hace la mayoría de los unos 75 años, y no ha cambiado.

América es su propio enemigo peor. Cualquier persona de pensamiento tiene que desear una vuelta a la energía de la gente que está hasta el desafío intelectual de la dirección, en comparación con los buenos viejos muchachos que cuentan bromas del fart, emprenden la guerra ideológica, explotan diferencias religiosas, y esperan que nadie avisos que sea los ricos (no no coincidentemente sus mejores amigos) que consigue más rico, al detrimento del resto de nosotros.

*Bob Dylan

fijado por los comentarios de David Weir @ 10:22 P.M. 0 se liga a este poste

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Halloween Night (Noche de Halloween)

So, Halloween is supposed to be for kids, right? And, in most places, this is probably the case.

But, in San Francisco, these past 30 years, it is mainly an adult holiday.

Whatever may happen in the neighborhoods where kids collect candy is dwarfed by the show-stopping exhibitionism in the Castro.

Don't read me wrong.I have absolutely no problem with adults dressing up in costumes and having fun. Fantasy is soul food for adults when we feel trapped in realities we cannot easily change.

But, in this city (which has the lowest percentage of children of any major U.S. city), only a few neighborhoods have the traditional trick-or-treating traffic of short ghosts, superheroes, princesses, fairies, and so forth.

The big concentration of paraders and watchers are adults. As they act out their fantasies tonight, I cannot help but wonder, where were they when they were kids?

For that matter, where were any of us? Why bother trying to act like kids when we are so obviously not young anymore?

There is beauty in age, even if our popular culture ignores it. In this city, in this time, too many lost souls seem to be fighting time, rather than welcoming the chance to finally act their age.

In fact, the only people who are doing so tonight are our children!


Martes 31 de octubre de 2006
Noche de Halloween

¿Así pues, Halloween se supone para estar para los cabritos, la derecha? Y, en la mayoría de los lugares, éste es probablemente el caso.

Pero, en San Francisco, este pasado 30 años, es principalmente un día de fiesta del adulto.

Lo que puede suceder en las vecindades en donde los cabritos recogen caramelo dwarfed por el exhibitionism show-stopping en el Castro.

No leerme mal. No tengo absolutamente ningún problema con los adultos que visten para arriba en trajes y que tienen diversión. La fantasía es alimento del alma para los adultos cuando nos sentimos atrapados en realidades que no podemos cambiar fácilmente.

Pero, en esta ciudad (que tiene el porcentaje más bajo de niños de cualquier ciudad importante de los E.E.U.U.), sólo algunas vecindades tienen el tráfico trampear-o-que trata tradicional de fantasmas cortos, super héroes, princesas, hadas, y así sucesivamente.

La concentración grande de paraders y los vigilantes son adultos. ¿Mientras que actúan hacia fuera sus fantasías esta noche, no puedo dejar preguntarse, dónde eran cuando ellos eran los cabritos?

¿Para esa materia, dónde estaban cualesquiera de nosotros? ¿Por qué incomodar el intentar actuar como cabritos cuando nosotros no son tan obviamente jóvenes más?

Hay belleza en edad, aunque nuestra cultura popular no hace caso de ella. En esta ciudad, en este tiempo, demasiadas almas perdidas se parecen luchar tiempo, más bien que dar la bienvenida a la ocasión finalmente de actuar su edad.

¡De hecho, la única gente que está haciendo tan esta noche es nuestros niños!

fijado por los comentarios de David Weir @ 9:35 P.M. 0 se liga a este poste

Monday, October 30, 2006

Dreams of a Tropical Place (Sueños de un lugar tropical)

It's all Mary's fault. She told me tonight she is headed for Hawaii for two months in early December. She will use much of the time to work on her Bush book. No, not that guy -- this is not an overtly political book.

Mary is photographing and writing about the one kind of bush I truly can love, besides the types I've planted...Her book will be a revolutionary look at...women.

But it was her mention of Hawaii that set me off. All of a sudden I was flooded with memories. Of Waimanalo, its long sweet curving beach at dawn and again at sunset. We had dinner down there sometimes, around a bonfire like the Hawaiians do. The local foods may be fattening, but -- yum -- I'd gratefully eat poi , Mango Bread, and mahi mahi again.

A long time ago, twenty-nine and a half years to be exact, I spent a month or so out in the islands, evaluating whether to relocate there.

But something held me back. I now know that that something was and is San Francisco and its unique energy. This is a town where people flow to from all over the world out of a desperate need to escape from something plus a compelling need to find something.

If whatever they are fleeing or whatever they are seeking is not essential to their identity, they return to where they came from, or a similar place, after experimenting here for a while.

The ones who stick are both the ones who can't go home again, and the ones who recognize that they have found their natural home. This is a city of love. Falling in love here is as natural as earthquakes or other natural disasters.

With a similar outcome, I might add.

But, living here also makes you conscious of all the destinations within easy reach. My friend Julie today told me of her weekend birthday hike with her boyfriend along the Lost Coast (Happy Birthday, Julie!), some five driving hours north of here. But the Feather River Valley beckons, as does Tahoe, Yosemite (my ten-year-old reader, Dylan, told me that he thought it was pronounced "Yo's-might" for the longest time), Sea Ranch, Big Sur, the Delta islands, Gold Country, Pt.Reyes...these are all accessible by car.

Las Vegas, LA, San Diego, Portland, Seattle, Vancouver, Mexico -- all easy to get to by plane.

The entire Pacific Basin.

This is the sight that rewarded us on one of the more challenging hikes I've ever taken, in July 2005. So hot and primal that not even the chill of rejection, silence, distance, hurting words, or time can erase. When you've glimpsed the core of this planet at such close quarters that it would be a trivial pursuit to jump in and obliterate your physical self, I suspect this is akin to what believers would say is glimpsing the face of God.

Not me. I believe instead in the wet, molten flow of desire, the fire that creates children, and fuels our irrepressible urge to fall in love with each other, spilling our bodily fluids into one another purposefully -- in surely the truest act of hope of all.

The proof is in the pudding, and I'll vouch for that, six times over.

Sometimes, even now, I fantasize about a seventh. But, no, stop me, please! Someone tell me to clip those tubes and make sure it never happens. Though, of course, I will never listen to anyone on questions such as this one.


Lunes 30 de octubre de 2006
Sueños de un lugar tropical

Es toda la avería de Maria. Ella me dijo que la dirijan esta noche hacia Hawaii por dos meses diciembre a principios de. Ella utilizará mucha de la época de trabajar en su libro de Bush. No, no ese individuo -- esto no es un libro abiertamente político.

Maria es que fotografía y escribiendo sobre la una clase de arbusto puedo amar verdad, además de los tipos que he plantado… su libro seré una mirada revolucionaria en… las mujeres.

Pero era su mención de Hawaii que me fijó apagado. Todo el repentino me inundaron con memorias. De Waimanalo, de su playa que curva dulce larga en el amanecer y otra vez en la puesta del sol. Cenábamos tragamos allí a veces, alrededor de una hoguera como los Hawaiians. Los alimentos locales pueden cebar, pero -- yum -- Yo agradecido comería poi, el pan del mango, y el mahi del mahi otra vez.

Un de largo plazo hace, twenty-nine y una mitad de los años a ser exactos, pasé un mes o tan hacia fuera en las islas, evaluando si volver a poner allí.

Pero algo me sostuvo detrás. Ahora sé que ese era algo y soy San Francisco y su energía única. Esto es una ciudad a donde la gente fluye de por todo el mundo de una necesidad desesperada de escaparse algo más una necesidad que obliga de encontrar algo.

Si lo que están huyendo o lo que están buscando no es esencial para su identidad, vuelven a donde vinieron, o un lugar similar, después de experimentar aquí durante algún tiempo.

Los que se pegan son ambos los que no pueden ir a casa otra vez, y los que reconocen que han encontrado su hogar natural. Esto es una ciudad del amor. El caer en amor aquí es tan natural como terremotos u otros desastres naturales.

Con un resultado similar, puede ser que agregue.

Pero, el vivir aquí también te hace consciente de todas las destinaciones al alcance de la mano. Mi amigo Julia hoy me dijo de su alza del cumpleaños del fin de semana con su novio a lo largo de la costa perdida (feliz cumpleaños, Julia!), un cierto norte de cinco horas que conduce de aquí. Pero la pluma River Valley hace señas, al igual que Tahoe, Yosemite (mi diez-año-viejo lector, Dylan, me dijo que él pensara que fue pronunciado “Yo's-pudo” por el tiempo más largo), el rancho del mar, Sur grande, las islas del delta, país del oro, Pt.Reyes… éstos es todos accesible en coche.

Las Vegas, LA, San Diego, Portland, Seattle, Vancouver, México -- todos fáciles conseguir en a plano.

El lavabo pacífico entero.

Ésta es la vista que nos recompensó en una de las alzas más desafiadoras que he tomado siempre, en julio de 2005. Tan caliente y principal que no iguala la frialdad del rechazamiento, silencio, distancia, lastimar palabras, o tiempo puede borrar. Cuando glimpsed la base de este planeta en tales los cuartos del cierre que sería una búsqueda trivial a saltar adentro y para borrar a tu uno mismo físico, sospecho que éste es relacionado con qué believers dirían glimpsing la cara del dios.

No yo. Creo en lugar de otro en el flujo mojado, fundido del deseo, el fuego que crea a niños, y aprovisioné de combustible nuestro impulso incontenible de caer en amor con uno a, derramando nuestros líquidos corporales en uno otros útil -- en seguramente el acto más verdadero de la esperanza de todos.

La prueba está en el pudín, y atestiguaré para ése, seis veces encima.

A veces, incluso ahora, fantasize alrededor de un séptimo. ¡Pero, no, me para, por favor! Alguien me dice que nunca suceda acortar esos tubos y cerciorarse de él. Aunque, por supuesto, nunca escucharé cualquier persona en preguntas tales como ésta.

Sunday, October 29, 2006

Goodbye, Steve

Word of yet another friend's recent death reached me yesterday. His name is Steve Byrne. He was an incredibly gentle soul, always smiling, and a man who beat the odds for years after he became HIV-positive. He and his partner, Bill Hayes, formed one of the nicest, most loving couples I have had the privilege to know. Steve died suddenly recently of heart failure.

Below is a link to his partner

Bill's work

I found out that Steve had died from my ex-wife Connie. We used to host Christmas dinners at our house on Elsie Street. A group of special friends came, sometimes including Bill and Steve. One year, Steve was so ill that they did not come, and we all dreaded that this might be Steve's last Christmas on earth.

But, advances in medicines were just then arriving for HIV-positive people, and the next Christmas, Steve was back, healthy and happy and loving -- as he always wanted to be.

That particular year, I remember wondering about the idea of a God. Somehow, this beautiful man, so sweet and caring, had been spared almost certain death, and was back among us, creating books and other pieces of art that, had he died, would never have come into being.

But, there he was, alive, vital, engaged, and loving.

That he now has died is a sad moment for all of us. We need the Steve Byrnes of this world much more than the tough guys, the ones who make war instead of love.

Tonight, I honor the memory of my friend Steve, and his wonderful partner Bill. We are blessed to have Bill still here among us, with his writing talent, his smile, and his kindness.