Welcome to Glenn's Blog!

Here I will periodically post random thoughts and stories about what's going on in my life and the world around me. As if anyone cared. But seriously, you've found your way here, so hopefully you will enjoy at least some of what I have to say, even if you aren't entirely interested in it. At the least, it should be a good way to waste time.

Of course, you can visit my website for more info about me, or feel free to email me anytime.

Monday, September 30, 2019

What's Going On

So, today is October eve, the last day of September. It's now officially fall. I know the fall equinox was technically a week ago, but it hasn't felt like it up until this past weekend. We got rain! To be more specific, on Saturday evening the dark clouds rolled in and chased away the sun and blue skies, bringing with them thunder and lightning. And for a brief time, it rained. Hard. It was quite invigorating to take a walk out in the deluge. Even with my "big boy" umbrella my shoes and jeans still got a bit wet. But it was lovely. A great friend of mine caught a picture of a complete double rainbow in Citrus Heights. In Natomas though it was just dark and scary, with tremendous awe-inspiring thunder claps that seemed to roll on into eternity.



But before all this happened, it was nice to get away a little bit towards the end of last week to the river, to hang out in nature and just enjoy being outside in the fresh air for a little while. There's lots of little hidden gems around Sacramento, where one can find peace and tranquility, away from the hustle and bustle of our normal everyday lives. This particular video was shot by the American River, in the Sunrise Recreation Area. Great place for a little picnic, and a bit of wading in the water. Just watching the world float by. I then went to Old Town Sacramento, and hung out by the riverfront by myself there for awhile to enjoy the sunset. It's quite a picturesque area to be in, despite all of the human pollution there. I posted some lovely shots of the Tower Bridge and the Delta King on my Facebook and Instagram accounts.

Yesterday I also repaired the flat tire on Connor's bike, and we tried going without training wheels for the first time. It was...a little sketchy. But he was a brave trooper and willing to give it his best. And he didn't crash per se, so that was a positive. Well he did kind of run into a bush. But hey, no one's perfect. We'll try again real soon. Later in the evening I baked some chocolate chip cookies for us, and brought them out to the living room to surprise him, along with a glass of milk of course. One cannot forget the milk. His first response was: "Are these for Santa?". Cute kid, so innocent. So, we shared some cookies and milk before bath time and bed time, and afterwards he proudly proclaimed, "Now we're both Santas!" Apparently, cookies and milk are the only criteria for being Santa Claus. Duly noted.

So, again, here we are on the eve of October. The month of ghosts and goblins and tricks or treats. The season of the macabre, before the Christmas season steamrolls in and obliterates all of this wonderfully dark decor. I find that I'm a little more in the spirit of things now than I was last year, and that's a good thing. Several decorations have already been placed, I've already started my collection of bags of candy for the trick-or-treaters, and birthday parties are being planned, as Connor will turn 6 on Halloween. I expect a far better holiday season this year as compared to last year.

Anyways, it was a fairly nice and relaxing weekend. I had originally considered taking a trip to the Bay Area on Saturday after Connor's soccer game, but the impending weather did not seem conducive to a frolicky romp on the ocean beaches. So I stayed home Saturday, treated myself to lunch at Dos Coyotes, and generally frittered the day away until the rains came. And until Connor came back to me on Sunday. The weekend at home turned out pleasant, and not a bad way to prep for the work week, which unfortunately has now begun.

So, that's what's going on in my life.

Monday, September 23, 2019

Video Stuff

So, throughout my life I've never been big on videography. No particular reason per se, I just never wanted to see myself on video. Or hear myself. Is that what I really sound like?? Yikes. And we didn't have that technology in our house when I was growing up; the home video craze was still new back then. That's how old I am. But when Connor was born I started taking more videos, to capture him, both at birth and as he grew up. I never really did anything with those videos though, aside from occasionally posting one on Facebook. Most have never seen the light of day, and continue to exist only on my computer for my own personal nostalgic fetishes.

Recently I've begun re-acquainting myself with iMovie, so that I can actually do some editing and compiling of my material, and post it on my You Tube Channel. Oh yeah, I have a You Tube Channel. I've actually had it for many years, I just never really did anything with it. I meant to. I really did. But I've been inspired lately by one of my dearest and oldest friends to get more into videography.

So yesterday I wasted away a little over an hour and a half of my time pulling together this video (thanks a lot Rebekah!), and another 45 minutes swearing at the computer as it had difficulty sharing directly to You Tube. Some sort of problem with privacy settings or some damn thing. And also it apparently takes a long, long time to upload a video on wifi. But in any case, it's working now. And you can see the fruit of my labor below. It's a compilation of scenic videos I shot this past summer on our family cruise to Alaska. It is (if I may say so myself) tastefully edited together and set to music. I'm rather proud of the end product, actually.

I really tried, on this trip, to shoot more videos and not just hundreds and hundreds of static photos. Videos do make the post-trip memory experience come alive. I still did not shoot really any videos of people on this trip, and certainly none of myself. But I'm working on that with my "therapist" Rebekah. So in time, more good things should appear. And if I can find some more time to waste away this week, perhaps I'll dig back into my video and photo archives and whip out another one of these things.

In the meantime, enjoy:




Friday, September 20, 2019

Cosmological Constants

So I had a discussion last night with one of my oldest and closest friends, which among other things dealt heavily in religion and afterlife and things of that nature. I don't often talk about religious things; it is after all one of those "taboo" subjects that one is not to discuss at fancy dinner parties. Along with politics. But as this was no fancy dinner party, I suppose I should be given some leeway here.

I am not a particularly religious person, really; I have not been for many years. To be technically accurate, I consider myself an agnostic these days. I believe in possibilities, or at least I do not discount anything that cannot be disproved. I don't think we, as meekly little humans, are really meant to understand or are even capable of understanding the nature of the universe. Or of life. Or of death. I actually grew up in the Baptist faith, largely due to the influence of my maternal grandmother. After her passing and after going to high school in a new town, we drifted somewhat away from religious influence. I suppose it wasn't until much later, really, in late college or early adulthood perhaps, that I really started to define my perspective on the matter.

There are many different religions of course throughout the world (over 4000 by some estimates), many of which believe in some sort of creator. And most, it seems, follow the idea of a union or marriage of two people. One of the common attributes of marriage ceremonies in many Christian faiths is the idea of marriage till "death do us part". The idea has permeated society so much that you see this promise thrown around often in TV and film. Some, however, believe that this is not the end; that marriage transcends death and exists in perpetuity throughout all eternity. Of course that begs the question, "What happens to us after we die?". It is practically impossible for us mere humans to imagine a state of being where we simply do not exist, neither to think nor feel anything. Ever again. I've tried to imagine this. I cannot. This alone should support for the idea that there MUST be SOMETHING after death. But what is the answer? (Fans of Douglas Adams would be screaming here, "42! The answer is 42!"). Well it's difficult to know the answer when the question itself is difficult to fathom.

So, I like to think there IS something after all of this lovely mess we call life. But what? Another lifetime to explore? Another world? Another plane of existence? Who knows. Will we be able to be with all of those loved ones we've lost through time, with those we now call our "soulmate"? Who knows, who knows. Some believe that if you're bonded in this life you will be bonded in the next. And the next. And the next. But what if the two of you don't share the same beliefs? Do those with different beliefs end up being screwed in the afterlife because they did not choose the "correct" path, the "correct" religion? Or do they get pleasantly surprised when they find out that they were wrong? Does God say, at the end, "Sorry, you didn't follow the right religion, so you're done...just kidding! I still love you anyway! Here's your eternity." He must have a sense of humor like that. Wouldn't that be neat? So many questions. So few answers. That's why I think we're not meant to truly know. Agnostic.

There was a movie awhile back that dealt with some of these issues - What Dreams May Come, starring Robin Williams (RIP) and Cuba Gooding Jr. It was a delightfully profound movie about life and death and love, that critics seemed to hate for being too obtuse. But I find I relate to its thinking, in a deep and meaningful way. Some notable quotes from the film:

"It's not about understanding, it's about not giving up".
And: "You didn't (disappear), you only died".
And: "What some folks call impossible, is just stuff they haven't seen before".
And this little gem: "I realized I'm part of the problem. Not because I remind you. But because I couldn't join you. So I left you alone. Don't give up, okay?"

If things like this don't cause you to stop and think - you may be dead already. Check your pulse. Do it now. I'll wait.

So what is the answer? Is there one? I find the more I think about it, the more questions there are. It's a never-ending cycle, it seems, which prevents us from truly understanding. But I'd like to think that there's some great cosmological constant, that is somehow, somewhere, looking out for us. That we will be okay, in this life and the next. In any case, I'd like to think that it's safe to keep taking steps forward on our journey. That we can enjoy life and each other without worrying too much about the ending destination. That's hard, sometimes. We let our worries and fears run our life, and it prevents us from feeling ready to move on, to move forward, to experience happiness and joy. We are true masters at talking ourselves out of things. I said this in closing to my friend last night, and I think it rings true here: "The first step in being ready for anything is to stop convincing yourself that you're not". Read that again. And again. Yes, you.

Monday, September 16, 2019

Rain, Rain, Come Again

Here it is - the first "rainy" day of the season. After weeks and weeks of temperatures in the 90's and even 100's, there is finally a change in the tides. The clouds have rolled in and blanketed us is a great grey mist, and droplets of rain are struggling mightily to reach the earth. And they do. And they will. Actually I'm not expecting a whole lot from this current system, but all the same it's a welcome change. A VERY welcome change, from my perspective. I like the rain. I like the clouds. I don't miss how drivers on the roads of Sacramento suddenly turn into bumbling idiots at the first sign of rain. It's like everyone suddenly loses their mind. But that will be a challenge for later, when the rains really make their presence felt. For now, I'm safely tucked away at work at the start of another work week. And by the time I leave for the day, the rains will most likely have passed on.

It was a fine weekend, after all. I know a couple of weeks ago I had hypothesized about taking another trip this weekend to San Francisco to visit the great ocean once more. And I do so love such adventures. But I got sidetracked by an admittedly better offer. I actually caught most of Connor's soccer game as well on Saturday; he scored the first goal of the game. While playing on defense. It was a nice straight shot down three-quarters of the field that obediently stayed true to its course and rolled gently into the opposing team's unmanned goal. But hey, a score is a score.

And I feel like I scored as well, in a manner of speaking. I got to spend several hours hanging out at Sac State with a dear old friend whom I originally met in junior high...way back in 1987. That was...32 years ago! More years than I can count, even using both hands. (How old AM I?? Yikes). But it was so refreshing to hang out and talk about days gone by, and our own personal first-world problems, and enjoy a friendly hug or two, all whilst enjoying a walk and touring the greener areas of Sac State. And...a little bit of breaking and entering into buildings that probably should have been closed. Well we didn't do the breaking, anyway, just the entering. So I will still proclaim my innocence on that account. But it was so nice to see her in person, after so much time. We used to be closer friends, back in our college years, back in the 90's, when we used to write letters back and forth (this was well before the invention of texting). Then we drifted apart, as people often do. But in recent weeks we've reconnected, and it's just like old times. I feel young again. I feel alive again.

And it was nice and calming to sit by the river, underneath the Guy West Bridge, and watch the world slowly float by. It's peaceful there, and not terribly trafficked at all, even on such a beautiful day as we had. How refreshing it is to waste the day away in such a manner! But of course it was not a waste, not at all. So many stories to share, and even the five or so hours we had was not nearly enough to tell them all. Or to remember them all. It's funny how many experiences of the past, long pushed aside and forgotten, can suddenly resurface and be just as fresh as if they were yesterday. Where have those memories been hiding? The whole experience was like life letting out a great big sigh as it reflects back upon itself and the many times gone by. And my heart and soul did sigh. Probably just as much as if I had gone to the ocean this weekend. Perhaps even more so.

Nostalgic much? Yes. Yes I am. But now I must stop in this frivolous reverie and look to the present, as work is unfortunately beckoning me to come forth and be productive. I'm sure there's a piano somewhere that needs moving. Or some messes that need cleaning. Or whatever. But the memories from the weekend, they will stay, for the moment. And they will help me move forward.

Sigh.

Tuesday, September 10, 2019

Lyrics, Part 3

Yes, in fact, there was a planned Part 3. And here it is. Read. Absorb. Feel. Transcend. Heal. All of that good stuff.


1. "I tried so hard not to give in. I said to myself, 'this affair never will go so well'. But why should I try to resist when I know so well, I've got you under my skin? I'd sacrifice anything, come what might, for the sake of having you near. In spite of a warning voice that comes in the night and repeats in my ear: ‘Don't you know little fool, you never can win? Use your mentality, wake up to reality’. But each time that I do, just the thought of you makes me stop before I begin, because I've got you under my skin."

2. "Without you, the ground thaws. The rain falls, the grass grows. Without you, the seeds root, the flowers bloom, the children play. The stars gleam, the poets dream, the eagles fly. Without you, the Earth turns, the sun burns. But I die, without you."

3. "Tell me why, don't we try, not to break our hearts and make it so hard for ourselves?"

4. "I can curl up and hide in my room. There in my bed still sobbing tomorrow. I could give in to all of the gloom. But tell me, tell me what for? Why should I have a heavy heart? Why should I start to break in pieces? Why should I go and fall apart for you?"

5. "I want somebody to share the rest of my life. Share my innermost thoughts, know my intimate details. Someone who'll stand by my side and give me support. And in return, she'll get my support. She will listen to me when I want to speak, about the world we live in and life in general. Though my views may be wrong - they may even be perverted - she'll hear me out, and won't easily be converted to my way of thinking. In fact, she'll often disagree. But at the end of it all, she will understand me."

6. "There are secrets on a leaf, in the water, in the air; hidden planets, tiny worlds, all invisible. Not a person seems to know, not a person seems to care. There is no one who believes a thing I say. Well, I'm fairly certain at one time or other, great thinkers all feel this way. I'm alone in the universe. So alone in the universe. I've found magic but they don't see it. They all call me a lunatic. Okay, call me a lunatic. If I stand on my own, so be it. Because I have wings. Yes, I can fly, around the moon and far beyond the sky. And one day soon I know there you'll be - one small voice in the universe, one true friend in the universe who believes in me."


I promise, this will most certainly, possibly, be the last of these. Maybe. Until then, go out and enjoy the world. It's a nice day, after all. And for fun and visual interest, I post a picture here that I shot this morning from my iPhone. This is near the base of the Guy West Bridge, looking back at Sac State. The place where I've basically lived for, well, too many years. More than a quarter of a century, in fact. And that's a long time. It's hard to imagine so much time has passed, all in this same location. Where did all that time go?? Honestly, sometimes, I have no idea.

Anyways. You can see in this photo that someone hung a rope there, some time ago, from which to swing into the river . A dangerous proposition in this particular river, to be sure. Now it stands as an almost forgotten testament to the care-free days of summer, now long gone as we enter our third week of school. Well. Back to work!

Sunday, September 8, 2019

Pondering

Sometimes I like to go to the park late at night, as it is right now. I sit on the swings and sway gently back and forth. Stare at the moon, the stars, the silhouetted trees blowing gently in the wind. One can transcend reality, if they aren't too careful, and slip back to the time of youth. When playgrounds and swing-sets held our fancy. It only lasts a little while; the cold breeze on your cheek startles you back into reality. You're much older now, and so much has transpired.

There were many paths back then, all open and inviting. Just waiting for us to choose. And choose we did. So many decisions led to so many paths, until we arrived finally at the place we are right now. Did we choose the right path? Have we arrived at the right destination? Who can say, who can say.

And what does the future hold? Maybe wrong paths of the past paved the way for right paths of the present. Or of the future.

Do we stay on our path, stuck in our current familiarities? Do we branch out, take a risk, take a chance? Would it work out if we did? Who can say, who can say. We will never know what may be if we don't try. There's comfort in the familiar, to be sure. So comforting that sometimes it's hard to imagine anything different. To trust in anything different.

The stars shine dimly within the city. Too much interference. The moon doesn't mind, it's a lone beacon in the vast darkness. Showing a course, lighting the way. Why do I suddenly feel so poetic? Who can say, who can say.

Just pondering. And now it's time for bed.

Saturday, September 7, 2019

Lyrics, Part 2

I threatened this in my last post, and here it is: part 2 of my special on inspirational and meaningful lyrics. If you have no idea what I'm talking about, well, you need to go back and read my last post. As before, I've deleted some repetition of words and added in punctuation to turn poetry into prose. Or make it closer to prose, at least. Hopefully you, dear reader (or future Glenn...) will gain some insight into life from these deep thoughts. Hopefully these will, at the least, inspire you into thought, or at their best inspire a motivation for change in your world, in your life.

And again, see if you can recognize any of these; the answer key will be in the comments by and by...


1. "We start with stars in our eyes. We start believing that we belong. But every sun doesn't rise, and no one tells you where you went wrong. Step out of the sun if you keep getting burned. Step out of the sun because you've learned. On the outside, always looking in. Will I ever be more than I've always been?"

2. "Together, we will go our way. Together, we will leave someday. Together, your hand in my hand. Together, we will make our plans. Together, we will fly so high. Together, tell all our friends goodbye. Together, we will start life new. This is what we'll do." (side note: one of my dearest and oldest friends is a huge fan of this artist...and this one's super easy! So she better recognize this one, or else she can no longer be my friend. I kid, of course. Well, maybe.)

3. "Talking loud and clear, saying just what we feel. Lying in the grass with the sun on our backs. It doesn't really matter what we do or what we say. With every little movement we give ourselves away. Opposite and opposite, decisions are reversed. Facing one another with words that couldn't hurt. With every little word you're getting closer to me. Talking loud and clear, saying just what we feel today."

4. "When you try your best but you don't succeed. When you get what you want but not what you need. When you feel so tired but you can't sleep. Stuck in reverse. When the tears come streaming down your face. When you lose something you can't replace. When you love someone but it goes to waste. Could it be worse?"

5. "I've heard it said that people come into our lives for a reason, bringing something we must learn. And we are led to those who help us most to grow, if we let them. And we help them in return. Well, I don't know if I believe that's true. But I know I'm who I am today because I knew you. Like a comet pulled from orbit as it passes the sun, like a stream that meets a boulder halfway through the wood. Who can say if I've been changed for the better? But because I knew you, I have been changed for good."

6. "I peer through windows, watch life go by, dream of tomorrow, and wonder why the past is holding me. Keeping life at bay. I wander lost in yesterday, wanting to fly but scared to try. But if someone like you, found someone like me, then suddenly nothing would ever be the same."


Well there you have it. Did you find some joy? Some peace? Some sadness? I hope so, I hope so. Even the sadness part. I mean after all, sadness is a part of life, it's a part of us. We could not know happiness if we never knew sadness. And embracing sadness and bringing it to the surface, so it can be set free, is a good way to cleanse the soul. And you can not move on if you don't set it free; that's the key. Admittedly, looking back on these, of course I recognize that most of these do have a somber quality to them. There's not a lot of outright joy in these. Perhaps somber, or pensive, or otherwise sad qualities are best for spiritual growth, if only because they are best at inspiring introspection. Does that sound crazy? Maybe. Maybe not. Something to think about anyway.

Friday, September 6, 2019

Lyrics, Part 1

Have you ever really focused on the words in songs? I mean, REALLY focused. There are so many songs I have on my personal iPhone library - which I play every time I'm in the car - that have special meaning to me. Sometimes they elicit an emotional response, or trigger a memory. Sometimes they relate exactly to things going on in my life. And it's the words, not just the music, that really affect me. That is, if I really pay attention to what they're saying. Some are happy, some are sad, and some just make me think. Or dream. Or cry.

So, I'd like to try something a little different today. Below I'm going to post six different quotes from random songs that mean something to me. In most cases I have eliminated repetitive words, and added punctuation, to more clearly demonstrate the flow and meaning of the text. Call that...artistic license, if you will. All of these have had an impact on me on years past, or indeed whenever I hear them. Some even affect me right now, today, as I myself read through them again. But these quotes are not meant to be just read. They are meant to be absorbed, through your skin and through your veins, and transported directly to your heart. Or your mind. Or wherever you wish them to live within you. So read these, think about these, and enjoy these. See if you can guess where they come from, and maybe in the comments I'll post the sources to see how many you got right...


1. "Somebody hears you. You know that inside. Someone is learning the colors of all your moods, to say just the right thing and show that you’re understood. Here, you’re known. Leave your life open. You don’t have to hide. Someone is gathering every crumb you drop, these mindless decisions and moments you long forgot."

2. "Will I lose my dignity? Will someone care? Will I wake tomorrow from this nightmare?"

3. "Time stops when suddenly you see her. Time stops, and what you thought you knew, changes. And life beyond this moment is better, bigger. Time stops, but still your heart is beating. Time stops, though you don't take a breath. She's there, and all you've ever wanted is nearer, clearer. I used to think the world was small. Now I don't think that way at all."

4. "Was it something I said or something you read, that's changing your mind, that's turning you around? Was somebody wrong or somebody right? What was it made up your mind, what could change overnight?"

5. "And the house felt so big, and I felt so small. The house felt so big, and I knew there would be moments that I'd miss. And I knew there would be space I couldn't fill. And I knew I'd come up short a million different ways. And I did. And I do. And I will."

6. "We're meant to be friends, that's what it says in the script. Is it really the end if sometimes I stray just a bit? Oh no, it should be poetry not prose. I'm in love with you. Do you think it shows? And everyone knows when they look at us; of course they do, it must be obvious. I've never told you, now I suppose that you're the only one who doesn't know."


There now, that wasn't so bad, was it? Sometimes the words and thoughts found around us can express things better than we ever could. I hope that you, dear reader, have been affected some way - some positive way - by this little experiment of mine. I hope some of these made you think, made you feel. And by all means, feel free to share your own with me, if you like. Perhaps this could develop into a sort of shared mood-enhancing music library. Who knows? Anything is possible. I'm sure you noticed that the title of this post says, "Part 1". It won't be the last...

Thursday, September 5, 2019

The Journey and the Destination

So one of my good friends did her weekly Facebook vlog this morning (is vlog even the right term? I have no idea. I'm so not 'hip' to these trendy social models). Anyways, one of her themes was talking about the journey versus the destination. She actually usually has a lot of themes going on in her 20-30 minute talks, but I can only focus on one thing at a time while at work...so I picked this one. But it's a curious theme that I think is often overlooked by most people in life, as we're so distracted by everything going on around us, and everything in our past that we carry around like unwanted baggage on our soul, that we tend to just put blinders on and push forward as best we can. So, here I will babble a little bit about it.

My first recollection of dealing with this theme is in music. It's a really a big one in performing arts, or at least it used to be anyway. Question: which is more important as a developing musician, the journey (the rehearsals) or the destination (the concert)? It's really, I think, a very good analogy for life. It may be a good analogy for everything, though the answer may vary depending on the application. Obviously everyone wants to have a "good" concert, so the destination is clearly important. But the steps you took to get there - the rehearsals - is where all of the growth and learning occurs. Or most of it anyway. Which is more important? My college band director who loved this topic was all about the destination. And I suppose, as an educator, in many ways that makes sense. (But of course he wanted to put on a good show at the end of the day as well. Well, who wouldn't?)

These things can apply to life as well, and specifically to our relationships with others. I'm at a point in my life where I'm completely free, with no clear course of direction. Like a sailboat bobbing along all by itself in the middle of the vast ocean. Except I have a small dinghy tethered to me as well. He'll be turning 6 next month. (I do tend to use a lot of nautical analogies, don't I? Perhaps I was a fish in a former life. A whale. Or a dolphin. Maybe I WAS a boat. Who knows?) Anyways, I don't know when or if I will ever be involved in a relationship, but I think the next time around - if there is a next time around - I'm going to try, really try, to focus on the journey more. I will try not to worry about where any potential romance may be leading, and just enjoy the moments with that person. I mean, after all, that's what we're supposed to be doing here, isn't it? Enjoying each other with what time we have.

Too often we worry incessantly about little details that we often have little control over. Oh, this relationship won't work because of this thing or that thing. Well you know what? Screw all that. Just enjoy having time to spend together, to appreciate life and the beauty that this world can still provide. While you still can; life is fleeting after all. The longer you wait, the less you'll have left. It's not going to last forever. So if someone makes you smile, if you enjoy your time together and find you think of them often, just focus on that. Chances are, the little details will work themselves out along the way. But even if they don't, so what? At least you had a nice journey (if you did it right!). Here's the thing about life: you can't go back and change the journey. BUT, if you don't like the destination, you can ALWAYS change that. Just turn around, and take a step forward. And find a new journey. It's as simple as that. Am I oversimplifying? Perhaps. I guess time will tell. But life is nothing but a series of decisions, piled on top of another one after the other. We just need to make the right decisions.

In deciding recently that I need to include more photos on my blog, I'm including here a shot of the sun and clouds not long after sunrise this morning, taken from outside my son's school. Does it have any relevance? You bet. The clouds are on a journey. So is the sun. So are we, literally, as we hurtle through space on this tiny rock we call home. Everything we see around us is on a journey. So I suppose, considering that, perhaps the journey SHOULD be more important than the destination.

Sunday, September 1, 2019

Beach. Nude beach.

So yesterday I got away, to the City by the Bay. It was a wonderful trip, at once both familiar and new, both relaxing and exciting. Which, really, should be a good indicator of any successful trip. I had originally intended to start at the beach, doing some out-of-the-way hiking, but it didn't end up that way. At least, not at the beginning. That's one of the great things I love about San Francisco; I can go and see where the mood takes me, and there's always so many possibilities, so many directions.

I started, as I most often do, parking under my favorite tree in the free parking lot by the Marina, next to Fort Mason. I began with a leisurely stroll down along the waterfront, through the beaches of Crissy Field and towards the base of the Golden Gate. It was in view today, a stark contrast to the last trip I took in which it was shrouded in fog the entire day. But I didn't get past Fort Point. Instead, I turned around and headed back towards the city.

That was not part of the plan. Usually when I first arrive, I am either in a somber or pensive mood, and try and steer clear from the more touristy spots for as long as possible, so that I can think. Walking time is the best thinking time, after all. But I was in an entirely different mood, on this day. It was as if a bright spark had ignited deep inside me - which usually doesn't happen until much later in the day on one of these trips. It acted like a beacon of sorts, or like a divining rod, guiding my path along the Embarcadero and down to the Ferry Building, before taking me up Market Street and into the Union Square area. And then back along Columbus while stopping at a couple of bars along the way.

I took a lot more photos than I normally do, simply because a really fantastic friend of mine wanted to see them. So I played the tour guide, of sorts. Pointing out little visions of beauty that most people fail to recognize, or else they recognize them as something important but do not know why. So along I went, stopping here and there and taking pictures, and sending them off into the world to find their audience. In this way, she spent the day with me, in a manner of speaking, and I am immensely and humbly grateful for her presence in spirit.

Later in the afternoon, she called me out on a minor point - she had read my previous blog post, and knew that this was not the path I had intended for myself. I was supposed to be out along the great beaches, immersing my soul in their grandeur, and looking for parts of myself that had been lost long ago. So I went back to my car, and I left the bustling city for the high cliffs of the Presidio, stopping at the overlook to the batteries and Marshall's beach. And then something else happened. Well, several somethings, as I'm sure the reader will glean from the title of this post. But first, one more side story.

My good friend...well, wait a minute. I find the term "friend" somewhat lacking to truly describe what her presence in my life means to me. I'm afraid I cannot think of a better term off the top of my head that will do it justice. Maybe one hasn't been invented yet. Or maybe I am just inadequate to the task. I will need to ponder this further. Anyways. She suggested that I take off my shoes and socks and actually, well, get a little wet. This is a common practice on the beach for normal people but fairly foreign to me, as I almost always wear shoes and socks everywhere I go. Even along the beach. I think the last time I went barefoot at a beach was in Hawaii in 2015. But again I digress. She said it would be healing, something about receiving energy from the earth. She was speaking in a physical sense; I am not aware if she realizes that it also works in a spiritual sense. But I suspect she does; she's pretty smart. In any case, trusting her opinion and recommendation, I did it. And I walked along the beach and let the waves literally wash over me, and not just figuratively. And do you know what? She was right, she was right.

And then there was the nudity.

To quote a snippet from Hamilton, which I had actually tried unsuccessfully to get a discount matinee ticket to go see: "Ladies and Gentleman...the moment you've been waiting for." So, apparently, there was this all-male nudist group enjoying the beach on this sunny afternoon. I have no idea if they are regulars or if this was a one time thing; they certainly weren't there the last time I visited this beach. And they were actually attractive guys - if you like that sort of thing. This beach is also a popular spot for photography, so there were a lot of clothed individuals around as well. One of the fully-clothed men walked past me fairly close and smiled and nodded, and I think I detected a small glint in his eye that seemed to say, "I'd hit that". I was definitely not in Kansas anymore. But, it was actually refreshing to see everyone functioning in harmony together, the clothed and un-clothed alike, the straight men and gay men alike. To summarize the experience: I saw a lot of penises on this trip.

And now, as the weekend is fading into history, I think my soul is primed and ready to tackle the 'real' world again. Connor is back with me and we have the day off tomorrow for whatever adventures suit our fancy. I might go back again to the Bay in two weeks, you never know. And no, it won't be just to see if I can find another nude beach. But hey, anything can happen in San Francisco.