December 31, 2012

New Year's Eve

New Year's Eve view from my daughter's apartment in Oakland
It's New Year's Eve and the fireworks and M-80 explosions are beginning long before the stroke of midnight.  I can't imagine how it will be when the change of year actually comes.

A chilly, brilliant day in Berkeley/Oakland.  Slowly I orient myself to this new locale and somehow make my way through the possibilities that the various neighborhoods offer.  How to negotiate myself in a car is the biggest challenge in this hustling place where it seems everyone knows their way around but this often lost soul.  The area is confusing and north/south/east/west don't always make sense.

The usual interiority that I feel at the New Year isn't here.  I imagined myself considering deeply the change of scene, the life shift, a new direction in the quiet of this evening, but I'm on too much of a learning curve, and tomorrow I move into the cottage.  I'm full of logistics, map study, instructions on how to care for the cottage, and figuring out a billion details of daily life.  No doubt the quiet of January will stir the heart and the art.

Speaking of art, there's an Ansel Adams exhibit at the Bancoft Library on campus.  Background to the exhibit:  it seems that Clark Kerr, former president of the University of California system, had collected photos by Adams that had been commissioned to celebrate the 9 campuses and the 100th anniversary of the UC System.  When Kerr was fired by Gov. Ronald Reagan following the student anti-war demonstrations, the photos disappeared and went into storage.  Now they have been unearthed and catalogued and are being shown in the library gallery.   My daughter Laureen had a private tour by the curator with a few other UC people and she says they are a remarkable presentation of a body of work second to Adam's Yosemite photographs.  I do plan to go up to campus to see them. 

Happy New Year 2013 one and all!  May each one receive the gifts of numerous blessings to benefit our lives in the coming year.  May we all engage our most fulfilling expressions and find peace in our true work.

December 26, 2012

Afternoon Shadow

Afternoon shadow on the dining room wall
Nearly 2013 - the world didn't end.  I didn't end, so far.  I woke early and began to jot here on this blog, waking it up for the next adventure after more than a year.  Packing to go to Berkeley for three months.  Berkeley not my first choice, but there was a cottage on Craigslist, a simple fit, we both had friends in common and I went with it.  Berkeley is a vibrant city, youthful, intellectual, politically confident, but I will not wear Berkenstocks in winter even though I own a pair.  I may sneak in a few outlawed plastic spoons to eat yogurt or soup on picnics up in the hilly parks or at the marina.  Having mastered the art of using cloth grocery bags, I'll fit in well enough.

All around us snow on Christmas, but not at Zen Center.  I'll meet snow on the sides of the road in Central Oregon and Northern California.  Mercifully, I'll be between storms and can cruise over the Siskiyou Pass without having to chain up.  Last time I came through, it had snowed the previous night.  At the summit, I thought I had driven into heaven.  Miraculous white landscape in winter.  Then Mt. Shasta and into the Central Valley before the hustle of cars sucked into the Bay Area like a vacuum swallowing metal and spitting it into bumper to bumper madness on I-80, 580, 680, 780, 880, 980.  On some of these confusing freeways, you are going north and south at the same time.  I-80 north for a portion of the road is the same as 680 south.  The East Bay still confounds, but I manage to find my way.  I'll leave Olympia early Friday morning, December 28th, and stop overnight halfway in Southern Oregon.  Very nice to be back on this page and to locate myself here while I wander.