Sunday Check-In

A biking day yesterday – downtown, past the Riverfront Blues Festival, to play and eat lunch in a park on the westside.

We paused on the bridge to gawk down at the closest stage – a zydeco band, and if you were forced at gunpoint to guess what song a random zydeco band might possibly be playing at any random moment in time, what would you say? Would you guess, oh, the only zydeco song whose name you know? That’s right … “Don’t Mess with my Toot Toot.” What are the chances?

Also below us was the fellow I now think of as “Rent-A-Jimi.” A dollar a pose is what he charges I hear.

Today, some baking.

The biscuits we made were just this side of edible, but it was fun.

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Last night, out with Shannon to watch a would-be summer blockbuster – the latest Angelina Jolie vehicle, to be exact. There were two pleasures associated with this movie: 1) watching Angelina do shizit like this:

(the only reason we went, of course!) and 2) watching a Zach Braff lookalike get the holy crap beaten out of of him – slowly, sadistically, repeatedly. (If only it had been the real Zach Braff {oh, and if the whoopass had been real}): then my pleasure would have been acute.) A sordid, sordid experience: we shoulda watched Wall-E.

In other news, I’m sorta, kinda, theoretically upset about Obama’s stance on the FISA stuff (Glenn Greenwald’s take here). I say sorta-kinda because, sadly, I don’t truly expect much better from anyone who rises to the level he has in American politics. Don’t misunderstand; I respect him profoundly as a human, admire him as a leader, love him and embrace him as my candidate. But he’s not my golden boy, not my knight who’s going to rescue me from politics as usual; that guy does not exist. In a way, I worry about the buildup of hope and expectation around him. He’s an exceptional guy, but nobody, however exceptional, will be able to magically reverse the disastrous course Bushco has set us on. The Titanic has touched the iceberg, ladies and gentlemen; it took an enormous amount of effort to launch us directly at it, but the collision has begun, and you don’t turn a shipwreck of these massive proportions around in a day. Or a year, or four. I know President Obama won’t be able to. Destruction is just so much faster than creation!

And, oh, boy, destruction: the other big theme I have been thinking about these past few days. My heart is breaking quietly over all the Ca. wildfires, but the Big Sur fire is especially sad. Big Sur is like nowhere else in the world to me; there is a magic there, a specific beauty and spirit that resonates with me like no other place I’ve been. I think it’s well-established that, when asked what I would do upon winning the hypothetical lottery (you know, the one we always talk about winning but never actually buy tickets for [Schroedinger’s Lottery, could we say?]) I have always said, before any of the set-up-the-foundation-that-changes-the -world stuff, “First, I’d buy property in Big Sur.” To think of the scarring, the losses, the thousands of animal deaths … Well. I am sad about it.

Yet, I also read this nice bit in an LA Times story:

“Buddhist tenets say that all things are impermanent, and fire can be a great teacher in that,” said Alec Henderson, a former defense attorney from Los Angeles who forswore material wealth to take up the Zen creed of “one robe, one bowl.”
Henderson left Wednesday with the task of safekeeping Ginger, the monastery dog. Now he’s holding his breath, along with thousands of Zen followers and former Tassajara guests, hoping the monastery emerges intact.
But if the flames prove too tough to defeat, the monks plan to retreat along with the Forest Service firefighters.
“We won’t risk anybody to save the buildings,” said Devin Patel, a bearded 28-year-old who serves as the monastery’s fire marshal.
“The buildings can burn, but you can’t actually burn down Tassajara. Fire can never touch Tassajara’s heart.”

Some of the monks and students of Tassajara are still there, and they’re blogging about it at SittingWithFire. Maybe you’ll want to send them good thoughts.

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3 thoughts on “Sunday Check-In

  1. Davina, my heart too has been breaking over the Big Sur fires. I have been feeling ill at the thought of the place where I had my first genuine spiritual movement charred. Now it is true that Big Sur itself will never actually be burned DOWN, but since it is the most beautiful, spiritual place for my vibe to be, I am sad I am not there right now, riding this vibe change it is going through. Sigh. Well, lovely post as always friend. See you guys soon. xo Jessica

  2. And dear me, I forgot to add that if Napenthe’s burns, I will cry! I know it is a touristy spot, but man is that some delicious hippie food!

  3. Yeah! I know about you and Big Sur, too. (It’s so lovely when people you love, love the same things as you.) I thought the same thing about Nepenthe too!! Sigh … Keep sending good thoughts, right?

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