Monday, May 11, 2009

Live from San Francisco: A New Beginning

Scenes from the past few days in the Bay Area:

*I read a poem at a loud, drunk, mostly music open mic at Cafe Internationale in Lower Haight at about 11pm on Friday. By the time I'm done with the poem, everyone has stopped speaking and is listening and has their eyes on me. I'm so thankful for the performance experience I've had in Cambridge. I'm not intimidated by any crowd anymore.

*Alana and Bob's friend Scott takes me to the Golden Gate Bridge, which really is up there with some of the most beautiful things I've seen, and we walk across and see the "Don't commit suicide from this bridge please," signs. The day wound down at the punk/indie/rock bar Zeitgeist, which much to the dismay of the fashionably surly bartending staff must have recently been yelped RE their kickass from-scratch bloody marys and was about 1/8th filled with out-of-their-element yuppies who kept calling the tattooed denizens of the bar "weird," out loud, as if they were in another country or something and no one else could understand them. Notwithstanding though, Zeitgeist really is all it's cracked up to be, naked lady matchbooks and all.

*I hike for five hours deep into the redwood forests and don't even realize I forgot to eat that day. The forests are the most peaceful and religious-seeming place I can ever remember being. I feel such an affinity to those ancient, auburn trees. It's hard to explain, but I never feel as peaceful as when I'm in the old-growth forests. I suppose I am named after them, after all.

*I find myself in an hourlong conversation about the human need for myth, the archetypal rockstar, fame, and the changing media with the curator of a downtown art gallery who miraculously happens to be on exactly the same page with me about all of it.

*I am told to "Have some manners in the ghetto, White Girl," by a definitively not-white man in Oakland because I have the audacity to pass two feet in front of him without saying "Excuse me." I'm sure if I had said "Excuse me," he would have had some other comment to make.

I feel as though I'm relearning to ride the current of life without trying to hard to swim against the flow. All the coincidences and positivity in the past two weeks makes me think that I might be doing a good job.

This trip has already been so centering, as San Francisco always seems to be for me. The day before I left I read my own tarot cards for the first time in two years. Back again were my old friends The Hermit, The Hanged Man, Time, and The Tower, because our issues are our issues, they really just change position. The gist of it though, was balance, responsibility, sacrifice, shattering illusions, and basically the encouraging notion that I can have all the things I want, I just need to be smart, work hard, not overdraw myself, and know what to give up and what to keep. I need to reconnect with The Hermit part of myself: contemplative, reflective, spiritual (yes, I said it). I found that part in the redwoods.

Of course, it's much easier to be concerned with interior matters when you have life's mundanities under control. I've had some good things happen the past few weeks and I'm ready to build on them.

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