Yesterday at the gym, my friend John from Traveller's Mailbag next door came onto the floor and brought me a package - the proof for my book Edible Grace, from KYSO Flash, coming out in September. Talk about a lift!
Our neighbor Eric’s spiritual practice is the wheelie. Riding on one wheel he finds that tipping point where he’s on the brink of falling back or plunging, forward that place of tension, strength, and balance. A place of stasis, equilibrium. When I first met Eric he was riding a unicycle down the dock and practicing in the parking lot. He was training to ride his road rocket motorcycle in slow, 3 mph circles while wheeling. An incredibly challenging feat. These days he takes his electric trials bike up in the hills at 2 am, and silently rides the trails as he wheelies. The coyotes watch him pass, no doubt thinking he’s some kind of god. Legendary.
photo taken by a stranger on Gate 5 Rd, & melded by photo magician Dennis Bayer with his marvelous shot of the nearly full moon over South Forty Pier.
Pierre knows how to get my attention. It’s a very clear and effective form of communication. One of the things he’ll do is walk along the narrow ledge on the roof deck of our houseboat. It’s three stories down to water if he slips. But apparently only one of us is nervous. Across the channel is what we call the Hacker’s boat. When I mentioned this to our new, younger neighbor three boats down he wondered how we knew about the hacking . . . then it occurred to us that our new neighbor was thinking computer, while we were thinking - - smoker! Generational differences. Hacker smokes and coughs with frequency and his houseboat is covered in tyvek and tarps in what I’d like to say is an unfinished state . . . but I’d say the hacker is pretty much finished. Last year the crop seen on the far left - was growing on the top of the piling - maybe an offering to soaring pothead seagulls?? This year the plants are in buckets that say sliced pickles, growing on his deck. Apparently seagulls do not like pickles. They seem to be keeping their distance.
A couple of nights ago, I took a break from the debates, took a cold beer up to the roof, saw neighbors across the channel, down the dock, next door, walking down the dock all of us pausing for just this moment, for this beauty, for this pause for peace. So be it ~
meanwhile my neighbor, and pro, Dennis took this one of me
The tao de ching says if you can say what the tao is then that's not it. Same with you. Same with me. If you can say what we are, nail us down to a checkbox, that's not us. Words are the nets through which all truth escapes, says Paula Fox. See. If we try to reduce things to a theory, a stereotype, the broad stroke of one-color-paint, the only thing we reduce is ourselves. Hear me out. Here I am. I bat left, throw right, and run in both directions. Try and pick me off. Seriously, I grew up playing pickle, haven't been tagged out yet. Check out the strawberries on my thigh. I wasn't fast but didn't know it. That became my key, my secret weapon. I was: Didn't Know Boy, Superhero. And I didn't even know that. But not knowing any better was my strength which when you get right down to it, made all those college degrees my kryptonite. Words were the holes in my cape, my escape from the phone booth, now outdated, now like me. Depending on what calendar you go by. Only thing is now I know it. And it's my strength. That, and not wearing a watch.