Full and happy

Los Angeleno by birth, Northwesterner by choice, Second-hander by nature. Librarian, housebound chef, father, and lowly subject ruled over by the needs and whims of a very old house.
Partial to Mexican, Italian and Vietnamese cookery but will eat damn near anything. Collector of many strange things..the result is chaos and anarchy and a very pleasant place to live.
There is pleasure in accumulation, not just "collecting": music, books and film, in all their multi-formated glory. Outsider artists and those kinds of prints you would recognize if you took liberal studies classes in college. Cooking implements and gadgets for recipes still untried or those ventured. Glasses for most types of libations. Flowers in the garden, herbs in the pot.
It's a life of the senses and a good home life reflects that. Walking helps take in all the rest. Requires no special equipment, opens up the pores, brightens the taste buds, clears the decks for further adventures, puts on the miles, widens the eyes and helps fuel the imagination.

Live boldly, play graciously and love with all your heart knowing that true love comes only once or twice in this lifetime. Speaking of which..donde estas, Empress of my Heart?


"Lack imagination and miss the better story" Yann Martel

"Life is a great adventure and I want to say to you, accept it in such spirit. I want to see you face it ready to do the best that lies in you to win out. To go down without complaining and abiding by the result....the worst of all fears is the fear of living." Theodore Roosevelt, Jr.

"Not I - not anyone else, can travel that road for you
You must travel it for yourself" Walt Whitman

And above all, friends should possess the rare gift of sitting. They should be able, no, eager, to sit for hours-three, four, six-over a meal of soup and wine and cheese, as well as one of twenty fabulous courses.

Then, with good friends of such attributes, and good food on the board, and good wine in the pitcher, we may well ask,

When shall we live if not now?

-From Serve it Forth,
M.F.K. Fisher

Friday, January 8, 2010

I am part of the ten percent

I wake up early most days, not early as in six or seven, not early the way many folks do as they prepare for another work day. I'm not waking up early to watch the sunrise, take a walk or hit the gym. When I say I wake up early it's usually two or three in the morning. If I'm lucky it's closer to four like today, and for that I can blame the cat.

No, I've been waking up at one or two or three in the a.m., sometimes with indigestion, sometimes due to bad dreams, sometimes because I forgot to brush my teeth or turn out the light, but usually it's a combo pack featuring all of the above items, all laced together with a dollop of anxiety thrown in for good measure. I usually wake and wonder "what the hell", wonder how a humanities-based, soulful Mexican man could end up an economic statistic at age fifty-two. I do more than wonder, sometimes, as I know that my proclivities and appetites and passions have had alot more to do with my status than the economy ever could. But still.

So I wake up knowing that I could use some lettuce and not some coffee and pad around the house worrying about my dwindling bank account and the steady pace of my debts. I look around me and know that the holidays are over and done with but wonder why I still can't seem to motivate myself to put away the boxes still sitting around my living room. I have irons in the fire and am thankful for a good solid work record but all the same I would rather be doing something rather than nothing so I look towards the dawn and the rest of the day in order to fill it up with meaningful activity.

These days meaningful activity falls into several categories. I knock out three days a week at the foodbank, which I am forever thankful for. I kill time hanging out with The Hot Dog King, and, to keep my soul intact, make chili for the man once a week. Starting this weekend I'll be learning how to peddle dogs, but even that seems about as much of a stretch for me as that projector work I was attempting a while back. I still write, but not as much as before, and have a new film blog lifting slowly lifting off the ground to prove it. The only time I feel release from the bondage of uncertainity is when I go second handing or take a walk. At least walking is free.

I know that plenty of sleep and water and exercise would help me out more than anything else, but I would rather watch movies and drink coffee and cook instead, all the while wondering when I can stop being a statistic. I suppose someday I will be able to look back at this and know that I weathered a remarkable storm, that I came out of it with more than a t-shirt. I will come out of this travail an entirely different man, in a completely new part of the world, without debts, without a house. A man without anchors. A man with brand new wings.
And baby, in the end I will still have my soul. Unlike some folks I know I never ever had to sell it in order to be where I am at or give it away in order to go where I am going.

Maybe instead of waking up and worrying I need to get up in the morning and write country/western songs, instead.


The last few lines of this piece are my story in a nutshell:

1 comment:

Thaydra said...

I have those early morning wake-up calls, too. That half-awake state leaves a wide open door for anxiety and worry to set in. Sometimes it goes barging in through that door, taking over the whole place, and sometimes I'm able to slide the door shut and lock it before that beast realizes it's open.

I think you are doing a tremendous job keeping your spirits lifted. You are using this time to do good not just for yourself but for your community (not that you didn't do that before). It is a good time for soul searching.

Sometimes, I believe Fate forces us into such contemplations. If we cannot find the strength to do it ourselves, She decides enough is enough, and like a good Mother, ushers us into that state whether we like it or not. Something like making us brush our teeth, eat our veggies, and go to bed at a decent hour.

You are a strong man. I have faith that when this is over, it will only be with fond eyes that it is looked back over.