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

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Midway 55

It doesn't seem quite right to drop a set of resolutions right into the middle of the year. Well, technically it isn't quite at the half way point but you get my drift: I should have posted this ages ago. So much has changed since the end of December, so much life has been lived, so many lines in the sand drawn, washed out by the tide, immortalized or blown away by the winds that frequently buffet these Northern Californian shores.

I guess I should be happy that I didn't scribble anything down back there at the end of the previous year. I still was getting my bearings, finding my way, looking for answers, turning over rocks. Somehow, in the intervening months I have found a sort of clarity that only comes from making hard decisions, from making really tough choices, from tears and sweat and laughter in abundance. I think that many signals have been made clear, that the skies, once clouded, have opened up, let the star shine through. I have sat in the rain, the cold, watched the fog roll in, walked cliffs towering up to the sky, looked out over ocean and looked for the swells that started somewhere off the shores of Japan. I have been looking hard here since I've arrived, looking hard for answers, trying my best to unload old habits, look for good ones that would somehow revitalize this old soul and I think, after almost twelve months of hard searching, of a goodly amount of wine, of establishing a great work place, of making community, that I am ready to say, here I am, this is where I want to be, this is where, for now,  until my heart and soul tell me otherwise, I'll stay..

55. That is a lot of resolutions. Maybe we can look at that word a bit. Maybe I shouldn't say "these are the things I want to do, fix, change". I've been doing plenty of that. Maybe when you come into something like this midway into the year you can look at dreams, wishes, want lists instead. Maybe, just maybe, I can chalk this up to what I want to be, where I want to go, what I wish to see in myself, in others. Instead of selfishly making up a list that will fall apart by the time the aspirins wear off on New Years Day, maybe I should make a list that will inspire not only me but my kids, my work mates, my esteemed one. Lead us towards something grand, light, beautiful. Maybe it's all to Zen but I think more anything that right now anything is possible.

Things to do!

1. Never forget to smile!
2. Wake early and put the gift of the day to good  use.
3. Write one good letter a day.
4. Set an example and get to work early.
5. Be present.
6. Breathe.
7. Learn a new skill that adds meaning and interest to your life.
8. Swim lessons so I can swim with the kids, with the Esteemed Companion but more so I can learn to sail.
9. Work on one good new recipe a week.
10. Learn what there is to know about a gluten free cooking, not only for my own knowledge but so I can take care of my Esteemed Companion as well as she takes care of me..
11.Drink a cup or two of green tea every day.
12. Road trips to Idaho to see the kids at least twice a year, more if possible.
13. Read all those books that come to me via book groups and be ready to talk about them meaningfully.
14. Put on a good face in the face of all those things that are unpleasant and not so much fun to deal with.
15. Walk, no matter what, no matter how far, each and every day.
16. Get a complete physical.
17. Ditto on a new set of glasses.
18 Find a new dentist.
19. Take trips to San Francisco for things other than business.
20. The passport: get it done now that the name is changed.
21. Plan a good long road trip with my Esteemed Companion to someplace neither of us has ever been.
22. Toys for the boys and sweet things for the girl.
23. Camp at least twice a month this summer.
24. Make volunteering in the community a regular way of life.
25. Dia de los Muertos in Fort Bragg: the committee, the altars, the community.
26. First Friday art walk every month, maybe even Second Saturday in Mendo, too.
27. The radio show: finish training, get on the air.
28. Film programming: expand, explore new film ideas, new genres.
29. Read new fiction, old classics and share, share, share.
30. Buy more vinyl.
31. Empty out at least one of two storage areas.
32.Finish out the Sacramento workshop expectations with a bang. Get to know John and Becky.
33. Stargaze with my Esteemed Companion and her boy.
34. Go to an opera.
35. Eat a little bit of chocolate, good chocolate, every day.
36. Try out a few new wineries in the Anderson Valley.
37. Make good on those promises with the Mendocino Film Festival.
38. Go beyond the coastal map and walk new beaches, more headlands. Point Reyes, anyone?
39. Find one really good Vietnamese restaurant on the other side of the hill and frequent it as often as possible.
40. Give business to the locals.
41. Find my way into the Valley at least twice a month in order to share the time the gas and the distance.
42. Get my bike out of storage and ride!
43. Bake weekly: bread, dulces, whatever and share.
44.Provide a real face to my staff and to the community no matter what.
45. Let integrity be the guiding light in my life.
46. LIVE as if there is no tomorrow.
47. Bridge old relationships.
48. Take a drive down to LA and leave flowers on the graves of my ancestors.
49. Offer up a mass to my people who have passed.
50. Tour Nevada so I can better understand what my Esteemed Companion is all about.
51. Be as transparent as possible.
52. Give myself over to love.
53. Learn to drop the defense mechanisms.
54. Be the best possible man I can be within the limitations of my being.
55. Love with all my heart.

Accumulate Man

1 comment:

kd said...

Good to have you back and writing, thinking, talking, sharing