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

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Rescuer on the coast

I am an accumulator, a gleaner, a picker up of things, a man who scans the side of the road for pennies, old screwdrivers, salvage, things tossed from the windows of moving vehicles. I am a fixer, a man with tools in the pantry, a repair guy who finds ways to keep things on the road, ticking, tocking, sometimes right up until the moment the wheels fall off. I am a rescuer, a listener, a quietly patient analyzer of souls, hearts, minds, but only analytical up a point, to the place where I will look at you and say, ah, now, how can I help you?

I am not boasting of some arcane ability to keep boats afloat, cars on the highway, toasters toasting, no, I am a troubleshooter only in the way that I can be and that is that I see things as they come to me, needing to be salved, listened to, worked with and then I go from there, aiding and abetting, greasing and applying strength, swatting on occasion with a ball peen hammer, duct taping and splinting and staying up until the wee hours working with, cajoling, praising, dreaming along side those that need their tales to be heard, listened to, understood. I see what I need to see and go from there. Hopefully we all go in the same direction after that.

I see the good in things that others don't, bring home paintings or toys or books that have been cast aside, seek out wonders in places that others pass by in their hurried way to be some where else. I wear clothes that are completely out of fashion, as malls and current tastes astound, thrill and sometimes perplex me. I am always late catching up with current best sellers, keeping up with anything hip, staying abreast of things new and cool and marvelous except the news. I always have my eye on the horizon, my hand on the New York Times and my ears open to NPR and yet I don't rush out to taste the latest taste sensation, hear the newest song, watch the latest bit of celluloid unspool at the local cineplex. Now see there, I just dated myself as only the most out of date theaters still screen their movies in that format. I still prefer light sprocketing through actual film stock as opposed to pixels but hey, that's just me.

I am a watcher of light, a listener of needles hitting the vinyl, a man who is always keen to view something new on iron oxide tape. I think that those things we possess and loan here in this place, this grand and wonderful palace we still call a library, this holy house of books, are still of immense and practical value. I am a wanderer in the stacks, a fixture in the aisles of second hands, a ragged blissed out less than holy man in the midst of malls and big box stores, places filled with things new, sleek and disposable. I am thankful that I can be in the midst of it all, look around, see what others see, be happy for them, be detached and still be amused by it all.

I am happy to find that we, she whom I hold close and dear, are equally devoid of being star struck by newest of the new and are not filled with awe of pricey things, things that make the world go round for others, things that we will see later on the cut out racks at Savers . We hold fast with teas and herbal potions, we find that slow is much more relevant to our needs than fast. We find that late night talks are critical to us as those talks help propel and process our dream state but even more than that it gives us things to wake up to, to jot down, to fuel our letters, ignite our hearts, inspire our love.

I am an eater of soaked oats, of slow cooked beans, of meats that have been forever known as "variety". I am a man who values the cast off, the underdog, the ones who have been shunned, kicked around, marginalized, made to feel small, not of their own minds. I am a gatherer, a father, a sidekick, a partner, a planter of seeds, a planner, a dreamer, a keeper of secrets, a man who knows where the line is drawn, the one who knows where the mud is that I must hold. I am curator of sunsets but more one who knows what that dust means on the horizon, what the fires foretell, what the tea leaves on the bottom of the cup say (they say that we need to pour more tea!).

We, my Esteemed Companion and I, are the ones who are somehow finding a way to dash the crystal balls that were given to us and yet are still seeking ways to find answers in the stars, in comet trails, in the coolness of the air that is ushered in by the coming fall season. We are using words less but actions more to see what we need to see. We are using play and hard work to understand one another, not new clothes or the latest sitcom to verify what is what. We are finding our way through tough subjects with love, not heat, with compassion, not correction, with respect, not combativeness. We are walking slowly, taking our time to react, to watch the birds take flight, to see which way the wind blows, to take in sunsets, to gather ourselves together, tea in hand, arms entwined, robes tightly clutched, to see what the new sunrise has in store for us and for our day.

I am a man who sees the good in those things left behind by others. I am the giver of salve, the issuer of bandages, the cook with a ladle filled with broth, the one who hands out the tissues, the warm blankets, the pieces of chocolate to soothe the soul. I am a healer without a license, a brigand with a mission, a rogue with a golden heart, in short, a man who has been over hill, seen the elephant and sometimes, without malice aforethought, brings that damned elephant home with him.

I may sometimes fail to take as good a care of myself as I do others but I believe in what goes around comes around and know that others will watch out for me as I do for them.

In salvaging things, I extend their lives. In helping salvage others lives I extend my own.

Enlightenment only comes after many admission tickets to this rough fair known as life have been paid for up front.

This life, aaah, what a wonderful thing it is, I say, gazing down at the many torn tickets littered by my side.

Let's go look for that next best old thing, my dear, let's seek out that beater, that fixer upper, that three legged cat, that bald tired ride. We know how to do it, how to make things whole, repaired, complete, at rest. Oh, yes we do.Andale, pues, love, time is of the essence!


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