The full report hasn’t come through yet but I know the fire has consumed the home of a fraternity brother, the house of a friend’s parents, camps, schools and camp grounds.
Friends and family tell me the news doesn’t do the fires justice but there is no compliment behind this but I recognize the tone because I went through the LA Riots and the Northridge earthquake.
Got evacuated from a fire in the Los Padres national forest in ’85 and so I know from experience that sometimes you can’t paint a real picture for those who haven’t been.
All you can do is say it was something else and then say the places you told June you’d show her are gone.
Simultaneously you have to stress the importance that you believe no one you know has been hurt or worse and that is of paramount importance.
Still there is a tiny speck of guilt wrapped in that because there are at last count 25 families who have lost someone and our celebration that someone else mourns feels awkward.
Who Makes The First Move
There are more than a few who call me a scoundrel and worse but none shall do so because I retire too early.
It is the witching hour in which I come alive and I find the strands of magic with which to weave the kind of tapestry that even those who have wandered upon Coventry wish to wrap themselves in.
Sometimes I leave my home and wander the streets under the moon or a darker night and let myself just be.
Wrapped in the black I sometimes hear the bells ringing and wonder if I ought to answer or let it continue for a while.
Those who wish to reach out and make contact outside of the ethereal connections know how to reach me if they so choose and know it is likely I am awake.
Once as I walked I found myself a 100 yards behind a woman who was talking on her phone about the importance of making sure the guy made the first move.
It was kind 0f funny to hear this side, to be exposed to the feminine strategy and at the same time I was cautious not to startle her.
I figured she wouldn’t appreciate seeing two hundred plus pounds of strange bearded man materialize out of the dark.
So I made the first move and coughed loudly so that she knew I was there and then I crossed the street figuring that at 12:45 she would feel better to see me venture off into the dark and away.
As I passed I said if you play too hard to get he may think you are not interested and not pursue at all.
A startled look passed across her face and I realized she had no clue that I had been there for a solid couple of minutes and I made a note to remind my daughter to make sure she keeps her eyes and ears open when she is walking between places.
The Original Tongue
Sometimes when it rains it kicks up all sorts of pollen here and my eyes fight with the dust and dander.
I can always tell from the pictures, videos or reflections when such a thing has happened because my eyes look like hell.
Two days ago I heard a couple of college students talking about Neruda and reading some of his works in what they called the original tongue.
For a brief moment I thought about asking why they called it the original tongue and then got distracted thinking about how long it would take me to become proficient enough at Spanish to read and understand Neruda.
I am pretty good with language, I think I could do it.
Back during my college days I took advanced Hebrew. We weren’t allowed to speak English in there and I was one of two people who didn’t come from a home in which our parents spoke Hebrew.
Earlier in my career I was the sole native English speaker for an Israeli home improvement company.
When I would go to the office they would tease me about my thick American accent I would tease them about their thick Israeli accents.
My Hebrew proficiency which had gotten weaker in the post college years shot back up and I started to learn the little things that make you sound like a native and not an outsider.
It reminded me again about how strongly language influences how we see and relate to the world.
Those days feel like a different lifetime to me and I sit here 1,500 miles away from where I once was thinking about the future as I did then with one big exception.
The tick-tock of the clock is so much louder and I am forced to think about focusing upon some of these wishes and dreams in a different way.
Priorities have to be set and or addressed because that golden road doesn’t provide a road map with how long it takes to get from here to there.
Is this when I borrow a quote from Barry and say We started a story
Whose end must now wait because there are questions that require answers before more details can be filled in.
I am waiting to hear back from a couple of docs and need to schedule an appointment with my dentist.
The workouts at the gym feel like their 75% as effective as they once were and I haven’t figured out how much is age and how much is other stuff.
Probably going to see an ophthalmologist and confirm that what I think is going on with my eyes is just an occasional irritation and nothing more.
Intermixed with it all I keep reading/watching news reports and checking with friends/family about the places and spaces burning back home.
There is so much to do and so little time, got to keep pushing and find a way to be in the moments as they occur and not wonder, worry or wish about the other stuff.