No, that’s not me. It just felt like me at times on my recent trip to California. Combining visiting friends, keeping current clients happy, marketing for new work and going to two different weekend retreats was a full schedule.
Several nights I was tapping away on my laptop while ensconced in my hostel berth. This was so much more doable and fun than you would imagine. Stand on stool, climb onto bunk, pull curtains closed and you’re set. In a room of six cubbies, all occupied by female technology buffs, you could hear pings, chirps and yes, that tapping, into the wee hours. Each berth, its own productive sphere of activity. Duplex outlets, adjustable wall lamp, shelf along one wall. Minimal, workable. The window was left open for the sultry San Francisco breeze and my earplugs dimmed the wail of the city sirens.
Wading through the disenfranchised of downtown San Francisco, I was keenly aware of trespassing in a world where people never take a day off. I armed myself with a pocketful of quarters on my quick walk to Market Street and the transportation hubs. While my fifty-cent deposits into outstretched hands did little to make their world a better place, I like to think they at least felt seen and that can be of inestimable value to those pushed to the sidelines of life. The US has more persons-in-need than my memory allowed for. Many more.
Plans. What are those but ideas? Until they are realized, they are nothing more than that. As ideas change, plans must also. One of my biggest plans, my biggest ideas was shattered on this trip and I feel fortunate for the insight it provided. Harboring illusions that are one-sided or ill-founded serves no purpose. When you have your eyes opened, it’s best to keep them that way. I realize how cryptic this is but some experiences are better illustrated with few words.
Being older brings a type of liberty not afforded the young and hot. There’s a kind of safety in middle age invisibility. Men are kinder and less predatory. This makes life easier and traveling alone much less of an issue. This is true of anywhere you roam. A woman nearing seventy just got back from Istanbul and said the exact same thing. It’s an affable, easy time of life if you have a healthy sense of adventure and stamina to match.
The best part of being away was seeing my friends and making new ones. Two people I’ve had rich online exchanges with have now become flesh and blood cohorts on this grand adventure of life. What a treat it was meeting them in person.
The Conscious Dying Summit is still being digested, words scrawling across numerous pages, flowing from my fingers onto word.docs, filling an already loaded folder. There IS an article there and it will be worth sending out on spec to find a home. A lot of fascinating discussion flowed from topics presented, too random and untethered for this blog.
And Dream Yoga? The best sleepover EVER. In the desert. On land owned by a man with very big stones. Yes, I do believe in magic. If this interests you and you’d like to see photos, let me know.
Back in Vancouver, I can only paraphrase what I heard a couple of nights ago: “I moved back to the rain, so I can’t complain.” The drizzle feels lush and welcoming after the drought conditions in Los Angeles, my second stop. Wealth from the skies and a lot of writing to do.