Friday, January 18, 2008

A Day By the Bay


I awoke yesterday morning nestled naked back to naked back in a warm bed with my husband whose warmth for me is the great gift of my life. I made the kids the eternally underappreciated breakfast, picked up the carpool with whom the usual radio station arguments ensued and then headed for Burbank and a 40 minute flight to Oakland for the day.

The Bay area is so fraught for both Himself and me, burnished rich with much of what matters to both our hearts. We are drawn there and perhaps will settle there one day. We both suspect that the advantages might outweigh the drawbacks. I rode BART under the bay and the woman seated in front of me was two pages behind me on the Doctorow story in the New Yorker. There was no Equal for my coffee.

My lunch companion, a Berkeleyite , at same vegetarian restaurant which lacked Equal and only served bread upon request in a campaign to reduce bread wastage, confessed, sotto voce, that he was considering voting Republican. Appalled that both of the leading Democrats have promised a full withdrawal from Iraq in less than a year, he feels we have a moral obligation to finish off there instead ripping up a nation in stupid blunder and then walking away.

I don’t know if we have the resources to finish off anything with an improved result or if something more fundamental than resources, human and monetary, is necessary to accomplish peace and stability there and other places in the world (including here) where religious fanaticism and the intolerance inherent to zealotry has blossomed. The larger question seems to be, when will the faithful and the faithless and the confused all come together and take on organized religion? I evoke the Jews who chanted the Sh’ma on the way to the gas chamber and my own belief in the force in the universe I call God, and my belief in belief, when I pray that we learn to pray together and feel God, without requiring our chosen paths to be the “one and only way”. God is not power. God is not might. God is love, healing pure love. I struggle in a world blinded by lies to imbue my words and actions with light but the farther I stray from my own bed, the darker the world becomes.


Between "things to do" I was plonked briefly on Fourth Street in Berkeley and a row of mostly chain shops I wouldn’t frequent at home to watch the passing parade and I realize how little opportunity I have to kill time but sans reading material or laptop or pencil. I was condemned to march, lonely and petulant with the prosperous coffee drinking browsers, passing an hour or two until dinner. People in the ghettos of Berkeley or Mount Washington or Baghdad return to empty houses and full ones, watch t.v and read the New Yorker, and fuck and jack off and cry alone and pray.

I returned to my home, one of the full ones, and gifted himself with a little encyclopedia of fonts that I’d found remaindered at Cody's and he was so delighted with it and then I got into bed and I heard him singing to the dogs through the vent and then he came upstairs and belched a few times with enormous satisfaction and I burst out laughing so hard there were tears of joy which suddenly became sobs. My beloved held me and I talked to him about love and about living in a world where the infinite love I feel seems to have such a finite jurisdiction. I woke up in bed this morning and he was holding me still and I felt his breath in my hair. May I be brave enough and honest enough to carry the spark of light emanating from my beloved’s touch and reach out into the fearsome darkness with love.

Shabbat Shalom

1 comment:

FionnchĂș said...

Your effusions, in the font (which is to typeface as word processor is to typewriter; this learned from said tome) we share, humble me. I still think that your phrase (is it original?) Banality by the Bay's more appropriate a title for today's entry.

See snapped Peet's-- is it the first one? To think we have that same smug burg to blame for Noah's Bagels, Chez Panisse, and generations of trustafarians telling the rest of us where & how we erred while having to make a living and attend other colleges. Me? Jealous?

Who knows how many shrines to capitalism in the name of the working classes they've franchised still thrive. Whether foodie, trendy, and veggie-vegan, pet-friendly, and/or non-nuclear Sanctuaries in which we can spend cash in solidarity with shade-growing coffee fair-tradees. Hail the cult of inclusion and the cause of diversity.

But, I digress. Glad you're back from a Bay Area that as you told me last trip has always been good to us. Double-good to come home to you. If you bring a packet of Equal in your carry-on next flight, I doubt it'll have to be checked in, you know. Live it up.

You can be as fussy as yours truly. And I am just that. xxx me