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2009-06-15 - 10:35 p.m.

Hello.

I got nostalgic tonight for some reason, maybe because it's been over three (3!) years since I moved to San Francisco and the breeze is blowing warm and sweet through the windows. So much has changed, (mostly) all for the better, and it's good.

I write here now about food and such

cucinanicolina.com

and also here

dharmab.livejournal (do friend si tu veux)


//

I wrote this last week which I feel is an apt description of how I am these days, so read if you like and perhaps I shall see you at one of the other spots. Hope all is well. xox

It's so strange how the mind retains certain things -- little little things, often which took place so very long ago, such as a backpacking trip in June when we started off late in the day and whisked through the six miles as though they were nothing to land up at camp. We tossed our things down and went to lie on the sunny beach until the tide (and fog) came in.

There was no stove (my friend had forgotten it) so we built a fire and toasted hot dogs not very well but the tea after, steaming hot and full of driftwood ash and sugar, was the best I've ever had before or since. Another guy out there decided to sleep on the sand and we woke up in the night to hear him stumbling back up the trail because the water came farther than he anticipated. In the morning a skunk walked so close to my head I held my breath so as not to startle it.

That was also the summer of Yosemite; after that one trip (Pt. Reyes, of course) I was hooked and so my brother and I went on a week-long backpacking journey with the Santa Rosa YMCA, hiking at least 10 miles a day and finishing with the 17-mile Half Dome trek at the end. I'd never hung my food before not mention even carted it up and down mountains strapped to my back but even though my heels were so terribly blistered I had to soak them in the river every night I loved it. I loved sleeping on rocks and feeling the wind batter the tent so much you felt as though it might slip away down the sloping granite, loved the early mornings filtering water from the high mountain lakes, loved even the granola with dehydrated milk for breakfast.

For one week, entire, to sleep out, waking with the sun to shiver over a campstove and stretch legs sore from hiking, the bare rock cold against my feet, was a small miracle.

But to remember those little little things: I wonder sometimes why? Why must the mind hold on to these things and let them take up the valuable space -- and why these particular things? Why do I remember once on a hot July day in Washington I met my friends on a street corner in Adams Morgan the night after I'd made vegetarian lasagna for a small dinner party (we sat late in the wood-walled backyard lighting candles and drinking wine and talking about Europe while the neighbor's kitten jumped down from its perch to play, ) and we went to my favorite bar on 18th St. for mojitos?

My ITB had been plaguing me because I was training for a marathon and upping my mileage and my friend got down on the dirty floor to show me a particular stretch ("The best, Nicole, it will save your knees") that was indeed quite good. Then we all dispersed after a few delicious drinks and it felt like it had gone by too fast. I remember it all so well: hot, sunny, the humidity pressing down, the too-soon departure.

It's just a bit funny, is all, how the details linger.

Today I wish to push past the omnipresent fog and find the clear June days that are sometimes possible here in San Francisco -- one of those hot days on when, if I was still seven years old and on summer vacation, we might pack up a lunch (or stop for pizza bagels in town on the way out) and the sand equipment and go out to the beach where the river runs into the ocean. We might build castles and swim in the cool river water and fetch kelp from the waves and spend the whole day under the sun, sticky and suntanned. We might very well stop for icecream on the drive home, or french fries, or saltwater taffy, and listen to Paul Simon with the windows rolled down, watching the sun sink lower over the water as the fog begins to settle in.

(The fog is so awfully settled in this week.)

I am enjoying my alone-time these days even as I may lament a bit how I've forgotten to be alone. A near-month spent on-and-off with people made me used to their company even though I cherish my quiet space on the whole. But sometimes, oh sometimes, I might rather not. I have my blue chair by the window and my lovely classical music station and tea and cookies or milk chocolate pudding to have after dinner and it is wonderful to sit and eat and listen and look up at the moon -- it is the most wonderful thing, truly. Except that maybe I wouldn't mind some company -- the particular kind, you see, for none else will do -- and when I can't have it I get the wee-est bit melancholy (only the wee-est bit, though. Darn 6,000 miles anyway.).

So my mind turns over and remembers all of these little, long-ago things (and more) which is in turn a consolation and perplexing, too.

Which is perhaps as it should be.


 

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