On Golden Pond

IMG_5704I am wrapping up a month-long sabbatical of self-reflection fitted in with two quick nature-filled trips to Tahoe and Point Reyes. At this point, I must first reference a New York Times article, “The Meaningfulness of Lives,” I alluded to six years ago. I want to do the things I used to love so passionately, like tennis, dancing and even writing (well, maybe not all at the same time) that seemed so superfluous when preoccupied with other stuff. I literally felt I couldn’t afford to invest in them because of self-preservation until I realize I couldn’t justify it anymore. My self-worth and a worthwhile life hang in the balance.

I’ve come to know that it’s not a matter of being morally superior or even over-the-moon happy. Rather, it is whether I am thoroughly engaging in something, and it may not always be so pleasant as I spent some of the month healing the wounds of past unfairness and indiscretions and confronting such basic impulses as the inability to relax and unplug. My sojourns to Tahoe, which I hadn’t visited in 17 years, and Point Reyes, where I had never been, put me in touch with some emotions I had ignored and wasn’t aware of–this was the time to push those to the surface and tackle them for as much as I could tolerate it, fully understanding they may crop up again. I am human after all.

As my friend Angela had eloquently chimed in when rain and later hail descended on the lake, “Sometimes rain is best because people scatter, and you can enjoy a moment of solitude in beautiful nature.” Driving in a canopy of firs, cruising on a riverboat from Zephyr Cove to Emerald Bay, hiking street level toward the edge of Lake Tahoe, my mind was empty in a Zen-like state I may have never known existed. It was that deep.

On the eve of a new job and chapter and the cusp of Autumn, my favorite season of the year when things come into fine focus, I am of this mindset: There will be parts of my journey that remind me it’s so much bigger than me; but I have an active role to carve out space and bring meaning to bear on my life that I promised will be one well lived.

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A Summer Break

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The theme in June continues in July, with creative-writing taking a backseat in favor of business writing for work. But I am where I should be, so I’m giving myself one of those lazy beach moments. And let summer be summer. I’ll be sure to have some books for leisure reading.

The Richness of Weekends

If there’s anything these last two years have taught me, it is this return to me and being comfortable with the things I love and a weekly routine inculcated when I was small. It brings me to this notion of how precious weekends are, especially when a birthday lands on them. This long holiday weekend, I’m discovering the music between the notes of an open road and a small-town charm with which I was first acquainted five years ago with a dear friend. While city-dwellers have now altogether swarmed Pescadero in California, at least for this weekend, I am still quite determined to hear those musical strains in the present in a newer context, with a little more bravado.

A World of Imagination

IMG_4818I wonder sometimes if this is all to life, whether there’s more.  And I realize there is, but there isn’t a “there, there” because that is even transformed into something else, typically unexpected.IMG_4819

Whatever the case may be, that is my mindset when I finally visited the new SFMOMA this month.  There always exist opportunities that present themselves if I keep turning the corner.

After a particularly frustrating work week, I made a beeline for the SFMOMA one Friday, which had opened after a two-year remodel.  Museums can be confining, as I often found this one to be.  Its expansion, however, does offer more breathing space. Minutes from closing time, I explored the free areas at lobby-level.

IMG_4822In the outset, Richard Serra’s “Sequence” at the rear looks like some big coil of teak Indonesian salad bowls that landed in its show space. However, as I navigated through them, they both are their own kind of maze and enigma of sorts.  It felt like a warren of canyons that I imagine coming upon in the Grand Canyon or the lost city of Petra in the deserts of Jordan, moving deliberately between narrow walls and incisions and anticipating what might be around the bend.

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It was oddly liberating that while my job is becoming predictable, life is far from it. There’s no way of knowing, reminding me once again the level of uncertainly we all live.  I had to get out of my head, and, like some pieces of art, “Sequence” released what was pent up: the urge to get away.

In my Absence

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Sign of the Times: Chapel of the Chimes

Gosh, I look back at some of my blog posts up to date, and I realize I miss writing, like an old boyfriend or friend (none of which is mutually exclusive). As I see how other people’s lives unfold, I am aware I am living my own these last ten months. Much has happened in 2016, and while I’m inclined to bookend chapters in my life, it often plays out without a convenient break. Refusing to fit neatly in a tidy box, it is a messy proposition and overflows sometimes rather rapidly.

Having said that, I can’t promise fidelity to regular monthly entries, although I will try. Writing is a solitary, difficult endeavor when forced. It can’t often express everything inside me, although I love it so.

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Simple Pleasures

January has proven to be a gentle month after the bluster of December, and simplicity is the key.  I am grateful for what I have and even not have: no drama on the personal or professional front. I don’t have to come at life like an ambitious crime-fighter on a TV procedural.  Sometimes it’s just taking myself out to dinner or Happy Hour and appreciating what’s in front of me, whether it’s an Arrabiata pizza topped with a farm-fresh egg and later a rare dessert at my neighborhood joint Gialina or grilled calamari at Woodhouse Fish Company after a doctor’s appointment.  Whatever the case may be, this weekend before a new month is about doing absolutely nothing, no deadlines to meet or anyone to accommodate, but me.

 

2015 in Review

IMG_3638I am thinking lately where I was same time last year and remember feeling fair–that at least I was still intact, moving forward and finishing strong.  I would say the same is true for this year but so much more.  As 2015 progressed, I was growing more into my authentic self.  It is indeed a liberating experience. Once there is acceptance, the pace picks up, and life is a rolling stone going downhill.  I feel the power of the present with the notion that my life is also just ahead of me.  I think of my young nephews and how fearless, rambunctious and magical they are–so much hope living inside of them.  I see the goodness of this existence, and I don’t want to miss it anymore because quite frankly it’s much too short to be feeling otherwise.  Here’s hoping 2016 is another adventure, whether it’s crossing a long desert or wide ocean, let it be one more journey to the center of my soul.

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Child’s Play: Our last day in Hawai’i