Saturday, October 25, 2008

Not Holding

Another day ends and I am sadder and wiser. I am happier and I am more of fool. Sometimes, that is how life works. Let me tell you a little about the day.

It started well. I woke up, I padded around the house a little, then I decided to go back to sleep. I slept, curled in my warm bed, until the golden sunlight of a California dawn flooded the room and pulled me from my sleep. I came on line and chatted in my favorite room, with the strangers and friends who reside there. Some of them are strangers, some of them are friends, some of them are friendly strangers, some of them are strange friends. Some of them I consider very close to my heart, others are just people I barely know.

I met my friend Tyrone at the Hickory Pit for breakfast. I had a nice country omelet, with ground sausage and green onions and cheese. I washed it down with coffee and conversation. I came home for a while and send a few email and the circled back out to pick up groceries.

I watched the UCLA and Cal State game (Cal State won - whoo hooo!). I cooked baked cream cheese chicken, garlic and parmesan potatoes, and sweet peas. It turned out excellent - the chicken was perfect, breaded in crackers, lemon pepper, garlic powder, and parsley. The chicken was succulent and juicy.

I watched "The School of Rock" with Jack Black, an excellent little movie, one of Jack's best. I sent a few texts and email. Then, as I was sitting there watching the finale of "The School of Rock", I took an inside pitch that fanned me back from the plate hard. Yes, that is a metaphor in code, and I may, at some point, share with you what it was - but for now, it is too close to my heart, so I will keep it inside of me where is it safe.

So, I sought comfort where I can often find it, walking empty streets in the company of the twilight gods who have been through so much with me. I walked out, down along Williams Road to Starbird Park, through the park and down the street to Payne, and then back in a big circle. The circle brought me along the front of Maple Leaf Plaza, past Yaz. Through the big plate glass windows I watched the diners as I walked by, surrounded by white table clothes and white china and crystal glassware, then I walked a few blocks and turned toward home.

I went down on the quiet streets. I passed the Vampire Guy's House (there is no vampire there, it is a giant old Victorian mansion, walled off, a remnant of the days when Santa Clara Valley was ranches and orchards - we call it the Vampire Guy's House because it resembles the house where a vampire lives in the game Oblivion, which is popular with my friends.) I walked through the dark portion of the street, where it curves and puts me on the street where I live.

While I walked, I thought of the years and the miles that had brought me here. I wandered down the webs of life, with all the branches and intersections that glisten palely in the moonlight. I thought about holding on and I thought about letting go. There is point where holding becomes grasping. I have in this life learned to hold to that point...and then to open your arms and let go.

Years ago, when I was in some dark times, when I was struggling, I had written a sign on a white piece of paper and taped it to the back of my living room door, so that I would see it every time I left. It said, simply - "Do not be less then you are." It was an admonishment to myself. It hung there for a long time before it was no longer needed.

It seems to be a lesson that I learn and relearn in this life - perhaps it is the core lesson of this life for me. I have often been characterized and characterized myself as a rock things and people crash into. I am - simply who I am. I have been down the path of compromise. I have tried it. It doesn't work for me. I am not good at compromising. I will hold but I will not grasp. I will hold until the time is right to not hold. Then I will not hold.

So, as another day ends, I am not holding. You know the curious thing about not holding? When you are holding your arms are closed. When you are not holding, your arms are open. So here I am not holding, with open arms. The night is cooling. There is a soft breeze spinning through the apartment. In the dark of another night I find that once again, I am who I am.




A paradox, even to myself.

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