Lightning Round

Two quick round trips to San Francisco in the last five days have cured me of my “oh, it’s such a long trip” fear.

Google Maps gave me a really straightforward way to get directly to my daughter’s door in the southern (I think) Mission (near McLaren Park).

San Francisco’s diagonal set up, or at least the Diagonal placement of main vein Market Street/Misson had fucked with my mind for decades. I am making an effort to fix a picture of the layout in my memory.

Finally made it up to Bernal Heights after dreaming of it for months. This is a photo from the back side, the northeast side of the park (I think) looking over the Mission, Portrero, SOMA, towards the financial district in the far distance.

After five or six visits now I am beginning to understand how I feel about the city. My daughter loves it and I am so happy that she is happy in a place where I used to roam. She is far more successful at living there than I ever was. I was dead poor.  Eventually I got a soul-killing job as a file clerk at an insurance agency in the financial district.

Still, I had to get back to the suburban southland before long. Frank was going places I wouldn’t go and the energy and ghosty spirits in the homes in San Francisco were more than I could handle.

I don’t think I ever made peace with the spirits that swirl in the city. Perhaps during an earlier incarnation I died in the big earthquake and fire. Perhaps I can just feel those vibrations still resonating.

I am more deeply suburban and country oriented than I wanted to admit while in the thrall of my occasional, enthusiastic longings to return to city life.

In the past few years I’ve dreamed of the city’s culture and international flavors.

It’s understandable. After dwelling in Redding for 15 years a girl needs to imagine that she might be able to dip into an urban environment once again.

There are so many things to see there. One of the more interesting is the shop Paxton Gate on Valencia at 19th. It’s full of natural and odd, beautifully unnatural things.

There is an Alligoose taxidermy mashup. Lots of but and fossil and nature related art.

I love skeletons and insects.

There is a child’s version of Paxton gate a few doors down from the main shop at Valencia and 19th Street.

Paxton gate has bugs in resin, big roaches handmade in lovely, satin cloth, horse heads transformed into unicorns.

There are lovely handmade silver rings. I was moved to choose one for Frank and one for myself.

I would go there often if I lived in SF.

Rents are still outrageous in the Mission District and every other desirable area.

I would need to win the lottery to put myself on Cortland Street in Bernal Heights. A really really big lottery.

There are wonderful places to eat. ChaYa Sushi is all vegetarian and delicious. Very reasonably priced and wholesome.

I loved hanging out with Je ss and drinking in these wonders after I rode her home Sunday but I was happy to be back.

I made it home in three hours! 80 MPH all the way, safely, cautiously.

Redding and the far north may not be as exciting as San Francisco. When you are young you look for excitement outside yourself. For me now I make my own world where ever I am. I am working from the inside out and I don’t have a crushing need to be recognized.

Anonymity is a pleasure, a luxury I would never forfeit.

I love plenty of space, uncrowded streets, a slow pace, quiet and the ease of fetching goods.

I avoid shopping on the weekends to avoid crowds.

I am not a joiner of groups but a loner at ease with my own thoughts.

I love the mountains that surround Redding, the winter skies, the river, the trees.


2 Responses to “Lightning Round”

  1. see, this is where my crisis lies. i long for both the culture of the city and the quiet of the valley town. i think this is where i have to be now at this point in my life, but one day would love to be in a calmer place.

  2. It is the time when you are young and full of energy and burning with the desire to make a mark among other bright spirit energies. You will shine always. The memories and experiences you are forging now will be with you when you make it to the quiet place. You will make new stories from them.

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