Baby Steps

7 07 2014

I have to accept that years from now, someone I don’t know, who may not even be born yet, will wash you, take care of you, love you, know you in ways I never will. One of my lessons learned as a parent is that I must let go a little everyday, even though it goes against every stitch of my instinct to hold you tighter. It is odd, crazy, irrational, unneccessary that I prepare myself for your adulthood still light years away…

Out of control are the thoughts that rise to the surface. I rinse the soap from your tiny shoulders, scrub your scalp with gentle shampoo; you are tearless and, for the moment, so am I, but barely.





We All Scream

23 06 2014

As though it’s the lilt of a siren’s song reaching above the crash of surf on stone, my son can hear the ice cream truck when it is two blocks away over the hum of low-level aircraft and petroleum-fueled gardening conveniences. He runs around the house, straining to the tips of his toes out of each and every window, perhaps to steal a glance of the converted delivery van that, to this point and not without effort on my part, has remained entirely elusive. This is not over with, says the look on his face, and he goes back to his Melissa & Doug puzzle.

Settling into my office chair, I cannot help but stare out the window and relate. My own ice-cream-truck-of-a muse works her way up and down the streets of my neighborhood. On occasion, she will stop outside my house. I rush out to greet her, not limiting myself but enjoying a number of artistic delights. But for what seems like the overwhelming entirety, she remains an ephemeral concept, a fluid piper, trailing a measure of inspiration behind her down the sidewalk two or three streets over. Yes, I have a keen sense of hearing too…and the same eagerness to give chase. I want to leave this chair and run into the street, arms out as wings, turning and gliding as the fleeting moments of melody swirl. Thus the dilemma arises of leaving my son alone in the house, which I clearly cannot do, or dragging him headlong (and not in the slightest against his will) out into the streets where his ears will lead him in the direction of the promise of a different kind of sweetness.

So I remain in my chair. I satisfy myself with the notes that float through the window, savor them, and let my imagination play in a way my body cannot. Then my fingers begin; the embrace maybe not so unrequited. One paragraph introduces the second: frustration evolves into fruition. I give pause to breathe, and find I that have finally come this far. The footprints prove the path taken. Tiny steps start in the living room and end by my side. My son, too, has finished his puzzle.





Prayers

21 06 2014

IMG_9372

Shades, colors, contours, shadows. As the day exhales toward dusk, I feel the air move through me, it’s cool ease on my mind; the struggles of the day evaporate like sweat. Salt: just a memory.





Neoprene in the Morning

19 06 2014

As an unthreatening waist-high wave leisurely rolled by, Jeff turned to me and shrugged his shoulders suggesting: any waves are better than no waves.

“C’mon…it’s perfect!” This coming from me, who had not been in the water in well over a year due to work and child rearing. (Grateful for both!) But it was time to return.

Ten years ago, when I first moved to Los Angeles, I went surfing almost everyday…terribly. I’m still terrible. But all these years, and even the few before, I’ve been drawn to surfing. But why?

There is a romantic notion of living by the beach. From time spent in Tucson. Where we almost died dreaming of cool, crystalline water and luscious ocean air. Windows down, Chili Peppers gleefully streaming from speakers. Surfing represented of freedom of spirit defined by adventure and unimpeded creativity. It still does.

Of course, there was the coolness factor, the fitness and sexiness. Which I now know is a joke, for me at least. I can only imagine how ridiculous I look slipping off the back of my nine-two Dean Cleary (this board deserves a post all to itself) because I still haven’t bought fresh wax. Such a kook.

And I think I may have sat in our house on Tyndall Ave. in Tucson watching Endless Summer 2 too many times. Going bonkers over Costa Rica, mind blown at Cloudbreak.

Yet still, I’m conflicted with this obsession. Surfers tend to be an environmental bunch. And this is only natural. Spending more time in the ocean than out, they would obviously be concerned with the health of our oceans, the quality of water and of beaches. But for as long as it has been around, the surf industry has been somewhat toxic. Professional surfers leave massive carbon footprints with their constant globetrotting. And the tools themselves are severely gnarly, without many sustainable options until recently. Surfboard “blanks” are predominantly made from polyurethane or polystyrene foam, the latter can be recycled which makes it a more politically correct choice. Polystyrene boards also can be strengthened with newer epoxy resins, which can be formulated with plant-based ingredients and are much less toxic (for shapers and the atmosphere) than the tradition polyester resins. And anyone who’s ever squeezed into a wetsuit knows instantly the chemical presence in the sport.

That said, I do love the smell of neoprene. For me it triggers memories of trips to Manhattan Beach from Arizona, and gloomy mornings at Nicolas Canyon or County Line stealing glances at the Santa Monica mountains, colored yellow, purple and orange with wildflowers.

Nothing compares to a couple hours in the ocean. Not the gym, the court, the pitch, the track, the stage, studio or gallery. In the ocean is always an x-factor, placing safety, life and limb, into question. Walking out of the water, board under arm, refreshed and more alive than ever is indeed both life and a reason to live it. The ends and the means.





Astronaut Ice Cream

8 08 2013

Fingers entwined finding
Their way through the crystalline
Darkness; through it
To the light passing
Overhead, the transition
Between the days and nights
The circuitous rule of planets
The want of the wax
And the fall of the wane.
An impulse that wrings a masterpiece
From blood-soaked tissue; that is all.

Once in the air, the separation
Two hands find reason
To be apart; and so they learn
How good it really was
To be stricken with embrace
The warmth of someone’s skin.
A master plan only desiccates
The dream to be a gardener.





Hydrate

9 09 2012

You pour facts in my glass
Tell me to drink,
For health depends on it. However woozy I get,
These promises cannot change
The dream I suckle to
Like words mashed to pulp
In a backroom fantasy
Before silicon…
Third floor tenement insomnia
Delivered a library to eager eyes.

Does a comet stop
To admire the blue,
Changing its path in turn?
And turn…and turn
It continues beyond all attraction.
So must I in my own
Universe, follow the course
Laid out before I opened
My own eyes, and after.