dear old friend, might i say it’s been a while, since last we sat and spoke until time went wild. there were times, i think, when things weren’t as brief. but now maybe life gets in the way. but like the waves in the ocean it comes and goes, brief or at length it doesn’t matter. the water always comes. so let us sit and stare at the sea. we can sit in silence and still the energy will be. between us and i want you to know. beware the shark - it’s a dangerous catch
I urge you to become a farmer – a caretaker of life. Plant a good seed in your mind and let it grow. Give it water and nourishment so that it may flourish. Even if you can’t see it and even if it hasn’t sprouted, know that it is there and that one day, it will grow tall and mighty.
Remember that seed in your mind as you live your life. Learn how to have hope. If you must, give the seed a name to remember it by. Whatever you do, don’t forget to feed it. Give it knowledge in vast amounts. Feed it facts and history. I hear that sometimes, seeds take to creativity and art. It’ll grow with you – this seed in your mind – and it’ll take on whatever qualities you want it to. Just like grapes taste different according to region, your seed will grow according to how you live your life and how you care for it.
You could forget about it, if you really wanted to – then your seed will rot. It will be forgotten, and it will be a dark, dark seed, destined to never sprout. So, I beg of you to feed that seed. Give it love, life, morals, beliefs, and things to do. Let it know the world and tell it of all your stories.
And when you grow weary, just slow down. Start to wean it off your care. It will sprout. It will give life and use everything you ever taught it to grow magnificent. As magnificent as the person who nourished it. And as your body starts to become frail with age or when your mind is troubled, the seed you cared for so long ago will take care of you. Breathe deeply and bathe yourself in its embrace. It will impart knowledge that you imparted on it. All the memories, it will feed back to you. And it will be a magnificent reflection of you and your life – the fruit it bears will be your nourishment and strength.
Don’t forget to, as you feed the seed in your mind, light a fire in your heart and don’t ever, EVER let it go out. The fire is your passion, your guiding light, your spunk, your fighting spirit and may it burn bright as the day you lit it.
I’m proud to call San Francisco my home. After 25 years of walking around the streets, mingling with the people, and eating the food, I’d like to think that I’m pretty well-versed in San Franciscan culture, although I’m not entirely sure if San Francisco culture is something you inherit or just pick up. Maybe it oozes off on you after you’ve been here a few years.
…but some days I wake up and I don’t recognize my own city
This isn’t to say that I know what’s going on in my own city though, especially in these current times. Just because I remember and know it in my way as a San Francisco native who has seen his fair share of change doesn’t mean I can describe the huge shift in things right now as they unfold. I’m not even sure what to call it, but some days I wake up and I don’t recognize my own city. Call it what you want – gentrification, entitlement, tech empires rising, the millennial invasion – San Francisco just doesn’t feel the same and it’s pretty confused as to what it wants to become.
Eyes to see events and patterns. The colors as they come alive. Every flicker of light - twitch of a dog’s whisker; burned in. They’re sensitive - the windows unto which he feel life around. Ears to hear the sounds around be it danger or his given name. And lips made to pucker; lips made to kiss; lips made for a straw. A tongue to taste the intricacies of cooking. A tongue to feel - the burn of a hot beverage or the icy, sharp pain of cold. Sometimes a wicked, lashing tongue to stand up in talk. Hands not soft, but not rough - to do work and create. to grasp a camera; lift a chair; sweep her off her feet. fingers to hold the pen and fingers to type prose. Fingers to firmly grasp a knife and fingers to tie knots and straps (or untie them) - “in bed”. Hands to protect, not fight. Hands to heal. A mind to think and grow - to learn and UNDERSTAND. A mind to mold and also a mind to prevent from moulding. fearless heart to nourish love. The same heart to be given. The heart that beats and sustains life; have it torn out - broken. A heart to heal. All in sync. One place In me.
Amid the hustle and bustle there is dish-pit wisdom, all this coming from the systemic rhythm of slamming cups and clattering dishes, if only that would stop, one wishes. But it always goes on for hours at a time, washing away the scent of rosemary, thyme, and lime- cilantro dressing as it cascades down, into the large sink and catch-basin, and a break. Is all. You’re chasin’. Dish-pit wisdom offers lessons on life, a little reminder of hot, cold, wet, and strife, we’re thrown about in an endless tidal wave, of customers eating and leaving - always their slave. And so the stewards toil in the back, planning, plotting, and waiting for the best angle of attack As the dishes come and your hands are prunes, you keep your mind busy and wash the spoons, because they’re running out up in front, and finding them now is a treasure hunt. The clock keeps ticking and time speeds up, and then you realize they also need more cups... This goes on all night long, outside of your control, as the hot and cold water chills your soul, you want nothing more than for it to end, so that you can have time to mend and that’s when, you really, truly, find a friend.
It’s unfortunate that blogs only advocate happiness, positivity, and “being yourself”. Although I applaud the attempt at enlightening the population and inspiring people to reach for something right outside their grasp, those posts are missing something. What ever happened to balance in life? The yin and yang, light versus dark, black versus white? There’s a reason things are presented in a binary way and as polar opposites. No one is advocating the area in between the two, as most things are a spectrum, but we can’t let ourselves and our generation become tunnel-visioned into thinking that one lifestyle rules them all. You know what happens when we are all alike and we all live the same way, think the same way, and eat the same things? We die. That’s right. Mother nature looks down and goes, HAH look at the humans. They’re carbon copies of each other, so let’s test their hardiness and send them an asteroid. Something like that.
We’re nothing but cockroaches on this planet. The scourge of the Earth, if you will. You might think that’s negative, but let me assure you, I am by no means a negative person. I’m the type that believes the glass is always completely full because a refill is coming. In that sense, I’m an endless optimist. At the same time, I am an endless optimist who is skeptical of the infinite – meaning that I know there will come a point in time when I won’t be getting a refill. My opinions have always been informed by this principle. I keep my outlook about 99% positive and top it off with a 1% margin of error for things going awry. Disappointment rarely gets to me because I have already predicted it. But I digressed somewhere far from where I wanted to be in this post.
Let’s go back to the cockroaches. We’re nothing but cockroaches – a little blip in Earth’s grandiose history. You know how cockroaches never really go away? No matter how hard you try to get rid of them? They say that cockroaches will outlive everything if there was a nuclear strike or catastrophe. I believe it; they’re hardy and numerous. Humans are the same way. We’re little blips and relatively unimportant. Here’s the thing: a cockroach might not be good for much besides causing a child to freak out or getting a restaurant shut down, but a team of cockroaches? They can leave a trail of destruction behind. It’ll get dirty, nasty, and plain old disgusting. We can learn a thing or two from cockroaches: when we team up, we can make an incredible impact on whatever we set our minds to. It is totally up to us whether we push things toward a negative direction or a positive direction.