Gratitude Sunday: Forward Motion

Gratitude * Sunday
Sunday’s heartfelt tradition.
A time to slow down, to reflect, to be grateful.
A list of gratitudes, our gratefulness feeds one another.
Quoted from Taryn Wilson
Joining the Gratitude Sunday Tradition at Wooly Moss Roots.

Sunday Haiku
Sun melting flowers,
no relief in sight, grass waits
for fresh autumn rain.

Sunday Musings
Forty-two years ago when I was young and adventurous I drove south to the Monterrey Jazz Festival, by myself in my new little Volvo, with a pocket full of cash and traveler’s cheques in the day before everybody had debit/credit plastic that could be used anywhere. I got to see a variety of acts, including Etta James, Bobby “Blue” Bland, Marian McPartland, Betty Carter, Dizzy Gillespie, and Sarah Vaughan. Heavenly music. All gone to golden stardust now. I’m grateful I got to see them when I did.

I spent some time in San Francisco on the way back north. I had the feeling this might be one of the few times I got to see this cool city and it turned into quite an eventful tour as I drove around taking in the sights. I was staying with a young man I’d picked up hitchhiking (adventurous, remember?). He was willing to show me some sights. We drove by the St Francis Hotel just after Sara Jane Moore attempted to assassinate President Gerald Ford. I didn’t know what all the traffic mess and cordons were at the time but when we got to his place on Castro Street and turned on the TV, there it was. I had obliviously and unknowingly driven by a significant moment in history. I’m grateful she was not successful.

The next day I wanted to see Coit Tower. The road up there was quite crowded and moved slowly. I was in no hurry and since the traffic was slow I took my time looking at all I could. At the summit it became obvious for all the delays as they were filming a Roger Moore movie and everybody was gawking at the actor and the production. I was moving along with the traffic peaceful as could be, and then a police office kicked my sweet new car. Yes, without provocation, he kicked my car and yelled at me “Move along”, which is what I thought I was doing. I sort of lost it and yelled quite loudly at the officer “I’m moving!”. My passenger, a local San Franciscan with long blond hair, a scruffy chin beardie, and wearing hippie garb, shrunk as far into his seat as he could go and freaked out that I would talk to a police officer that way, sure we would certainly be arrested. I offered to let him out of the car, then explained about having a police officer father. I stood up for my rights. The officer didn’t need to kick my car, but for whatever reason this person in authority felt the need to act out and took it out on my car. Maybe he was hot and tired. If the officer wanted to arrest me for him kicking my car and me yelling at him, so be it. He didn’t, because I was doing what he said, moving along. I quickly delivered my passenger to his home, collected my few belongings I had left in his apartment, and went on my way. I’m grateful I was not arrested and the officer didn’t damage my car.

I found Lombard Street and slowly zigzagged my way down. Because I was driving I couldn’t take the time to look at the houses perched along the road. I thought maybe one day I’d walk down so I could take the time to appreciate the houses. I do a vicarious tour occasionally thanks to Google maps, YouTube, and virtual videos. I am grateful to be able to read maps, for houses, for creatively shaped streets, and virtual videos.

By accident I found that one hill. I don’t know the name of the streets; I think it was an intersection. I’ve tried to find it on virtual videos as I am not likely to return to San Francisco. This hill gave me the oddest perception. I’m driving up the hill. I don’t remember if there was a stop sign or light but I stopped at the top of the hill. With the position of the car I could not see anything but sky out the front windshield. When I looked out my side window I could see the immediate square of pavement but when I looked forward to the front fenders, I could see nothing but sky. Looking through the side mirrors and the rear view mirror I could see road and cars and buildings behind me, all normal. My little brain knew my tires were firmly on the road, and gravity was functioning as I had always known it to. Adding to the perception of sky was the open sunroof of the Volvo. I loved that sunroof and used it as often as I could. I even had a special sunroof hat so the top of my head wouldn’t get sunburned. I could see nothing in front of me but an expanse of sky, not a cloud, not a tree, not another car, not a stop light or sign. I. Could. See. Nothing.

I had to move forward. With the angle of the hill if I took my foot off the brake even with my automatic transmission I would slip backward, so I did the foot switch so my left foot was firmly on the brake and my right foot primed over the accelerator. I gently pressed the accelerator as if there were a carton of eggs under my foot, reluctant to take my foot off the brake. Moments passed in the twilight zone of panic not knowing if I was driving into oblivion or moving forward in reality. The car inched forward with me both in control as driver and not in control as passenger because all the air and blood in me was left at the top of the hill. The laws of physics held, the tires carried me over the summit, the Volvo clung to the earth, and the outer limits returned to a long hill downward. I’m grateful I was not having a psychotic break, only a moment of breathlessly different perception.

After that experience I would occasionally have dreams of that moment in time of being at the precipice of a hill and having to move forward faithful the way will be there. The surroundings in the dream were not always the same, sometimes different, sometimes not even there, as if the road was floating, the street as amorphous as the moment. The dream is as terrifying as the moment all those years ago on that hill. I’m grateful to dream. I’m grateful to remember.

I hadn’t had the dream for many years, but recently the dream played its way through my night. I was surprised to remember the dream as recent medications have disrupted my dreams and my memories of dreams, but there I was again behind the wheel of the Volvo I loved so much, in an unfamiliar place, in a strange position looking at the sky, feeling the pressure of gravity pulling me back down into the leather seat, and not knowing what to do, knowing only I had to move forward. I had to keep moving, no matter the outcome, because the outcome didn’t matter. The forward movement was the only thing that mattered, forward into the unknown or forever backward into a different unknown. In this time of my transitioning away from the formal work world, I am grateful for this subconscious reminder to move forward in faith. The outcome will be the outcome.

Though I am less adventurous these days I am reminded the journey is the adventure, not the destination. Don’t worry. I haven’t picked up a hitchhiker for years. So many different adventures to choose.

Color Watchcolorful attractions in my neighborhoods this week – The soft water blue of wild bachelors buttons. A carpet of bright yellow Black Eyed Susans. The view from under the carpet of bright Susans. Bee doing his business on a pale pink mallow. Another bee pinking his fill on a wild old-fashioned pink rose. Yellow moth on purple buddleia.

Current View – {These are only my opinions about movies and books, but don’t let me stop you from trying these reviewed items yourself; your opinion may differ.} On season 2 of Wiseguy (1987-1990, rated TV – 14). I like how the older TV series made you aware of the violence without rubbing your face in it compared to currents series who employ vivid graphics. I prefer the subtleties rather than being hit over the head with violence. * White Palace (1990, rated R) with Susan Sarandon and a very young, slender James Spader with lots of hair. A young affluent widower falls in love with an older working class woman.

Currently ReadingSwimming Lessons (2017, fiction) by Claire Fuller. The author crafts her art with an epistolary technique. The mysteriously missing wife writes letters about their life together to her husband, a published writer, but instead of giving the letters to him, she hides them between the pages of his vast collection of books. Years after her disappearance, as he ages and his health deteriorates, he begins to find her hidden letters. * Dark Money: The Hidden History of the Billionaires Behind the Rise of the Radical Right (2016, radical politics), by Jane Mayer. Citizen’s Tip Number 2: before you donate money, believe an ad campaign, support a candidate or a cause, or vote for a bill, check to see how the wording was skewed to lead the average person away from the actual truth. Unless you believe freedom only belongs to the wealthy.

This week I have been grateful for:

  • The magic of doing Tai Chi in the moonlight.
  • The hubster putting out bowls of water for the squirrels because of the heat.
  • Learning to enjoy my own time structure.
  • Being able to have a little lie down when hit with headaches or pain.
  • Ibuprofen and ice packs.
  • The local all-indoor aquatic center staying open on the hottest days.
  • Summer meals you don’t have to cook in the oven.
  • The hubster discovering how to steam chicken breasts and shredding them to make barbeque chicken sandwiches.
  • My favorite easy coleslaw to go on the barbeque chicken sandwiches (thinly shredded Napa cabbage and dribble small spoonful of jar coleslaw dressing on it). Num!
  • Getting some work finished that was on my to-do list.
  • Having a constantly changing to-do list.
  • Having enough fresh fruit and veg on hand to get me through the week the farmers market was closed because of exceptionally hot weather.
  • Hot and cold showers at the turn of the tap.
  • Filtered water with a lemon slice.
  • First of the fresh figs. With crumbles of goat cheese, a squeeze of lemon, and a few shreds of mint. Ooommm.
  • Water.

Hoping you have a lovely week.

Namaste. Peace. Blessings.

Floral ribbon border by Laurel Burch

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This entry was posted in abundance, Aging, GRATITUDE, Grief, Health, History, Nature, Photography, Poetry and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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