As anyone with chronic pain can tell you (or a chronic illness for that matter), nothing is worse than when you are too sore to even participate in the most simple activities. These most basic things are usually what give you your much needed breaks of pleasure amongst the pain, and they are the peaks to an otherwise constant flow of noise in the body electric. I have cruised through today, floating at last in the rescue raft, lifeboat, called, "VACATION."
Though I'd hoped to put the garden to sleep by now, it is a work in progress, and now that I have a window to the world again, I must close it and look away, at least until... I AM IN SAN FRAN on ELECTION DAY!!!! Until then, I must direct all of my energy around: time management, getting the basics done, laundry, light editing work, and my least favorite thing of all—rest.
To keep this in focus, plants will be involved too, and I will see several gardens, and old friends. I am looking forward to City Lights Bookstore, hanging with my husband looking at art, and best of all, haunting North Beach.
Once a west coast center of Italian-American life, it is only a shell now of what it once was. During its last days, almost a decade ago, I met an old Sicilian stranger and he helped to change my life. He had just discovered the body of an old friend who'd passed away "alone in America." He was speaking in dialect to a friend and I was listening. He saw me and could tell I'd understood. He asked me where my family had come from and I said, "Sicilia a long time ago." He asked me if I'd like to talk, if I needed to talk, and I said, "Yes." After an hour or two of coffee I left that day knowing that I would not die "alone in America."
For this reason, the return to North Beach with my husband is always magical to me because I feel like I'd cast a spell that day long ago. At my feet was a bag full of books that eventually led me to the class where I met my husband. He is just what we'd spoken of that day. An old Sicilian stranger and I, imaging the perfect husband for me. He was like any of my great-uncles or their cousins but by then I'd lost almost all but one. He'd been to where my family still lives in Sicily and told me of the town's honey. That conversation still astounds me.
And now I am here at home, dealing with some pretty horrible pain, wanting to think of plants, and growing them, but I can't. My mind is fuzzy and blank. I cannot think with that humming buzzing shaking. My next simple pleasure will be coffee at breakfast, and my thoughts now, of San Fran and a Sicilian-American stranger I once met, and thoughts of the other I married.
Here's to chance encounters and dreams of the marvelous.