Monthly Archives: September 2004


Gabriel and I playing with mirrors, Canon 300D

“We are all many persons. Some of these people we know and others we don’t-only someone else knows them. Some of these poeple we like and some of them we don’t like… All of this is music; it is the music of our lives if we could only stop and listen. Music doesn’t have any meaning; you can’t explain it . Eating a meal doesn’t have any meaning, either, but if there’s no eating there’s no life, and if we don’t hear music we can’t dance. This is our practice-to eat our meals and clean up; to dance to the music of our lives, each one in our own way, and then die when it’s time.”
– Norman Fischer

Photo Friday: Blossom

black red dahlia, Canon 300D

Photo Friday’s theme this week is “Blossom.”


C and V, Canon 300D

“Love is complete and utter surrender. That’s a big word, surrender. It doesn’t mean letting people walk all over you, take advantage of you. It’s when we surrender control, let go of our egos, that all the love in the world is there waiting for us. Love is not a game, it’s a state of being.”
– Henry Miller, Reflections

Keri and Jeff in love.

Bumpass Hell

Bumpass Hell, Canon 300D

Believe it or not, that’s what this place is called. Of course we laughed like 10 year old boys over it and made ass jokes for the whole drive up the mountains. Why on earth would they call a place that? Little did we know we would be hiking that very same trail the next day, in complete awe of its enormous beauty and mysterious sulphur springs. As we got closer, the smell became more and more intense. We heard, “It smells like farts!” in about 14 different languages.

Because it was a high yield hike {aweseome views and sights for relatively little effort} the trail was crowded with many people. My favorite moment was a French family getting all of the kids to pose on a rock overlooking the valley. At the notorious “cheese!” moment, the dad shouted, “Camembert!” and all of the kids grinned really wide. Nothing is more charming to me than an entire family of french people shouting camembert!

* I just read that Bumpass Hell recieved its curious name from a disgruntled explorer, who lost a leg after falling into a boiling pool. Yikes!

The next day Matt’s brother and I hiked to a crater called Cinder Cone. It was, as they say in California, a gnarly hike. When we got to the foot of the mountain, I was already overheated and gazed up at the 90 degree incline we were about to scale. To top it off, it was made of pure sand, embers and ash. For every step you took upward, you fell a half a step back. I felt like Sisyphus pushing the rock up the hill, but slowly, surely, made it up.

Photo by Steven Passmore, Canon 300D

The payoff was the view of the painted dunes on the other side of the cinder cone. It was like being on top of the moon and staring down at Mars below.

It looked a lot like the architectural model of the park we saw at the ranger’s station.

I started to get an inkling then about why people might rock climb or trek a zillion miles in the Himalayas or dive deep into the ocean depths. To experience life fully, you have to take risks, you have to challenge yourself. It might be hard. You might suffer at the hands of mother nature. You might fall into a boiling pool of stinky sulphur, but there are rewards of beauty and aliveness in it as well.

Every time I go to Burning Man I vow to never go back. I will be overheated, covered in dust, sleep-deprived, thirsty and miserable. Then a dust storm will come, followed by rain and mud will be pouring out of the sky and I will think, ‘I am never ever coming back to this godforsaken place.’ I will be afraid I’m going to die (this will be totally unfounded) and I will look at my cracked feet and wonder why I spent so much money on my ticket and bought that expensive tutu that is now encrusted with playa mud.

And then suddenly, the rain will stop, the wind will die down, and out of a white cloud in the distance a flaming car that shoots fire and looks like a painted dragon will float across the horizon. And I remember again that sometimes the only way to see all of the beauty we want in this life is to work for it.

this is not a car commercial

Manzanita Lake Campgrounds, Canon 300D

Went camping this weekend in Mt. Lassen National Park with my husband and his family. I would love to tell you more about it but we’re having a heat wave in San Francisco and I’m sweating too much to type anymore tonight. In the morning I will try again!

Photo Friday: Simplicity

Viv, Canon 300D

Photo Friday’s theme this week is “Simplicity.”

The Black Rider

Matt, Adrian, Rosemarie, Michael, Canon 300D

I saw the most magnificent show last night called The Black Rider: The Casting of the Magic Bullets. It is a musical fable created by Tom Waits (music and lyrics), William Burroughs (text) and Robert Wilson (director extraordinaire). The result is the most surreal, magical theater experience I have ever witnessed.

My friend Matt McGrath (pictured on the far left) plays the lead (Wilhelm) so I was invited to go with my dear ones (pictured above) on opening night. It was such a thrill! As I waited outside, Tracy Chapman walked in, then Winona Ryder, and then we sat down next to Sean Penn… My starstruckometer was going crazy.

The show was unbelievably rich with humor, mystery and brilliant acting and storytelling. Matt is a genius on the stage. If you live in the Bay Area, you MUST go see it. Oh, and I didn’t mention that Marianne Faithfull plays the devil. How can you miss this?!


moonrise, Canon 300D

We were in a boat race last Friday night (my first real experience on a boat!) and just as I was getting used to the gravity-defying tilt to one side and the subsequent scramble/crawl to the other edge of the vessel {to balance out the weight} we stopped suddenly.

We could see the final buoy in the distance and we were in second place. “Come on wind!” we shouted, but nothing. All of the boats in the race floated in the middle of the bay like a giant bathtub full of toys.

We relaxed for a while but started to get worried when 45 minutes later the wind still didn’t pick up. “Time for beer!” it was decided and so we all drank beer and sipped whiskey from someone’s flask.

It was a warm night (unusual for San Francisco) and we were all still in t-shirts and shorts floating under the brilliant dusk. The moon rose quickly and we all paused to watch it.

“I think we’re going backwards now,” someone concluded with a laugh.

I climbed to the other side of the boat and saw the city silhouetted in tangerine and thought, ‘I must be the luckiest person in the world.’

And I remembered that gratitude comes in moments, in the tiniest slices of time imaginable. It comes in moments when we stop, when we are going nowhere, when we pause to look up at the night sky and remember the glow of the moon.

“Turn the motor on Captain! I’m hungry.” I heard someone say. And just like that, the spell was broken. And off we went back to shore…