I am in a new place. A small apartment in downtown Vallejo. This was the first big(er) city to go bankrupt several years ago and is trying for a comeback. There are definitely signs of life and resurgence, but it has many of the basic urban problems. I’m in a small building with four other tenants and it’s pretty quiet, although there are enough urban noises to keep one alert when going about. A high speed police chase went right by me the other day; and as it was when I used to live here, was the sound of ambient gunshots.
In Tekoa when I heard gunfire I could safely assume it was another hunting season, here I can safely assume that when I hear gunfire it may bode ill. Although the hunting guns also bode ill for the animal(s) in question.
In any case, this week I’ve been getting together the basic things I need. The annoying thing is that I have all of that stuff but it’s in storage back in Tekoa; so a short trip back there should easily pay for itself in terms of not having to buy a bunch of useful gee-gaws. I’ll do that next week.
This morning instead of going right into my to-do list I went and hopped on the Vallejo/S.F. Ferry and went to the early parts (staging) of the S.F. Giants Parade. The boat was full, a mix of regular commuters and Baseball fans. When I got to the City I just walked up Market Street for ways and got the feel of the the Baseball fans that were starting to come into town for the big event (2 million expected, yes 2 million! I have to remember that the SF bay area is the fourth most populous urban area in the country), and it was starting to rain. After an hour of that I went back to the ferry and caught a ride back to Vallejo. I was the only passenger.
I am extremely grateful and glad that I was able to spend the last three months living at our temple in Berkeley. I didn’t know how crazy I had become. The daily schedule and constant proximity to a Zen Master(s) and other practitioners was a great benefit to me.
My plan is to develop a routine of practice for myself in this apartment and go to the temple twice a week in Berkeley and see if I can integrate a creative practice into my daily routine. More on that as it evolves (or doesn’t [or de-volves] ). :)) he indicated parenthetically…
How to live a grateful live gracefully. That’s what I want to learn. Or, perhaps a graceful life gratefully. I’ll take either.
Life passes as swiftly as an arrow,
The morning dew is gone,
The sun continues its climb.