Tuesday, August 30, 2016

San Fransisco to Berkeley

From the bedroom, through the temple door
Sitting in the front window above the Noe Street sidewalk listening to Van Morrison. I’ve been sorting and packing this morning (moving from San Francisco to Berkeley). It’s not easy – boxes of memories, of sadness, what to keep, what to discard (not much of the latter). Listening to The Healing Has Begun.
And we'll walk down the avenue again
And we'll sing all the songs from way back when
And we'll walk down the avenue again and the healing has begun
And we'll walk down the avenue in style
And we'll walk down the avenue and we'll smile
And we'll say baby ain't it all worthwhile when the healing has begun
I realize I’m sitting in the window, crying. Caught in the beautiful strands of the past. A few days ago, I told my friend Kristina that in the last months of Leslie’s life it was like there were shimmering falls of love and beauty coming down on us around us through us. Now, just short of 18 months later, I’m grateful I’m transfigured with love past and present.
At farmer's market in Berkeley
There went two Dads with a beautiful baby wearing a rainbow jacket. Now an old Asian man and woman holding hands, walking slow. A pretty Mom and pretty baby. Oh Oh Oh!
And now I see a future. I always knew there would be some kind of future, but had no idea it would be beautiful like this. How can it be that I’m loving two women? Mourning one, making love with one. The love's to love the love's to love the love's to love... Yes, I’m walking down the avenue again with a fine woman and a sense of wonder.
In the early morning with the doors open to the fog and cold and the bed so warm. Oh! So warm!
The sky, the hill in the small distance, Golden Gate Bridge hidden in the fog (how it sparkled last night), the BART train going and coming from/to the station half a mile below and a few birds flying by, and somewhere a bird singing, and we’re talking of the past, the future, sacred space, this sacred space we’re in right now… 
With my cherry cherry wine (at Indian Rock in Berkeley)
Yesterday morning before we left the San Francisco apartment where Leslie and I had lived we were in bed I cried and cried and we made love and cried and drank our morning coffee and talked and I will never, we will never grow so old again I am so naked.
Yesterday we walked to Indian Rock and climbed up 50 or 60 feet and sat in the sun and drank from the bottle of cherry cherry wine – the same brand that Van Morrison sang about (could there be more than one brand labeled “Cherry Cherry Wine”) in Cypress Avenue: 
I think I’ll go on by the river with my cherry cherry wine
I believe I’ll go walking by the railroad with my cherry cherry wine
And that’s exactly what we did.


Thursday, August 4, 2016

Principles for being, conversation, San Francisco, destiny

Jean at Marcia's
Several of these photos were taken in Jean’s friend Marcia’s house in Berkeley.

Some of the more vicious FB posts about Hillary Clinton started me thinking about how we communicate and what responsibilities we might have in communicating. I looked up something I wrote in 1999 about ethics related to end-of-life care, especially the part about being honest. The fundamental moral or ethical principle is respect for people. Within this respect are these principles:
In Marcia's garden
  • Respect for autonomy – the right of self-determination.
  • Beneficence or benevolence – doing good, meeting needs; a moral obligation to practice mercy, kindness, compassion, and charity.
  • Nonmaleficence – doing no harm.
  • Veracity – truth-telling.
  • Confidentiality – respecting privileged information.
  • Fidelity – keeping promises.
  • Justice – treating fairly.

Of course these don’t apply only to end-of-life care; they are ultimately serious and high organizing principles for life and how we be together and within ourselves. (Thanks and a tip of the hat to Tom Beauchamp and James Childress.)

Conversation with Guy, the man who sells flowers on Noe:
It looks like I may be moving to Berkeley.
What about your son?
Well, I’m retired, so I’ll just commute – lunches in SF, Golden Gate, all that.
Marcia's bathroom
You’re lucky.

I know.


San Francisco

Several years ago my son-in-law recommended the Tales of The City series by Armistead Maupin. I think Charles thought that reading these books would help me better understand San Francisco, the city I’ve fallen in love with – especially gay San Francisco. That’s exactly what happened. I just finished the last book in the series – The Days of Anna Madrigal. What a soaring, beautiful book.

My apartment on Noe. Window by alarm is/was mine.
My apartment is very near David and Charles in Duboce Triangle, between the Castro and Lower Haight. Leslie and I lived here happily – most of the time. After she passed away (I almost wrote, died) I stayed. Like our home in Dallas, I’ve loved and been loved here, made love here, been happy here, mourned here – I’ve lived here.

This is the city David gave to Leslie – and she embraced it fully and was embraced by it. Leslie in the Haight! Market! Castro! Cole Valley! She’s on the bus, on the F-Line, she’s in the streets, she’s interacting!


To be born again.

We were studying Paul’s letter to the Romans (8:26-36) in Bible study (about groans too deep for words, searching the heart, predestiny – all that in ten verses!) and I was thinking about the
View from Jean's house - Mount Tam
day before when I spent several hours at a coffee shop with a young friend and was blown away by the fact that with open heart and well-acquainted with groans too deep for words, she’s walking tall into her destiny. It’s been a long road and she’s stayed true to the call. She and I have had some of the same visions. This was a very affirming time for me.