I realize I haven’t written a proper post in too long. The last couple of months, as the title suggests, I have spent adjusting to my new life on the West Coast. I never had a plan for what my life would look like when I decided to end my trip and set some roots again. I simply trusted that I would land where I needed to in order to continue evolving and would thrive once I had set up the aspects of mundane physical stability that one needs to before accomplishing the more important parts of one’s personal evolution.
After a bit of drama, as happens living with eleven other people of varying lifestyles, I have come to really love and appreciate my new home, as I feel I can safely call this place now. West Oakland, regardless of the stray bullets and crackheads with bird whistles, is a haven for burgeoning creativity. The streets are covered in paint, ranging from unoriginal tagging to beautiful mosaics. Art pours out of the buildings here. I needed a place like this. I needed to feel passion enveloping me where I was to settle. This was my first glance of a place that would exist as I would need it. I have no doubt that I found were I belong as the person that I am now. There is a raw spirit that swirls around this city. Sometimes it feels like doom, a crowd with shrill intention yelling from the inner caverns of idealistic lungs to have tear gas canisters shoved down their throats. Their art intends to make the world beautiful regardless of law and their politics intend to make the law stop stifling the beauty of the world. The idealism lingers in the air just as much as the poverty. I definitely appreciate a people that accept their role in change. This is why I stay. I can feel that here and I know that it is a part of me that I was never willing to compromise.
My friend, Carlos, came to visit me a couple weeks ago from Miami. It was a bit surreal to have someone from my past life, so to speak, come be with me in my new life. It was very validating and much appreciated. I needed that connection to feel whole in my new place I think. My past life wasn’t something I was running from or trying to discard. I was very glad to have a glimpse of it return to me. I do my best to keep my friends and family as close to me as I can, though it’s difficult especially with the time difference.
We spent the week and a half crawling around the area. A couple days in San Francisco, a couple in Berkeley and Oakland, and our last, a short trip to Point Reyes where we witnessed two mammoth elephant seals battle each other. While we had some very mellow moments, I’m glad we got to experience a couple epic places together. I thoroughly enjoyed crawling around the Sutro Bath Ruins in the Northwest corner of San Francisco along the ocean. Carlos isn’t much for climbing around on things but I couldn’t help myself. He managed to keep up and put up with me pushing him pretty well though. We were hiking along the trail to the north to a point where we could see the Golden Gate bridge around the corner as the sun started setting. It was a beautiful place to be, to feel the intensity of the earth and it’s uncanny ability to swallow even the most grandiose of human creations.
The weekend before Carlos left, I was very glad that Occupy Oakland was having a rally and march so that he could witness the movement that has been created here. Miami isn’t exactly blossoming with the same organized dissent. The plan was to take over an unoccupied building to create a community service headquarters so to speak. We went to the rally; there were nearly 1000 by the time the march began. Carlos would be flying home in just two days so we decided it would be unwise to march with them as we understood there was very little strategy here and the day would be end with a pile of people bombarded with tear gas and carted off in vans. We followed them for a couple blocks and as they turned left around the corner, to the right stood at least 8 large white vans and riot police silently in formation. They waited for the full group of protesters to turn and then slowly followed behind. Approximately 400 out of the 1000 were arrested that day. As much as I would’ve liked to march, Carlos couldn’t afford to miss his flight because he was in jail. I definitely can’t blame him. Jail would not have been ideal. Nor would tear gas in the face. And considering the lack of organization for that day, it couldn’t have ended any other way.
Since Carlos returned to Miami, I’ve spent the last couple of weeks enjoying the stability of my new home and returning to my quest for creative outlets. I’ve also been working quite a bit so that has taken its toll on my productivity level by far more than I would like. This week, I will hopefully get back on track. I have some lovely things in the works and it’s good to feel like I’m making progress in that direction.