Monday, February 10, 2014
What were we worried about?
What were we worried about? Stuck in a stationary high pressure zone it finally broke and the rain came. Like we said last post, it keeps coming, it keeps coming—weather, babies, anxiety, whoop dee doo, getting & spending. So…at last it's raining—so what do we do? we head for the beach.
First stop Toby's Feed Barn in beautiful Point Reyes Station once the end-of-the-line for the train that shipped milk from the ranches to San Francisco. During our back to the land days, Sim van Der Ryn was our hero champion of energy efficiency, solar panels and rain catchment systems. His Integral Urban House in Berkeley was a model of self reliant homesteading. His groundbreaking work in sustainable design landed him the job as State Architect for Governor Jerry Brown, the First.
All the while, as meditation, Sim painted watercolors, en plein air. His musing about being in the moment he is now presenting in his first art exhibition and as illustrations for his latest book Design for an Empathic World: Reconnecting People, Nature and Self.
The road out to Kehoe is empty. The rain bucketing down so hard that the windshield wipers can hardly keep up. At the Kehoe turn-out we're greeted by a pile of muddy guys waiting for a lift. They are triathletes in training. "What are you all doing here?" Picking up plastic!" "Really? There is a bag hanging on the bench 1 KM down the trail. It says 'One Beach Plastic.' It's full of plastic. we thought it was probably left there by some artist making a statement" Wow, that's our bag. We must have left it last week when we were putting on shoes. We got distracted by the banter of a conversation with a couple of literary types sitting on the bench. She, a published novelist, he, a comparative lit prof now retired. It was a conversation sparked up by another couple walking by who recognized us. "Hey, you're the guys from that movie." We tell our story to a rapt audience. This is getting to be fun.
The bag was one of our custom-made gathering bags fashioned by the Green Bag Lady Teresa VanHatten-Granath. This is bag # 17869. She and her group of volunteers the Bagettes, have made 10's of thousands of shopping bags from remnant fabrics. This bag she made just for us, a custom job, with a mesh bottom to sift out the sand.
It's full of plastic. We'll pick it up on our way back. So glad to be reunited.
The beach is empty of people, the steady light rain: an exhalation. So happy, it's like home from the war, happy birthday, a line from Wallace Stevens—the sudden elation when the forest blooms. It's a wonder, in our synthetic world, how much water matters, reminder of what we choose to forget. For weeks we have been collecting our household water, the cold-until-it gets-warm shower water, to pour on our thirsty winter garden.
The beach is not only empty of people, the plastic has not yet washed down gutters and out to sea. The usual pattern of our monsoon climate, broken this year has left us bereft of plastic. The sand, great clean suede swaths disappearing into the downpour.
On Friday evening Gyre: the plastic ocean at the Anchorage Museum opened with 24 of our cohorts in the plastic debris business. We were sad not to be there but happy to see our prints so beautifully presented along with the illuminated Pack Dogs by Cynthia Minet from Los Angeles.
Our colleague, in the exhibit, Mandy Barker from England put an all-points bulletin to see if anyone has found footballs — soccer balls she means. In our inventory of three cartons of balls from the beach, nary a soccer ball. We did scrabble up four American footballs and a volley ball, but no soccer balls. We have scads of tennis balls, golf balls, whiffle balls, superballs and on and on, but no soccer balls.
But lo! here today, buried, just a tell-tale show of black and white octagons peeking out of the sand. Wowwie!! This is the kind of thrill we live for. It's a mini-soccer ball — just what Mandy's been wanting. We've thought a lot about the three princes of Serendip who went out looking for a one-eyed camel and found a lot of the mystery of the world. We seem to be finding the many layers of the world, of Psyche, of the miracle of human spirit on the hunt, and here we make a story of a piece of flotsam that makes the heart race. Isn't this a node on the spiritual quest?
Good friends, old friends Harriet and David and new friends Trudy and Hugh, companions on the quest, meet us in Point Reyes for dinner and a show. Sweethearts of the Radio a benefit for KWMR our local community radio station was an evening of toe tapping, hand clapping music with local and renown talent with the virtuosic violin of Laurie Lewis and the angelic voices of the T Sisters.
Whew! What day! Full of adventure both on and off the beach. We are tired, ready to tuck it in, so we end this blog with this Lopsided Lullaby by the T Sisters: Erika, Rachel and Chloe Tietjen.