Friday, January 27, 2017

These days...

These days the weekends don't mean much. One glorious day just flows into another now that we are working from home. "What's today, again?" Since our retirement from Electric Works we are hard pressed to find our way into the car. We commuted from Forest Knolls to SF for 20 years!!! 

But this weekend we found ourselves traveling back to our old SF Civic Center hood for the Women's March where we stood with 10's of thousands of others to protest the Trump regime.

We rode the early ferry into town. Lots of pink pussy hats to be seen and Judith with Clementine's borrowed pink Bat Woman cape—her nod to "Pink Power," caught lots of comments. Hooray for Bat Woman, the heiress who used her fortune to fight the forces of evil. Is there any evidence that Trump has used a dime of his billions to do good?

Since we were early, we headed for SFMOMA to see In the Beginning an exhibition of early Diane Arbus photographs and William Kentridge's profoundly realized essay on the experience of time. Go see it!

As we walked up Market to the Civic Center we were buoyed by a sea of pink pussy hats. The era of calling a whimp a pussy is well over — weakling, coward, sissy. HA!

Coming downstream was an anti-abortion group who had the morning parade permit. We couldn't help but notice the Walk for Life folks had pre-printed signs in black saying, "I am pro-life." All alike and obviously pre-printed and handed out by the thousands. Humorless and lock-step the pro-lifers seem like a one-trick pony. In great contrast to Women's March hand-made creative placards like: "I'm not much of a protest guy, but sheesh!Or "I've seen better cabinets at IKEA."  We'd have a greater affinity if these same folks would care as much about the born as the un-born. Feels like the same crowd that wants to cut school funding and child care. Sheesh is right.

It was a prudent decision to not have the grandkids in strollers with us - it was hard enough to make our way through the crowds to get a place near the speakers stage and our good old friend Ashurbanipal. The sculpture of Ashurbanipal anyway, next to the Main SF Library, who died in 627, BC. Ashurbanipal is an awesome presence standing tall in the plaza area between the library and the Asian Art Museum. A fearsome warrior, king of Assyria, whose mission was to collect and gather books as he made his empire. His library at Nineveh (modern-day Mosul)contained over 30,000 texts discovered in 1847. We know the Epic of Gilgamesh because of Ashurbanipal. In one mighty arm he clutches a lion whose teeth are deep in the king's wrist, the other arm proffers a book. Oh! that we could have a rekindling of interest in knowledge in our post-fact Trumpian world!  Our latest bumper sticker — We stand tall with Ashurbanipal.

Energized by the March, we strengthened our resolve to do what we can about the issues near and dear. So on Sunday we headed to Kehoe Beach. Since there have been unbelievable storms dumping record breaking amounts of rain we were sure that there would be plastic aplenty. We were not disappointed. As we topped the first dune and saw stretched out before us piles of kelp and plastic debris, we broke into song— belting out "Happy Days are Here Again."

With the success of Hamilton on Broadway and the 14 Oscar nominations for La La Land we are living in a time of the resurgence of the musical and after the winter storms — the resurgence of plastic.

Right away Richard found a turtle sand toy — YAY — happy days. But soon dark storm clouds gathered and we were blasted with pelting hail and ferocious winds. We got soaked in the deluge and sadly were unable to make our fill-our-bag quota. It was a rough trek back to the car — we slogged our way through sodden sand, slip-slided in the mud and the umbrella was blown inside out. We used to boast that we had visited Kehoe Beach in all kinds of weather but this was inclement with a capital I. 

On the trail, during the worst of it, Judith found a mini-Transformer. This auspicious find in the midst of a torrential down pour felt like a sign, a symbol of how to manage the days ahead. Seems like we should face the future as a shapeshifter able to change from vehicle, to animal, to action figure and back again and be, as the Transformer byline suggests, more then meets the eye.

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Walk The Walk

“If you can't fly then run, if you can't run then walk, if you can't walk then crawl, but whatever you do you have to keep moving forward.”  
Martin Luther King, Jr.

Judith writes: 
On Monday, January 16 at Limantour Beach people, lots of them, showed up to participate in the National Park Service Day Of Service cleanup. Although I could have gone to Kehoe, I wanted to be included in the count of volunteers in remembrance of MLK to "Make it a day on, not a day off." And what a spectacular day it was!! Over 100 people turned out for the beach cleanup including an energetic #GirlTrek group of women from Oakland. That's me on the left in the front row in the first group to head out. 

So glad to be introduced to Girl Trek "a national movement to mobilize women to live their healthiest and most fulfilled lives through the habit of daily walking." To date, over 80,000 black women have taken the pledge for themselves. They are going for one million pledged by 2018. I snapped this pic of the "Girls" snapping a Selfie.

The weather was sunny-warm-perfect. Sad to say, that after the onslaught of the recent storms, the plastic was abundant. In just three short hours it was easy to fill my collecting bags plus I found several of my top offenders: there were four Starbuck coffee stirrers, five Tampon applicators and seven Pull tabs from milk and juice cartons. Click on the hyperlinks to read the previous posts.

On the trail back I met Meg Frisbie who works on the structural cleanup crew for the National Park Service. She loves the park so much that even on her day off she wanted to help with cleanup efforts. Now that is the true definition of a postman's holiday a vacation or holiday spent in a pastime similar to one’s usual employment and in the case of the postman — that means walking. 

Just as Meg was about to toss her bag of plastic into the recycle bin, she pulled out a Superball. I shrieked - do you know the rarity of that find!!!  Then she proceeded to pull out of her bag a Barbie doll arm and a tiny plastic skull. I shrieked again - do you know the rarity of those finds!!!  She was a bit overwhelmed by my enthusiasm for these bits of trash but I was so enthralled that she generously gifted me her treasures. Thank you Meg!

Yes, rare finds indeed but, the real treasure of the Day of Service was in the time well spent — walking the walk.