Monday, April 13, 2009

Looking up, learning to see

Friday, my formerly irate friend and I renewed our vow of true friendship over coffee. Fitting since our friendship was first formed over coffee. Coffee the magic brew. Anyway, I admit, while preparing for it, I'd run through a fevered checklist of reasons why I was right and she was not. At the same time I had to laugh at myself for doing to her what I was mad at her for doing to me. Why do we do that? What evolutionary purpose does it serve? Hey, you know all that crap you've been mentally beaming my way? Well, right back at you double time, so there! I reminded myself she's a tried and true friend, one who cheers me on when I succeed and tells me next time when I don't. One who would, without my asking her, arrange for me to display my work at a local gallery. Would the woman I consider difficult ever do that?

So, after a warm hug & chit chat, I told her about Monday's adventures with L. and she wished us lots of man luck for that night's planned escapade. It would be a slow night though, the music at our usual haunts not quite our thing. Still, nothing like a late night coffee chat with another tried and true friend...

Saturday, having already decided to skip the reunion, I made up for it by spending the afternoon with my dad. He talked about buying a lake house for his retirement, his plans to see his father in the Philippines one last time and how often they've talked on the phone lately. He also threw in the odd insult here and there for my mother's family. Couldn't go the entire meal without his insulting someone. But overall he was surprisingly nice.

Once I would've sat there grumbling. Saturday I just listened, sad he'd squandered away so much because he needed always to be right, to play the victim. And now, the permanent sorrow in his eyes, the stoop of his shoulders...there's nothing left to say, no recrimination equal to the hell he put himself in. Maybe, I hoped, if my dad spends enough days fishing by that lake he'll develop into a more pleasant, more mature human being and my sister will bring her kids over here more often so I won't have to fly east every time I wanted to see them. Maybe. But I've tried playing peacemaker before. Let tomorrow bring whatever it brings...

Easter morning, I went for a pancake hike on Mount Tam. Given my sense of direction I usually factor getting lost into my travel plans but it was hard enough getting up that early on a Sunday. So, I missed the hiking group I'd planned to go with but, thank God, ran into another group likewise heading towards the West Point Inn and their $10 pancake breakfasts. Making quick friends with them I begged they let me tag along lest I wander the mountain, searching for pancakes, and my hiking group, until I 911'ed the lost, hungry hiker emergency relief team, hoping there is such a thing. A compassionate lot, they were happy to help. And I ended up liking them so much I ditched my hiking group (who I didn't know all that well anyway) to hike back down with them after breakfast. Funny how things work out...
After the hike, some browsing downtown. Can you believe I was this close to these potential bites of happiness...and I didn't buy any? Not a one. I blame it on the pancakes.
This being Easter Sunday, the shops were nearly deserted. Empty or not I love window shopping.
This one is pretty enough to make a painting out of. What do you think? Look up!Look up!
Wonderful things, wonderful people, are all around us.


  1. yes, they are- beautiful story, beautiful images x

  2. Gorgeous pictures. Hope you enjoyed your Easter.

  3. Thanks Lisa!

    La Belette Rouge - Thanks! I had a great, family free, Easter.

  4. Nice; I like the positive tone behind this message!

  5. I do too, Cheryl and also realised your name (surname) means "of the rivers" am I right "de los reyes" translates as that? I'm not sure what Cruz means as such, but it's a fine apellation to be sure! These would make great paintings yes, yesss!

  6. Thanks for another great post, Cheryl. I'm very impressed with your photos, very interesting and attractive... you've got a great eye for capturing beauty (of course, you are an artist!). The pancake hike story was a pleasure to read... and what a great way to burn them off!
    PS -- It's nice to see you spent some time with your dad. My father was also set in his ways and not pleasant company either (headache and nausea were common companions on my visits with him).

  7. Thanks Peter!

    Psychonaut - Hmmm, I'm not sure. I hope your right because of the rivers sounds so cool. But when I googled the meaning of my name I got "nickname for a man who carried himself in a regal, or kingly, fashion" or "someone who works in the king's house."And Cruz just means cross.

    Thanks, might paint them, might not, depending on my mood...

    David - Finally, I can stop writing 'SparkleMirror'! Thank you, I always carry my camera with me and in the rare cases I forget I always regret it. Never know when I'll run across inspiration.

    Really? I confess I used to wish my father dead nearly every day while I was growing up...Now I worry about whether or not he's getting proper exercise.

  8. Having ageing parents is always tough. Hope your dad remains healthy for a long time to come.
    Beautiful photos! How did you resist the cupcakes?

  9. I love the idea of two people "renewing their vow of true friendship." You could start something here...

    The story about your dad made me think of my grandparents and how isolated they have become because they lack the emotional intelligence to really connect with people. I used to be angry. Now I'm just sad.

  10. lovely post - the pancake hunt sounds fun and I really like your photographs of the shop windows.

  11. Dedene - Thanks! I resisted the cupcakes by eating too many pancakes earlier that day. But afterwards, looking at those photos I kept wondering, what does that Italian meringue frosting taste like? Ooo, I could have kicked myself. So I made up for it yesterday by buying some gorgeous macarons to go with my afternoon mocha. Yeah.

    PurestGreen - Me too!

    Yeah, if my dad didn't work he'd be totally isolated too. Hopefully when he retires he'll be forced to make more friends.

    Phil - Thanks, Phil. It was fun, and it was fun taking the photographs.


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