Monday, December 11, 2006

Facing winter

Awoke from a common dream. (Or is it? Did I just dream it was common?)

I have the unique ability, it seems, to fly above the land, suspended from an umbrella grasped in one hand.

Getting airborne requires only putting a little more spring in my step, then pushing off.

Flying is not without insecurities. I’m careful not to let my grip slip, and structurally, the small umbrella is not very sound, the fabric having come loose from some of the ribs.

But for now, I sail unnoticed over Los Angeles enjoying fantastic views (and it’s amazingly clear!)

Slept until 8:00 in my darkened fish bowl. An interesting experiment these past couple years: I’ve basically rested as much as my body desired. I would think my health would benefit from such a routine.

***

California’s population declined by 29,000 last year, the first decline in 10 years, according to the State. But that’s just a small city.

***

John Steinbeck describes a familiar feeling, as he crossed the Southwest:

“I was driving myself, pounding out the miles because I was no longer hearing or seeing. I had passed my limit for taking in or, like a man who goes on stuffing in food after he is filled, I felt helpless to assimilate what was fed in through my eyes. Each hill looked like the one just passed.

Why had I thought I could learn anything about this land? For the last hundreds of miles I had avoided people. Even at the necessary stops for gasoline I had answered in monosyllables and retained no picture. My eye and brain had welshed on me. I was fooling myself that this was important or even instructive.”

Finished Travels with Charley before noon, then prepared to go out. I’ve been intending to drop in on friends at "Chateau St. Jean" winery. As I looked out, it was raining. Cold and gray. Enough to make me pause. I have that luxury at the moment.

Wandering around my small apartment, a quiet voice finally said “you’re a coward. Get out there.”

Returned videos, ran out to the Kenwood post office. My mutual fund distribution check was there! Rain increasing, I went up to "Chateau St. Jean". Walked into reception. Dana was at the desk and gave me a warm greeting. Bonnie heard the commotion and came out of the winemaker’s tasting room. They were about to have a company meeting, so I took the cue to make it brief.

Wandered over to the retail room, where I found my friends Sharon, then Philippe and finally Dan.

It’s so difficult to maintain connections.

Visited "Chelino’s" for a burrito. Too much food, but not wishing to deal with a styrofoam take-out container, I finished everything. This left me uncomfortably full. (How often is this scene repeated across our great nation!)

Next stop, "Flying Goat" for a coffee and to do some work on the computer. Only stayed a short while. I was not inspired to work there; it was growing dark, a light rain falling.

Returned home. All the effort to suit up and go out, for what? Not much accomplished.

Rain turning heavy tonight.

Jeff called. He was on the road, just approaching Montreal. I asked about the weather. He said it was “nice”.

“That’s great.”

“No it’s not!”

He said he’s seeing changes in the weather up north. To him, Global Warming is a reality.

At a meeting of the American Geophysical Union today, it was reported that a Canadian-American study has determined summer ice in Arctic may cease by 2040. Governments see potential positives: winter access to Canadian ports that are currently ice-bound in winter, Russia can extend oil drilling further into Arctic waters. (Insanity that would bring further localized air pollution and warming from the drilling operations!)

Working from journals, I posted entries to the blog from January and February 2005. Each entry is painfully slow, typing at my dining table, then taking the computer over to the kitchen to try to raise a wireless connection for the posting process.

Kofi Annan leaves the U.N. after ten years as Secretary General. In a parting speech, the soft-spoken and seemingly ineffective leader had his harshest criticism for the U.S., which he says is losing its moral compass and “has abandoned its principles.”

The day passes, and so little is accomplished. This must change.

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