“Sometimes rain that’s needed falls”
The Central Valley is poised for a particularly arid and feverish summer after this benign winter we have had, but for now it rains. The dim light through the house, the shuffling of slippers with steamy coffee in hand, the lazy cat on the chair by the window, the rush of the wind and water against the outside walls; this is the day.
Tomorrow I will drive Highway 49 south along the foothills of the Sierra and spend a day with a mentor of mine, the long haired quirky and spiritual woman who taught me Spanish in high school, whom I have not seen in many years. Then I will take 99 south to 58 at Bakersfield over the Tehachapis, spend a night and catch some stars out near Boron somewhere in the Mojave before cutting around the San Gabriels and dropping into the big urbania which is L.A.
My brother is in jail again. He was due, an eclipse that is practically clockwork. The preceding silence used to be so unnerving, but now the cycle has become so commonplace, more like getting your registration renewal in the mail. A hundred bucks you weren’t planning on spending, but it’s part of the bargain so you pay it and forget about it until next time. I once stumbled into an Al-Anon meeting on accident, thinking it was once of my usual meetings, and figured I might as well check it out. It didn’t occur to me that I qualify completely for that group as well. When I heard the current news I went through my normal cycle – I should have gone to his birthday dinner, I should have called even though I knew it wasn’t safe and he never calls me, I should have gone to his Prop 36 graduation.. I know better these days, and those cycles are mercifully brief. They pass as quickly as they arrive, with predictable character. His is not my journey. Survivor’s guilt is a funny human facet, one that only requires a few honest siftings to separate the attachment to the ideal from the actuality of things, simple but certainly not easy. We draw our hand, and we play it, at the table we find ourselves.
I am entering unfamiliar territory – land that has been viewed from vistas past and told of by others, but that has not been explored first hand. I now believe that what I was searching for in the “ultimate party” is actually to be found in the quiet lucidity of the moment. Here’s to a parting of ways.
Rain on, baby blue:)