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September 17, 2011

To Be Tomorrow

Saturday. A good morning, no way around it. I rattled on interminably yesterday and then posted this morning without enough editing, but that seems to now be the habit. I wonder about all this stream of consciousness bit - if you can call it “conscious”, “semi-conscious” might be more like it - and I've been relating the process lately to what I've been learning in playing the guitar.

You make progress very slowly, very slowly by your own lights, but you do make progress and perhaps this babbling here is similar: fumbling with the writing, fumbling with the chords, fumbling with the life. Shifting gears to make way for whatever chapter is set to start. An interesting rationalization, anyway. Seems to work.

I'd say it was a normal shift from working life to retired life, nothing new about it, everyone goes through it, but I'm not so sure those last two decades of my working life were in and of themselves an entirely honest step forward at the last junction of this sort. A bungled mid-life crisis at the last go round? I've been hunkered down these last decade and a half, doing all right, but hunkered down and not doing whatever it was I should have been doing after that last period of change.

No complaints, I was ready for something more stable and the 401k and the rest have come in pretty handy, hate to think what I'd be doing right now without them. I suspect whatever gears are being shifted will end in putting me somewhere I'm supposed to be and (one hopes) feeling much better. I am optimistic whatever drivel I'm putting out. I think that's honest, although it could be just another conceit of my many conceits, sometimes it's hard to tell.

Anyway, up with the alarm, to breakfast and back well before eight, the sky starting to clear and the sun coming out now before nine. Have no idea what I'll do when I get out for the walk, but I'm looking forward to it. Things, as I mentioned, seem to have come together better this morning than they have for some time and I'm up, hup! hup!

Later. A walk along the lake to the farmers market, bumping into a run of some kind being held in support of the villages of Laos. The villages of Laos? Another customer earlier at breakfast had said something about a run he was participating in later at the lake and I'd wondered at the time: lake, run, pictures? OK. The villages of Laos. Sounds good. The farmers market was finishing getting its act together, and there were a number of people shopping, the vendors finishing their preparations, cooking their first offerings and putting their booths in place.

A walk back to my bus stop then to catch a downtown bus. This is all territory I've walked a hundred times, but with a clear head and better attitude it seemed newer, different; pictures to shoot where they wouldn't have appeared for me had I been in a less friendly state. Interesting to experience.

Coffee out on the patio at Peet's seeing they'd replanted the two flower beds in front of the building. I asked the fellow watering the plants why and how often they replanted and he said every two months to give a change of pace. This is something new, I wonder if they're doing it to help attract tenants in a really tough market? Who knows? For some reason I didn't take a picture, maybe because of the gardeners, but I'll get one the next time I have coffee. Red flowers. Nice. Decadent and wasteful, but nice. (I took this picture later when I returned in the afternoon.)

A crew was setting up for what appeared to be an anti-war rally in front of City Hall, something I think I'll return later this afternoon to photograph. I didn't notice any mention of it on any of the upcoming events lists in the papers or web sites I check. Probably because I skipped over it, but I'll go back and see if I've been careless. Hup! Don't want to miss photographing no anti-war rallies now, do we, here in the Oakland military-industrial complex? We certainly don't.

A walk then up Broadway catching the bus across from Sear's, passing, as we crossed Harrison, what must have been a hundred and more runners/walkers finishing up that Village Run. A lot of people, more than I'd have guessed from the morning.

This plays into my impression there's a lot more people getting involved in exercise programs this summer. They've added three exercise salons along Grand near my morning café and the number of people circling the lake seems to have significantly increased. But that's based on my own impression, although I wonder if tough economic times leads people to get in better shape? Could be.

Home now thinking I might lie down for a while, tune the guitar and take a first crack at today's session. We move along on the guitar. It's like breaking rocks, but kind of a fun way sometimes to break rocks with its many ups and downs. The instructor says we're well past the point at which most beginners quit and I can see the logic in that. Some of the sounds I'm producing occasionally sound like music.

Later still. Some muscle aches, nothing special, just a little sore after all the walking, but not tired as in fuzzy headed. Which is good. Some normal exercised muscle aftereffects that quickly go away after taking a bus downtown to check out the City Hall rally. It was more an anti-violence rally put together by many of the local churches urging people to take responsibility for their own neighborhoods and stop the rising crime and killing in Oakland. One of the ministers said this is the first time there's been an interfaith assembly like this one in over twenty years.

An hour or more shooting thinking, when I got home after a first look through the photographs, that I didn't get much, certainly not enough of value for a section on artandlife, but then, in going through them again, realized I was wrong. I have enough to pare down to the needed twenty one, good for a section. When I was finishing up the shooting I was thinking I hadn't done all that well and again - I seem to go through this more often after an outing than not - said, after further examination, maybe I'm kidding myself and indeed have enough good ones for a section.

The problem could be I make comparisons within the group I've just gotten, one to the other, rather than comparing them against the standard I've created as to what a photograph should be to make the grade. And then I remember this is a hobby, the art critic for the Times is not going to crucify me in a bad review and friends who may comment will make positive noises or no noises at all whatever their thoughts. So we'll go with the flow.

This seems to be rattling on forever, what's with all the words?

Maybe I am feeling better, certainly the day has gone well. I've decided to have sushi and sake for dinner, celebrate the day, finish out the evening on the guitar and see how the world looks to be tomorrow.

The photograph was taken at the Albany Solano Stroll Sunday with a Nikon D3s mounted with a 70-200mm f 2.8 Nikkor VR II lens using a 1.4x teleconverter.