To the side of the chaise lounge:
And behind the chaise are some chickens:
I thought chickens would be more noisy, but really, the only thing that seems to make them cluck and cluck is laying eggs. Overall, they're very quiet. I appreciate the quiet right now because the initial pace of the trip bordered on frenetic. I left my cute, cozy home in Historic Harlem at 4:30 on Tuesday morning and landed in Beautiful Downtown Burbank eleven hours later. I was on Southwest, which is a lot like taking a flying bus. Then I got on a metrolink train to Palmdale, which is where my dear friend Max the Psychic Life Coach and Hairdresser is currently living. We went out to dinner and then did a few laps around the mall since that's what one does in the suburbs for exercise. I had a lovely night's sleep at the Palmdale Hotel, then Max cut and colored my hair Wednesday afternoon. He's a genius and my hair looks marvelous. For the record, although I still think of him as an intuitive life coach and hair stylist - but he's a successful speaker and teacher these days and rarely does hair (Attract Positive Results).
Wednesday evening, I met Stella, aka Beverly, a friend from Roudtree7.com at Union Station in LA:
We had dinner on Alameda Street since it was only a few steps away and from what I understand, Alameda Street is where Los Angeles was born. Then we went back to the train station to wait in line for the 11:30pm Megabus to Oakland. Stella likes to get to the Megabus early so she can sit in the very front row on the upper level. The view on this particular bus was substandard, however, because the shade was busted and flapped unpleasantly over half the window. Fortunately, the attendant on the bus was just as concerned about the busted shade as we were and found a bungee cord to hold it in place.
Watching the white lines on the high way rolling by sends Stella into a creative zone, so she stayed awake all night pondering this and that. I took melatonin and went to sleep for a few hours, but we still had plenty of time for a nice visit since we were on the bus for seven hours. Although her husband came along for the ride, we didn't get a chance to talk to him because a big lady in hot pink and red sprawled across the aisle seat on his side of the bus and snored loudly all night long. He read Rolling Stone.
We arrived in Oakland with the dawn and were met by Al Osorio - which to me was like being met by a celebrity since I have long admired his writing. He's a contributor on Roundtree7, too.
Here he is on the BART platform:
And here's the tree of us in the station:
Tomorrow, Miss Kelly and I are heading up to Tahoe to see my cousin, and with luck, we'll stop for cake and coffee along the way with another blogging buddy, Cali. Miss Kelly will stay overnight, then I'll have a little time to regroup at my cousin's house before heading out to the desert to meet Pinko at Burning Man.
Meeting all these people - some I've known for years before the internet was invented and others I've only known on the internet - is The Mission of this trip. Relationships are important all the time, but as we're collectively heading into all this social, political, economic and environmental uncertainty (at best - most of us think it's a collapse into global nightmare), it's particularly important to build and strengthen the bonds between us. To recognize friends and kindred spirits, clasp hands and face whatever comes together. For me, clasping the physical hand solidifies the bond.
I know that we're all energetic beings in an energetic universe, each like a little amoeba in a great big body that some of us call Unity Consciousness. But it's still lovely and meaningful to look into your friends' eyes as they are speaking. I talk with Max and Miss Kelly on the phone all the time, and even though I haven't talked to my cousin in forever and haven't seen her in seven years, when she and I are together, it's like we've never been apart. Sitting together in a shady spot, or staring up at the stars together - those kind of experiences give meaning and depth to our time on this planet.
With people I've only known virtually, mostly by their writing, being together physically is more than simply putting a face to the words. Again, from a spiritual perspective, contact with bodies shouldn't really matter - but whatever with the spirituality. When eyes meet in understanding, the friendship becomes tangible and concrete. Like they say in How Are You Peeling:
When how you feel is understood,
you have a friend and that feels good