Sunday, June 29, 2003

Home Sweet Home!

Dear Ones:

Some of you sent me messages wondering about my arrival and also how to get the pictures online, so I felt important to send you all a last message, narrating my arrival in San Francisco and the events following it. To browse the photos,please go to ofoto the email is thousandpetals@y... and the password is rodin. There is only one roll of film from Japan that I want to print in sepia color that won't be there, so wait for the albums to see them all.

In case you don't feel like reading on but would like to know how it feels to be home, I'll tell you, it feels WONDERFUL, SHON WUNDERBAR, MARAVILHOSO, SUPERB!!!

I arrived at SFO June 14th at 8:30am. Customs and immigration went very smoothly and as soon as I walked out I saw Claudia and D3 waiting for me with big smiles on their faces. D3 now 4 years old, a young man, very curious, talkative and interesting. Julie was right at the curb with the car and in less than 2 minutes we were heading towards North Beach where Claudia lives. It was a beautiful sunny Saturday and the full moon came out big and full at dusk. The seventeen hours difference from Japan was hard on me but I still felt very energetic after a couple of hours of rest in the early evening as we walked down Columbus Avenue and saw a beautiful full moon behind the Transamerica building.

It felt very nice to be "home" among friends and to know I didn't have to move around so much anymore, although after a weekend of visiting, resting,eating home made food, Kyoto desserts, drinking sake and meeting some of my friends at "Greens", a fine vegetarian restaurant owned by the San Francisco Zen Center, Julie and I headed towards San Ramon for a week with Amma after picking up my car the previous evening at the Yee's house. Such nice people, they took such good care of my old car. Yes! A year has passed and Amma was again in Ran Ramon. It almost felt like we had been circling the world together and we met again where we started. I got to visit with all my circle of friends there, the locals and the others that were in India and Europe last fall and winter.

On Monday, June 22nd, Julie and I headed towards Marin to Roxanne, a fine raw foods restaurant in Marin and on Tuesday morning, she headed to the airport and I to Montgomery Creek (Shasta County) for a few days. Why go anywhere else when I can find everything here? Rivers, mountains, creeks, blue skies, stars, silence, trees, superb hot springs 30 minutes away and fines neighbors!

It was such a treat to see all my CDS, books, clothes, pots and pans but kind of appalled at the amount of things I've accumulated! How can I find emptiness inside when my house is chocked with material things? I'll make a point at empting both simultaneously the next few years.

Sarah left the house spotless which helped so much and I think Ruth is gone forever, but I saw Edgar (or maybe his cousin as a year is too long for a lizard isn't it?) when I first opened the door. He stayed around a couple of days, maybe to greet me, but now he is also gone.

It felt great being here alone for a few days, nursing a cold I have been repressing since Kyoto, taking care of my left leg still pretty numb,specially at the ankle and feet, drinking powder green tea whisked into a thick paste with my newly acquired "chasen", dancing away to indian, brazilian rock,pop, jazz, country and trance music, listening to mantras and chants with the view of mountains in front of me, unpacking the 6 boxes newly arrived and the three already here for some time (3 or 4 more to come!) and packing again to start a new life next week!

Unpacking the boxes brought me the memories of those places back to me and it felt so luxurious to be here and kind of there at the same time. I could stay here in Montgomery Creek for at least a year just unwinding, incorporating everything I learned, reading the books I bought, swimming, hiking, watching sunsets, riding horses (the neighbors) doing yoga, meditation, gardening,or just contemplating it all. Unfortunately I only had four full days to experience all that. I am heading to SF in a few minutes and life there is so busy, I am kind of scared.

I have a temporary home in Telegraph Hill (thanks to my wonderful network of friends I have a small cute place with a roof overlooking Alcatraz and the Bay with a Zen practitioner as a neighbor.) Summer is here and so many tempting fun things to do I am trying not to panic about the usual too much to do so little time.

I start working tomorrow, June 30th and the headlines about the budget deficit in the State are not encouraging. My boss, Marisa Duek (same first name, funny uhn? I am her evil twin as we usually joke) to whom I am ever so grateful for letting me take the year off has moved into bigger and better things with the newly created State Department of Labor and I am not even sure what to expect about my new job, my new boss?!

But going back to DIR (Department of Industrial Relations, now part of the new Department of Labor) is like going back home too, sort of, as I consider my co-workers there to be like family. I have spent more time with some of them than I have with most my other friends and family. And some I have known for the 15 years I have been there.

So all is well and all will be well, because everything is inherently well as my Zen master Roshi Sama says. Dear ones, Au Revoir! Let me know how you are doing. See you around physically, or psychically.

Much love to all,



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