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Fog and reflection

July 30, 2009

The fog off the bay has kept me from reaching the keys of a dying computer, has clouded my mind with new concepts of color and family and home.  Berkely is my weigh station, testing the depth of where I have been and what I’ve learned; keeping me from moving.  I mean no ill to Berkeley.  The art of standing still is something I should practice anyway.

I read somewhere that an American should leave New York before she grows jaded and leave California before she gets soft.  When I strolled down the streets of the Upper West Side two years ago this July, I said to city, “I’ve escaped my darkness.”  My sandals smacked the bottom of my feet, fleeing from the scorching asphalt with each lift of the knee.  I prayed I would be returned to the Apple of the east, to moments of understanding that were highlighted by blissful affection.

In San Francisco last night,  when I hugged my self over a jacket and scarf, a woman said to me, “The fog won’t leave the city until September.”  My toes clung to the inside of my loafer, pulling back from the dampness that threatened through the tear in my sole.  A month is an eternity, while the years flee with a cold wind when no one is keeping track.

I pray to be returned to a citrus-saturated Orient, a time when I was stretched and broken and overwhelmed by a feeling of being alive.  I found a new darkness in Mindanao.  It fooled me into thinking that things would be easier if I could find a home.  It fooled me into believing home is where you live. 

I tried to leave the dark at a snow covered grave in Pittsburgh and then on a baggage carosel at SFO.  When I’m standing still it has an easier time finding me, but to move means I have to carry it along.  Do I even exist in a place where I am unkwown?  This new darkness tells me, “You can’t understand a world that happens outside of you.”  And yet everyone in America has answers. 

The gospel I evangelize places wisdom in the hands of people we do not see, the people whose gaze we avoid by crossing to the other side of the street.  The message puts me at bay.  The heaviness pulls me down.  The fog keeps my eyes from surveying the breadth of the Pacific.

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