July 18th, Yes Meet Day 8
Yann returned in the morning
courtesy of the Boyds and they entered just as I was making my
re-entrance into the waking world. After a hearty round of "good
mornings" I took my coffee into Curt's music room, had him set me up
with a keyboard sound, and I began to bang out the introduction to
"Perpetual Change." In an instant, the whole gang was crowding into
the doorway, as if summoned, to discover from whence originated the
deeply familiar, rhythmic melody. I would have insisted they
immediately gather around and sing along, but I sensed it might be a
little early to make demands of my friends. Although the musicianship
in this group ran high, the desire to actively self-express at every
opportunity was often lacking in everyone but me, so I was often on
the border between helpfully encouraging the others and being a
A group of us went out shopping to a
factory outlet mall, but I stayed back, not feeling any pressing need
either to add to my belongings or subtract from my savings. When the
troupe of consumers returned Yann gleefully showed me a lively
"fruit" necktie he'd purchased. My attorney-husband had instructed me
well in the manly art of tie-tying, so I obliged, putting it on
myself first, taking care to achieve the appropriate overlap. I then
slipped the knot, removed the tie, and donned the bare chest of
dapper Yann. It looked even better as a headband, I felt.
This was to be our day to travel to
cross to see some of the natural wonders the Bay Area has to offer:
the Redwood Forest and Pacific Ocean (this land was made for you and
me). Anticipating the joy of communion with my Mother Nature, and
also feeling so satisfied from being among dear friends, I didn't
indulge in much of the lovely breakfast spread provided by Wendy and
Sandy (California fruit salad: Mmmmmm!). I did enjoy a couple slices
of mellow-sweet mango and grabbed some cold leftover chicken as we
headed out the door on our adventure to Muir Woods and Stinson Beach.
We mostly piled into my van again, Curt driving this time since he
knew the way, Yann riding with Sandy and Darrel. We stopped at the
secret location of Curt's work where I admired the Oleander bushes
and borrowed a floral accessory for my hair. I noticed my shorts had
ridden up and a cheek was showing, so when I saw the others laughing,
I just removed my pants entirely so that the shrubbery could see me
I sat in the wayback of the van with
Chris, who had purchased a tabloid at one of our stops. He began
reading headlines aloud to the rest of us. It seemed studies proved
women were, in fact, superior to men! Attempting to win the woman in
me over, tongue in cheek, I hope, Chris asked if he could be our
(women's) obsequious slave. This was silly, I said, because the
*reason* for women's superiority is that our role, historically,
generally, has been to see to the needs of our spouses, families and
communities and in doing this we have magnanimously transcended the
need for the authoritative ranking of inferior and superior.
Generously I said he would have to settle for being our equal.
Dawn had brought along a notebook of
drawings and writings from her young daughter, Sarah, and wanted to
show me some of the perceptive marvels it contained. I began feeling
the absence of my children again, though, and tears welled up. I had
to ask her to stop -- sorry, dear Dawn. Have I mentioned yet that
Dawn has a beautiful voice?
As we approached the Red Woods of
Muir, the highway became a higher, winding path through towering
eucalyptus forest and mountains appeared decorated with misty
waftings of white vapors. Chris asked me if those were real clouds.
"No," I told him, "they're Sears clouds."
I was citing Frank Zappa ("is that a
real poncho or a Sears poncho?") but the reference was beyond the ken
of the young Christopher Michael. I later asked both Yann and Curt if
they'd have gotten the joke and they replied, "of course" and they
even could say which album the quote came from.
Due to the place's popularity we had
to park down the road from the National Park entrance and walk. The
byway and I provided for everyone a taste of wild fennel -- or was it
anise ? (Even the garden-savvy Sandy wasn't sure.) Inside we signed a
petition for the preservation of primeval forests and ventured
wide-eyed into spectacular shadows beneath towering groves.
Yann disappeared at the juncture to
the gift shop and met up with us again wearing a skyblue Madras shirt
which sported or sprouted a talltree monogram on the pocket. Dawn and
Chris marveled at the size of the clover clusters and paid special
attention to spying animal or dwarf or fairy "hidey-holes." They
compared the deep feel of the ancient forest to Fangorn of Tolkien
fame. Indeed, the personality of the trees made it easy to imagine
the possibility of the existence of Ents.
At one point along the hike, when
the embracing, patient power of the woodland was most pleasingly
palpable, Sandy noticed aloud that it was almost as if the solemnity
of the place moved us all in the direction of meditative awareness.
"Almost?" I asked.
Fragrant wafts from Bay Laurel trees
would assault us unexpectedly and the sun beamed in at times,
inciting the camera shutters to open and close for poses beside
gnarly reddish trunks and dainty lacy green foliage. I couldn't
resist the urge to sing in the "cathedral grove":
in deepest woods
young deer step
light through the
streams through the treetops
bouncing as the
As we were leaving I asked the
petition man if I could sign twice.
On the winding way out and downward
towards Stinson Beach, I played for the others my audio tape of
Paul's music, featuring Wendy's poem, "I Wish," our "Skydance" and
some material of his own. I wanted to take advantage of our encounter
with the woods to play them my "Treesong," which went over well, I
thought, I hoped. Everyone was still a little quietened from the time
among the holy groves. I began peering around the ridges for a
glimpse of the sea. The sweet first sighting of the ocean horizon and
lacework of waves from above is always a moment of moment for me!
We parked and the others walked as I
ran to the waves and waded in. I often long for the presence of the
sea from my Ohio home and I was accordingly smiling and observant the
whole while the waters and I were near one another. We deposited
Giotto Lady's offerings of sand dollars from the Atlantic -- sea to
shining sea -- and collected others to send to her. I played Frisbee
some with Curt and Chris again, but soon, heady with the saltsmell
and wavesong, I began to drape myself in seaweed and walk alone along
the surf, losing track of myself and the others, seduced by the
setting. By the time I caught up to Yann who was way up the beach
with Sandy and Darrel, I was dragging a big seaweed bladder on a
string like a pet on a leash. When Yann graciously refused my
seagift, I flung it around by its tentacle and it snapped back into
Wendy had lingered near to where we
first greeted the water, up to her ankles in rolling seafoam, looking
west, sensing the kind of moody emotion from ocean and sky and their
mingling colors which sometimes transforms into one of her paintings.
We began walking together along the glossy part of the strand when I
found a feather, a quill. I wrote in large, lovely script in the wet
d e a r * w e n d y ,*
and threw my arms around her.
Dawn had been collecting lots of
seawrought curiosities for her daughter and I offered a dried bladder
head for a possible doll with curly kelp hair. Then, implike, I
placed it deep within one of Chris' removed shoes. Back at the van
Dawn and I watched, restraining our laughter as Chris put his shoes
on. He discovered in the first shoe his camera and laughed, having
forgotten he'd put it there, then (the suspense was killing us) the
kelp-haired bladder assaulted his other foot. The look of puzzlement
at finding something in the other shoe was superseded by one of pure
confound as he stared at the contorted object, not knowing what the
something was. Dawn and I doubled over, laughing explosively: silly
girls. Wild roses and honeysuckle perfumed the air and I provided for
every tongue which so desired a single drop of nectar from a
Yann rode with us again as we left
the sea, me watching longingly as the road turned and eventually left
behind the last sight of ocean, lit silvery-gold in the lazy late
light of the low-slung sun.
we fled from the
I shook maracas to State of
Independence, feeling complete and free albeit a little melancholy.
Dawn and Chris were experimenting with motion sickness in the back
while Yann made fun of them.
to move we
Curiously Strong Peppermint Altoids
came to the rescue. Our arrival at Strawberry Joe's in San Raphael
came none too soon, since we all were famished after the day's length
and activity. We nearly ate the menus, everything looked so good,
while waiting for a seating area large enough for a party of eight.
As we slid in beneath two tables the waiters had rigged together, the
leaf collapsed and fell crashing to the floor. We would prove
ourselves similarly, noisily, joyfully, boisterously problematic to
the waiting staff the remainder of the evening.
The food was perfect, the wine fine
and flowing, the warm camaraderie the best ever. The bread pudding
amazed me with it's flavor and I tried to share it with Dawn, but she
had her own rich dessert to attend to. As we lingered to finish the
wine, I expressed concern for Yann when everyone else began
domineering the conversation with reenactments of all the best skits
from Monty Python and Holy Grail. It was one of the FEW movies he
hadn't seen. But he assured me he found it amusing even though he
couldn't contribute memorized lines himself and Wendy said they would
have to rent the film that week when Yann would be bunking at the
Vigs', so that he could see for himself what all the bedlam was
about. In the end everyone picked up everyone else's tab and I
managed to gain a full stomach and some lively memories, all without
paying. (Thank you so much, Curt & Wendy.) We made tentative
plans to visit Sandy and Darrel in Santa Cruz the next day and said
goodbye in the parking lot.
I chauffeured the party homeward,
all of us drowsy and dreamy, full of food, wine, and warm feeling.
Someone's suggestion to see Yann's hotel room went over, so we all
briefly paraded in for a tour of his majestic premises. We lounged
around in admiration a few moments and because it was so warm I felt
the occasion called strongly for ice. We left Yann holding the bucket
and returned to our own cozy accommodations. Wendy checked her e-mail
for messages from not-so-secret admirers while I sat sewing my hippy
dress on the folded futon beside her. Dawn was next to me and her
voice lulled us with lilting descriptions of her rustic home in
Pennsylvania, her orchard-yard, her devoted family.
only when you
spoke did I realize
understand this life
I retreated to the livingroom,
opened the blinds and slumber subdued me in the all-night light of
the near-full moon.
merry tale ****