True friendship

January 30, 2012

Last Friday I received a phone call from an old friend I haven’t seen for 27 years!!   All I heard through the cell phone lines was:  “ I will be in  San Francisco !!!!!”

TWENTY  SEVEN (27) YEARS!! This is a damn long time, and hard to grasp that it was even possible to lose touch of each other for such a long time.  Just go to Chapter 9 of “To Drink the Wild Air” and read the story of The wingspan of a free spirit. The story contains adventure, compassion, friendship and an unforgettable road trip with my run down bike. Bernie, selflessly spent a night at the General County hospital in Los Angeles with me while some doctors butchered my highly damaged foot which only hours before was mangled in a motorcycle accident. There was no one else around. I was alone in a city without mercy. But one human, I hardly knew to that time, helped out and carried a big weight in the final outcome of this miserable situation and subsequently of the course of my whole life.

Now, 27 years later on a Saturday afternoon Bernie knocked on my door, I opened the door and we started  talking like it just was yesterday. We spent a beautiful weekend roaming the beautiful Bay Area and reminiscing from the first to the last minute of his stay. Luckily this trip included his 65th birthday.

Such instances make us very aware what real friendships are all about in oppose to our many Facebook friends we painstakingly maintain to be informed and to stay “cyber technically” connected. Fortunately an old organically grown and maintained friendship delivers proof enough that it is more worth throughout a life time to know a few people in depth than knowing thousands of people superficially.

The ultimate truth is that time is relative. Those 27 years seemed like they were compressed into 48 hours but once talking about the happenings of 27 years- time revealed its true nature and intention. Twenty seven years can also be a very very long time.  Our youthful faces have made room for the lines of the infrastructure of life experience, wisdom has conquered recklessness, we all need reading glasses, our thoughts are utterly structured and we are forced to listen to the requirement of our physical bodies. 27 years leave undeniable tracks on our psyche, physical bodies and our mind. This is the human condition. Everyone will experience the same sooner or later.

Bernie, my friend, I am glad we had the opportunity to celebrate your 65th birthday together. It was an honor, great pleasure and a lots of fun.

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Books, Volunteers and Moto Shop

January 23, 2012

Last week I still had time to dream about Alaska when I came across a blog of two adventurous girls traveling the most northern state on their BMW motorcycles.  But more about Alaska later – right now let’s stick around the Bay Area were things are happening.

Yesterday was a wet and busy day. I took the bike to pro-actively attack the perpetual parking grid log in San Francisco and then continued down to South San Francisco to visit the open house event of the new Bay Area Moto Shop. Needless to say I arrived there pretty wet.

My first appointment was the volunteer meeting for the famous San Francisco Writers Conference  http://www.sfwriters.org/ scheduled for February 16 -19, 2012. I am privileged that I was accepted as a volunteer for those three days of discussing writing, publishing and Marketing. Over 100 industry speakers will share their experiences and offer services important for everyone interested to sharpen their trade. The place where Writers, agents and publishers celebrating Craft, Commerce and Community. Those four days of volunteering will be stressful but well worth my time. I am looking forward to create new connections, meet likeminded people and to get new ideas for 2012.   It took two hours to be informed about the duties of the 85 volunteers gathered in the California Room of the Mark Hopkins Hotel in San Francisco. The meeting was followed by a Hotel tour which revealed nothing short of old San Franciscan style and beauty.

After that meeting I saddled my bike and went down south to the open door event of the Bay Area Moto Shop. http://www.bayareamotoshop.com/ . The place where every rider, biker or two wheel enthusiast can work on their bike or scooter and take classes to learn how to do it yourself.

I think this is a grand idea and I will take some classes to wipe away those cobwebs I have accumulated over the years to re-acquaint myself with ancient technology like carburetors, oil changes and other important maintenance issues. Well yes- carburetors are a thing of the past before fuel injection took over the bike world but we still deal with them in the older models. My bike is old!

I will be involved with the Moto Shop and we are planning to schedule a “To Drink the wild Air” event in April of 2012. It is still too early to talk about it but it will be posted plenty in advance.

Looks like I will be busy over the next months. Tomorrow we will be out on the road again. Hopefully the weather will cooperate and the sun can come out to play.


Dreaming of….

January 16, 2012

I went to wine country yesterday to savor the beauty of the lush landscapes cradling the many vineyards of northern California and its mild climate. I was sitting in the sun with a glass of wine and started to dream about the glaciers in Alaska. It was relaxing and soothing.  I still see the glaciers in my mind like it was just yesterday when I was up north to find peace for myself and I love to read the part in “To Drink the Wild Air” where I can re-live my experiences with pictures and sounds.

Its shape and blue-white color was of incomprehensible size and beauty, and only the privileged bald eagles with their enormous wings were able to land on the remote heights of the peaks, on top of the world between raw ice and the Universe. This mountain of ice seemed to soar endlessly into the air before my eyes, marrying the colors of the white-tipped crystals with the most beautiful and intense marine blue of this mighty sky, and continuing into the distance until it was stopped by the horizon. Each huge slab of ice breaking off the glacier created a rolling, crashing tidal wave that rocked any boat passing the glacier shore even within the safe distance of a quarter mile; and the bigger the piece of falling ice, the bigger the wave. 

It was absolutely stunning to watch nature at work like this. There was no silence in the presence of a glacier. The air was filled with sounds, sounds I had never heard before, quickly turning my initial awe into a deep reverence for nature while I listened to the symphony of the glacier’s orchestra playing its own creation of a masterpiece. Moving ice plates pushing against each other with raw force caused loud crackling noises interlaced with screeches and squeaks. The incredibly loud plop when one of the huge pieces slid gracefully into the water was followed seconds later by an immense echo that reverberated many times within the glacier’s core, the sound bouncing off the rocks on which the glacier had settled with the deafening volume of a thunderstorm. The glacier spoke to me and reflected, in its perfection, the sound of my own thoughts with the echo of many!


The call of the open road

January 10, 2012

Happy New Year!

The New Year has been creeping up on us. It is already January 10th of 2012 and we enjoy an extraordinary winter here in San Francisco. The last six weeks of warm weather definitely made up for the miserable summer we had in 2011.

Actually this is a very positive way to start the New Year and it will continue like that. After a very hectic Holiday season I finally can come to my senses again to see what’s on the itinerary for this year. To be honest I have not made any plans. No New Year’s resolutions or any firm goals. Things will happen when they are supposed to happen.

My life transition will continue full steam ahead, new people will come into my life and interesting opportunities will be presented. There will be some surprise events in 2012 I cannot talk about just yet and there will be new developments I never would have dreamed of. It is just a matter of going with the flow and to follow the music of my heart. Isn’t it great to just know that? Isn’t this what it means to live life to the fullest or experience every day like it would be your last?  With that in mind I closed shop yesterday and went on a beautiful Monday motorcycle ride. I followed the call of the open road and it was the most rewarding thing I could have done on any Monday.

The “To Drink the Wild Air “tour seems boring at times but great things need tedious preparation before they are come to blossom.

A successful transition is about the combination of a joyful and successful work life with a rich and rewarding personal life.  And once again I didn’t choose the easy route with self employment and the daily battle of survival. The art of being is to combine duty with peaceful existence!