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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The Wild Air of the Bay Area

September 19, 2011

The road of transition can be exhausting especially when survival knocks on the door ever day. Courage opens the door and looks into the eyes of survival and pokes on survival’s shoulder with perseverance and hope. This week I catered to survival most of the time but on Sunday I took a day off and  spent the afternoon on a sail boat. It was a beautiful day and even the sun joined us.  Here are some pictures of the Bay with some beautiful views.

Alcatraz, dolphins, playful seals and a  floating purse was on the agenda. The purse was rescued.It is never a good feeling when you see your whole life floating away in the Bay towards the Golden Gate Bridge sucked in by the open ocean….. it was not my purse – don’t carry one these days , have exchanged the purse for a backpack and nail polish and flip flops for boots.  That’s the price of motorcycling , and it is well worth it.


San Francisco

September 9, 2010

The other day I was thinking back to May of 2004 when I’d arrived at the Bay Area. To that time, still living in Miami, through the Internet, I had rented an apartment at the Bay Area peninsula, close to the office, and arrived there with a huge moving truck packed with all my possessions and the three birds. In a way, it was kind of a home coming after all my time in Los Angeles, and California in a way still gives me this innate feeling of being at “home”.

The first year of my return I didn’t have much time to explore, discover or develop – but I knew that I will stay here , settle down, grow (shallow) roots and integrate myself into local society and  create a lifestyle. In 2005, I moved to the West side of San Francisco into a house I liked immediately and I still life exactly there, across the street of the gorgeous Golden Gate Park and two miles away from the beach. I have never lived five years in one place ever since I had left Germany where I still was living with my parents in 1985. Six years in the same geographical area is an eternity but also a good stretch of time to have explored, discovered, created, and developed.

 

 San Francisco is an interesting place and as much as it is a tourist magnet with all the famous landmarks displayed in the touristy Web sites or sightseeing attractions there is a broad range of grey shades to be found and eventually the grey turns into the darkest shades of black. From ultimate glamour to sobering homelessness; from the yuppie success stories of the financial district  to despair and anger of the drug addicts in the Tenderloin; where on parts of Market or Mission people rather lay on the street then walk, from the dive bars in the Mission district to downtown’s Palace Hotel. It is nothing short of a well balanced eco-system. Everybody lives with it. It gives the city color and a certain vibe; it makes it interesting and dangerous to the same time; there is excitement and opportunity. It attracts many interesting people and interesting lifestyles. In the six years of my stay, I have seen it (almost) all and the opportunity of meeting new people and discovering new things every day besides enjoying the marvelous outdoors never seizes. It is like a big and never ending party. God only knows how my journey will continue here in San Francisco but for the moment, it is just fine. My freelance lifestyle is contributing and in turn creating – on a daily basis- and is the backbone of personal growth.