So Carolyn, a devoted bloggelini and my best friend for over 40 years and collaborator and soul sister and upstairs neighbor etc. etc., has had the nerve -- the NERVE -- to move out and follow her bliss to Portland. Just to show her, I have decided to learn to be alone and LIKE IT. I even signed up for a 66-day Buddhist practice period so I could focus on this noble project.
But it's turning out to be damn difficult because Malena has replaced my crony upstairs. AND Malena's best friend Carolina (going from Carolyn to Carolina -- get it? get it?) lives just across the footbridge over Market Street. And they are continually inviting me into their lives.
Below is a photo of (left to right) Carolina, Nikki, Loulou, your Blogmistress, Mirasol (tile portrait from Mexico) and the radiant Malena in my backyard, on the day Malena moved in. On the little table you see everything we used to sanctify the flat according to Mayan tradition to get those house spirits in a welcoming mood.
You see the problem here, don't you? This learning to be alone business ... not going to be easy. I've already been to Carolina's house for dinner, the three of us have gone on walks, I've attended a demonstration in front of the Mexican consulate in support of the Zapatistas -- you think the Zapatistas have evaporated like the Occupy movement? No way! (But that's another blog).....
AND on Sunday Malena and I drove up to Carolina's house in Marshall in West Marin. We were going to swim in Tomales Bay!
When we got to the Golden Gate Bridge, there was that old devil Fog. Uh-oh. Maybe no swimming today.
We stopped on the other side of the bridge to take photos. When you're OUT of the fog, looking AT the fog, it's magical.
Across the bridge and through the Rainbow Tunnel and onward to West Marin. No more fog!
West Marin is a terrible backward place that should have been covered with condos long long ago. Sadly, it is the world headquarters of Not-In-My-Backyard-ism, and has remained lightly populated and beautiful. A true slap in the face to capitalism. And so it was only appropriate that our next stop was the Little Wing Farmstand.
You see, the Little Wing Farmstand had no one in attendance. It was all on the honor system. Apparently, there are unattended farmstands all over West Marin. I had encountered such subversive shenanigans in Vermont -- but just over the bridge from San Francisco? I had no idea! The three young women below somehow think they can make a living growing food organically and trusting folks to pay for it. So very dear.
Moving right along, we stopped to get a bag of oysters before arriving at Carolina's. Tomales Bay is famous for their oysters.
Yes, the collard greens were glorious, but I fell in love with this squash below, a true work of art -- and EDIBLE.
We finally arrived at Carolina's. It would have taken us an hour and a half if we hadn't made so many stops. As you can see, the bay is her backyard. First of course we had to eat. Carolina loves to cook.There was a wonderful canneloni bean and tomato dish that had been simmering all morning, awaiting our arrival. Carolina warned us there might be stinging jellyfish in the bay and there were definitely stinging yellow jackets in the air. We were really in the wilds -- nature red in tooth and claw. But Carolina reassured is that she'd only encountered a very small jelly lately that gave her a sting she barely noticed, so not to worry too much.
And so we swam in Tomales Bay, getting beyond the waving caresses of the seaweed to deeper water. It was warmer than the ocean, for sure. The jellyfish stayed away.
Here's Carolina lounging on a bench in her yard as a woman paddles by. It was very quiet on the bay that day.
Guglielmo Marconi of Bologna, Italy started tinkering in 1884 with the new radio waves that scientists had discovered. He was the first one to
develop a practical use for these waves and set about building a worldwide radio empire. The Trans-Pacific Radio Station he opened in 1914 in Marshall was part of his plan to send and receive radio signals across the Pacific Ocean. It was last used for that purpose in 1939.
From 1964 to 1980, the property was the world headquarters of Synanon, which was first an innovative drug rehab program that progressed (or degenerated?) into an "alternative lifestyle community" of 1700 people, and then became a "religion" that believed in owning lots of guns and breaking the arms of its opponents-- or worse. Eventually the leader, Charles Dederich, was convicted of conspiracy to commit murder by putting a de-rattled rattlesnake in the mailbox of a lawyer who had successfully sued Synanon for holding people against their will. The lawyer was hospitalized but survived. This evil insanity was going on in West Marin on idyllic oyster-filled Tomales Bay!
All of this was investigated by the Point Reyes Light, a tiny weekly paper in the biggest town of West Marin. The Light won the Pulitzer Prize for Public Service for exposing the "religious activities" of Synanon.
Now, the former trans-Pacific radio station is a state park and deserted conference center and a wonderful place to hike and see views of Tomales Bay.
We also saw a tree very weirdly shaped like a wishbone.
In the photo left, we're up on a hill above what used to be a Native American fishing village behind us.
And then we tramped downhill back to Carolina's and ate so many different things for dinner -- pasta with pesto, oysters, zucchini, string beans, I can't remember all of it. And then it
was getting dark and time to head back to the city. To the right is the view from Carolina's backyard when the sun has just gone below the hills.
Well, Bloggelinis, it's a little easier to have your best friend move away when
you've got new friends like Malena and Carolina. Terry