What I’ve been up to since India

December 22, 2013

From the looks of things around this website and blog, you’d think I was still in India.   No, we’re home. And we’re back to our regularly scheduled programming here on the blog. A little snarky, a little inspirational, a little naughty.

We missed nearly all of November, so we really got to enjoy the holiday the way it used to be–shorter than three months.  Once home, the season was in full swing and I kind of liked it. We put our tree up a few days after Thanksgiving, which was plenty of time to get in the spirit. And much more enjoyable than how retailers beat the holiday to death every year.

tree decor 13
Since the tree was up, we had our neighbors over for some food and drink. I had a little too much champagne. Literally a “little” –I drink about once a month so I’m a cheap drunk. But it was pink champagne and so delicious I had to buy a half dozen more bottles. (Is champagne “delicious?”) In fact, I’ve been drinking like a fish this season. (Do fish drink?)

carrots entwined vertical

We were happy to get our organic produce delivery, especially since we were produce-deprived in India.  This interesting pair of carrots appeared in the first box upon our return. I think they were competing with the Kama Sutra.

brrr11-1It’s been quite cold since our return, and at least four homeless people froze to death in this land of wealth we live in called Silicon Valley.  We’ve collected warm clothes and blankets from our closets and those of our friends, and I bought additional warm hats and gloves and we dropped them off at organizations that serve the homeless in our area. We do for the homeless all year around, it’s our focus area for giving, but the need was critical this month. It’s easy to find warm gloves, scarves, sweatshirts and hats on sale, especially after Christmas, so if it’s in your heart to help the homeless, hope to see you at Old Navy, Target and even Walgreen’s, pawing through the sale bins on their behalf.

We also heard of a neighboring teen who needed warm clothes and wanted a used bike, so we joined other neighbors in making her a great Christmas. It was fun to shop for patterned jeans, pretty hoodies and sweaters and even a few sparkly bracelets. And someone had a bike to give her.  We added a Target gift card and dropped it all off with the neighbor-angel who was collecting everything for the family. The dad told our neighbor he would take photos of his daughter on Christmas morning and share them, but even if he doesn’t, we loved being part of this neighborly activity. There are so many angels around and some are just waiting for inspiration.


No time for rest, either. Our first weekend back, the new season of the Magic Theatre kicked off and since we have season tickets, well, off we went…. the perfect reason for a great pre-holiday lunch overlooking the water with some fun friends, followed by some very good theatre.   And not just one theatre outing: a girlfriend and I have season tickets to the San Francisco Playhouse, and the second play of its season came up the following week, so back to the city I went. That one was not-so-good theatre. But great company! Good creative conversation. And San Francisco was tres amusing:

2013-12-14 13.37.32Little did I know, it was SantaCon. The train was packed with drunken Santas and elves.

2013-12-14 13.38.33Yeah, I don’t know WHERE those elves got their outfits.

2013-12-14 13.38.54A few drunken Santas agreed to pose while we all waited for cabs.  The city was a complete madhouse that Saturday.

2013-11-09 21.43.15I’m reading, reading, reading about India. Every day. I decided to re-read The Autobiography of a Yogi, which I first read at least 40 years ago. It’s even more wonderful this time.  I took a break halfway through (it’s damn long!)  to read a book by William Dalyrmple about New Delhi called City of Djinns. It’s a slim volume but chock full of history so I read slowly over an entire week. I usually devour a book like the gluttonous reader I am, but this was a book to be savored and pondered.

And high school BFF got here from Rochester for some pre-holiday festivities.  The trusty Subaru took us to the DeYoung Museum in San Francisco, where we got to see the much lauded Hockney exhibition.

Paint Trolley, 1985, Hockney

Paint Trolley, 1985, Hockney

Since she’s an artist (and retired art teacher) it was only fitting.

I’ve enjoyed my time in India, both while there and revisiting it with you. You’ll see a bit more on India in the future, but not too soon. You’re probably sick of it by now. I’m back to wandering around life and sharing.

Praises sung screams

And then I saw this intriguing title, pondered it, and realized that I, too, have heard my praises sung in screams.

But maybe not in exactly the same way.


6 comments on “What I’ve been up to since India
  1. Ryder Ziebarth says:

    Midnight’s Childen by S. Rushdie, Behind the Beautiful forevers- K. Boo, anything by R. Minton. Merry christmas!

    • admin says:

      Behind the Beautiful Forevers was an amazing book I read early in the year & mentioned in an early blog post–everyone should read that one…I haven’t read the Rushdie or Minton. Thanks for this.

  2. Your closing two sentences speak of something still fresh and painful though you do not state it. Your post today sparked in me a poem, and renews my great desire, and perhaps yours too, as a writer, to do more than find words for what is felt. E-motion is E-nergy in motion. When we let our communications speak emotion, we allow energy to move in, to change, perhaps to bring a breath of goodness to conditions perhaps thought unmalleable. That is the power and beauty of writing. Thank you. Here is the fresh from the pen poem:

    How quick the desire
    return to normal
    snap out of it
    quit dwelling on that
    had a say
    get over it
    get back to the comfort of before

    Except now,
    something is changed
    focus shifted
    minds cannot stop seeing
    images flashing
    beautiful anguish

    If only aches could breathe
    heart beating
    rising out
    lifting misery
    like flapping wings
    pulling pain away
    carrying a banner
    we live

    We live so the sun can rise

    Coo of the mourning dove
    whispers reminders
    Whoo whoooooo who

    Who dares
    to go on?

  3. Doreen McGettigan says:

    What a wonderful thing to do for that teen girl. Our family giving focuses on the homeless too.
    Merry Christmas to you and your family.

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