I’ve been a bit remiss on my blogging duties recently. Work, you ask? Nah. I’ve been busy with life on one big holiday (of sorts). Yeah, work has given me a run for my money, but when hasn’t it? I mean, seriously. It’s the height of the construction season and well, mayhem and madness ensues every day.

However, for the first time in years, I’ve changed course, am letting loose and letting go. Having fun. Doing what? Ah, well…

1. Outside Lands music festival (day 2).

D. Banhart, M. Ward, Regina Spektor, Ben Harper, and Tom Petty. The highlight of the show was M. Ward’s set which included all the songs from PostWar. I would have loved to hear a few others, but I got my fix.

We drove to Sunset district, parked about 10 blocks east of the entrance, wandered in, had a good time, and wandered out. What crowds? The recycling/composting/landfill bins were a positve upside but I was disturbed that it took so many so much time to figure out which to put where… I’d rate it a solid B as far as music festivals go… though, because they had a LOCAL organic coffee joint on the polo field? Ah, may have to rate it an A-

And from the festival, a sampling:

M. Ward’s Requiem and Chinese Translation

Regina Spektor’s On the Radio

2. Exploring East Bay Regional Parks (Tilden and Pt. Pinole) and the Albany bulb in the company of a friend and three little black beasts. Sometimes during the day, sometimes on surreal lovely night hikes. The night hikes leave my heartbeating in excitment and trepidation. My vision isn’t that great at night and so, at times, I find myself letting go and trusting myself, my friend, his direction– letting my feet fall and responding appropriately. The cool bay breeze comes in and I am often taken away from the details of my life and am left with the stars, my thoughts, the sound of the little black beasts tromping through the underbrush, and the voice of my friend, coming and going as we hike…

3. Lassen camping trip—Thursday afternoon (9/11) through Sunday (9/14).

A small hole in the ground of a campsite along Mill Creek in Lassen National Forest.

Truly lovely. Siddy played in the creek and watched Julie fish. We went on a gnarly hike on Saturday (well, gnarly for Siddhartha). He slept from Saturday afternoon until Monday afternoon. Poor little guy. Yup, next time, we’re turning around— threat of bear or not!!

I cannot recall, ever in my life, except for moments in the desert, when I have been so long without the reminder of other humans. On the hikes, we did not see or hear other humans. Several times, Siddy and I fell behind (much too rocky to keep that pace with those city paws!) and I was comforted by the isolation. To bed early each night and slept quite well with the sounds of Mill Creek rushing nearby.

4. My Morning Jacket at the Greek theatre. We walked to campus under foggy conditions and was not all that surprised to feel the fog turn to a medium drizzle a good half hour before the show started. Happily the rain did not turn into a downpour and MMJ did not have an opening act. They rocked the house for a good two hours. The set list included some of my favorite songs and even those i was lukewarm on before now seem rich, exciting. There’s simply something magical about the Greek. I curled against my friend and the cement ampitheatre step, appreciative for his warmth (i was a bit more wet and cold than I would have admitted— I didn’t want to say anything on off chance he’d suggest we leave the show), mesmerized by the light show and of course, Jim James’ voice.  The encore consisted of six tunes…

One big holiday (the encore closer)

Run Thru

phone went west (no good recordings from show last night, so included this one from 2003)

 So, to sum it up….

When I’m not hiking at Tilden, I’m running laps at the neighborhood dog park/soccer field. When I’m not running, I’m lifting weights and doing old school exercises. When I’m not doing that, I’m reading bay area hiking guides and cross referencing them with my northern california doggie book.

When I’m not doing that, I’m driving around for work and meeting up with my friend and playing with his dogs (who happily get along really well with Siddhartha). When I’m not doing that, I’m laying on the futon with the dog watching Ken Burns’ Civil War series wondering when the aches in my muscles (sorta the good kind) are going to go away.

All of this running about has left me exuberant— exhausted, but exuberant. I laid down last night and fell asleep effortlessly; I woke up this morning warm, fuzzy, and happy. Tonight, I ran and kept thinking about the tortoise, not the hare.

Tomorrow, up early to the market then back here to clean, clean, clean, and organize. Spend some time in the art studio, but mostly get the house organized. I have more to share soon…

Love to all. JIG

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