Hi everybody. What a long few weeks.
There have been highlights— seeing the annual meteor shower, planting some awesome new natives in the front and backyard, cleaning up the backyard, seeing friends, and loving on the pets— Sweetpea loves me, Siddhartha grounds me, and Sky provides comic relief and sheer joy.
August was also a very intense work month. I traveled to the Nacimiento project three times. Thankfully, I have great house sitters (Katy and Zeph). I miss Wildlands and its beasts when I am away, but traveling for work now is a lot easier knowing they have someone here who thinks they are as awesome as I do.
A few minutes after leaving the BART interview on August 20th, I was informed that a fatality had occured on the central coast job—the third in a year. While all near-misses and fatalities give us in the construction industry pause, this one impacted us as the “could have been me” thought was not only appropriate, but also spot on.
I took off to the coast the next day to get away, camp at Dillion’s beach with a few friends and our dogs. Photos from that trip can be seen on my flickr page (click on pics in right column next to this post). I came back with my mind cleared a bit and shoulders squared for the hard days ahead.
I spent the several days subtly working my staff through a series of team-buiding exercises. The time together helped boost our confidence on the ground, strenghten us as a team, and reinforce our relationship with the overall project team. I drove home feeling better about the situation. Until the project is over (late November/December), I will travel to the central coast every 10 days.
By now, most of you have heard why the accident struck me to the core. What we do can be very dangerous. These events have a way of re-focusing our lives, demanding priorities be re-set. I’ve struggled a bit since to see the big picture, or rather, wanting to deal only in big picture, wrestling with details. Of course, life is in the details and I’m struggling with that too. Either I’m way macro or i go way micro— time with the dogs, doing laundry, focusing on small things here and there that provide me with a system to work within— which provides comfort.
Feeling a bit lost and aching without knowing what to do to make myself feel better other than hard physical work— I head to the yard to work out my frustrations on Wildland’s unruly gardens.
In need of a hug and friendly company, perhaps, brought on the poem below, written down after a dream I had on the last day of August. Who Hatch is—your guess is as good as mine. Could have been a few men in my past/present. Not sure, really. Only that his beard was soft but scratchy and I was glad he’d come by.
I do hope everyone is well and will not take my silence here or offline as an insult. Just need to pull in the ranks a bit and focus on ME for a bit. Slow and steady won the race.
In the coming weeks, you’ll see blog posts about craftiness and food. I’m working on hosting a large dinner party celebrating Fall with a group of friends. The menu will be extensive (five courses) built upon local and seasonal items purchased at the farmer’s market, Taylor’s, and the Coop. Stay tuned.
There, the call of autumn
dropped down next to me
in worn trousers.
It’s been awhile.
Not meeting his gaze,
I reach over and hand off the
cigarette I’ve just rolled.
I roll one for myself
as he pulls the lighter from his pocket.
Yeah, it’s been awhile.
I nod to myself
snag the lighter, and
exhale the cigarette I haven’t lit.
I sit back a bit on my heels,
think about my old leather work boots—
the ones that creased just right
at the ankles
and how I’d perch for hours
looking out at the Chocolates,
daydreaming you, forearms
outstretched on my knees…
I came by earlier, you weren’t here.
I nod a few times, return home,
and closing my eyes,
lean in for a kiss.
I find my voice.
Good to see you too, Hatch.
I feel his grin
The softness of his shirt,
The scratchyness of his beard
The strength of his hands on me.
You’ve been reading Snyder again, haven’t you?
I nod, rub noses, then graze lips before
biting on his lower, just hard enough.
Why, yes, I have.
Grinning, I stand up and receive a smack on the ass—
Help me up. I brought you groceries for a change.
I lend a hand, pull him up, and call the dogs into the house.
JIG August 30, 2009.