Rowing the Boat Ashore, For Now

After five years of travel, I am not on an extended vacation. The road is my home. It is like religion to me because it helps me fill in some of the gaping holes in what I know and believe. It feeds my spirit and challenges me. But now, I realize I may not be able to travel for what could feel like a long time. Although I don’t know how, my life is going to change.

Odalisque by Henri Matisse

Like all of the Bay Area this week, I have been “sheltered in place” (an odd use of language when you think about it). And so far, I am not very impressed with how I am using my time. I have had no revelations, no progress on my book, not even a completed jigsaw puzzle. I know the low grade malaise won’t last and I am trying to find ways to stay positive. Here are a few things I am liking so far that maybe you will like also….

Stock photo

Helping and connecting. I am keeping in touch with friends and family, and I took some goodies to a very good friend who can’t leave home. I want to feed the homeless or help a small bookstore survive or something, but I am in quarantine until March 31. That won’t be extended, right?

Henri Matisse painted a whole series of odalisques (the word is a French adaptation of the Turkish word for concubine). Who knew?

Finding great art  and sharing it. I have been posting some really good art on my family’s group message site. I have not gotten much response, but I am going to keep doing it.

My friend Sallie Latch painted this wonderful portrait and I feel connected to her every time I look at it.

Finding ways to laugh.  I spent three hours last night looking at funny videos, like Eddie Murphy doing Buckwheat  and the “Birdie Num Num” scene from a Peter Sellers movie. Gabe is also really funny but you have to wait for it. Here’s an old favorite —  Denver, the dog who ate the kitty treats.

Being grateful. Today, it’s the (not in person) conversations with friends and family. The purple tulips on my table. Playing online bridge with my buddy, Gary. The book I am reading called American Philosophy: A Love Story. I probably would not have read it a month ago but it is helping me think a little deeper about some important things. https://www.amazon.com/American-Philosophy-Story-John-Kaag/dp/0374537208/ref=sr_1_1?crid=BL4G4VOO9ZDJ&keywords=american+philosophy+a+love+story&qid=1584641639&sprefix=american+philosop%2Caps%2C223&sr=8-1

Dancing. The clubs and bars are closed, but the living room is open.

28 comments

  1. I love the artwork on here! Being grateful for all the small things in life right now is helping me. I heard a chorus of birds this morning in our backyard and I had to stop what I was doing and listen. It was so beautiful and I don’t ever want to take their sound for granted. Cool your heels for a little while and nourish your soul until your next adventure.

  2. wow bummer u had to be in Bay Area for the lockdown. My friend Korby and I were supposed to go to NZ but had to pivot and are now in Kyoto, Japan! Not a bad place to spend a few weeks here in Japan, biking, seeing the temples and gardens and some live jazz tonight? Hang in there!

    Karen Hester karen@hesternet.net 510-654-6346

    >

    1. Karen, I think you are the only person I know who understands the “bummer” part. Enjoy Japan. I hope you are able to get to charming Onomichi! From there you can bike to a dozen islands.

  3. Kim, you feel things so deeply, so tactilely (if that’s a word). Such a rich and textured existence, no matter your geographic coordinates. You exist on such a deeper level. Kudos.

  4. “I wanna rock your gypsy soul
    Just like way back in the days of old
    Then magnificently we will float
    Into the mystic” – Van Morrison, “Into the Mystic”

    Kim, we have gypsy souls, and can travel in our mind, heart, and soul in addition to faraway lands and new adventures. Writing is a journey that we will always be on …..and now more than ever we can go deeper into the mystery. Our culture has use for it. You help awaken the gypsy soul in others if they do not already have it. Let’s inspire others to float into the mystic on that boat that never goes ashore.

    “If you do not breathe through writing, if you do not cry out in writing, or sing in writing, then don’t write, because our culture has no use for it.”
    ― Anais Nin

    1. I am trying to stay informed about what is happening in my adopted part-time home and it sounds like San Miguel is out ahead of most of the US in terms of taking care of itself. Still hoping to return in June, like a gift I get to open. Abrazos Judy.

  5. Your feet may not be wandering the globe, but your mind and spirit have not stopped seeking the world for answers, purpose and beauty. And as always, your travels connect you to Life.

  6. This whole experience is kind of like losing one of one’s senses. To become blind or deaf is something to definitely mourn. The time taken to mourn is an important part of the process. But then it is an opportunity for other senses to become enhanced and grow. I’m finding that is happening to me. For example, I haven’t ever enjoyed cooking, but I’m finding solace and enjoyment in meal planning and preparation (and surprisingly the taste of my own cooking!)

  7. Kim, without doubt, you’ll soon work out a new routine for your confined days in one place. It hasn’t been a major change for me as I’ve been working from home for several years. I’ll miss, though, my face-to-face weekly and monthly meetings with my writing friends.
    Stay well ❤

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