Sunday, April 20, 2008

Trying to Figure Things Out...

Wednesday, April 9th, I spent most of the day protesting the Chinese rule of the Tibetan people. The Olympic Torch made the only North American stop--amidst controversy, debate, and pain--in San Francisco. The fact that there was protest and conflict over what is supposed to be a worldly event--the Olympics--is disheartening. The Olympics, at the core, are supposed to embody an event in which countries put aside differences, if only for 2 weeks every 2 years, and compete, civilly (though, not always the case, but the point, nonetheless). The reasons behind the protest--the Chinese rule, humiliation, violation--are clearly unthinkable--50 years ago and today.

When I got back to the office, I got a call from my dad informing me of my uncle's death. My uncle was too young; his wife is too young to be a widow; his daughters are too young to be without their father. I know people die; it is natural and a part of life. This does not make it less difficult. I am trying to decide if death ever gets easier to accept. As I get older, I feel death of those close to me spooks my understanding, my humanity, and my mortality. No, it really does not get easier. Maybe I am just supposed to be able to accept it because that is what happens, that is the way it goes. I am concrete, and as creative and flowery and pink and purple and yellow and orange I sometimes like think I am; I am concrete. I like order. I like plans. I like answers, reasons why, an ending to a book. I think this is why I did not like the movie No Country for Old Men. It just ended. Nothing else. No reasons why, no closure.

My uncle was funny, corny, happy, friendly, caring, loving. He was a person, just as we all are. It is hard to accept things we cannot understand and cannot change and cannot see. And maybe trying to find an answer is the hard part about death, because there isn't one. It is hard to accept a reason that does not exist.

These two events, on any given day, would have stuck in my memory. Given they occurred on the same day and the magnitude of the reasons behind the Olympic protests and the magnitude of losing a family member will stay with me forever. I cannot understand the reasons people treat each other the way they do and why humans believe other humans are not equal and must (and can) take what belongs to them. I cannot understand why some people's bodies are able to withstand less and their time is shorter.

Trying to figure things out...maybe I need to try to accept I will not understand why and how and the reasons (if there are any). It is still hard.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Point Reyes National Seashore, March 2008

Visitors from Hibbing

Yeah, so my parents are awesome. They came out to visit this past weekend. I thought I might be able to sneak away from work early, but due to the craziness, my parents came to the office and helped me mail about 1000 letters. There are really better things to see in SF than the Greenpeace office, the Connecticut Yankee bar (though, some may disagree), and me. I wanted them to get out and explore a bit more. But the troopers they are, they stayed until it was done....As a payment for their generosity and help, I took them to Sunflower, a quaint Vietnamese restaurant in the Mission. My dad, however, said it was the worst meal he had ever eaten...Come on, really?! He eats just about anything! Yeah, so I completely struck out that day.

Saturday, though, I think I was able to redeem myself. We rented a car and drove through Golden Gate Park to the beach. We crossed the Golden Gate Bridge and headed to Muir Woods and kept right on driving because it was too busy! I have filed this note into my tour-guide book...don't go to Muir Woods on the weekend! We stopped at Stinson Beach to walk on the beach and have lunch. Slowly, we made our way up HWY 1, stopping to see seals, walk on the beaches, and let cars pass me...apparently 30 MPH is too slow...I haven't driven in a while!! Really, the roads were just too curvy!

Our destination all along had been Point Reyes National Seashore. I had actually read about it in Real Simple Travel magazine and it is only about 50 miles from SF. It was so beautiful; the waters were blue-green. It was so windy the spray from the waves created a salty mist. This part of the coast--about 7 miles, I think--is known for being really treacherous and windy. In fact, there is no swimming, surfing, wading EVER! And there are sharks, which would be enough to keep me from the water! The area is a crazy combination of pasture lands, sand dunes, and this amazing seashore. We got to the lighthouse after it was closed, but were able to walk out to the point and check out the view. Apparently people go here to whale-watch, the peak season being in January, but we did not see any whales.

We spent the night in Petaluma, a cute, very Californian town. Sunday, when we returned to my apartment, I made them dinner, which they graciously and politely ate. I think I withheld the meat too long because my mom made ribs when they got back to Hibbing! Didn't they always tell me to eat my vegetables? Though, usually they were cold by the time I choked them down with gulps of milk. So things change.
We had a great visit. Through the years they have really turned into my best friends.
I am so lucky.