Friday, August 24, 2007

My Favorite Passenger

This is a long-overdue posting. This is dedicated to you- "My Favorite Passenger".

Last winter I lost both my cars. This was right after I had started a job in Davis (California) as some of you may or may not remember. I had to commute from Sacramento to Davis for almost 5 hours each day, round trip. I'd leave my house by 5:30 and was back at night around 8 p.m.

I clearly remember the dread and unhappiness the very first day I had to wake up at 4:30 a.m. to be out the door by 5:30- to figure out my routes and schedule, etc. That first day was total chaos. I know, I know, it may be nothing to some, but to me, it was truly a lesson. Especially considering everything else I was going through, but all that is a different story.

I felt lost and distant from such an experience, at least here in the USA anyway. Little did I know that during this period of time I would experience some of the most profound life lessons. I may go into some of those later on. A few months ago I published a posting titled "Home". You just might remember.

When I discovered My Favorite Passenger's route, right along Sutter's Fort, I began the true learning experience I was bound to live and survive. Thanks to My Favorite Passenger and "The Bus Driver from Heaven", their wonderful personality, kind smiles and patience, my learning experience was anything but painful.

While it was still tough to get up so early every morning and ride RT for 5 long hours, experiencing the cold, the rain, the darkness of the early morning in Downtown Sacramento; the fear of being late to catch the bus; arriving late at work, the street noises and just the view of life, as raw as it is, out in the streets of Sacramento- sharing a moment in time with both My Favorite Passenger and the Bus Driver was definitely something I will always remember. The ride from Sutter's Fort to the heart of Downtown went by so quickly. The more "torturous" portion of the trip was from Downtown Sacramento to Davis. Different route, different bus, different people.

My Favorite Passenger was a beautiful thing to look at, just everything about him. The hat, the glasses, his calm and relaxed attitude, the look in his eyes; his polite "good morning"s and "have a good day"s were incredible life lessons. Days and days went by before we even exchanged a word.

One morning, without consulting the Driver, I dared to take pictures of My Favorite Passenger. While some of the other passengers were clearly bothered by my audacity, I tried to ignore it in an effort to capture exactly what I felt when I looked at him. I took these pictures with his consent of course. For that too I will always be thankful.

When I finally was able to purchase a new vehicle, I experienced bitter-sweet emotions the last day I took the bus. I didn't even have a chance to say goodbye to either one. I didn't even mention it. Maybe I just didn't dare to say I wouldn't be taking the bus again, at least for a while.

If you know anything about me, you know that I am not the best photographer in the world, not truly a photographer for that matter. Definitely not like my dear friend and colleague Marlene Hawthorne, yet still I dare to share my eyes with you.

For-ever thankful to you, My Favorite Passenger and the Bus Driver from Heaven.

Saturday, August 11, 2007

La Violeta

Coleccionó 3,000 mil canciones. Vivió intenso, tan intensa Violeta Parra. Tocó tantas vidas. Se quitó la suya un día de Febrero de 1967.

Para mis colegas y amigos de Paloma Negra y para Patrick Grizzell.

She collected 3,000 songs. She lived intensely, as intense as she was, Violeta Parra. She touched so many lives. She took her own one day in February of 1967.

To my colleagues and friends from Paloma Negra and to Patrick Grizzell.

Gracias a la vida....

Gracias a la vida, que me ha dado tanto.
Me dio dos luceros, que cuando los abro.
Perfecto distingo, lo negro del blanco.
Y en el alto cielo, su fondo estrellado.
Y en las multitudes al hombre que yo amo.

Gracias a la vida, que me ha dado tanto.
Me ha dado el sonido y el abecedario.
Con el las palabras que pienso y declaro.
Madre, amigo, hermano y luz alumbrando.
La ruta del alma del que estoy amando.

Gracias a la vida, que me ha dado tanto.
Me ha dado el oído que en todo ancho.
Graba noche y día grillos y canarios.
Martillos, turbinas, ladridos, chubascos.
Y la voz tan tierna de mi bien amado.

Gracias a la vida, que me ha dado tanto.
Me dio el corazón, que agita su mano.
Cuando miro al fruto del cerebro humano.
Cuando veo el bueno tan lejos del malo.
Cuando miro el fondo de tus ojos claros.

Gracias a la vida, que me ha dado tanto.
Me ha dado la marcha de mis pies cansados.
Con ellos anduve ciudades y charcos.
Playas y desiertos, montañas y llanos.
Y la casa tuya, tu calle y tu patio.

Gracias a la vida, que me ha dado tanto.
Me ha dado la risa y me ha dado el llanto.
Asi yo distingo dicha de quebranto.
Los dos materiales que forman mi canto
Y el canto de ustedes que es mi propio canto.