Holla from Sacramento! Though I miss Oregon, the California skies have been clear and sunny. Tomorrow morning, Yair and I will be heading to wine country for vineyard tours and tastings.
On an unrelated note, I am pleased to present to you my five Californian friends of the week interspersed with completely unrelated photos to break up the post (click for HQ images):
1. Fitness Indie: While working out at the Sacramento hotel gym, I spotted a Southeast Asian man in his 50s named Indie struggling to figure out the cardio machines. I walked Indie through the set-up and lent him my headphones, not thinking much of it. Seeing how intensely I was working out, he requested that I help him create an exercise regimen. Twenty minutes later, we had a plan, he was doing alphabet drawings on the ceiling (ask me when you see me) and he had taken down my info for follow-up questions. Indie was just diagnosed with diabetes and as he left the room, he called out “I’m going to get rid of these diabetes because of you. I know that I can do it now. Thank you!” Hmm, keep up the spirit, Indie. I hope so.
2. Kissing Charlie: Alright, I don’t know that his name was actually Charlie. But on my flight to Los Angeles this week, an adorable 4-year-old blonde kid sat in front of me and we began making funny faces at each other. Then we played a game where he would turn on the light in his seat, and I would respond by turning on mine. This continued until he decided to start blowing me kisses. Long, smoochy, noisy kisses. I asked him “Do you blow kisses to a lot of people?” No, he said. Just you… and Mommy. His mom soon quieted him down with admonishings of “she doesn’t want your kisses.” I told him that one day there would be a lot of people who wanted his kisses, and he smiled a really big smile. This was a totally precious highlight of the ride.
3. Helen of Greenland: My seatmate on the plane was Helen, a three-time gold medal winning kayaker who is world-renowned for traditional kayak instruction. She guest lectures at kayaking conferences around the world and is currently en route to Israel where she will be teaching this weekend. If we’re ever in Arcata and are itching to learn some harpooning and flipping techniques, we’ve found our woman.
4. Sadness in Santa Monica: When walking down the street yesterday in Santa Monica, I heard a woman behind me bawling uncontrollably and clearly in grief about something. Her sobs were audible from a block away and I almost felt myself turn on the ‘ignore’ switch, but I chose not to. I turned around. “Do you need a hug?” Yes, she cried. She opened her arms, I opened mine and we embraced for a few moments while she unloaded her troubles on me. Someone had said something to hurt her feelings, and she was wandering down the street poisoned with that hurt and with no one to help her let it all out. Connecting with this woman and resisting the urge to generally ignore was an immensely powerful experience.
5. Meditating Marc: I spent part of yesterday afternoon in LA on the beach with a wise friend named Marc. We giggled like kids while wading into the (freezing!) Pacific ocean and I tried my hand at guided meditation for around ten minutes. I’m not a natural, but I am happy with how I did for my first time. Meditating Marc, on the other hand, might just be a guru-in-training.
I promise there will be post-relevant photos next time! Off to sleep before exploring wine country in the AM…
posted by ayo