Merry Solstice Fascinating Friends

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My plan was to get up and dance at midnight on the solstice. I was going to dance barefoot under the moon and stars in winter and finally get that out of my system. I usually dance on the summer solstice, but the winter solstice has always meant snow on the ground, which, of course, makes dancing barefoot extremely painful, and slightly unintelligent. Well I should have known. I don’t plan, thats not my thing. My brain is not plan friendly. This being the case, I fell asleep exhausted last night. Conked out cold, without a thought as to the solstice. I woke up this morning feeling well rested, and realized another year has passed without dancing barefoot under the solstice moon. Ah well, at least I got some sleep in.

The last few days have been filled witn some pretty great things. Last night at the solstice party that Andrea took me along to we were given some free passes to one of the museums in Oceanside. The passes are set to expire at the end of this year so our host was looking to pass them onto people who could use them. I am ever so grateful. I very much dig a good museum.

Speaking of museums, I have seen some cool art since I started off on Little Wing. I have oooed and ahhhed over the work off Frieda Kahlo and Diego Rivera at the Oakland Museum of California. I have also seen a Jackson Pollock original. I’ve stood in the same room as half a dozen Alexander Calder pieces, and made eyes at a Joan Miró piece, while nearly choking on an o’dourve. The Portland museum got two days of mine, both of which had me breathless. The Bay Area earned its stripes as one of the art capitals of the U.S.,  in my opinion. Despite all this, I have to say, Saturday was host to one of my favorite exhibits of the trip. Andrea and I went to San Diego to see the works of Dr. Seuss — another thing we had to see before the end of the year when it gets taken down. It was the real deal. The collection had both childrens art and his Midnight Masterpieces, with their wonderful sense of humor. The art that proves that geniuses have issues and emotions too. Genius. Art for the kids who grew up on Dr. Seuss and dont want the magic to stop there. The show didn’t dissapoint, it was full of magic, and it hard to imagine that I could possibly appreciate another artist more.

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I wonder why I feel such an attachment to this man, and I think it is because I know he has many sides and facets, I mean I read about them as a kid. Now with adult eyes he is still on of my favorites, but I am coming to find out one of his facets was that of an adult too. And a damn good adult judging by his Midnight Masterpieces. I would totally go to see it again.

Saturday found us at another party, before our visit to the museum. Another of Andrea’s friends was holding the party. There were fascinating people in attendance, and I hapoened onto a great conversation with a young couple holding their six month old baby. They had just come from Death Valley and told me they didn’t witness any mudslides, but they had seen the aftermath of them. They drove right through the mess that the rains left behind. If you remember right, if you have been following, I left Death Valley on  the Monday after Thanksgiving to avoid the threatened storm. I am now looking up at the stars (figuratively,  it is the morning after the night when I was supposed to be looking up at the stars) and thanking the lucky ones that I got Little Wing and myself the hell out of there. Anyway, the couple and their baby, the traveling trifecta, were taking a year long sabatcle to give that baby the joy of travel in her first year of life. The best part was that they were taking a Volkswagen bus on their trip. It was quite the cool tale. I had a fun time exchanging traveling stories.

Last night wasn’t much different. When Andrea introduced me she added that I was going across country on Little Wing. Interest was be peaked and then I would be peppered with questions. If people paused long enough to let me ask a question I would get to find out a bit about them as well. Honestly, I find my travels fascinating,  because I’m on them, but I am starting to find the story of them slightly boring. I’ve repeated it so much now that it is like a well oiled machine; on that keeps getting a workout in any social situation. The machine is so well oiled that I now feel like tossing in some gritty sand and mucking the whole thing up a bit to make it more interesting for me. Having a well oiled machine is one of those problems that most people don’t complain about. At least my story is interesting enough to get people asking questions, that wasn’t the case two years ago. However the main issue is I am much more interested in other people’s stories, and because they are interested in mine I feel like I miss out on valuable time in which I could have been learning more about them. One gentleman I met last night had back packed across the world with his spouse. They went to the cheapest areas and made it a goal not to spend more than $35 a day between the two of them. I found that utterly fascinating. Another of the people I spoke to was a blacksmith who did custom work in fancy houses around California. He was from Britain, as was his wife. I found them fascinating. By the time I would start to get their story flowing other people would’ve entered the party, and the story would be cut short by an introduction. Then the whole cycle would start agian.

I have got to toss some sand.

Regardless of party etiquette and the minor frustrations I feel I face, I still enjoy the whole idea of them. Last nights party was an even mix of sixteen year olds and their parents, with one exception. A lone 21 year old. One gal who wasn’t someone’s responsibility anymore and also didn’t have a responsibility to anyone else. Being the odd gal out is always an interesting role at a party.  We had a poetry reading. Everyone in the group read a poem of choice. I read a short haiku, terribly, but everyone else did a slendid job. Well read poems are the best. And then there was a yule log. Not the typical log, I’m told, but I have honestly never known what a yule log was, so I didn’t know the difference. We were all told to write down one wish for the coming year and then fold it up and glue it the log with candlewax. After all the party goers had done so the hosts attached different flora from the surrounding gardens to the log, and then it was tossed into the flames. Not before we all snapped pictures of it with our different picture taking devices. It was a neat thing to be a part of. I enjoyed being a new part of a tradition. That’s always the best to ride into. 

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That's our yule log before it was lit on fire.

I’m looking out the window this morning and the birds are chirping. The sun is out. The temperature is up, and all I can think is that the solstice really has changed the world. Despite the fact that today is exactly the same length as yesterday when one looks at the sunrise/sunset time. You will be happy to know that tomorrow the sunset will be two minutes later than today, now that’s what I like to hear.

The sunset yesterday was absolutly spectacular. The way the colors changed as time passed,  it was unbelievable. It was like something right out of a Californian clothing commercial.

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That bush looks like a Dr. Seuss shrub if I've ever seen one.

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Sunsets are like snowflakes, all uniquingly beautiful. One will only see that exact palette, that exact way, once.

With how neat last night was I don’t feel too bad about missing my midnight barefoot escapade. I caught up on some well needed sleep instead, which is great because I need that extra rest to fuel my adventure today. I am not sure what I’m doing, but I’m going for a ride. First stop is the Bonsall post office to send out some solstice cards. Late solstice cards, just another example of my brains resistance to planning.

The birds are chirping, the sun is shining. I feel like I am in my own childrens book. A Dr. Seuss classic. I’m meeting interesting people and doing new things. Burning yule logs and going to circuses at midnight. Meeting balloon artist bikers, and Getting to know ex-train-hopping hobos,  and nominated producers. The people that other people see every day and have just gotten used to are enthralling me with tales of wonders so grand that I can hardly believe they exist. And those same people that are filling me with tales of wonder want to hear my story. They are fascinated by my story as much as I am theirs.. it is just crazy! And to think that I saw it on Mulberry street! Whaaaa. Anyway, it is crazy. I’m just a young punk being exposed to all this for the first time. Sooo many firsts.

You know, it is awe-inspiring and tiring at the same time. I have concluded that it is okay that I didn’t get up to dance last night. It would hve been the first time, barefoot, outside, on the winter solstice, but I have my whole life ahead of me. And if I fit in all the good bits now what will be left? There’s always the Seuss exhibit.

If I stick to plans I am not making any room for the rest of it to happen.

Alright, it’s time. Im off on my well oiled machine to send out solstice cards to many of you fabulous people. Thank you for being fascinating beyond belief and sharing your stories with me. The days are getting longer, the year is coming to a close, life is fabulous.

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