“Before enlightenment I chopped wood and carried water. After enlightenment I chopped wood and carried water.” - Zen saying.
I was very sad to hear of the passing of Robin Williams. He was one of my favorite actors. What bothered me the most was that he committed suicide and I could not figure out what he had to be sad about. Until I heard that he had Parkinson’s. There’s no way for me to know this for sure but I’d like to think that part or all of the reason why he killed himself was that he didn’t want to be a burden on his family. That his act was in some way an act of courage. I like to think of this man as courageous. This seems in line with how Robin was purported to be as a person. I’ve heard that he required that production companies hire a certain number of homeless people as part of his agreement to work with them on a project. That’s a pretty thoughtful act if it’s true. I’ve been watching re-runs of his movies. Robin, if you’re up there I hope you’re skating around in the painting of heaven just exactly like the one in your movie “What Dreams May Come”.
I had a great 2 day visit with my daughter in Santa Cruz recently. It was so nice to be in a place where even though there’s still a drought in California - and Santa Cruz is no exception - you can deny all that because the air is laden with moisture and then there’s that big ole Pacific Ocean that, guess what, is full of water. So unbelievably different from our ranch. There’s no water here. The air humidity is some where around 19%. In Santa Cruz it's 54%. Here you wash your jeans, hang them in the bathroom and in an hour they are dry. I’ve taken to smearing my face with jojoba oil and Vaseline Deep Moisture. I rub a quarter cup of Biolage moringa oil on my hair and leave it in. The next day I wash it out. It softens my hair for about a day and then I do the process all over again. What a crunchy place!
The official shoe of Santa Cruz is the flip flop. I noticed this on this last visit. They’re on everybody’s feet. Makes sense in an area next to the ocean. I have flip flops that were made or designed in Hawaii. They know flip flops, trust me. This pair is well constructed with an ergonomic footbed. They’re Olukai brand. Paniolo style. Olu = comfort. Kai = ocean. Paniolo = Hawaiian cowboy. Fits real well.
Back in the day we called flip flops “thongs”. I guess that wouldn’t work now. There’s an underwear garment by the same name. Can you imagine the confusion? “Honey, can you bring me my thongs?” I was 18 when I lived in Hawaii and I loved my Japanese zoris. Another kind of flip flop or thongs. No, I don’t think anybody calls them “thongs” anymore.
So now it’s still hot during the day but we notice a slight shift. The season is changing from hard core summer to early fall. The temperature might still be in the 90s during the day but when dusk comes it cools off rapidly. Gone are the days when it stays 95 or 100 until 9 pm. I hope this means rain is not too, too far off in the future. Someday when I check the long term weather forecast and I see rain I will feel as though I’ve hit the jackpot. Oh, how I could enjoy some rain. That would be a change I would welcome. Otherwise everything remains - for the most part - the same each day. But this is how I notice the changes at the water trough. In early spring the grass around the water trough is brighter green than the grass farther out. In summer we let the leaky water trough float overspray get us wet, letting it mist a little relief our way. In fall that same overspray now chills us. In winter we break the ice that forms on top of the water in the trough by hitting it with a nearby shovel placed there for that purpose. Here we learn to slow down. Nothing asks us to hurry. We can see what is happening. We aren’t going too fast.