Saturday, November 01, 2003

Dedication of the Lucretia Edwards Shoreline Park ...

went marvelously well with all of the leaders -- city, county, and me (State) gathered together under a great tent raised there along the water, especially for the occasion. Lucretia was lovely in a deep turquoise pants suit and enough joy to fill up the tent and then some. Her kids and grandkids were sprinkled through the crowd, all beaming! These are such treasured times. I don't think that we share enough of them. But then, maybe it's just that I've grown old enough to see those being honored -- my contemporaries -- who've lived long enough to have their contributions plentiful enough to be noted for posterity. This is 180 degrees from seeing the likes of Brittany Spears et al writing memoirs! But maybe the candle burns more quickly these days, and the rate of change (now measured in generational cycles of five years) no longer allows for "vintage" to happen as readily as it did when the world was spinning with less urgency. I use the word "urgency" advisedly here. Over the past few years we seem to have drifted back into the "...before the bomb drops" mode again after several decades of ignoring the Dooms Day Clock... .

Later met with the Richmond city manager re Prop. 40 funding possibilities (Parks and Recreation) -- but we quickly moved on to other issues -- my concerns about the Barbara Alexander Academy and its regaining charter school status, and, the possibility of the city council reclaiming the rotting, crime-ridden, and abandoned urban core for the new civic center (a move I'm opposing). We sparred for a bit, but found soon enough that we were actually on the same side of both issues. He's a hard-working and dedicated public servant whom I've grown to respect greatly, though we have occasional good-natured sparring matches, but always ending up in agreement. Either that, or he's mastered the art of keeping me in a persistent state of hopefulness without really committing to anything of substance. I waver between extremes here, but over time have learned to not let it deter me from my goals.

Life is a balancing act, always, but lately it seems to have become even more so. Perfected the art of keeping enough balls in the air at any one time to insure myself a reasonable number of sure successes to measure against the certain flops. But you need at least a few of those, or you'll find yourself never taking those growth-producing risks. Even the duds yield lessons of some sort, if only to point up the pitfalls to avoid next time. Having a sense of humor helps in those cases, plus the certain knowledge that little in life is more than transitory, even misery and/or excruciating embarrassment. "This, too, shall pass" is more than a simple mantra.

And what does that bring up?

A stellar evening in San Francisco. We were at the Curran Theater on Geary Street for a performance of something or other that I was desperate to see and now can't remember. The show had just ended and we were wending our way down the staircase with a mob of theatergoers. The heel of my chic black suede strap-backed pumps caught on the carpeting and I fell forward into the crowd. However, as I was falling, I reached out instinctively for something to take hold of -- found it! I landed at the bottom after bumping into a number of folks -- but holding tightly to a mink jacket that had obviously been on the arm of some woman above me on the landing! I sat there red-faced waiting for an embarrassed Bill to find me and for that woman to call for security! My plight must have been obvious because in the moments that followed, the ridiculous situation hit me with full force. As the crowd on the stairs that had parted while all this was going on slowed to see what on earth...? Bill popped up with great concern written all over his face -- a smartly-dressed extremely outraged blond woman right behind him -- and me, unhurt, laughing so hysterically that I could hardly speak! She began to laugh, too. I returned her fur (unharmed), but -- except for that momentary sense of having been seen if only for an instant as thief, then victim, then nutty lady, little was lost.

One of life's many pitfalls; one of the lesser ones. There has been the occasional abyss or two to climb out of, but as the song says, "I'm still here!"