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Here In Oakland

Art & Life


August 6, 2013

Something Of A Habit
Tuesday. To bed before ten but fighting getting up with the alarm at six, so up finally after seven to head off, first to the ATM on Lakeshore and then over the hill to the morning restaurant for breakfast and the papers, having to feed the meter for an hour and a quarter. Ah, well. Home in time to post yesterday's entry before catching the bus downtown for the haircut.

Thinking, as I was awakening earlier, how complicated this morning was going to be: up, drive to the ATM, on to breakfast in time to eat and then return home to catch the nine-thirty bus, catching the bus, getting off at Latham Square to see if they've made more progress, on to the haircut, a bus then home and, once all of this was done, to realize how easy the doing had been. Thinking now: how to stop inventing all these complications before the fact and just put on the hat and get out the door.

Is this really getting in the way?

Sometimes. Seems complicated before starting, but easy as always in the doing. Thus is later life, I guess. We'll think (but not worry) about our guitar lesson later.

Later. A drive over to park near the guitar teacher's house to lock the car and walk to the morning café for a cranberry something and lemonade, sitting in shirt sleeves out on the patio in the sun, the temperature just right. A simple walk then back to the car to pick up the guitar and then on to the lesson, taking a picture or two while waiting for it to start.

A decent session on the guitar, the instructor taking pity and assigning a fairly simple Eagles tune for next week. I wasn't really looking for it to be simple, but we'll see how I do. He may know more about simple than I do. Doodle-dee-do.

A drive back home to then catch the bus to see about this demonstration against solitary confinement scheduled to start at four. Just a few people showing up, maybe there were more who came later after they got out of work at five, but a picture or two before returning on the bus to the apartment. A long day, I was tired, the back muscles aching, we'll take it easy from here on out.

And the guitar?

We'll now talk about our guitar practice after the fact rather than before. No more embarrassing I'm going to do this or that - hup! - and then fall flat on my ass, knowing I'm likely as not going to duck and run. Right? Hup?

Evening. A Maigret I'd seen before, no need to see it again. The Tuesday chapter of the Korean soap was interesting, however. Strange in interesting ways, haven't really seen a Korean one like it, so there I sat for over an hour (playing along on guitar). Nothing on afterward, so more now sporadic guitar until nine.

There's a neighborhood barbecue this evening down below on the street in front of the apartment, the annual National Night Out promoted locally throughout the city where everyone brings some food to share and the necessary grills and tables are provided, something they've done here for at least these last three years.

And I haven't attended a one, didn't go down for this one, knew I wouldn't when it was announced. Not sure why. The loner I? I certainly know some of the people, get along with them fine, we babble on when we meet, but why haven't I gone to one of these? I mean they're literally right outside my front door. Shy? Not sure. Maybe I'll go in another life on another planet circling another star. Then again maybe next year. There are reasons you'd think might be obvious - shy, stand offish, introverted, weird - but none of them feels like the answer. Or perhaps all of them are part of the answer, it's just none of them stands out from the group.

Maybe if they let you take pictures.

There's another parallel. The photographer as observer, standing apart from the group/crowd. A focus on images rather than real people? Sounds like a neurosis that would eat up years on a couch. I wonder if you can shoot pictures in a psychiatrist's office? Pay no attention to the camera doctor, ignore the strobe lights, it's just, you know, me, hiding behind a camera, it's become something of a habit.

The photo up top was taken at Art & Soul yesterday with a Nikon D4 mounted with a 70-200mm f/2.8 VR II Nikkor lens.