When I used to walk around with my aging parents, I was always grateful for “small kindnesses” like these. They are actually huge.

Like the café worker who waved enthusiastically
to my father as he walked in the door of the coffee shop
like she was expecting him,
like he was a regular in this hipster enclave
instead of a septuagenarian
in khaki shorts and white tennis shoes.

He met me here on my workday
so I could help him format a document —
something he couldn’t figure out how to do at home
no matter how many buttons he tried,
something my mother always did for him
in the decades after he gave up his trusty typewriter.
So he arrived at the coffee shop
vulnerable and exasperated in that way
that only technology can make us feel:
like slow, dependent children — and
sorely missing my mother.

Like the barista who didn’t blink
when he ordered his coffee the wrong way,
when he said la-TAY instead of LAH-tey,
who took his order from our table
as if we were in a sit-down restaurant
and she was our waiter,
who smiled the whole time like a halo of warm light,
softening the space everywhere,
who made him feel like he belonged.

You cannot know how those small gestures matter,
unless you are him,
unless you are me, watching,
unless you see his shoulders relax,
in that way that we can do only
when we feel safe and seen enough to let go,
and his eyes dampen, the tiny liquid pools held in at the rims,
barely noticeable, as he smiles and says,
She always knew how to do this for me. For years she did this.
She would have been 69 today. How I miss her.

Siri Live Myhrom

From the blog: On Being.

I just returned from a wonderful trip to California. I love exploring on foot taking photos with my iPhone.

This site before arriving at Asilomar State Park took my breath away. I will never ever get over the beauty of the ocean. It just hits me in the gut.

This site before arriving at Asilomar State Park took my breath away. I will never ever get over the beauty of the ocean. It just hits me in the gut.

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Asilomar is a magical spot on the ocean – gorgeous views of the Pacific Ocean, sunsets, cypress and deer wandering the property.

And then exploring Pacific Grove – adorable colorful homes and shops.

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I came across a Tibetan meditation center in a residential area. Never would have seen this had I not been on foot.

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An adorable Farmer’s Market on Monday night. The produce was amazing!

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Really enjoyed dinner at Jeninni. The menu was interesting and service was great. I had the crispy octopus, but I think it was not the best choice. Littleneck clams in a broth were fresh and delicious.

http://www.yelp.com/biz/jeninni-kitchen-and-wine-bar-pacific-grove

Maddy on the beach

Maddy on the beach

Golden Retrievals

BY MARK DOTY
Fetch? Balls and sticks capture my attention
seconds at a time. Catch? I don’t think so.
Bunny, tumbling leaf, a squirrel who’s—oh
joy—actually scared. Sniff the wind, then
I’m off again: muck, pond, ditch, residue
of any thrillingly dead thing. And you?
Either you’re sunk in the past, half our walk,
thinking of what you never can bring back,
or else you’re off in some fog concerning
tomorrow, is that what you call it? My work:
to unsnare time’s warp (and woof!), retrieving,
my haze-headed friend, you. This shining bark,
a Zen master’s bronzy gong, calls you here,
entirely, now: bow-wow, bow-wow, bow-wow.
Mark Doty, “Golden Retrievals” from Sweet Machine: Poems
from the Poetry Foundation

Having a great Sunday. Cleared out the vegetable bin and made two kinds of kraut.

The one on the right contains cabbage, carrots, garlic, lemon, salt, dill and pink peppercorns. Itʻs a tiny batch…itʻs better that way. I use the entire lemon in thin slices. The salt will preserve and soften the skin and make it delish. I used my momʻs old Japanese pickle pot for it. The other kraut contains red cabbage, beets, carrots, red onion, garlic, lemon, salt, pink peppercorns and horseradish. Just have to give it four or more days to ferment. I love burping them every day.

In the background, are prints that I just got back from the lab. Itʻs the first time Iʻve printed on metal and love the result. Tomorrow they will be submitted for a juried show at the Honolulu Museum of Art…keeping my fingers crossed that one of them will be accepted.

Yesterdayʻs veg bin, todayʻs kraut

Yesterdayʻs veg bin, todayʻs kraut