I was sitting in a Baja Fresh burrito joint writing that last entry, when a young kid came up to me and started asking about my Zaurus (the little PDA that I write most of this stuff on). I ending up talking to his mother, starting innocently enough with the trouble her son (about 9 years old) sometimes got for having long hair, a topic near and dear to my heart - or scalp, perhaps. But then it was another instance where that weird aura of mine that attracts the bizarre and twisted people was shining bright...she went on about the kid's father who had just gotten out of jail, and how he was a crack addict, and she herself was an alcoholic. So that was interesting.
Had a good conference out here the past few days, good classes: Saturday cupping and auricular therapy (I volunteered to be the cupping demo dummy and now my back looks like I got amorous with a giant octopus, and I've got seeds taped to my right ear - I must have had a good time), abdominal massage yesterday, and this morning a great Thai massage class. But above and beyond that, just a great group of people sharing knowledge and a love of this craft of Asian Bodywork Therapy. I had a strong feeling of community, and I happened to stumble across an interview with John Robbins where he talked about the importance of strong community connections for healthy longevity, an important way of dealing with grief and loss in our lives. So I shared that at the closing circle today...only to find out afterward that one of the members had lost her husband to a car accident just two weeks before. Sometimes our words have far, far more resonance than we know.
Back down here at Patrick's in the Gaslamp Quarter now - came down and got dinner at a Persian place, then over here for a drink or two and some good live blues. Back to Baltimore tomorrow night, but I've got some time during the day, might try to get down to the beach or something. It'll be hard to go back to the Baltimore winter after 70 degree days here...
So, yeah, here it is my birthday. Last one as a thirtysomething. (Guy down the bar is describing his plans - perhaps slightly grandiose - to get a business running a couple of chartered fishing boats, "Jimmy's armada", together. One of the bartenders asks, "Need bartenders on these boats?") I suppose that ought to prompt some reflection...actually spent a bit of time last night and this afternoon hanging out with a colleague from Chicago and we had a whole "how did you get into this stuff?" discussion. Which certainly got me thinking.
I'm sort of seeing myself as a valence electron between these different communities, my karate and budo community, my ABT and healing arts community, and my Pagan community...spreading some energy between them, trying to make some connections.