Unaccustomed As I Am

Today was a day when I awoke to an early alarm and got myself on my way to BART and then to the East Bay. It felt like a morning-commute kind of morning, but intents and purposes were at odds with the Typicals and the Normals.

“You are only you and that’s a very brave thing to show the world.” — “Saint Chola” by K. Kvashay-Boyle

Who am I today? Who is it to be shown to that small portion of the world this morning, the one that matters? That’s a Dear Diary page yet to be written here in the back seat of a BART car, a seat that upon leaving the City will have me facing the City. Yes, that quirk of mine still exerts itself.

There are iPod ads all over the Powell Street Station, Apple’s magical genius cut from aluminum and electronica, glass and magic, and Apple is not who I am today—though I’m wearing one of their caps.

Ads for saving Darfur are all around Montgomery Street Station, but who I am right now doesn’t exist outside the EaseInEaseOut shape of the segment of BART tracks from here to my There.

Embarcadero Station has snarky sneaky-peek ads, incongruous and prescient. The aptness is ridiculous and haunting.

We’re under the waters of the Bay now, carving two more traffic lanes between the City ad Oakland. It’s always loud and my ears always pop. It’s a tossup on which feels better: quiet pressure or open cacophony. More portents.

<br/> The Trip Back

Enlightenment. A new window opens. That’s not exactly right, for the window was always there, but the view was never deemed worthy of more than cursory glances: We already knew what’s out there.

But we didn’t. Any given New World comes from nowhere but the Old World, just seen with better eyes, heard with better ears and pondered with extreme care and absent conceit. And didn’t we all know that all along?

Heaven is a city much like San Francisco, wherever your own version of San Francisco situates itself on a map and no matter what it’s called.

Wisdom is a gift that comes in odd shaped boxes and, absent foil and paper and bows, we often mistake it for something we already think we know.