Sunday, September 30, 2007

Day 3: Needles, CA to Gallup, NM (via Flagstaff)

I am at our favorite little coffee house, Macy's, in Flagstaff. It is such a quaint little place...European to the core. Talking with some guys who are biking northern AZ.

Fall is in the's not ridiculously noticeable, but you can see it in the subtleties lying on the ground. And the crisp air tells the truth as well.

Pax did catch a little cold or something which has left him with a runny nose...not much else. He is also breaking in some bottom teeth, so that's been a joy. Gone back to 2 feedings at night. Ouch.

We stop about every 2 hours to let him (and us) stretch and walk. He loves to pretend that he can drive.

We had a little bit of a scare today as I got very, very, very close to running out of gas in the middle of the desert. By the grace of God we made it to an affordable gas station just before puttering out.

Okay, he's nearly ready for his nap, so it's time to get....ciao.

Saturday, September 29, 2007

More Thoughts on Cost

I have been thinking a good deal today about the cost of the decisions we make with our lives.

We were driving from Fresno to Needles (where we're camping out a Days Inn), and I was acutely aware of different sorts of efficiencies with regards to the drive...there was the cost of time, the cost of gas, the cost of types of driving on my car.

You see, if I choose to obey the posted speed limits, I can conserve gas, save money, obey civic laws...but I'll get there slower. I kept watching the time counting down on the GPS. I thought about how that was the length of time that Pax was going to be forced into that 5-point restraint system that he sits in in his car seat, that it's also the amount of time that he might let out blood-curdling screams. But speeding (as I did) at 80-85 mph got me bad gas mileage, and, since I stopped when it was convenient for Pax's naps, we usually bought expensive gas instead of being on the hunt for the cheap stuff.

See, there is no "good deal" or "best way". Each decision comes at a cost.

I wonder if we realize this...that there is a cost for a family when they downsize to one car...that they save cash but inherit inconvenience...which can of course be a blessing in disguise. Or that choosing to live without TV is a noble thing, but what about the times when you really just need to unplug your mind after thinking all day?

All our decisions come at a cost. I guess the real issue is how good we are at budgeting for those costs. Because I think most of us tend to over-budget (or under-budget?) and it's really just for convenience's sake...or comfort's sake. But convenience and comfort have a price as fact, sometimes a very high one.

I was remembering that I'd heard someone say that technology has made us stupider. Perhaps he was right; perhaps he was wrong. I dunno. But the line of thought I got into was that when we no longer have to struggle, we stop flexing that particular muscle. That is, the things that make life easier make it harder for us to develop means to deal with the difficult things.

It's like getting a vaccination for life and never really having to build up an immunity on our own...wait, no, that's a bad illustration, but perhaps you see what I'm getting at.

I am glad we have chosen this path. I think it is a good path. I have a hard time not being judgmental towards others who have seemed to have taken an easier path. Pity for me that I cannot leave well enough alone.

And you know, a great many folks would look at our 2001 car with a GPS and iPod and tell us we're the same as those we talk down about. And maybe they're right.


Day 2: Fresno Heading East

We played in Fresno last night. It's nice to be back on the road, but I am also quickly reminded of the inherent challenges of playing different places, staying in different homes, putting your heart into a performance and then being dead tired...and then sleeping like crap because your son slept like crap.

And this morning, he woke up with a severe runny nose. I'm hoping he's not sick. We're powering him on the homeopathy.

Holly is being kind to walk him around this morning to help him burn energy before his morning nap. She is stellar.

We are grabbing breakfast with some friends this morning and then hitting the road for one of the (potentially) longest drive days of our trip...and all this after a bad night's sleep. Oh Lordy.

I ask myself if we have made an unwise decision or if this is simply the price paid for the life we live. Everyone pays a price for the decisions they make. I am reminded of the isolation of isolation I used to know well. People hiding inside their big-ass SUVs (driven by one person) and homes that could house a dozen children. Those people pay a price as's just a different kind of price. It's a slower, subtler death. Ours is quick and allows for seemingly fast rebirth.

I'll stick with the plan. And I'm inspired by those we meet along the way who are also interested in living life as experiment, attempting to re-imagine they way they participate in systems of healing and oppression, and trying to make ways to bring about hope in the world.

Friday, September 28, 2007

Day 1: Fresno, CA

All is right with the world. The kiddo did great on the drive. Our car is literally packed full. We're like sardines. It's all good though.

Doug just sent an email that told of good weather in our future in Glorietta. Oh Lord. Yes.

Tonight, a house show with Barry Falke, et al. Right now, some chill time at Back to the Grind coffee house.

More to come in the near future...

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

T-Minus 2 Days and Counting

Yes, Friday morning we'll take off and begin our journey across the States, starting with a house show in Fresno this Friday night. Then we head east to New Mexico for our annual gathering with friends from across the globe.

It feels like fall...

I don't know if it's Mike's post earlier this week, the autumn wind that swept through San Francisco last week, Brian Mazzarello's phone call wishing us a happy new year (if that makes no sense to you, see me reference October being our advent here), Paxton's birthday coming up in a week or so, the harvest moon that shone last night, or the insanity that always seems to proceed our autumnal shifts.

But it's something. It's in the air. It's palpable.

Perhaps it's the fact that Dan and Bethany are making pumpkin bread or perhaps it's got something to do with the fact that I've had more conversations with Damien in the last couple months (which generally happens leading up to the Emergent Gathering). Perhaps it's a general hopefulness that I can feel ready to spring anew.

I am told that most people feel such things in Spring. Not us. We feel them in Autumn. And I'm feeling them now.

Leaves that fall, signifying death so that life can return to the soil
Winds that blow, bringing new, fresh breaths to my lungs
Colors I have never seen, I see every year
Come, Spirit, Come

Monday, September 24, 2007

The Chaos That Is Life

It's been a whirlwind. Holly's art show in our old house, cleaning that old house, moving from that old house into another house, working, Paxton, organizing for our trip, changing addresses, prepping for the Emergent Gathering, sorting through shit in our house, vaccuming up the dust bunnies, moving a piano, trying to see friends before we bolt for 2 months, etc, etc, etc.

We'll post photos from Holly's art show. It was a blast. She sold 9 of the 12 paintings! Wow. What support.

Our new place is starting to take form. There's a good deal of work to do.

Okay, back to work...ciao.

Monday, September 17, 2007

New Address

Yes, please note our new address...

Casa de Sharp y Gregory
18 Fair Avenue
SF, CA 94110

Just in case there is any confusion, the art show is STILL at 4038 Folsom Street, 94110. And yes, you are invited.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

We Got The House!


Yes, yes, we got the house. It's a dream...really.

We move in Saturday...the day of Holly's art show...exciting.

Some pics...

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Santa Fe is in the Air

Well, it's probably that we've been burning PiƱon incense (mmm), but seems like we're all pining (not a pun) for Northern New Mexico.

If you are coming, or are interested in coming to this year's Emergent Gathering, please read Damien's introductory note here. Then go here to see the links that Tony has compiled for housing, ridesharing, food, activities, and conversation.

It's sure to be an amazing year.

In Memory of W A Stavlund

Thanks to Travis at Work of the People for making this beautiful video. It just so happens to come to my attention the same time of year that we celebrate the life of a little guy with deep, knowing, wise eyes.

Sunday, September 09, 2007

Holly's Upcoming Art Show

Come check out Holly's latest paintings, "Without the Space Within," a mixed media series that explores the relationship of personal and communal space, boundaries, and margins.

We'll have wine and hors d'oevres and some live ambient music. All pieces will be for sale at the show.

One night only just days before we take off on our trip. If you're close to SF, make an afternoon of it.

You can preview her work at if you'd like.

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

But I(Tunes) Tell You

Okay, that was a lousy title, but the point is this: But I Tell You has been re-released and is now available on iTunes. Yes, yes, you can buy it, review it, gift it, etc. it. Whatever you want. Just do it.

Oh, the link is here.

Bay Bridge Closure

Well, I was hoping for something a little more time-lapse of the demolition through the reconstruction. But I could not find video of that. Can you imagine in this day and age? Strange.

But this is what I found. Interesting to know what's in the future for this cross-bay connector we call the Bay Bridge.

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Oh Kefir, How I Love Thee

So I'm a Johnny-Come-Lately. Won't be the first time.

I must declare my love for Strawberry Kefir. Where have you been all my life? Thanks to the Gregorys and my sister for introducing me. Mmm.