August 23, 2020

I woke up at 2 this morning, downloaded the stupid phone game I uninstalled last night, and played, I guess for 2 hours straight because at @ 4 I decided I was up and made a cup of coffee. Then I played my stupid game in silence until I figured out I could play music.

The song Ain’t Wastin’ Time No More by the Allman Brothers came on, and I started crying and thinking of the only finite commodity we have on this earth, which is indeed time.

Yesterday I used a picture of Big Basin Visitor Center after our fire had destroyed the structure as my cover photo. I got a lot of crying face emojis, which bugs the shit out of me because I hate it when my thoughts and intentions are misunderstood, even when they’re vague and incoherent.

If you look carefully at what is actually in the photograph, and not at what is NOT in the photograph, you will see what I see. I see the handrails, the stone foundation, the chimney, which endure and probably will for much longer than you or I will be around. I personally find that encouraging and inspiring.

So now I’m listening to that Allman Brothers tune over and over. It’s hard to do on my Spotify Premium (I’m definitely not doing it right – there’s definitely a way to do it) and pondering the lyrics, which must have been written after one of the bands many, many tragedies. It reminds me of what’s precious to me, which is life and time.

I moved to Santa Cruz in the Fall of 84 and have lived here off and on (stints in Chico and Chicago – my home State is Illinois) ever since. I can say with a little authority that the issues we’re dealing with today, like homelessness and the various attitudes it spawns, political naivete incompetence and corruption, what to do with tourists, etc. are far from new issues around here.

I was 16 years old in 1984, and there was just nothing to do here that was terribly interesting to me, so I sat around Pergolesi’s when it was at the other end of the mall and smoked cigarettes nursing my one cup of coffee along with all the other painfully bored teenagers. Now kids have cell phones with endless distraction and drama on it like everyone else. It’s a good thing in a place where safety is an issue. Now a kid who needs to be picked up from a sketchy party in Boulder Creek can call someone up and get a ride. It didn’t used to be that way, so cool.

I saw the phones and all this dang social media bring something else, though, which was a whole lot of illusory division and misunderstanding. Plus, our little dopamine addictions have led us to tragically waste the most precious resource we will always have to manage and cherish, which is time.

So what’s my point? It’s 5:15 in the morning, and I’m declaring I’m not wasting time anymore. I’m not waiting for money to be spent and structures to be rebuilt and for trees to grow back to stand up and say I LOVE Santa Cruz County and each and every living creature in it. But especially the precious humans in it.

People piss me off disappoint and offend me on the daily, and many of them apparently live really close to me (I made the unfortunate mistake once of downloading Nextdoor). They shock me with their hate, their cruelty, their misplaced outrage. But hey, I probably made some people cry yesterday by putting that pic up of this foundation so shame on me if I can judge.

I’ve been thinking a lot about what Mr. Rogers said about looking for helpers after 9/11 (Google it, it’s cool). While I’m annoyed about how super-poor our County is supposed to be according to local politicians, I’m thinking about the past week this morning and realizing that if helpers were money, we’d be Lichtenstein.

Anyway, YouTube that Allman Brothers tune if you’ve got the time. It’s one of my favorites. ~Nina