spirit flows thru -- Alison Rittger's spiritual reflections on finding the holy in the daily
PictureFoxie rug rolls in our new small space.
Where have I been these last three months? In a muddle of moving. In early February I see I posted about going to a lecture at East Bay Meditation Center. Rereading that blog, I also see that I was not wholehearted about it. Indeed, being less than wholehearted hovered over almost everything associated with moving to a studio apartment in senior independent living. It didn’t take long to realize it was too soon to succumb to old(er) age. I was beginning to feel even more depleted than when I felt at odds with noise and grime and made the move in the first place. 

So once again I set about moving, not back to San Francisco, but a few blocks uptown. (Uptown is a term that gets a big play in Oakland.) Not knowing the East Bay at all, I only know there are a lot of Kaiser Permanentes in the vicinity and a very big Pandora building less than two blocks from here. Happily, Lake Merritt is but one city block from this location, so Foxie and I still have the option of visiting the birds.

In this new residence, a city-block sized apartment building in the neighborhood of other large building and some small and yummy eateries, anyone of any age with the proper paperwork and enough money can rent a one or two bedroom or studio apartment. This studio where Foxie and I live is on the 14th floor. It faces west and we can see the mountains of Marin and the San Francisco skyline, the Bay Bridge, and freeway traffic. Reflected in a black building on Webster directly in view of my one big window, virtual traffic heads up Grand. At the same time I see the actual traffic driving down Grand. Of course, the streets are under construction, although the noise is less than it was when Gough Street was being torn up. Here, when the sun sets, I must close the white sliding blinds or be blinded.

Because it is March, I have been watching much madness on my TV, which seems to loom over the wee space I have cordoned off as the living room in case guests come. I think I can accommodate four guests in the space, about as many as I ever accommodated in my last small space.

As for Foxie, he likes this location very much. He can go under the bed when he fears I am leaving. He has the couch to snuggle on, the rugs to rub on and the new bathroom mat as an emergency pee place. Right now, I blog to the rhythm of the washer undoing Foxie’s most recent yellowy blot on a new blue and gray striped bathmat.

For my wee fierce one, I felt compelled to buy a muzzle just in case of leaps and snarls in crowded elevators. Although I purchased renter’s insurance, I doubt it covers neighbor’s torn pant cuffs or visits to the vet for other wee canines headed out for their morning strolls. Wearing his muzzle, Foxie experiences total humiliation. His tail droops, his ears droop, his head drops and to endure this sight, I muster up as much of my adult as I can. We must be good neighbors. We cannot lunge at others. We cannot bark whenever one of the heavy fire doors on the nearby apartments open or close. We cannot bark at children running in the halls. The folks in this building are not hard of hearing as were most of our former neighbors in Hotel Lake Merritt. Once we are friendly on the 14th floor, we can joke about Foxie’s propensity to match every sound with his own.

Here on Grand Ave. we are closer to BART than before, we have the 12 bus running in both directions, going uptown or downtown as far as the Landmark Theater on Shattuck in Berkeley. Possibly, I will even take Foxie on public transportation, but not unmuzzled. We could try taking the free shuttle from here to Jack London Square. Weekends, I drive to keep my San Francisco commitments, but on weekdays a trip to the city means BART. It runs multiple morning trains and because I have aged (even more in these last three months) someone has to let me sit. Indeed, this is the good life!

Guy Rittger
3/30/2015 09:19:45 am

Looking forward to reading about your $#!/^&&^/$ cooking exploits in your new crib, holmes.

3/30/2015 02:53:24 pm

Made page 97 even tho I had to substitute for the pumpkin. Sent you an email proclaiming my accomplishment.

Sonnie Willis
3/30/2015 09:51:15 am

Your elegant style of writing a story about the daily progress just knocks me out. Tempts me to make the attempt at a description of the cluttered apartment and unfinished projects that just sit and stare at me. My own embarrassment keeps me quiet on this topic. Also Foxie's energetic presence aids and colors your amusing descriptions.

3/30/2015 02:55:26 pm

An uneventful life is still colorful. Your sunrises and sunsets as caught by your camera are every bit as compelling!!

Sonnie Willis
3/31/2015 12:58:18 am

Your hug is greatly appreciated. I feel threatened and ill at ease with the on going climate change. The entrancing cloud formations and colorful sky seldom makes an appearance. For the first time last Sunday morning I did not take any snapshots of the Art Exhibit opening or the crowd of people in the courtyard lined up for the free lunch.

robin hinchliffe
3/30/2015 01:10:21 pm

so delighted you have moved! my daughter, dana and her two boys live in berkeley and judy colemen della santina is in oakland. so much healthier! whew! i'm relieved!
love, as always, robin

3/30/2015 02:56:53 pm

Glad to know this, Robin! Much different on this side of the bay. My love to you!

Margy Harrell
3/31/2015 10:12:23 am

Really glad to hear your written voice again - I've missed it. This new home sounds a little more "balanced" for you so I'm glad. And of course I want to meet Foxie! I'll phone since now I want to hear your actual voice.
Love and peace

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