10 days in Berkeley, a respite from the road

By far the longest break I’ve taken on a tour, what began as a visit with my sons in Berkeley became an extended respite from the road. Shawn convinced me I needed to get the Pfizer booster, as studies have shown its effectiveness waning after 6 months. So to the day of my sixth month, I received the booster at a library not far from their apartment. After three days in bed from the vaccine fevers, I decided to stay a bit longer.

Why not wait out the rain, visit with my boys, watch videos and shows, and just loll about? They said I could stay as long as I wanted, and their couch was quite comfortable. Mornings of coffee and bagels, then the boys going about their work as I just did…. nothing. At first I felt a bit anxious, then about the fourth day or so, a strange feeling came about me. Total relaxation. So long since I’d known what it is like to not have to do anything, be anywhere, answer anyone else’s need. 

I caught the BART over to the peninsula to meet up with Ned Buskirk, the director of the nonprofit You’re Going to Die. He is as warm and inviting in person as the man I’d met on Zoom in the open mics all last year. A genuine soul, open and curious, transparent and strong. I felt immediately at ease, able to share my own feelings, questions, fears. And inspired to continue my exploration of conscious mortality, after spending so much of my life in flight from the inevitable. Thank you Ned, for your model and vision.

The Berkeley Bowl always inspires with its incredible produce offerings. We went out to watch Dune at the Grand Lake, my first movie in a theater since the pandemic started. One more storm caused me to delay my departure, a “bomb cyclone” hit Northern California with rains that flooded many areas in San Francisco and East Bay. Another few days on the couch, ah what a life. So grateful to have my sons welcome me into their home. 

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