Sunday, June 23, 2013


After waxing rhapsodic with yesterday’s Ode to Summer, I woke up this morning to a harsh reminder— I live in San Francisco. The summer fog— oh, so romantic viewed from a distance, yet oh so depressing when you’re in the thick of it— had arrived with its suitcases packed for a long stay. This was the thick variety verging on heavy mist and occasionally crossing the line into light rain. Which is strictly against the rules of our dry season expecations.

As ill luck would have it, this is the day I chose to take my Mom out for a drive in the car. It’s a bit of a production to get her into the car and I need a block of time longer than I usually have, so truth be told, it must have been 8 months since she left the confines of the Jewish Home. Inside, the atrium is spacious, there is a live tree and there are gardens close by when the weather invites, but still it’s inside. Not that she complains— in her state, it’s all the same to her.

But yet it’s not. When we go out, her interest perks up and I think she returns refreshed in a way that nothing else offers. Today, she was lethargic for the first part of the ride, but then gradually got livelier and started exclaiming, as she often does, “Will you look at that? Isn’t that beautiful?” I thought I could outrun the fog and headed south to Half Moon Bay, but though it stopped raining and the view was a bit clearer, no sun in sight. Still sweet to cross over on 92 to Rt. 1, pass the old memories of taking my kids to the Pumpkin Patch and more recent delightful excursions in that area. Back we went serenaded by Allan Sherman’s hilarious songs and then, back to her poem where she conducted me yet again with piano adventures with Haydn, Beethoven, Grieg and company. And outside, still the fog.

So tonight’s summer night is perfect for a hearty miso soup and finishing the long video of the 1946 version of Somerset Maugham’s The Razor’s Edge.  Ahead of its time with Larry the spiritual seeker going to India to find his truth, but hilarious to see Hollywood’s 1940’s depiction of a yoga ashram there. (Bill Murray’s more recent adaptation much better).

But one appealing thing about the scenes in India.

There was no fog.

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