Couch Surfing at 70
To google ‘couch surfing’ results in this on-line dictionary definition — “Stay temporarily in a series of other people’s homes, typically making use of improvised sleeping arrangements.”
Every morning finds me up at 5:30, ‘sitting’ in meditation from between eight and 20 minutes in a straight-back chair in the living room. Often I’m thinking about the Red Sox. When I’m finished, and finished bowing to the sacred place of sitting, I brew and drink two cups of coffee while now sitting in the pink recliner I bought for forty bucks (including delivery) on Craigslist upon arrival in Portland in 2009. I sit there and read books that feel important to my ongoing going concern on this crazy granite planet. How to be a better human, how to jump all in on the daily search for wonder and for grace and for the ephemeral glimpses of magic in the day. Often, while sitting and drinking coffee and reading, ideas literally float into my mind. Usually I have a steno pad close at hand, and I will write them down before they float away. Much of my life flows out of this early morning process.
A week ago the words and the image of ‘couch surfing at 70″ floated right in, and proceeded to dance around. And around. Many of the posts to follow in the coming weeks — and as they use to say on WBCN in 60s/70s Boston, if the creek don’t rise and there ain’t no meltdown — and years will find their creative beginnings within the framework of couch surfing at 70. In other words, if I could I would award myself an Honorary Doctorate in Couch Surfing. In these few months before I enter my seventh decade on the planet. There’s a lot of surfing still to do.
The background image in this blog’s header – a city at sundown – is a photo I took from the roof of an apartment building in Oakland, just up the hill from Lake Merritt. It may have been from last year or the year before. Or 2015. My friend Gavin has a studio in the building and over these last six or seven years I’ve visited – yeah, surfed – often. Occasionally on an air mattress on the floor, but most often Gavin graciously walks up a couple of flights and stays with a lady friend and my five or six or seven days I sleep in his bed. I love Gavin and need him in my life, and I love Oakland and early morning coffee at the Whole Foods around the corner, and all in all I’m pretty darn lucky, never mind it don’t cost me nothing.
The places I’ve stayed. The art of generosity. The kindness in people. I’ll be talking about them all.