Tag Archives: Santa Barbara

Waiting For The Lightness of Being

23 May

It happens. 

You try your best to stay on the positive tip, but sometimes you have no control over the way people are going to behave. People say things that cut through you even though you do your best to put up your defenses. People do  harmful things even if you’ve done your best to protect yourself.

It happens. 

And then you’re both angry and sad at the same time. 

It’s a weird vibe, but you have every right to feel the way you do, you’re entitled to feel that way, it’s your right.  You’re not clinging to it and you don’t enjoy it, you just feel that way, and it slowly begins to resolve itself after the apology … That’s  if one ever comes. 

If it doesn’t, the feeling festers and the recovery process takes longer, because it makes you believe the other people are not even sorry for what they’ve put you through.

It happens.

But spilling thousands of gallons of oil off the California coast, covering about 9 miles, not to mention the disasterous slick spreading to the ocean …. Dude that doesn’t just happen. That kind of stuff could be avoided.

This week there was a pipe rupture that was responsible for damaging miles of Santa Barbara’s most amazing and peaceful coast. Over 700 workers were doing their best to clean up the aftermath of this environmental mess. The fact that our Memorial Day Weekend plans were cancelled because of that didn’t upset me, it was the fact that the spill happened at all that sent me over the edge. Seeing the pictures of wildlife and the coast covered in gooey black oil really burned me out.

That’s where the anger and sadness cohabitate. I understand that the clean up efforts are working hard and I’m commending those marine biologists, workers, and other volunteers for their efforts, it’s just the fact that something like this happened (or happened again) that frustrates me the most.

The feeling won’t help the situation. It won’t. But I have it. 

Like in a relationship when your dude or lady does something and it angers or saddens you.  It hurts you, and you carry that feeling, that sense that you were wronged, until there’s  closure. Until things are resolved. Until your light again.

So that’s where I am … waiting for the lightness of being.

.

Where It All Began

11 Oct

Why not … it all started with these two little words. Why not?

Flipping through the channels I saw it … flying high, legs hanging out in the wind, and parachute catching air. The Travel Channel. I saw it, briefly. It was on one of those top beaches shows. They managed to catch somebody parasailing in the background. And it took me back … Labor Day Weekend circa 1993.

On a spur of the moment decision my Dad hijacked Labor Day and decided that the Guat Family should head north to Santa Barbara. I don’t remember why my sister didn’t share this blessed two-hour traffic jammed hostile back-seat driver journey up north, but for some reason she was absent.

In any case we made it without pushing anyone out of the car while it was moving. Once we got there the relaxed laid-back atmosphere sort of washed over us and we forgot about the dysfunctional relationships linking us together. Our stay-cation had begun.

We strolled through town checking out the botanical gardens, churches, and cool artists’ festival they had that weekend. Before this I had no idea how awesome chalk on sidewalk could be, but it was pretty amazing to see all the colorful portraits and landscapes.

And then we headed to the beach … and that’s where we saw it. I had never seen anything like it. I had seen jet skiing , water skiing, and surfing. But I had never seen parasailing. We didn’t have the Travel Channel back then and if we did I wasn’t aware of it.

In any case I was in awe by the whole experience. When my dad asked me what I was looking at I pointed at the person flying high above the water and the boat pulling him away.

And then that’s when it started … my premature bucket list. I had no idea it was a bucket list at the time. It was more of the I-Wish-I-Could-Do-That-One-Day List. The list that remained unwritten, mostly a bunch of adventures and thoughts in my head, but this …this was the first one to be crossed off and I didn’t even know it at the time.

Film poster for The Bucket List - Copyright 20...

 Photo credit: Wikipedia

 

“That looks cool. I think I’d like to do that one day.”

“Are you crazy?” My Dad asked.

“Yes. Yes I am.”

“Then I think we should do it,” my Dad said.

“Today?”

“Why not?”

And then there it was … the why not. This is where it all began.

Now it surprised me that he said “we.” Reason 1) He did not know how to swim, neither did I at the time.  Reason 2) He was scared of heights, not deathly scared but pretty much freaking him out kind of scared.

But that didn’t stop him. He was an adventurer that day and so was I. My mom even came along for the ride, just to witness our crazy adventure, see our expressions and join in on the laughter.

For this adventure my Dad went first. He was eager to check this off the list. I think if he would have waited he might not have gone through with it. So when they asked, who’s first, he jumped up and strapped on that harness. When he was high up in the sky, he seemed to be enjoying the view. However when he was being pulled down into the boat he appeared to have a little anxiety and nervousness going on. It might have been the Pacific Ocean hanging out beneath him. But he smiled and laughed his way through it.

Me.

I did the whole woo-hoo! on the way up and on the way down. And even though this happened almost twenty years ago I can still remember saying ‘holy crap!’ when I was way up high.

Blue skies and white sandy beaches. We had plenty of those down in Southern California but from this perspective everything looked different.

After that stay-cation I had a lot more ideas rumbling around in my head … in my I-Wish-I-Could-Do-That-One-Day thoughts.