i'm so tired i can hardly keep my eyes open and it's only 8 pm. the transition to the fall time clock always takes me some getting used to.
but i just saw the prettiest sight AND i just talked to one of my best friends for the first time in 33 years, so i have to write or i won't be able to sleep.
i ate dinner at a chinese restaurant in the small gold country town where i'm staying for the next 2 months. there are a few chinese americans who still live here, descendants of railroad workers, launderers, cooks, and miners from the gold rush era. (becoming manual laborers was the only way chinese people could emigrate back in the day and they were prohibited from owning land, from marrying, from even holding on to their gold claims if they were lucky enough to find any.)
i'm walking everywhere since i no longer have a car. i love walking, even at night! it really forces me to interact with nature. this town is really safe. (the local newspaper's police blotter reads like this: "homeowner at 5235 willow street called about the dog barking loudly and a suspicious character at the house next door. the person was identified by officer as the electric repairman at 5234 willow street." seriously, EVERY day they report incidents like that! it cracks me up!)
so tonight after talking to my friend forever on the phone i got to walk home under a full moon! the sierra nevada mountains were peeking over the top of the little shops "downtown." (pop. 3000) the beautiful pines, firs, maples and even some redwoods were outlined in silver, with the mooonglow also highlighting the few clouds that floated by high above. the victorian homes and the white church steeple were lit up by tiny white lights. it's really picture postcard perfect here!
connecting with an old friend after so long is really amazing! we talked on the phone, she from chicago, all through dinner. we had been very close in junior high, attending the same school and living just a few streets apart. we did everything together for a couple of years and i adored her! she was spunky and funny; smart and cool and self assured. her mom was gorgeous and her dad was handsome, if intimidatingly intellectual. and we had great adventures together. she remembered so many funny things we did!
but the first thing she reminded me of was that, about 3 years into our friendship, my parents had forbidden me to see her when her sister was busted for pot. i had totally forgotten that.
there we were, still little girls really - i hadn't even hit puberty yet (though i lied about it). and i complied with my parents who had a shitfit that her sister was "on drugs!" my parents treated her like a pariah. and i went along. why the hell did i do that?
i remember feeling torn inside, wanting to be a good girl and following my parents, but feeling that they were wrong somehow. (like the time they coerced my youngest sister and brother to tell on my older sister when she wore a bikini at the pool and then grounded the guilty party - who was ALREADY IN COLLEGE!!!!!)
we found each other on facebook after i connected with a bunch of other high school friends following my 30 year reunion. quite frankly, there are very few people i have any interest in knowing, since most of them are still fundamentalists, like our school taught us to be. but she's one i want to know.
her dad was an atheist, a proud outspoken "non-believer," in a town where your social connections, your reputation, and very likely your job depended on your fundamentalist alliances.
he got non-profit status for his home and held regular "religious" gatherings there - for atheists - because he was sick of churches getting a tax free ride! ha! that just cracks me up - that he had the balls to do that in the deep south! what a guy!
it's strange coming out to high school friends. i've done it with almost everyone who's contacted me since the reunion. most of them, i come out because i no longer give a flying fuck what they think of me. but some of them, i haven't yet, because we are still close, they were there for me through the years i was battered, through my divorce and losing my kids and i can't bear to disappoint them. yup, i'm still chicken shit about some things!
still, i believe in listening to my heart and coming out when it feels right to me, not on anyone else's time table.
it feels like i have to come out over and over and over. to my lesbian friends, i come out as bi. to my vanilla friends, i come out as kinky. to my married friends, i come out as polyamorous. to my straight friends, i come out as gay. and to some, i never come out. it just doesn't feel safe.
i'm not quite ready to lose all my best high school friends and i know they would disown me if they knew i was bi and an atheist. i don't think i can bear it just yet. i've lost so much; i can't take that just now; maybe later.
my friend and i talked about raising our daughters, she's got one, i have 2. we both have a son. we talked about good marriages and bad ones; she's 1 for 2; i'm 0 for 1. we talked about the diff between socal and norcal. she HATED LA! but loved big sur. i love norcal and am trying to talk her into coming back!
we talked about leaving fundamentalism and the fake social veneer of the south behind for more authentic ways of living. and finding a spirituality that makes sense to us. she and her hubby wandered through scientology, (and landed at an eclectic paganism as did i). she discovered the writings of carolyn meese and i waxed poetic about pema chodron.
we talked about good men and bad. the cruel kind who would violate our daughters, or our own selves, and the tender kind who stick with you through challenges and love you through your own fits of rage.
it was wonderful to reconnect with her. and it was great to hear her acceptance of my sexual choices. she's very non-judgmental; she said she'd had to work on that since she inherited a sassy mouth and strong opinions from her father. i totally related to that!
i walked home under that full moon and i told her i loved her and how thankful i was to reconnect with her after all these years. she said the same; we're planning a trip to see each other next summer hopefully. she's happily married and i want to meet her kids.
i described the view i was seeing. she said, "let's do this, let's look at the moon at the same time, you in cali, me in chicago. now we're looking at the same moon!"
and you know what! that moon had a halo big as texas! and it was rainbow colored! i mean it! it really was!