Monday, June 5, 2017

Of Gravity and Levity and California

Annamaria on Monday

California, there I went.  Specifically to the glorious East Bay for ten days, two book events, and visits with five friends.


I was leaving behind a sack of personal tsouris, with public troubles multiplying in the news that continued to pour forth.  All the kinds of things that drag one under.  I left New York burdened, not entirely aware how much.


I flew, defying gravity alla American Airlines

First stop: Two days in Oakland chez friends Ann and John.  They fed me delicious meals.  Conversation bubbled continuously.  With ZERO differences of opinion, we could even unburden our feelings regarding the prevalent political insanity.

The redwoods in Ann's backyard

And Ann took me for a walk around Lake Merritt.

My lifelong friend Molly came to carry me to her home at the Athenian School at the base of splendid Mount Diablo.  That sojourn involved more wonderful food and conversation, and:

A visit to SFMOMA

Memorial Day Weekend at their house in Inverness

The view from my room in Inverness

Sights along a 6 1/2 mile hike from the house to the beach.

The two planned book events:

One at Orinda Books

And the pièce de résistance, an evening at Janet Rudolph's literary salon, up in the Berkley hills, a conversation with my fellow historical crime writer and dear friend Michael Cooper.  Our theme was mysteries at the crossroads of empire, and the evening could not have been better.

After the warmth of those friendships, the hugs, the laughter, by the time I left the next day, I felt as if my soul was attached to a helium balloon and floating higher than the plane on the flight back home.

There are forces on this planet of gravity AND levity.  Gravity keeps you in place, but it can pull you down.  If you give yourself up to levity, its warmth can lift you--right off your feet.


  1. There's a reason levity and levitation come from the same root. Also, relevant and irrelevant, elevate and relieve, levy and alleviate, lever and legerdemain. Levy is definitely the odd man out, so allow me to levy some of your time to elevate your spirits, relieve you of stress, and alleviate your worries by using some relevant legerdemain as a lever against irrelevant politibabble.

    Be at peace, my friends, and titter at will, giggle at Jeff, snicker at me, and guffaw at everyone else.

    1. EvKa, from now on I am going to address you in an Italian way, by putting the article "the" in Italian before your name. Italian to do this as a sort of honorific. For you that would be L'Everett!

    2. So kind. I guess I should do the same in return, L'AmA. :-)

    3. Only if you say I am your Dolly L'AmA.

    4. I SO look forward to the day we meet, when I can say, "Hello, Dolly L'AmA!" (It may take me a while, though, to figure out the proper pacing and placement of emphasis for maximum effect.)

  2. What a great trip and wonderful friends as well as food and sights.
    I wonder though if the three statues you are standing with are modeled on anyone in particular.
    You are fortunate that you could be distracted from Washington's latest awful deeds. Me: I threw my New York Times across a room on the day the news of the anti-Paris Agreement came out.

    Work, mysteries, TV and chocolate are keeping me going.

    1. Kathy, my antidotes, since I can't spend all my time with my friends in California, are the same, but TV only to watch movies. I couldn't watch the news on TV, even with continual doses of chocolate.

    2. I'm so happy, Sis, that you found sufficient relief in CA to assure L'EvKa that all he does is not in vain...or vein. Well done, all around.

      I also love you scarf and the smile you'd obviously just put on Michael Cooper's face.

    3. Thank you, my brother. I am still full of joy and hanging onto it for dear life.

      Janet took that picture. I love that smile too. I have no idea what I was saying at that moment. I wish I did. I would say it more often.

      The graphics on the scarf were drawn by at-risk South African children. It's a great design and also raises money for a splendid effort to help those kids grow up well. How nice it that?

  3. It was a joy to have you here. You are welcome whenever you like - the redwoods, and we, will welcome you with open arms!

    1. Thank you, Ann. I look forward to the next time, wherever it is.

  4. Ditto what Ann said. Please come again!

  5. Love the scarf and the thought behind its purchase.

  6. It was a joy to have you here. You are welcome whenever you like .
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