Incrociando a Sicurezza

It was one of those late Summer days that make you forget that the season is about to turn. We happily anticipate Winter’s run up to Spring, and even more so the advent of Summer and it’s promise of long restful days. This is especially true when you are the mother of not quite grown children. Their brains rest while their bodies grow.

The end of Summer is to be ignored. We live as if there is no tomorrow, but really, all we are doing is pretending. But so what? It’s Summer!

On this particular day, this glorious temperate day, I received a phone call that it was time. I had confided my fears to my friend about walking over the Golden Gate Bridge, something locals and tourist do en masse every day. I had tried many times to walk this bridge, only to stop in abject, paralyzing fear. Irrational but tangible feelings of panic overtook me. What if someone pushed me over the rail? What if the Hand of God or some thing plucked me from the walkway and tossed me into the bay?  I couldn’t do it. My kids thought nothing of riding their bikes over the bridge. I hid my shame and made excuses.

My friend saw this obstacle as a metaphor for my collective fears. He convinced me that here lay a strong symbolic force for stepping into my new life.

I couldn’t argue his point. In fact, I decided to embrace the challenge. Not that it was easy. You see, I was not only afraid, I was stuck within all those metaphors.

Could I trust him to hold on to me? Yes. Could I trust that he would not let me come to harm? Absolutely.

So I took control by surrendering control, and put myself, literally, into the arms of the one I love.

I stalled a few yards into the journey. He whispered to me, “The trolls are not there.”  We moved forward together, and after awhile I felt  my spirit lift. I felt okay. I was more than okay. I felt free!

In freedom was pleasure. The ordinary pleasure of taking a stroll over one of the world’s most iconic bridges,  framing a view of  this gorgeous place in which we live.

I conquered this phobic fear and moved my life forward, all at once, knowing that no matter the outcome of the hardship I was facing, I would be strong enough to take all that lay ahead. I reclaimed some misplaced self-esteem, and discovered through an abiding friendship that I could love again and be loved.

I had crossed to safety.

(c)GoshGusMusic(ascap) 2011

Vivace con Brio!


I am sitting outside in my front garden in the dark.  It’s 2:00 a.m. and too hot to sleep.  All around  are  the sounds of people having too much fun.

It is the weekend before Labor Day, and in my neighborhood of this beautiful city, young people are making the most of the last days of summer before they head back to classrooms, or buckle down at work. One last weekend to savor summer before the holiday that traditionally delineates laid-back from focused attention hits home.

Tonight they push aside impending reality.  I listen to the giggling girls and the whooping boys. I think to myself, what is it about alcohol that makes people think they have to turn the volume switch of their voices up to “11?”  Underneath the human sounds are the thumping rhythms of bar music. Within two blocks of my home are seven restaurants which ramp up late at night, and five clubs.  All but two of the bars are upscale.

Clumps of kids come weaving up my block.  They tend to segregate by gender if they haven’t already paired off and gone wherever it is they go to get better acquainted.  As I’ve turned off the porch light, it is too dark for them to notice me.  A group of girls stop several times on their walk  for yet another to remove her expensive, come hither, but by now painful shoes.  That’s when you can tell the liquor is losing it’s magic- they begin to notice their feet hurt. They complain woefully about their Blahniks and Choos.

All clothed in little black dresses with  miles of young bare skin, these are City girls. Private school graduates. Even when tipsy, they project confidence.  They have had enough of the trolls.

I used to find the weekend scene around here irritating, especially when my kids were small. Thoughts about how shallow the partiers seemed, and the petty smugness of knowing that they would one day be sitting on the sofa the same time the bars closed, babe to breast, dripping milk everywhere. Selfish gits, I would confide to my child. They have no idea. I was jealous.

Now I enjoy listening to them. They are vibrant and still on this side of innocence.  They are of an age when they should be celebrating their freedom and beauty.  Didn’t we?  Having crossed over into full  adulthood, we know that real life will intrude on the Tuesday morning after Labor Day.  But for tonight have fun. Get laid.

Hangovers and walks of shame that greet tomorrow be damned.  The kids will buck up and carry on. We did.