Saturday, November 17, 2007


Last weekend I moved to the Presidio. This is my first time living in a National Park. I didn't expect to end up here, but I am grateful.

Getting to the borders of the Presidio is easy, getting in is another matter entirely. During my first attempts at visiting and then moving in, I got completely lost. I found myself wandering around all sorts of scenic places-- from swanky neighborhoods to the National Cemetery and scenic overlooks. Eventually, I found my place and I have had a blast exploring.

A neighborhood I got lost in. Its labyrinthine streets and forbidding "Tour Bus and Vans Prohibited" signs did little to guide my way.

pacific heights blue, originally uploaded by pbo31.

War is hell, even in paradise.

Presidio memorial, San Francisco, originally uploaded by lslphoto.

Its Not So Bad When Plans Don't Turn Out Exactly Like I Expected.

When I first started thinking about moving to the City, I wanted to live in a neighborhood called "Bernal Heights" a Lilliputian-scaled urban microcosm with tiny streets, abundant parking, little houses and hot freeway access. It was not to be. I looked at a number of rooms and responded to many ads, but no one invited me to live with them. I was getting discouraged. About the time I started widening my search to the rest of the city, El Cab sent me listings for the Presidio. I hadn't considered it until then, simply because it seemed so out of reach.

Magical Thinking

Prayer is not a natural thing for me. I wanted this move to be successful so badly, that I have been trying to pray a lot. I don't understand what happens when we pray. I am not sure we are supposed to understand it, except the little "amen" tag at the end, when we figuratively toss our messy bundle of wants, needs and desires up into the Ether.*

When God answers...

I certainly wasn't this mystical two weeks ago, when I didn't know I had a place to move to. In fact, I was rather angry and frustrated (its good thing I didn't have any net access, otherwise I am sure I would have documented every stupid nuance of it) and God seemed frustratingly silent. I kept wondering if this was a test that I was failing miserably. I feel like such a child, crying for sweets, and when the lollipop comes, the impotent bluster suddenly disappears.

Mostly, I am humbled...

Its so tempting and attractive to think that everything is going to be crappy. True, that is often true, but the world surely doesn't always need to be** that way. Its not my plan to write flat platitudes, but the universe just grew by a few inches and I can breath just a little bit easier.

And Grateful

Things are turning out better than I even wanted. Hallelujah that my options aren't limited by the paltriness of my imagination.

And very Optimistic.


*apologies for using such a lame word. I was going to say "God" but I am allergic to bad Christian spiritual-writing cliches. I like the word "ether" because it harks back to a cosmology that had room for an active deity and an atmosphere that is not simply a mixture of clinical gases, but had a magical life and substance of its own.

**I often wonder what the difference is between the cosmos-between-my-ears and the one "out there." They are both housed in dark spaces, with mysterious structures that bend and fold all over themselves, and both are certainly alive and brimming with sparkly things. Both are connected in ways that science is only now beginning to have an inkling about. So, giving the glory to God for this gift, and having a glimpse of my place in the cosmos, of watching my world shift, gives me the sense of the relative scales of things, the connections and what a huge and numinous miracle God is.


John B. said...

Congratulations, Camille. Best wishes to you as you settle in.

rosa said...

Brad and I will be up in SF tomorrow (that's SUnday afternoon) visiting Krista, who is in Lone Mountain, pretty close-can we see you late afternoon/early evening before we head back to SC? I'll call you.......

A house in the Presidio! Oh frabjous day! Calloo callay!

chiefbiscuit said...

I am so thrilled for you m'dear. I prayed too! ;)

Anonymous said...

When I was working for an architect I had to go to the Presidio and tour the whole place and so a visual study of it. They were doing some work for them at the time, so I got to see most of it. Where are you on it? I would like to see photos of your home!

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