The Transfiguration

everything is sacred

Posts Tagged ‘lauren

Swing of the Day #1918

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Swing of the Day #1918

Today felt almost like a patch of summer, warm with freedom to wander, but had the solemn tint of winter’s low light. Anna and her beau Harvey (not pictured, though I hope to correct this soon) came to join us this morning, and we went out in search of food and goodies and a little adventure.

It was a good day, and I love these people very much. Lauren’s gone away, but I’m hoping we’ll all meet again sometime soon.

when you close your earthly story

Written by Umbrella Man

December 23, 2013 at 1:43 am

Course of the Day #1917

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Course of the Day #1917

Lauren’s come to visit! Our old Santa Cruz household is almost reforming in Berkeley this weekend; Anna will be here tomorrow, and cookie cake may take form at some point.

At the end of this year, Lauren will be moving on to a life with her BF in Pittsburgh – something new and terribly exciting, and it’s a little bewildering to see that people are finally starting to find their footing after college.

Tonight was just delicious Cheeseboard pizza and cartoons and video games – not an especially ceremonious reunion, but reminiscent of our time in Santa Cruz, which is quite alright with me.


Written by Umbrella Man

December 22, 2013 at 1:22 am

Posted in friends, games, people

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Pinnacle of the Day #1709

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Pinnacle of the Day #1709

This is what I most wanted from our visit to Santa Cruz, and I didn’t realize it until we were there.

In our last hours together, the five of us drove out to a somewhat far-flung beach to give the sea the attention it deserved. The hills lining our path to the sand formed a glass to hold the waves, and the view for the entire descent felt like a carefully composed painting.

We’ve never much gone to Santa Cruz beaches to swim or bask; the water is frigid and the sun is often hidden by clouds or mist. Instead we’re drawn to the spectacle of it – the soft susurrus of waves washing against the cliffs, the tawny hills patched with a dozen kinds of green, the the gulls and pelicans drifting through grey skies. We climbed this crumbling peak and looked out over the water together, soaking in the faded crystalline blue, and I was terribly happy to be on such a beautiful planet.

Watching these endless waves with my friends makes the moment feel so small, a tiny sliver of infinity, and for the last billion years and for the next billion the ocean will stay the same, an immutable, constant change.

The late hour is eroding my thoughts, but I’m thankful that I was able to see this with everyone today.

birds in the frosty air

Written by Umbrella Man

May 28, 2013 at 3:33 am

Wreckage of the Day #1708

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Wreckage of the Day #1708

Searching for the legendary Garden of Eden, we made a detour when Pearce said he knew of an old wreck, pushed down the hill long ago by students more interested in crashes than in conservation. Clinging to a rust-coated cable for support, dodging patches of poison oak, we climbed until we found this old steel exoskeleton, half-digested by the woods and the weather. There was no manufacture date to be seen, and every part that might be functional has long since been looted, but the husk is stuck fast and will likely be there for decades more.

We didn’t find the Garden until we’d started heading home with aching calves, but another spot alongside the river made for a lovely spot to eat and chat. The water flowed in complex twisted eddies, deep and green and smooth, and if I’d come better prepared I’d have loved to wade or swim. As it was, only Lauren had the opportunity to fully enjoy the currents; the rest of us hopped across stepping stones and hoped for a safe landing.

There’s quite a bit more to the woods around Santa Cruz to explore, but tomorrow we’ll be scattering again. Further forest adventures will come in a more distant future.

any time will do

Written by Umbrella Man

May 27, 2013 at 3:17 am

Crossing of the Day #1707

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Crossing of the Day #1707

Guiding this hapless frog across road and river is a tradition three decades old, and Lauren took a moment and a token today to play her part. It’s a perilous path to bring the pixelated hero to safety: two frogs here are resting peacefully in their mossy nooks, and the rest perished to traffic or slight missteps in the rapids.

These old games were crafted with so little history supporting them, when the medium was only just forming. The creativity in their designs, the clever ways that ghosts chase you and centipedes meander, are a marvel when you consider them on their own terms.

Video games have always been limited by the technology of the time, perhaps more than any other creative medium, and the ingenuity required to work around those limitations and still make something compelling gives old games a lot of charm.

Anna, Lauren and I spent much of the day wandering around Santa Cruz, admiring old houses and staring off into the edge of the Pacific, but those photos are hidden away on Anna’s camera, and the rest of the house is snoozing away right now. Tomorrow I hope to bring back some proof of adventure.

keep cool, form a line

Written by Umbrella Man

May 26, 2013 at 3:14 am

Posted in friends, games, people

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Sweep of the Day #1651

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Sweep of the Day #1651

Lauren took some time today to show me her hometown. Her chosen site, Venice Beach, was choked with spring break tourists, so we shifted gears and made for the hills near her home. This is the view from the path Lauren goes running on, and from it you can see several elements of the Los Angeles landscape – the sea, the beautifully geometric city, the patch of wetland below and the hints of desert life that survived the terraforming.

At first Lauren was disappointed by the cloud cover hiding the city, but it burned away in large enough swathes to let us see to the distant mountains. The sea was marbled with reflections of silver cloud and blue sky, and the intermittent shadows cast left a few choice landmarks glowing in the sun.

As we watched the skittering traffic below, new waves of clouds swept in over the wetland, and within moments the view was obscured in a white fog. It was thick enough to feel on our faces – a slight drumming lighter than rain – which made up for the lost visibility.

Walking through the neighborhood, Lauren told me about memories associated with each place, and later on we and Leo met with some of Lauren’s friends. I like these glimpses into other lives – seeing new places is much improved when given meaning from my friends’ experiences.

contain the urge to run away

Written by Umbrella Man

March 31, 2013 at 3:12 am

Posted in friends, people, places

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Tribute of the Day #1645

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Tribute of the Day #1645

We are gently asked not to use cameras inside the Museum of Jurassic Technology, and though there are many tempting sights within, I preferred to oblige; it’s important to put away the lens and just absorb things sometimes, anyway.

It’s a strange place, and having had no formal explanation about the museum’s purpose, I entered with no concept of what I’d find inside. After moving through a few exhibits, I slowly gained a sense of what was meant by Jurassic Technology.This is a tribute to the spirit of inquiry before its time, to obsessive curiosity and ardent, unwavering certainty in one’s own insight. Among the exhibits were letters to astronomers from those who believed they’d discovered the age of the universe and the sun’s magnetic properties; a philosophy of memory and experience illustrated through the analogy of conic sections; superstitions and folk-cures; 19th-century plans to bring civilization to the stars; people who dedicated their lives to the science and art of the Cat’s Cradle; a room of painted portraits of the Russian space dogs; tiny mosaics made from the scales of butterfly wings; and the beautiful and abandoned art of vectography.

Some of these ideas served as the foundations for later minds who would discover great truths, but many of the exhibits are devoted to those who dedicated their lives to works that would turn out to be either entirely false or at least unrecognized by the world at large. The museum treats these materials with great respect, an almost sacred air, demonstrating how much these ideas meant to their creators. I thought it was beautiful, and I’m glad such a place exists.

On the upper floor of the museum is a room offering free tea and cookies, and outside is a rooftop garden where doves and other tiny birds mingle freely, flittering from vine to vine and picking at leaves.

It’s a lovely place, and if you find yourself in LA you should take the time to visit. Go with an open mind and let small things become important, and it’ll be a fantastic experience.

everything you do is a balloon

Written by Umbrella Man

March 25, 2013 at 1:21 am

Posted in friends, people, places

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