at 61, i live in a town amid: old hipsters the nouveau riche
hippie-identified youth friends i love and friends that i still love
who have mysteriously slipped away…
i live in a walking town, as less people walk…..a town of politicos, rastafarian loving, skateboard riding-kids of surfers and seniors readers and herbalists
musicians, artists and poets generous organic farmers and backyard gardeners
bleeding heart, left-leaning radicals coastal beach-goers, and
those who stand on downtown’s friday street corners with signs advocating war’s end
flashing peace signs at passersby while on the opposite corner, flag waving vets
in uniform, salute the cars and beg us to support the troops
and for awhile, the women in black stood silently their wordless-ness
speaking volumes of pain and loss their dead children’s faces reflected in their eyes
with tales told of a country, war-torn and unknown to us before nine-eleven…
at 61, i live in a town filled with new mamas with strollers equaling the old-timer’s rents
a town of young families of generations of old commune dwellers from “the day”
a town of “visionary activists growers and smokers expresso lovers…the healthy and the not so a town of so much….
the entitled the humble the holy the searchers and spiritual the homeless, freezing this season in the bushes by the lagoon or at the park’s edge in the hills, next to multi-million dollar acreage…
i live amid those who had the foresight to buy homes
when these once-pristine and magical land was filled with the beauty of
blossoming gravenstein apple orchards, instead of today’s
fields, now decimated as every available acre is lined perfectly
with row after row of dollar signs vis a vi— vineyards..
ah, the coveted and often visited “wine country”…..
at 61, i live in a town once affordable for renters
a town once dog and human renter friendly a town once without traffic jams and snarls
a town that felt so different than the one i attempt to wade through, see and feel today…
this holiday season, i saw my town reach its tipping point
watched its “hipness” fade into a caricature of what once was
saw in the many faces encountered a mantle of smugness anger and frustration at the world and at each other a town’s once-quaint and cool vibe, diminished
a town’s “coolness” now forced and faked….
i heard and felt the daggers of self-righteousness abject entitlement arrogance
suddenly, out from the shadows and directly into my eye
marched those whose need to feed their fragile egos
they strangled me with their half-baked theories and misinformation
choked me with their desperate need to have an online or public forum voice
spewed their dangerous pathetic versions of what they think they know
at any cost, right or wrong damning any brave or crazy enough to gently attempt to correct their glaring errors!
at 61, i find myself not angry or enraged in this hour
instead saddened even surprised and wondering
how i missed this transition of a town in a county north of marin
(marin, a place i once truly thought of as “home” –forced instead to settle in this town once upon a time…)
how did this happen, i have to ask…or did i just stop paying attention
as the tides turned and this town morphed and changed into this?
where to now, i wonder at this stage, will the adage of home is where the heart is
be able to satisfy and contain me until the end? will i be able to stay and stomach the falsehoods of this town, now immersed in this newfound, pseudo hip for hip’s sake?
or will another place another day….capture me in its warm embrace
and invite me to weather the impending storms of graceful aging?