Tuesday, July 28, 1998

Saltspring Island (placenames) (Journal entry)

I awoke thinking of Salt Spring Island. Phrases we once said: We're going to Ganges for some Labatt's Blue. We're going up Mount Vesuvius and Mount Maxwell. Salt Point, Long Harbor, Indian Wells. So many orphan names attached to memory. Now mere fragments.

This place is the haven of wildlife artist Robert Bateman, and of movie stars: Al Pacino Patrick Stewart, Robin Williams. We never saw any.

But I do remember all the nesting eagles at Beaver Point. Like Christmas tree ornaments. The pictogram that I carved into living rock. A Kwakiutl sun face design for the solstice.

I remember naming the deer. We camped at Henry Ruckle's farmstead at Beaver Point, Now Ruckle Provincial Park.

And the odd bits: the first to arrive were nine slaves in 1857. They landed in Vesuvius Bay, the northwest corner of the island. Refugees from California. Last time I was on  Salt Spring Island, it was a refuge for draft dodgers, from the Vietnam war. Bob was thinking of defecting. We were looking for a place to call home.

A cultural crossroads on the Gulf islands. The Hawaiians, the Kanakas (Polynesian for human beings) whose descendants still live here. We visited the Hawaiian graves at Fulford Harbour, at St. Paul's Church, some dating back to 1885. No markers for the First Peoples, the Salishan and Saanich.

rev. 6/17

Friday, July 24, 1998

Dream: Robin Williams

7/24: Last night I dreamt I was hanging out with Robin Williams, and it seems so real. I was amazed that he remembered me after all these years. After all, I haven't seen him since 1983. And despite all those years since College of Marin, (1970-1973), I was surprised to discover that a part of me still loves him. 

I awoke with a sensation that one doesn't ever really fall out of love, it just moves over for another person, like a lazy dog at the hearth. And so, I chose Bob Hamilton, or should I say, he chose me, because I was too shy to pursue Robin, and he was too shy to pursue me. I was left standing in the field.

 Imagine how different my life would've been if. If we had managed to handle the mating dance? But now, more years than I care to imagine, have passed. What is the half-life of a first love? If requited, or not? 

I dreamed we'd absolved all that self-confessed shyness. I regret all the lost years. I said, too bad we weren't in touch when you did Moscow on the Hudson. We could've practice our Russian. Yours was pretty good, I said. But mine's better.

There wasn't a romantic twist to the dream. We were just glad to see each other after all these years. But our lives, once intertwined, were interrupted, and I lost sight of him, both literally and figuratively. And the world claimed him, as he lost sight of himself.


Thursday, July 23, 1998

Remembering Lloyd Bridges

On March 10, 1998, Lloyd Bridges died. I remembered him when I was a child, How he held me on his knee, threw me into the air until I screamed with delight, and he gave me a crystal star necklace. He said he had a daughter just like me. Lindy. He was like a father to me that summer in Sacramento .where my mother designed costumes for a live TV program, a weekly series, Music Circus.

I remember Lloyd on stage as Sky Masterson, sitting at the table pounding his fists, in Guys and Dolls. And there was also a ballet dream sequence. The set was draped in purple tulle netting. The magic of theater had me hooked. I later dressed up in those scraps of purple tulle pretending I was a ballerina. Twirling in the basement. 

The crystal star, it slipped behind the backseat of our neighbor Agnes's Pontiac. I remember frantically searching for it, heartbroken. But she was too drunk to care, or to help me find it. Can't stand the odor of Bourbon to this day.

Now I hang crystals in my windows to catch and spin light, just like that crystal star Lloyd gave me. I watched that man on TV religiously every week. Sea Hunt would eventually lead me to the sea. I can't get enough of that underwater realm.  Magic.

It was like swimming inside a crystal, mirrored endless light. I gazed at it that summer in Sacramento, dangled it in the motel pool, playing my own game of Sea Hunt. But Jeff and Beau wouldn't play with me. They knew their father wasn't Captain Mike.

I have a vague recollection of them, two blonde boys in the deep end of the pool. But I was too shy, and only six. But I adored Lloyd. I was too young to care about things like autographs or photos. 

As I watch the biography of Lloyd on TV, a floodgate of memory opens up. And yes, I was really there. I remember fragments of my childhood and maybe someday I'll write about it.


Tuesday, July 21, 1998

Intruders of Imagination

I've been cleaning, marveling that I can even do such simple work. I'm patching the tiles of the kitchen floor with acrylic paint and Fixall. I realize I've already dreamed of doing this before, a déjà vu moment, and I say to myself, Neil will call today, and so he does. I'm depressed, it's 4 AM for him in Scotland. I told him I had night terrors when he left. I was screaming at shadows, intruders of the imagination waiting at the door.

added, rev slightly 6/17

Friday, July 10, 1998

Journal entry, 7/10, Big Sur

7/10/1998  Big Sur was fabulous, it restored some sense of play, freedom and adventure. Since the accident we’ve had our noses pressed hard against the dredge wheel, reality pressing in from all sides. Other than a jaunt to Nicasio to see my family, or the rare evening among friends, we haven’t really done much of anything. No mini vacations etc.

We were planning to go to the Guinness Fleadh at Spartan Stadium in San Jose and it was so expensive the tickets were $42.50 each plus $10 for parking with no in and out privileges, no food no drink etc. We got pissed off and drove down the coast. We hung out at Asilomar, the scene of the crime, and I snagged a room on the at the Bide a Wee motel for $59. He didn’t want to stay at first and I ignored him. We played table tennis in the Asilomar Lodge  and visited the scene of the crime where he collapsed from the ulcer. Yes it was isolated, and yes it was at night, and yes, he really could have died there.