My canoe: Sunspot
My beloved car. A few years back, we took my grandmother to see the new Italian Job. She absolutely loved it, and said sadly that she'd always wanted a Mini, and regretted not getting one when she was young enough to have one. So for her next birthday, we bought her a bright yellow Mini Cooper. She was positively ecstatic. Fast forward three years, and just as she turns too old to drive, I turn old enough to drive, and inherited the car. Sunspot has taken me wonderful places, seen exciting adventures, and always served me brilliantly. I include it here as it takes me to all of these other places, these days.
My road: Grizzly Peak
I have always been fascinated by this road. It runs the backbone of Berkeley, along the top of the ridge. It swoops and curves wildly and dangerously, bordered on one edge by massive Eucalypti and on the other by a sharp drop-off. In the mornings, the fog is often so thick as to give mere feet of visibility. And yet, I feel perfectly comfortable driving it at far faster speeds than most people would consider sane. I've been driving it two or three times a day since I could first drive, and was being driven along it long before then. I have memorized its intricacies, its twists, its favorite surprises, but... more than that, I feel a kinship with the road, an understanding. I know that it will not hurt me, and I trust it with myself. It's a silly thing, certainly, but it feels real to me. I often write stories about this road. Poems. It crops up in my fiction all the time. I love this road.
This is the hill that forms the backbone of Berkeley, or at least one part of it. I live atop the far end of it, and the vast majority of my memories are on this hill, one part or another of it. I truly do belong to it, heart and soul. I was raised on its steep face; I played as a child in the forests of its back; I drove to school every day for years along its ridgetop; I walked to friends' houses scattered all across its face. I love this hill, this mountain, this ridge, and I know that it loves me in return.
My forest: Tilden
Tilden is a two-thousand-acre wood that covers the backside of my mountain. My house is about a ten minute walk from the edge of it, and I spent much of my childhood running and playing in it. As I grew, I explored more of Tilden, and it came to fill my needs in other ways. I started a Live Action Roleplaying group, and Tilden became our lands for adventures beyond compare. Jewel Lake, Orchard, Lone Oak, Lake Anza, Wildcat Canyon, Inspiration Point... each word, each name conjures images, memories a mile deep and a forest thick. I was raised among the trees of Tilden, and continue to be held aloft in its boughs.
My sanctum: the garden
My mother has been crafting, orchestrating, and maintaining this garden since my parents bought the house in 1987. It is her labor of love, and it shows. It is a wild garden, with paths running between blooming and overflowing expanses of vibrant and verdant bursts of life. She does not in the least bit believe in manicuring or over-organizing or anything like that. She sows seeds, and then cares for and feeds and comes to know each of her plants as she watches them grow in their own way. She uses them, too, taking their gifts and turning them into further art--she is a master of ikebana, Japanese flower arranging, and uses only flowers she herself grew.
Another part of the garden. Once, this was an empty lot next to our house. I still remember playing in the barren dirt, climbing the rocks. Now it too is full of life and energy. I have played in this garden, filmed movies in, camped out in it, and generally lived in it. It is as much my home as the house it surrounds, and just as I belong to the mountain, I belong to this garden.
My world: the Bay Area.
This is the view from my terrace. I took a few pictures and stitched them together into a panoramic--the effect is a bit odd, I realize. The view stretches from Alameda at the far left all the way past Richmond at the far right, with San Francisco, Sausalito, and Marin visible across the Bay. I have watched over these cities and this world for eighteen--almost nineteen--years, and I never get tired of it. The view is always unique, always interesting. The sky lights up with golden fire in the evenings, and the mornings bring sweeping greyscale monuments of clouds. The nights are lit by the city itself, glowing with a thousand points of light and life. This is my world. I love it, and I belong to it. I am, to the heart and soul, a child of the Bay Area.
saille is planting praxis5
Goddess of Doom and Thievery3