Circles

blogphototrackMany days you find yourself right back where you started.

The short story which remains unfinished; the screenplay which remains unstarted; the photo organization photo stalled; the kitchen still dirty.

Excuses are everywhere: too many projects, too many ideas, tugging you in different directions; or yet another migraine dragging your brain down into mucky pits of stagnation and dullness.

But sometimes excuses are good ones. Like friendship. Instead of spending yet another day at the computer trying to think of effective marketing strategies, I spent Saturday walking. And walking. And walking. In a big circle around a dirt track at a local middle school. One of my friends is a breast cancer survivor and every year she participates in the American Cancer Society’s Relay for Life. Since I can’t afford to donate money, I do what I can. I walk the track with her, supporting her in her goal to raise the much needed funds for research.

Amidst the sun, the wind, and the allergens assaulting me, I remind myself that migraines, debilitating as they are, aren’t cancer. And I remind myself that writer’s block, although it can be deadly to my career, won’t kill me. So I walk, and let my brain float free with no thoughts other than those of putting one foot in front of the other. If a cancer survivor can do this, so can I.

So, days later, I continue to put one foot in front of the other. And I continue to hit one key on the keyboard after the other.

Progress in defeating my migraines is slow, but steady. With the help of acupuncture, every week shows improvement. I can look at that bottle of pain killers and say, I don’t need one of those.

And I will (WILL) finish that zombie story which popped into my head during my Baja vacation (way back in March). I will finish a first draft by Sunday. If I don’t, you can scold me. The first draft may not be pretty, but it will be done. One stumbling zombie step at a time.

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The Telephone Pole Gnomes of Oakland

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When you walk the streets of Oakland, there are eyes upon you. No, not pick-pockets or pick-up artists. Well, maybe some of those. These eyes, tiny little black eyes, belong to gnomes: the Telephone Pole Gnomes of Oakland.

They first began sprouting in 2012 in the Lake Merritt neighborhood. Found always at the base of telephone poles, nearly all of them face the sidewalk, rather than the street, casting a friendly gaze upon passersby.

No one knows who created them. Or why. It is believed they are a way to add beauty to the city, or maybe just a sense of whimsy. The artist has successfully remained anonymous while growing his (her?) flock and even while fighting to preserve the beloved gnomes from the predation of PG&E.

Gnome1I’ve lived and shopped in this area since before the gnomes’ first appearances, but I must admit I never noticed them until the PG&E controversy arose. Claiming that the little 4-5 inch high wooden portraits – which are fastened to the poles with sturdy screws – were somehow damaging the poles – PG&E was threatening to remove them in early 2013.

Not realizing how much Oaklanders love their gnomes, PG&E was inundated with enough protests that the gnomes were granted a reprieve. Now, there are reportedly more than 2000 gnomes spread throughout the city.

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Take a walk, a slow walk, around the city – feel free to pause at one of our ever-growing number of hip bars and restaurants – and, when you pass a telephone pole, be sure to look down. You just might see someone looking back.

For more gnome photos, and some gnome humor, be sure to visit The Fairy Room.

 

 

 

 

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