Obviously the title is just me being provocative – since Dogen affirms in Uji that time is just here and now (and there will be more excerpts from Shinshu’s book soon). Still, a couple of times a year the clocks get adjusted, and we all struggle to change along with that. I noticed that I was tired enough after the one-day sitting and a long ride the following morning that I had no problem going to bed at the ‘normal’ time, even if that was early by the new clock.
Next week it will be twenty years since my first visit to San Francisco. It was a mostly sunny and warm week then; I enjoyed staying in North Beach, drinking coffee at different cafes along Columbus Avenue, walking far and wide in the city, marveling that I could ride a bike to the beach in November and enjoy sitting on the sand for a couple of hours – I even rode that rented bike up Mount Tam.
The past few weeks have been filled with sun, with just the haze on the horizon to remind us how close we are to catastrophe – perhaps being at Wilbur during the main unfolding of the fire meant I felt more insulated from it. It has not felt hard just to luxuriate in the endless blue skies, and the patient stillness of glowing sunset – something that I will miss on my journey home from the East Bay now that the evenings are dark sooner.
On Monday, with the shadows having moved across the grass since last week, we filled the cushions for the first half hour of sitting, and then had a couple of people come and sit once the ‘early shift’ had left at the top of the hour; only Pasha sat the whole hour with Zachary and I. Ignoring Dogen’s advice in the Fukanzazengi to ‘move slowly and quietly, calmly and deliberately’, I had to head off relatively promptly, as I was officiating a wedding in the Shakespeare Garden at Golden Gate Park that afternoon (I thought it wise to include a little of the Bard in my words to the couple). As we set up, I noticed that the fog was moving in – the first I have seen in a couple of weeks, in which time the absence of wind has been as welcome as the warmth. I was insulated by my four layers of robes, but the bride put on her jacket as soon as we had finished the ceremony.
That was the last of my three weddings since I returned from England; I have noticed that my schedule has felt full, and now there is more space in it – enough to plan a roam for this weekend, when I believe the sun will be shining still.
Warmth and stillness at South Beach last week.
The sun setting behind the city on my journeys home from the East Bay this past month.
The new moon in the early evening sky last week.
Riding out of the city early on Sunday morning, the rising sun was reflected in the brand new basketball stadium.
Photographs after Monday’s wedding in Golden Gate Park.
(These are all iPhone pictures, treated to make them look a little better – it’s what I have at hand most of the time these days)