Thursday, May 27, 2010

A “Typical” Day (Part I)

Dear Friends,

Several weeks ago, at Marilyn's suggestion, I started a thread on the More Life Forum called "A Typical Day". The title was meant to be ironic, as the only thing typical about our days here is that they generally end with the two of us crashing headlong into our luxurious bed, exhausted and gratified in equal measure.

Here's a fun example of a “typical” day in our Oakland Morehouse lives:

It was a Tuesday and the day started out, as Tuesdays do, with our nine o'clock Ops Meeting. This is a morning-after confab to follow up on Monday night's House Meeting. The folks who attend the Ops Meeting are the ones who enjoy getting down and dirty discussing action plans for some of the activities that got scheduled the night before. Much of what had to be arranged this particular morning were preparations for Sierra and Jess' return that afternoon from their 10-week honeymoon in Africa. In addition, Kate would be teaching an Effect Course that evening, and this required complex planning, involving just about everyone in the house.

(I am one of the few people I know who has been fairly active in Morehouse for 23 years who has never had an Effect Course. Lynne has had the course; I haven't. The agreement is that, if anyone who has had the course divulges any of its content, it diminishes the experience for someone who hasn't yet had the course. So, of course, no one has ever told me anything about it. What I can tell you, from the faint whisperings I've overheard over the years, is that during an Effect Course the student is put completely "at effect" for a period of several hours, while all of his or her senses, including conceptual thought, are stimulated. Participation in the course is by invitation only.)

As a result of the disclosure ban, my presence at the Ops Meeting meant the group couldn't get too specific regarding plans for the Effect Course. They would have to wait until later when I wasn't around to discuss it in more detail. In fact, several times during the week leading up to Tuesday night Effect Course, people whom I consider to be my dear, intimate friends would suddenly stop talking when I would walk into a room!

After the Ops Meeting I went for one of my brisk walks down to Lake Merritt. The time difference makes my morning walks convenient for phoning East Coast family and friends, so I returned a call from one of our buddies from New York while I took in the wildlife (human and otherwise) around the lake.

After I got home, I started designing a “Welcome Home” sign for Sierra and Jess, which was something I'd volunteered for during the Ops Meeting. They had been having a great time in Africa, so I found a cheerful watercolor
on the internet of a Zambian landscape. The tones were mostly browns and deep greens. I used a casual scripty font to write “Welcome Home, Sierra and Jess!” in white across the top. Then Lynne found a picture that looked a lot like Amenshi, Sierra and Jess' dog, and she Photoshopped it into the foreground of the landscape, so it appeared as if Amenshi were running toward them to greet them after not having seen them for 10 weeks. Lynne then e-mailed the finished sign to Linda, who printed it out, and I went upstairs and taped it to their bedroom door.

I had also agreed during the Ops meeting to get my tools off the balcony by 1:00 that afternoon. I have been reconstructing the balcony off Sierra and Jess' room pretty much since my Evaluacy ended in early April.

Why is it taking so long, you ask? Good question! First, it's a more complicated construction cycle than anything I've undertaken before. Second, I work on it about two hours a day. This is not the fastest way to finish a project. Luckily for me, while my housemates are very encouraging when they see me working, no one is pressuring me to get it done more quickly. I really appreciate this, as it allows me to take the time to figure out how to do the job as properly and thoroughly as I can, and avoid the mistakes I sometimes make when rushing.

My friends, if you're interested in finding out what happened when Sierra and Jess finally arrived, plus many other fun events that occurred during this rich, rich day, please tune in for the next installment!

Fun chatting with you all.

Best Regards,

There is no higher level of awareness... There is only awareness.
-- Vic Baranco


  1. Hi Gerry! Lynne and I are sitting here reading your blog. What a scribe you are-You long winded son of a gun ! how am I going to read all that? But seriously its a labor of love- how about the font being even larger. sorry-senior eyes-or just lazy.
    Loved the photos of birds.jillian

  2. btw, thanks for the suggestion, Jillian. I've gone through and made the font larger in every post.