Honestly, here’s what I remember. I remember us driving along the freeway, heading into San Francisco, around about the point where Interstate 80, the Bayshore Freeway, branches off due west and into central San Francisco. I remember us thinking somehow that this sign was hilarious, and then actually stopping the car along the freeway (was there some lane blocked off for road work that made this less insane, and actually plausible? one can only hope), hopping out, the both of us, him going to pose next to the sign (oh, yes, that is a four-plus story drop behind him), and me pulling out my trusty Olympus OM-1 SLR film camera, and taking this picture. Circa sometime in the late 1970s, maybe 1980.
What, exactly, about the sign we found hilarious, I can’t remember now. The thought that: DUH! If you are reading this right now of course you are going the wrong way. Maybe the lack of the article “the,” due, one must imagine, to the exigencies of getting the urgent message across: STOP, FERCHRISSAKES! Maybe also just the stark Puritanism of the statement, generally speaking.
Heaven only knows.
But I know that I have kept this photograph through the decades, a badge of his willingness to pretty much go along with anything that smacked of adventure with his daughters. A sign of his inextinguishable sense of humor. A reminder to try very hard never to take anything, even what seems like the gravest calamity, without a hint of mirth.
Girl at dusk, Berkeley, CA.
“A” could be for a hundred and one things, A hundred and one things, but we have to start somewhere. Apolplectic. Amblin’. Anti-social. Agita. Anima animus. But one has to start somewhere, and so thus with About time do I start a month o’ photos, a semi-annual (by which I mean, somewhat annual and not every half-year) tradition here at Casa LD. Casa El Dee, as a reader long ago suggested.
About time I return to this very helpful place. One of my biggest challenges is about time, generally speaking and particularly in an era governed (perhaps ruled? not always benevolently?) by Moore’s Law.
I usually resort to this month o’ photos thing when I’ve fallen to a very low output, which I have as of late. This time around, it is attributable to some of the usual reasons, and other less than usual. The usual: the press of the actual of life against the virtual, and the increasing challenge of representing the lives of increasingly subjective subjects. The less than usual: some good – such as a big redirect of my online writerly (mostly editorly) att’n to VillageQ, née Lesbian Family; some less than good – such as renewed/ intensified internal familial stressors, stemming from the gentle, insistent decline of an aging father, the difficult-to-process (and -manage) estrangement from sibling, and protracted employment instability. By which we really mean, insufficiency. The stuff of early 21st century midlife living.
In the realm of vacation getaways, we are perpetually dependent on the kindness of friends and colleagues who own such things. We’re lucky to have them. Kind, kind folks, whom Mrs Dad has known for years, offered their beautiful mountain home as a late summer getaway. And so hence we hustled, laden down with playing cards, bathing suits, and gratitude. This getaway the more appreciated since as of a few days into our last attempt at a family vacation, our girlie’s body temperature shot up never dropped below 100. So home we went, playing cards, bathing suits, and all, to nurse the rest of the week-long bronchial scourge.
Not only wordless, but nearly out-of-this-world Wednesday.
Our original family vacation was to have entailed a trip to queer family camp in northeastern California (a post in the germination room now), and then a trip thence on to L.A. I say “original” because our girlie took ill for the last half of the queer family camp. We didn’t go straight home, hoping that she’d pull off a miracle recovery. To her great disappointment and ours, she did not. Upside, we did take the scenic route home.
Northbound into the Loop, Chicago, IL.
Much afoot. Mostly over here, where a whirlwind kicked up this past month especially. When the dust settled, there was a new website, VillageQ where once there was Lesbian Family: now with an expanded mission, new comrades, and an invigorated cadre. I went to Chicago this past weekend to meet up with that cadre, and was not disappointed. By neither cadre nor city. Helped that I was rested my head each night on a pillow of loving old friendship.
I'm participating in Shot@Life's Blogust '13, a United Nations Foundation movement to raise awareness and funds to provide life-saving vaccines to children worldwide.
LesbianDad is a personal essay/photography blog. It began as a document of my parenthood but, like life, its ambit has stretched to include much more than I expected. My kids call me "Baba," and together we work toward a world in which amor really does vincit omnia.