I had just woke up, took a few minutes to look over my tickets and replies (because I am always working because I <3 my work) and took a look through the news feed. There I found out that this was Paul Reubens, or Pee-wee Herman's, 60th birthday.
The thought of that made me draw in a breath...
Pee-wee Herman is 60?
Well, that does make sense... he was in Cheech & Chong's Next Movie... that was what? 1980? I was 7? yeah....
I was 18 when they pulled his show off the air. That was, what 1991?
I went through tumbler to find a photo to add to facebook and found the one here.
Something between the age of the man and the youth of the character touched me in a way that I couldn't explain.
While I tried to find words, my friends chimed in:
It’s quiet and pure and he’s so awesome….
He’s a modern day tragic clown – beloved and reviled at the same time.
With their help I could express what I saw:
they didn’t do the heavy makeup that made him look like a little boy… they kept his age (he’s 60…!!) and somehow we are still able to see the little kid on the Schwin and Chairry… but we also see that he, like us have gotten old…and it isn’t depressing because there is a wisdom and a sense of peace there….
and one other found the same:
I am with you concerning the aging thing. He looks peaceful and content with his aging. All that fun and silliness has been good to him. I always say laughter keeps my heart young.
When you are simply sitting still and looking into the camera, no mugging, no posing, and precious little makeup, your face and your eyes in particular will tell the viewer everything.
There was age there.
All I could do was to offer you an opinion upon one minor point — a woman must have money and a room of her own if she is to write fiction; and that, as you will see, leaves the great problem of the true nature of woman and the true nature of fiction unsolved.
….this place delivers on the peace of mind it promises…all that is missing is a random chicken strutin’ by…
I will give you that this was written when women had precious little access to either money or their own space, but I think the principle of what Virginia Wolfe holds true:
All a woman needs to write fully is a space with which to write and for that place and the surroundings to be nurturing; to be able to have fullness and peace while working on the sometimes difficult task of putting butt in chair and words on paper.
What does this have to do with a sleepover?
Everything… from the very moment I got out of my car-
Wait! … Aren’t you kinda old to be having sleepovers?
Nope! Moving on…
From the very moment I got out of my car, I felt peace. Granted at first it was the peace from being an acre or 2 from everything else, but was exactly what I needed. I needed to have my mind clear and a clear mind helps you separate what is real from the white noise generating, crazy-making dubstep produced by an over stimulated, over stress and over worked brain. I stepped out the car, took a look around, saw a chicken and [for the privacy of those that were gracious enough to open their home to me, I will not use real names but will instead call you] Ian waiting to greet me and my head felt about 10 pounds lighter.
I had walked down 16th Street in San Francisco about 4 or 5 times by the time I saw it. It was a blue cast iron gate, flush with the buildings. If you were in a hurry or not paying any kind of attention, then you would just walk by it. And I did. Until the one time I didn’t.
I don’t know what made me turn around and look up the stairs, but once I did, it felt as if I had seen a glimpse of some magical place. Cleansed by days of walking and wandering, I looked through the bars and imagined all the sorts of wonderful things that were beyond that gate and behind those doors. And after a few moments. I walked away and this space had grown roots in my memory.
This is my favorite photo of all the ones I took while I was in San Francisco.
It’s a simple shot of a simple street from inside a simple cafe about 6am Pacific time. This same time of morning in Texas, I would have to drive somewhere 15 miles away and find a spot and then sit and eat and drive.
Here, all I needed was a pair of shoes (really, the sidewalks were nasty) a little cash and time to walk. The streets were quiet and still, filled with homes squeezed together so tightly that all there was was their character. On every corner was a restaurant or cafe or boutique of some sort, waiting to be admired and visited. These small little hidden places that were made for walking slowly, looking, touching, and smiling.
I ended up at a small coffee shop called Four Barrels and watched as they roasted beans and pull vinyl records to play as they made my drink. A few blocks back towards the town house, I found this place.
I sat down and just looked out the window as the city woke up.
“Abba, thank You for being in the quiet moments like this. I didn’t need to fill my time with things to make feel needed or important or be busy to avoid feeling lonely… I had You and that was all I needed. It was just the two of us, the way it used to be and I missed that so much. I missed walking with You, spending time with You, and not needing anything else. Thank you for reminding me how sweet time with You is.”