Do You Know The Way To San Jose?
It's impossible to drive into San Jose without humming the old song. I sort of know the way to San Jose, but I come back so infrequently, I have a hard time now finding my way to the house I grew up in, even though my Dad still lives in it. It's weird being here. I feel uneasy, and I'm not sure who to be when I'm in this place. I sit here chatting with my sisters and my Dad, and I flop back and forth between old versions of my young self, and the grown up self who knows just what to do in the world... everywhere except here. I imagine most of us go through this. There are movies to tell us we are not alone, like "Home For The Holidays", one of my favorites, a dizzy whirl of family dynamic that rings true every time I watch it. Get a family, any family together, and it will most likely be crazy and fun and sad and odd and familiar. We watch each other grow up, and grow old. We notice who is missing, in our case, Mom, and we try to ignore it most of the time, but the shadows still trip us up in the hallway now and then. They're not gone. They're just not here.
I'm dashing this off this morning, still in my bed at my sister Jill's house, hiding in a dimly lit, early morning room. Today Linda and I will take our Dad to Felton, while Jill works, to ride the old steam train through the redwoods, something none of us has done since we were all little kids. Later we'll have lunch in Santa Cruz, something we've all done many times, and something I find particularly comforting. My job today is to get my balance. I'm safe here. I'm with people I love. Whatever my expectations are, of them, or of myself, it's a good time to drop them and just shine my little light. Every time I come back, I have to remind Old Self wander off into a corner with the shadows, and to please be quiet, so we can all be who we are now, in this strange and familiar place.