If You’re Going To San Francisco…

Be sure to wear some flowers in your hair. On March 19, I leave to go to San Francisco. In many respects, I wish I was going… say 40 years ago, and I wish I could stay. But I am only going for a conference and at the end of the week, I will come back to Central Indiana. I will finish school, and I will stay here. I don’t hate it here, I just think I was supposed to live in California. I am pretty sure I will love it! I am pretty sure I may have ended up in an entirely different place had I gone to school in California. I toyed with the idea, but then decided to stay at BSU. No regrets, I just wonder.

I am really excited to spend the day with Jane. I never see her, and she knows the great places in the city. I pretty much can’t wait for that day. By Saturday when Jane picks me up from the hotel, I plan to have already been to the Flower Conservatory, Anchor Brewery, Haight-Ashbury, City Lights Books for a reading, the Tattoo Museum, Dottie’s True Blue Cafe, Coffee to the People, and to Alcatraz.

The first day, I am pretty sure will be spent hiking about the city with my backpack strapped on, waiting for Jim, so I can illegally sleep in his room for the night. Hopefully, I can con him into walking to City Lights Books with me, so we can hear Jack Hirschman read excerpts from his new book.

The second day I plan to do everything that I am pretty sure Sarah, Elizabeth, Jim, and Jill won’t want to do, but I plan to do it before they get there, and before Jim goes out for the day. All said, I think I will be walking about eight miles that day, unless I can figure out the public transit. I wish I had a bicycle that folded up!

I sort of felt like I owed it to myself to do what I want to do while I am out there, because I haven’t been on vacation for a couple of years. Pretty ironic since I am going to a city that has one of the highest rates of homelessness in the entire country. I know I don’t really owe myself anything. If anything I owe myself to someone else, a higher power. As I was considering my level of privilege, I stumbled on this site and I sort of changed the way I was looking at this trip. It isn’t something I deserve. My freedom, my financial ability to go is a privilege, a luxury. Because my views were changed by my discovery, I tried to find a place to volunteer to serve breakfast or lunch, but they all wanted long-term volunteers. I really just looked into the eyes of Maria (the woman in the picture), and I had to change my thoughts.

Why am I here?

How will I approach the city now? With my eyes opened to the faces of those around me. And my mind soaring because I get to do what I am doing.

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