Tag Archives: coffee

Walking Towards the Sun

Lands End

Lands End

“What would you do if you had nothing?” an ex-boyfriend once asked me. I was in the middle of preparing report cards, and training for a half-ironman. I didn’t have a whole lot of time for him, and he was frustrated. Nonetheless, his question gave me pause. I loved being busy. It’s who I was, and without it? I didn’t know. I never stopped to think about what “nothing” was.

Coming back to San Francisco this past December, I felt totally lost and lonely. I had entered a huge urban metropolis that I wasn’t used to anymore. And I was confused by that lostness as I had once loved this city so much. I realized over that month that I was holding onto expectations of what this city was for me before, thinking that  I would drop back into the life I had previously and pick up where I left off. Once I started to let go of those expectations I was able to have patience with the ups and downs that come with moving to a new place. But still, I marveled at the busyness of it all. Maybe because I wasn’t part of it. And of course I had just come from living in community where, part of the busy day was consciously stopping to make time for meditation and for conversations at meal time.

So yeah, I was confused…especially because I had been a part of a bigger urban metropolis just 6 months prior. So the fact that it was strange and foreign was strange and foreign. Had I changed that much in just those six months? Was I jealous of all the busyness that I no longer felt that I was a part of? Did I suddenly feel that I had “nothing?”

As it was, my loneliness led me to the Integral Yoga Institute. Having just come from Yogaville, I was rejuvenated with the idea of teaching yoga again and was determined to do so. The Integral Yoga Institute is a center in San Francisco related to the Yogaville Ashram in Virginia. It is situated in an old victorian up on a hill from Dolores Park. At night, when I stand outside on the front steps the sun lights up the sky with different neon colors as it settles over the top of the city.  Since I was there, and desperate for housing in a seemingly very expensive city with a housing crisis I thought I would ask about residency as well. “Yes.” They said.  And so here I am two months later living in a yoga center with housemates and a community that practice meditation and yoga, and embraces peace of mind and transition.

Shortly after I moved in, I came down with a cold. That ate up quite a few expenses as well as had me laying low for almost a month. Almost no work, no going out, and certainly no signing up for the classes that I had hoped. I was, by nature of the cold, forced to stay home, get quiet and meditate. And meditate. And meditate. It was stressful at first. I am active. I am an ironman! And to sit and watch the busy lives of those around me while I had to sit, drained of energy was indeed frustrating. And then, something happened. I relaxed. I stopped worrying. There was no need. There was no use.

I have heard that if you trust in the universe it will provide. I have some tension with this. How is that not lazy? I believe that if I want something to happen then I need to put the energy out there to make it happen. And yet, once that’s done there needs to be a certain amount of trust that the right thing will bounce back.  I think what it comes down to is listening. It doesn’t mean being  lazy.  It means sitting and listening to that voice inside even if it doesn’t make sense. It means, at least in my case, practicing patience.

So in my three weeks in which I couldn’t do much I sat and listened a lot.I did nothing.  I have achieved a certain amount of relaxation that I fear is lethargy, although I am also making sure to keep an eye on that.I am yoga-ing, journaling, involved in a small fun project, discussing,  and my favorite, practicing to be a professional coffee shop dweller, an aspiration of which I had in my early twenties.

Simple Pleasures Cafe

Simple Pleasures Cafe

I was coming back from my favorite coffee shop, Simple Pleasures, late afternoon one day, after a morning in the foggy part of the city. I called my friend to say hi, and left a message. She texted me back and said, “I hope you get this with your phone dying and all, but I love that you ended your message with ‘I’m walking towards the sun.’

The Missig Letter

Drink spilled on keyboardI spilled coffee o my keyboard

ad ow it has the flu

its hard you see to write such words

as ow, & fu, & ew.

To fid a remedy

I traveled far ad wide

ad as to the store ca’t simply be

I had a waderig ride.

The trai dropped me for coffee first

ad iside I did fid

a lovely writer who took the time

to share with me his mid.

“Thak you,” I did say

ad headed for the store.

But dow the street the yoga place

was callig me for more.

So I wadered i

ad ot so shyly said

a yoga teacher here I am

are you lookig to be led?

“Call this umber!”

she did say.

Ad smiled at me big. We chatted for a momet

as I  cotiued o my way.

ow I ca say with glee

The store I foud at last

ad the missig letter you do’t see here

is nothing but the past!

A Spanish Date and Other Creative Musings from the Concrete Jungle

People often ask me “How’s Mexico?” and as so much of Mexico now seems normal to me, I don’t know how to respond.

This weekend happened to be quite unusual in the sense that there were a series of events that that could be described as, “Only in Mexico.”


I-A Spanish Date

If you get stopped by the Mexican cops

I recommend that you take a

sassy fast-talkin Spanish hottie driving behind the wheel

and make sure you have a

mordita of something sweet…

a date, perhaps?

II-Cafe Jorocho, La Lluvia, y Bicis


Getting Ready to Bike Home

“Cafe Jorocho on bikes?” I read on my phone as I walk in the door just from biking back from training.   “yeeessssss!” I reply to my friend David.

We meet at a in-between location where, to my delight, our coach and friend, joins us. “You know how to bike in the street?” he asks.

“Yes!” I reply indignantly.

“Good! I want to see it.” How is it that coaches even when they’re not coaching still have a way of coaching?


Bike Parking?? Pretty please!!

I love biking in cities, especially cities that people say are not bikeable. Especially in cities whose streets and neighborhoods are so varied and interesting and that it’s too hard to get a feel for them if one is always in a car.

Our bike wheels hit the cobblestone streets where cotton candy and artesenal ice creams are being sold on the corners of the small town square. The market is crowded; full of stands that sell memeles, and any other type of tortilla that you could possibly want. We settle for a restaurant next door first of course parking our bicycles at the estacionamiento negotiating and thanking the attendants for watching our locked up bikes hidden by the garbage cans in back.

The Game

Luisen and David Watching the Game

First order of business: “How about we put our cell phones away?”

Look of death. “It’s the world cup, Sarah.” Oh right, the game.

The restaurant’s TV has something else on so Luisen props his phone up against the table like an old mobile tv; it works like one too, with the internet’s connection in and out. My friends stand hunched over their seats watching the tiny screen as the internet connection wobbles.

Eating in Coyocan

Restaurant Kitchen, Eating in Coyocan

After a Oaxacan style lunch with mole and tlayudas we thank the attendants at the estacionamento again and get our bikes to head for Cafe Jorocho, a Veracruzan style coffee.

Deep discusison at Cafe Joroch

Deep Discussion at Cafe Jorocho

Imagine a deli store in New York. A tiny little corner store that sells coffee, mochas, cappuchinos, what-say-you,with different sweets; pan de elote, muffins,  or perhaps a donut. The workers are polit
e but short. “Que pides?” Okay. Jorocho Especial. Gracias! Proximo!”


Cafe Jorocho

Families, couples, friends sit in plastic chairs and there is a line down the street for churros, cafe, and crepes. There are buskers on the corner singing trying to earn an honest living. We sit in our plastic sipping our hot coffees while eating our treats watching the rain on the outside. We sit until it is dark and there is no point in avoiding the rain because clearly it will not stop.  We ride back along, and Luisen leaves first. “Let me know when you get home..okay?”

“Okay!” we say as we continue along. David is next to go. “Just head straight down Division del Norte. And tell me when you get home!”


The rain is coming down faster, and I glide along the wet streets (only having to ask for directions once)! The warmth that I feel inside the apartment building after the doorman lets me in is priceless. I am a wet satisfied full rat, and a warm shower feels good. And then I collapse into bed so that I can be ready to run the next morning.


III-The Roommates

Monday morning I hear squeaking like a rocking chair above me. “What are the neighbors doing?”I haven’t heard that sound before in this building. I start to feel dizzy and I recognize what this is just as my roommate, E knocks loudly on the door.

“We got to go!  Earthquake!”

“What’s our other roommate’s name?” she asks.

“Laurel!” I shout banging on her door as her boyfriend scrambles to put his jeans on over his boxers.

“We need a key!” yells E, and at that point we even debate if it’s worth evacuating as the apartment has stopped moving.

Welcome to Mexico.