SF -ing

While in San Francisco I worked with a really cool summer school. I taught flight science or… I made paper airplanes with the 4th and 5th graders… whichever. These kids are beautiful, intelligent, hybrid babies – the genetic offspring of usual SF mating configurations – white father, Chinese mother…what did my former roommate say about how people jokingly describe his/these relationships? …was it “rice-cakes?”

Anyways, the socialization of children remains the product of deeper ideals. I was walking the courtyard during lunch and noticed a 3rd grader frustratingly complaining to his lunch buddies that one of older kids was already using the balls. I admit I was subtly triggered by the outpouring of his complaint – rooted as it was in a feeling of unfairness. I walked up to him and squat down. “What’s going on?” “He’s playing with the ball and he’s not supposed to be doing that. We’re supposed to be eating lunch.” His voice continued to rise in exacerbated pitch. “I’ve been watching him! He hasn’t even finished his lunch.” I couldn’t help but smile and laugh a little under my breath because he was so damn cute. I asked, “What if he’s not feeling well to his stomach and he needed to stop eating?” The boy rebutted, “He’s not sick! I’ve been watching him. He shouldn’t be playing yet!” I couldn’t help but push the conversation further now. “Does it feel unfair?” “YES!” Then I proposed something that is still causing me to reflect on the nature of socialization, parenting, development, and culture: “What if everything is good right now? What if he’s doing exactly what he needs to be doing and you are doing exactly what you need to be doing? What if nothing is wrong?” I continued pressing him and his friends, “What if instead of things being unfair it was really the opposite? He is getting to play and that awesome! What if instead of feeling that it is unfair… what if you celebrated that fact that he was getting to play? And that you get to eat…knowing that in a few moments you will be to play too?” At that point I stopped and they all just looked at me smiling…

I think we are socialized to believe in scarcity. Scarcity of everything – love, water, fun, food, room, freedom, on and on. It’s the driving force of capital – material acquisition, accumulation of wealth, the construction of fences around all sorts of property – digital, biological, religious. It seems rational, but is it worth it? This notion of abundance has been coming up for me in mediation. I felt lead to communicate another perspective to this young boy. What if instead of things being inherently unjust in this moment, they were actually ok, even good, even worth celebrating? “I’m mean… common man!! You’re like, 8!”

This are some of the feelings, superlatives… the qualities of my resent SF-ing:

Style and Freedom…

Hugs and Flow…

North Beach Newness!

Discovering Home.

God and Hospitality…

Love, Love, Love, Love, Love… even SEX!!

Another… “The best day of my life” … they keep coming…

And to leave, to long, to hold tears and realize the path before me requires them…

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