Harbor Cafe

I worked at the Harbor Cafe on 7th avenue in Santa Cruz when I was an undergraduate.  I was first hired when I was seventeen and quit just before I graduated from UCSC.  It was a great place to work; it suited my personality quite well.  I have a lot of fond memories.  I spent most of my time as a waitress, but also filled in as a short-order cook, dishwasher, and hostess.

During my time at the Harbor Cafe, we got a batch of custom mugs with the Harbor Cafe logo on them.  Although I don’t personally use coffee mugs, I kept a couple of them. Surprisingly enough they made every cut when I moved.  So here it was thirty years later and I still had that vintage pair of mugs.

I could have just donated them to a thrift store, but instead I decided that they were a nice memento.  I planned on dropping them off at the Harbor Cafe the next time I was in town.  I imagined that the new owners of the Cafe would be delighted to get them.

I didn’t know how invested I was in that drop-off until yesterday.  It was after hours, but my friend and host in Santa Cruz thought the Cafe was open for dinner now and since we were in the vicinity we could drop them off.  The Cafe had tried to stay open for dinner before, but that venture had always failed.  They were a famous breakfast spot and that was it.

When we swung by they were indeed closed, but the restaurant was packed with people for a wedding reception. I went in with my friend.  The manager had just left, but the woman I approached pointed to one of the gentlemen manning the bar as a substitute.

I wasn’t really liking the situation, I wanted to give them to the manager or owner, but the whole point was to get rid of the mugs, right?  I walked over to the bar and after waiting a few minutes handed the young man the two mugs.  I explained that they were thirty years old – I had gotten them when I worked at the place in the 1980’s.  He seemed pleased to receive them.

The exchange only took a minute.  Then I was out the door and walking back to the car.  I immediately felt remorse.  Did he understand they weren’t for him, but the owner.  Did he even hear what I said and would he remember it?  Should I have left my card in case the owner had any questions.

I considered going back, but I recognized that my discomfort was based on attachment. Part of me was really clear that they were just two mugs that I was unloading.  However, it took me until the next day to realize that another part of me was attached, not to the mugs, but to the connection I was anticipating with the owner.  I had expected at least a moment of acknowledgement and appreciation.  Since I never met the owner, and wasn’t even sure if the man I gave the mugs to knew they were for her and not him, I was very dissatisfied with the interaction.

In fact, I was mad.  I watched as my anger rose.  I kept reminding myself that it was just anger.  It was just a habitual reaction.  I didn’t try to repress it, but I didn’t give it any fuel either.

When I sat down to meditate the next morning, I had a good opportunity to watch the part of me that was angry.  I was mad at my friend for taking me there after hours.  I was mad that I didn’t decide to come back when I learned the manager was not there.  I was mad that I didn’t give them to the woman I first talked to – since she was more available than the bar workers.  My anger was focused on blaming everyone I could for the situation.

At one point in my meditation I was so furious I wanted to jump up and call the Cafe and ask the manager if she had gotten the mugs.  That would certainly “fix” the problem.  I’d get my connection and acknowledgement I craved.

However, I was fascinated with my rage.  I kept investigating.  Certainly this ran deeper than two mugs.  I was angry that I couldn’t control the outcome.  I couldn’t control the interaction.  My fury was over not being in control.  Yes, that is an anger that runs very deep.

This realization of what I was so angry about, then lead to an arising of sadness.  I was still angry, but I could feel the sadness underneath.  It is sad not to be able to control things.  It was sad to not be able to make things right, by my vision of right.  I acknowledged this to myself.

I asked myself if there was anything I could do to make it right.  I decided I didn’t really want to call the manager.  Indeed, my anger of the situation was dissipating.  I could imagine the person I gave the mugs to thinking they were for him.  I could imagine him taking them home, deciding they were ugly and throwing them away.  As I write this now, less than 24 hours after the fact, there is no longer any charge at all.  It is amazing how quick and fierce anger can arise and how quick it can dissipate.

I think a lot of times we get stuck on the story and loop around.  We think that an external event is what creates our anger and our sadness.  The truth is external events are just triggers for a conditioned response to a familiar situation.  If we can dig a little deeper, we can connect with the cause.  When we connect with the cause and clear the trigger the emotions clear and we know peace.

For me acknowledging what my issue was desire to control and accepting that I cannot control many situations resolved my tension.  As Master Shantideva says,

If there is something you can do about it, why get upset?

If there is nothing you can do about it, why get upset?




On May 5th, 2015 there is a mysterious notation at the end of my entry in my journal.  It is two pictures of dots with the words:  “lite bright, patterns and mandala” written next to them.  This would be insignificant if it wasn’t for a realization I had yesterday.

I have been doing some significant energy work with my friend Marvin since April.  He works with a number of interesting beings and one of them is named Metatron.  I immediately felt an affinity with this Metatron as soon as I heard his name.  Metatron just sounds like someone that would be cool.  Besides he also likes to joke around, and I appreciate any being that doesn’t take all this too seriously.

After my last session with Marvin, I decided to google Metatron to find out more.  I was surprised to learn he was an archangel.  (I decided to not hold it against him).  I also learned he was big on sacred geometry.  Ahhhh…. that is where the affinity is.  I really like colors and shapes.

Metatron goes around with an object called a Metatron cube.  This is the one I created over the last couple of days. Metatron cube It is an interesting pattern of thirteen circles laid out in a hexagon pattern. You can see the corners of the top of the cube formed by the uppermost three circles and the center circle. There is also a cube within the cube. And there is a hexagon within the hexagon.  And lots of triangles, too.

What I realized is that when I was a lite-britechild I would go into a windowless bathroom and make designs on the Lite-Brite.  (Remember those?) The patterns I made used circles to create hexagons.  That is all I would do is make the hexagons.  They also look like flowers.

Today, using an interactive online version I was able to create the same Megatron’s cube as my picture – in miniature, of course, and minus all the lines. See the green and purple figure on the left of the Lite-Brite screen.

What is trippy, is that I meet Metatron in April and in early May I write pictures with dots in my journal (trying to remember the exact configuration of the Lite-Brite designs) and then a few weeks later I am creating a Metatron’s cube and, without remembering that I was thinking about Lite-Brite earlier in the month, come to the conclusion that I was making Metatro’s cubes as a child when playing with the Lite-Brite.


Self Portrait #1

I have a Facebook friend that has been posting photographs that he takes from around town. He has them in an album titled, “Self Portraits”.  A new one shows up on my news feed every couple of days.  At first they just seemed like the passing whimsey of another person, but I now look forward to the emotional impact they have.  It is like I am taking a walk around Alameda – a walk where I am present to all that is and taking the time to enjoy the simple beauty of my world.

His collection has created in my a deeper sense of connection with my personal world as I move into resonance with the vibration of the art he is creating.  Inspired by his walk around town, I decided to start my own self-portrait collection.

Cutter bee damage on Rose bushThis morning my self is best captured by the Mr. Lincoln Rose that graces the front porch.  While the rose if lovely and has an awesome scent, the part that truly depicts me is the leaves.  Notice that they are all “chewed up”.  That would be the work of cutter bees.

Cutter bees are so cute.  They come and cut out a relatively huge section of leaf and then, with their small bodies and little wings, they try to carry the piece off.  It seems more often than not that they drop the piece and need to start over.  Last year they almost decimated the gelsemium that grows next to the rose.  Apparently they prefer rose, which is the newest addition to that part of the garden.

It is nice to be a pesticide free space where I can live in harmony with all that is. I enjoy fostering the cutter bee part of my self.