Chemistry at Work

Chemistry at Work
with love to my friend Chem

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Chapter 5 Verse #1: After Winter Must Come Spring

Its been over a month since my last installment. No matter how much I say it or know it, time surely escapes me and I wonder how fast this year is going to fly by. As usual, so much has happened and changed since February 9th and all I can say now is that I'm happy that  "official" Springtime is just a few days away.  Spring Equinox is March 20th at 7:21pm EST.   Living in Los Angeles doesn't really offer the change of seasons like it does for most of the other states, the changing of the seasons is so much more than just weather patterns for me.

One week ago, Japan suffered a 9.0 magnitude earthquake which in turn created a 30 foot tsunami that took out much of the northeast region of the country. In wake of the disaster, the nuclear power plant in that region is now in chaos as a nuclear meltdown has occurred in all four reactors. Total disaster are the only words to describe what the world has witnessed. Last Thursday night in the early AM when I came home from a Pharoache Monch album listening party, was when I heard of the quake and tsunami.  At 2:30am I watched CNN in horror as pictures and video showed the real-time destruction taking place. The quake was one of the largest recorded in decades and Hawaii and the entire west coast of the US was put on Tsunami alert. As I write, I have the most amazing view of the Pacific ocean which illustrates the irony of this blog. By 4am I'm in slight panic mode and decided that I'd rather be safe than sorry by heeding the warnings.  I got a full tank of gas, pulled some cash from the ATM and came home to decide what to pack and put in my truck in case of an evacuation.  My mind ran wild with a million disaster scenarios. Since the west coast sits on the "ring of fire" - the area that geologists call the quake zone, I thought if a 9.0 hit in Japan, the earth plates could shift over here just a easily, potentially causing the same destruction right here in Santa Monica.  The realization hit me when I stood in the middle of my apartment trying to decide what was important in my life that could fit in my truck.  After 45 minutes of scrambling for my lock-box of important documents, packing my computer and all the hard drives, lugging tubs of pictures down 2 flights of stairs, I looked around at all that would be left behind with great sadness. My lesson in attachment to things was very clear. And while I stood there in full awareness of this lesson, it didn't make the potential parting with these things any less hurtful. Flashes of Hurricane Katrina and Haiti victims came to mind.  In that moment, I accepted what could be gone, held the memory of those things dear and finally I let go.

8:30am comes- the arrival time the tsunami was to hit Santa Monica.  By 9:30am, everything was still normal.  The coast, looked as it did everyday. The news helicopters were steady in the air in front of my place as the blades created a haunting sound of doom. Mixed with the helicopters of LAPD and the Coast Guard, it sounded like a war zone outside of my window. As irony would have it, the day was so beautiful.  Sunny, not a cloud in the sky and a gentle breeze flowed through my patio door screens.  At this point I had been up for over 24 hours.  I couldn't sleep and preparation to evacuate was still at the forefront of my mind.  One amazing thing happened to me in one of my trips down to the carport at 4am.  Right by my truck directly in front of the trunk hatch was a single white feather laying on the ground.  Not necessarily unusual for feathers to be found at the beach but I just knew that this was no coincidence.  I knew that is was a sign from my guardian angels that I was safe.  Even though I continued to be prepared, a sense of peace came about that allowed me to detach from the media-induced fear and focus on praying for Japan.

This same day, I get a call from a colleague who is now managing Lauryn Hill. He asked me to join the team.  After I hung up all I could do was just laugh because in the midst of chaos, life still continued for everyone else, including me.  The laughing coming from a place of relief, irony and sleep deprivation.  Now 5 years later since my first encounter working with her, I'm back at the door of Lauryn Hill. Even though this opportunity is different from before, I'm still here - with her. When I hung up the phone,  "Everything is Everything" video came on VH1 Soul.  I laughed out loud again thinking what a great sense of humor God has.   With supreme reluctance, I finally accepted the opportunity.  It's always scary to work with people you admire.  I'm praying that WHATEVER it is in our karmic journey together gets resolved with love and peace as I strive to move onward to my vision of opening my cafe.  I am such a fan and I don't want to loose my reverence for her as a musician in the process, as I have for so many others I've worked with throughout my career. Maybe this is a lesson in acceptance and non-judgment for me.

So here I am. Winter is almost over.  I've weathered the winter of my personal life and now I'm praying that spring will usher in the rebirth of all things new and great.