Part One, Swami:: Caydie Hilary Hall
When I was in my teens, I worked even more than before. Mom had me get two more jobs, driving the milk truck up and down San Fran’s tireless hills and also delivering newspapers early in the morning on foot. No more basking in the sun with Old Man Diego. Whenever I managed to find some free time, I would spend it looking out on the coast to watch the seagulls fly over the waters and watch the winds flip the empty pages of my notebook. I wanted to fly like those strange creatures, I really wanted them to just take me wherever they were going, out in the middle of the ocean. I recalled something Diego once said: “A bird can fly because he takes himself lightly.” And I quickly wrote it down.
When I sat by the coast on those windy summer days, I was sometimes accompanied by this girl, Leila. She would also have an empty notebook with her but she used it to press flowers and sometimes small insects that just landed on the page by accident. She said she didn’t mean to kill a life that was so small. I tried to write down what I felt and what I meant but my paper wouldn’t react to my avid pen strokes. She said it was okay and that I would find the right paper someday. We would watch the seagulls together and watch the way the wind played with our hair and those days were always sunnier than the days alone.