We Are Not Over

I’ve stayed in many AirBNB rentals and most are sterile as hotel rooms, stripped of pictures, refrigerator magnets and other clues about the life that takes place there after you leave. 

But once in a while, if you’re lucky, an AirBNB is a window into another person’s heart.  That was the case for a recent stay in Muir Beach in a seaside apartment where art, pottery, teapots, hand-woven blankets, African drums and sculptures collected for a lifetime were on full display, along with family photographs and remembrances of special times. 

Each piece of art was lovingly selected and carefully placed on shelves, tables and windowsills.  I found myself wondering about the story behind each piece.   Who sculpted Leticia, an indigenous woman in a clay canoe filled with lilies, roses and sunflowers?   Where did the stone sculpture of a nude woman come from, and what inspired someone drape a seashell necklace around her?  And what about the impossibly delicate blue-and-white tea set with handles in the shape of dragons? 

The bookshelves were filled with poetry about finding your purpose and place in life.   As someone in my 50s starting on a new chapter of my life as an artist, I felt comforted by the presence of a woman who forged a different path for herself.  And who deeply believes in female empowerment and love. 

It turns out the homeowner is a friend of the magnificent Alice Walker, who wrote a poem about her that ends like this: 

But then, 

In the night, in 

The darkness 

We love so much 

She lies down 

Like the rest of us, 

To sleep 

& angels come 

As they do 

To us 

& give her 

Fresh dreams 

(They are really always the old 

ones, blooming further.)... 

Who knows 

Where the newness 

to old life 

Comes from? 


It appears. 

Babies are caught by 

hands they assumed 

were always waiting. 

Ink streaks 

From the 


Left dusty 


The shelf. 

This is the true wine of 


We are not 


When we think 

We Are.


— Alice Walker 

From “My Friend Yeshi”