San Francisco Early Summer Sun. Kindness Matters

I ventured out today in the early summer sun. It was hardly warm, but it was at least dry and the sun was trying to break through the chill of this el nino year weather. The sky is almost blue, even if the wind blows away any attempt at the day becoming truly warm. The cold weather hurts my arthritic joints, but nothing could bring down the sight of the City rising on the hills as I wandered down California Street in the morning. Painted houses, sky scrapers, old habitations, new day stuff with old time street cars zipping up and down the road on rattling tracks. It was really quite beautiful.

Apparently the national guard are in town along with the highway patrol, in the governor of the state’s attempt to look as if he is tough on crime and has solutions for the suffering and the deterioration of this jewel on the Bay. It is a neat trick of the light – looking good whilst doing nothing to alleviate suffering at all. As Lennon once sang, “You might say that I’m a dreamer, but I’m not the only one.” It is true of me today, as it has ever been. I dream of a City governed by people who put in place long term solutions, pragmatic realistic solutions, not imposing their ‘morality’ on others, nor playing to the peanut throwing rich in their multi million dollar life styles and houses in Pac Heights. I dream of safe supply programs, harm reduction centers, hotel rooms for the homeless. I long for the empty financial district to be converted into housing for the low income and those on the streets. I long for public bathrooms to be set up in large numbers. I dream of kindness, but I see so much suffering and cruelty. People like talking a good game about stuff they really do not understand. Most people who have a lot to say on the subject of San Francisco are so far removed from the problems at hand, they have no idea how to do anything just judge and make it all so much worse.

I am having a better day health-wise today. I feel like I can keep walking, my hands are not too badly swollen right now and I have energy. I quite like feeling better, even if I know it is temporary. I am taking a bunch of supplements and being careful to sleep when I need to. I live for these days that I feel ok. I’m struggling to keep weight on thanks to the illness, but making an effort to eat, rest and not get stressed. Those things are things I can do for myself to help myself. I have also been taking CBD in quite large doses, and gone back to eating thc gummies. Those things help. I’m taking vitamin D is large doses to combat the low levels caused by the autoimmune disease, and turmeric pills to help with the inflammation. I’m quite happy with my choice not to continue with the chemo, prednisone or the Plaquenil. I think it was the right choice for me. I just hope I get more good time before the disease progresses and takes away my good days.

The streets are quiet. There are only a few homeless people around, and calm seems to be reigning a little more down on the streets. I didn’t even see any shit on the street today. This is unusual. I wonder where these people have gone and where they are going to the bathroom. It concerns me. People don’t just disappear. I hope extra shelter places have been set up to help people while this crack down is continuing. I have not ventured into the lower blocks of the Tenderloin recently. I try not to go down there if I don’t have to. There are more sirens and more activity from the Powers That Be. It feels vaguely threatening. There is a sense of fear and uneasiness in the air. I don’t agree with criminalizing people. It is terrifying to think of the City’s poor and struggling population being scared into quiet behavior. Whatever happened to compassion? It appears the City is a bitch to the political desires of those that run it, instead of a helper to those in extreme need. How sad is that?

I try not to look too much at social media nowadays. There is too much cruelty, self congratulation for being an asshole, too much judgmental nastiness from people who don’t understand the issues at hand, and so much misogyny. People seem to delight in being nasty, and it makes me feel sick. I am not the kind of person to shut the curtains and not look at the crap, but for the sake of my health I have to learn how to relax a bit. I have to try and reduce the intensity with which I feel stuff on a constant basis, or else this autoimmune disease is going to kick my ass further. I try and ration my outrage and feeling. I try and write it out. I try and make time for joy. I dance round my living room to The Grateful Dead, and I water my garden. I want so much to live, and live good and long. I want to be able to remain in my sweet little apartment in the bad part of town with my Boy more than anything. I am content. I have enough for the first time in my life I am safe and comfortable and can afford three meals a day. I feel like I let everyone down by getting unwell. It is breaking my heart. I try not to think too much about the life expectancy predictions, the possibilities and the probabilities. I am trying to just live and that is not easy at all.

Still there is sunlight and the summer to look forward to. There is heat and there is joy and there is happiness and there is beauty despite it all, and more valuable than all of that, there is kindness. I don’t care if you are rich, if you are famous, if you are successful, what I want to know is ARE YOU KIND?


  1. Tyronica Smith

    There’s this thing that’s turned into a popular saying on the social medias… “I match energy.” I think that’s a dangerous game. Sure, it looks good on a tshirt and is cool to say when battling trolls online but as a principle, it’s a draining thing.

    Kindness can mean all the world to someone in need of it. And I think we are all in need of it. Earth is a wild place and its people equally so.

    Sometimes we have to dance our blues away and I love that you danced around your living room. That is a very good sign. I’ve been looking forward to summer as well. May we both experience the sun’s warmth and find joy in it.

    Here’s another song to dance to should you feel the need to again. The link probably won’t work so copy and paste at your convenience.


    1. The Paltry Sum: Detroit Richards

      It is always so refreshing to hear from you, Tyronica! I simply can’t do it any more. When I was younger I was fiesty and gave as good as I got, but it quite simply I am too unwell to keep on fighting against an unending tide of bad vibes. I don’t have that energy and I have never been unkind at heart. People are wild, you are right, and sometimes in a good way…sometimes not. I hope to give kindness back even when it is not deserved, that said, I don’t have it in me to be endlessly forgiving. It is so hard, isn’t it?
      Love love love Corinne Bailey Rae! She is a goddess! Her voice! I hope you are dancing too! Sounds like we both need some summer. I certainly need some heat. This bad weather is too much for me. I lived in Japan, which is very hot in the part I lived, for a long time and my body needs warmth!
      Sending you much joy, happiness, kindness and love. You are a star, my friend
      As always

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