Warning Signs

The seagulls will eat your food.

This warning appeared on a large chalkboard inside a beachfront restaurant in Santa Cruz. I spotted it right after I’d been confronted by six seagulls standing at even distances staring at me while I sat on the sand eating an Italian sub. They didn’t approach, but I was with a big group at a pre-wedding bonfire.

It’s impossible to write about yourself when you’re hiding. -Kate Christensen

I read this in Why We Write About Ourselves, a book on memoir writing featuring advice from authors. I’ve hidden from other people behind ambition and professionalism and comedy. I’ve hidden from myself with drinking and consumerism and social media. I peel back these layers, and I find a person who sometimes I’m afraid of and sometimes I’m afraid for.

As you grow older, you’re going to find out how important it is to have people in your life who you trust.

This is the advice the mother of the bride gave the newly married couple at the wedding I attended this past weekend. I have a general lack of trust–something I discovered about myself this past summer when I read a book called Self-Knowledge put out by The School of Life.

I was talking about my trust predicament with a friend while sitting on a bench along the Berkeley marina. We were looking out over the bay to a foggy San Francisco on the other side. As we were talking, scraggly looking squirrels darted out from behind rocks close to our feet triggering a signal in my mind:

Danger. Danger. Danger Squirrel. 


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