Sunday, March 13, 2011



Last night we ate at The Cass House in Cayucos.

They do a four-course meal with a wine pairing for dinner. The restaurant is in a recently restored Victorian house that is run as a bed and breakfast. The food is fresh, local, organic, free-range, and individually chakra balanced for you before you eat it.

Holy shit, batman.

Warm, dark, intimate dining room, maybe a dozen tables. Views of the garden through the windows, and beyond that the sea. Candles, linens, dark wood, golden light, and everyone easy-going and mellow and happy and perfect in the way only Californians can be.

Started off with an amuse bouche our waiter called, "A Shot and A Bite." A shot-glass sized serving of creamy leek soup, and a golden fried bite of crab claw with a dab of garlic aioli. Served with a glass of champagne, just to awaken our palates and send a serious warning signal to our bellies-

"Stand the fuck by."

A salad of just picked garden greens on a disc of local chevre with roasted beets. A plate of house-cured meats- tongue, headcheese, sopressata, fresh ham, served with a pickled quails egg, mustard, and greens. Wild mushroom ravioli. Seared abalone steak on a bed of spinach. A pork dish with three bites of a tender loin and three bites of a braised leg concoction topped with pearl onions. Each dish accompanied by a different wine, reds and whites from all over the map, each one alive and dancing on the tongue and perfectly paired with the food and also new to us, exotic and off our beaten path and there was bread just made, tiny sourdough bites, and shot-glasses of a house made fennel soda I think, and chocolate opera cake and pots de creme and bourbon beignets and dessert wines and it lasted hours and I forgot the goddamn carbonara with fresh hand-made pasta and a golden egg yolk and cracked pepper and it was flawless and my beautiful wife was across the table enjoying herself, enjoying the incredible food and we were talking and talking about our life together, when we met and all we've done together and the goddamn food kept coming and the wine kept getting poured and there was just enough of a pause to catch your breath and sigh and wipe away a tear before the next plate was set down in front of you and I have never had the equal of that experience in all my life and it was good.


The other night I dreamed that I had an audience with every spiritual leader, one after the other. Jesus Christ, The Buddha, Mohammed, Keanu Reeves, Shiva, Kali, Vishnu, The Teenaged Mutant Ninja Turtles, Bob Dylan, Theodore Rothke, Mama Cass, Janice Joplin. One by one they spoke to me and answered my questions and explained the nature of reality and the meaning of life and then morphed into the next one in an unending parade and each one said the exact same thing and then one of them said, "Okay, now it's your turn." and then I was the spiritual King of Kings for a while and I said the same thing they had all said before me as I explained the nature of reality and the meaning of life to my supplicants, and then it was somebody else's turn.

If only I knew what it was trying to say, I know it was trying to tell me something.



We cannot begin to imagine their pain and desolation.

not the first aspect of it.

despite what we've seen and know to be true about suffering.

how can we bear our good fortune in the face of this desolation?

must we safeguard it all the more, or let it go?


So, the horror continues unabated. On scales both vast and intimate, lives are destroyed and the hope of good people is crushed and the dreams of the innocent are set aflame on a sea of anguish and despair.

And none to be spared.


Nor ourselves.


In "The Adjustment Bureau" there is a scene where the lovers have run to the end of the road and the forces that want to destroy them and destroy their love have surrounded them and in that last second they turn away from their destroyers and to each other and they say "I love you" and they kiss.


If we are to suffer and be slain, let us be together in it.





Blogger Clay Blancett said...

I say Hell Yes

11:04 AM  
Blogger Maggie May said...

what an amazing feast.

11:47 AM  
Blogger Maggie May said...

and that image? arresting, upsetting, deeply sad and great

11:49 AM  
Blogger T. said...

Every time you post an entry here, you are our spiritual leader. Just thought I'd let you know.

Glad to see Roethke was up there on the list. Straw for the Fire is one of my bibles.

Everything is terrifying, but there's a light that shines, beckons, comforts. Thank you for this.

12:00 PM  
Blogger LKD said...

Love that dude's belly tattoo. Looks like a laughing leopard.

At least one man and woman held hands as they leapt from the towers.

At least one man who leapt alone became an arrow.

If we are going to soar into suffering and sorrow, I guess we have to be fearless.

I guess we have to allow the sudden absence of fear and/or the sudden presence of love to transform us.

12:32 PM  
Blogger tearful dishwasher said...


I know you get it, brother.

Good to see you here.



1:08 PM  
Blogger tearful dishwasher said...


It was astoundingly good. It's still all I can think about.

And I'm glad you like the image. I do, too.



1:09 PM  
Blogger tearful dishwasher said...

T. Clear-

I love Rothke. A disaster of a man who wrote like a burning angel.

not a bad combo in my book.



1:11 PM  
Blogger tearful dishwasher said...


The past couple of weeks I can't shake the visceral feeling of impending doom- for myself, yes, but for all of us too.

It feels like we've already leapt from the smokefilled windows and are hurtling to our exits, holding hands or bereft.

All of us falling together.



1:14 PM  
Blogger Mel said...

First, that meal sounds like heaven on earth - a cosmic convergence. Thanks for the decadent description. Second, that dream, I would love to have a dream like that, surfing a wave of awesomeness. Third, Japan. Damn. Mother earth can be so violent and arbitrary. The raw power of those waves of water gives me chills. Those poor souls. I take nothing for granted. Fourth - it was my birthday this weekend and all I wanted was a date night with my husband and our 2 teenagers, I called it torture night. We went to the movies and saw the Adjustment Bureau. We all loved it. What a great show to see with people you love, a magical show where love is stronger than fate. I'd see it again in a heartbeat. Maybe that's what spawned your cosmic radiating dream of knowningness. Maybe it's the Japan thing, but the only part of the movie that didn't sit well with me was the sense that the Chairman was just fucking with people to make the plan work, all that arbitrary death and sorrow. Plot devices, I suppose, but it made me think shame on that. And then we went to Olive Garden which was almost hell on earth, for the decible level alone. Next time I'll choose more wisely! Thanks for sharing your lovely post. Yes, let us be together in it.

1:23 PM  
Blogger tearful dishwasher said...


of course the chairman fucks with us. how could it be otherwise?

but if we are strong, and stick to our guns.......well, he'll probably still fuck us over.

thank you, as always.


5:47 PM  
Blogger LKD said...

I'm not trying to scare you. This is just one of those random pieces of knowledge that got stuck in my head in the last few months while studying and preparing to take a certification test to become a medical coder. Before I lay it on you, I must ask, do you have a history of heart disease in your family? Are you healthy? Heart healthy? Because a classic symptom of heart attacks in men is a sense of impending doom. I'm not kidding.

So, I'm hoping your ticker is ticking effectively in your chest, brother, and that that sense of impending doom you're feeling leaves you, walks out on you one of these nights when you're deep asleep and dreaming good god-filled dreams.

8:39 PM  
Blogger Elizabeth said...

That meal and that inn look wonderful (and only three hours from LA!).

The rest -- while there is no antidote to collective suffering, I felt a bit of something good when I read what you wrote of love -- and then I blinked and the horror comes flooding back.

9:34 PM  
Blogger 37paddington said...

the food, the setting, now THAT's a review! If you ever want a moonlighting career, you can be a food critic. I could taste that meal, umm, and of course, sharing it with your love wove the sweetest magic.

that image, shot through the heart, the blood like wilted red feathers. I sense what this image is about, and the sorrow and heartbreak are palpable and yet, and yet, the woman huddles as if prepared for the next round, the man plants his feet. They are ready, joined by, speared by love.

i blather. but i love.

the dream, what did all those spirit beings tell you? i bated my breath, hoping it crossed with you to waking. i think it did, somehow.

now that's a dream.

9:53 PM  
Blogger susan t. landry said...

dear tearful,

thank you for sharing with us the celebratory feast;
it is an honor to read of the love between you and your wife. it is even more of an honor --to both of you-- that you do not take such a bond for granted.

the sense of impending doom ...

i have been reading the Odyssey, and i don't know, maybe i am naive, but it helps put things in perspective.

to paraphrase T. Clear, you are our lamplighter. thank you for that; take good care.


6:53 AM  
Blogger deirdre said...

Oh dear god man.
What is it about that food, the way you serve it, and those tears and that art. It hits hard.

In terms of impending doom, I'm a little scared for the west coast, for California, for earthquakes and tsunamis. I am. But what's to be done about it. I like your idea, I like the way you take it on.

I'm glad you're back.

11:28 AM  
Blogger Ms. Moon said...

I never have the words to leave here after I read yours. Never.
What can I do then?
Here. Here's a handkerchief. It only has tears on it, I promise, no snot. There are room for your tears, too.

2:27 PM  
Blogger Petit fleur said...

You and your wife are so blessed in your relationship.

The supper sounds divine. Although, I don't know what I'd do with those California portions! They sound itty bitty.

Japan. sigh. Oh Japan. I can't stop thinking about it, and them.


5:26 PM  
Blogger Mim said...

"The country in ruins, rivers and mountains/ continue. The city's grown lush with spring."

Tu Fu ( 712-770)
Translator, David Hinton

9:04 AM  
Blogger tearful dishwasher said...


Not much heart disease in my family. But thanks for the heads up.

Also a sense of impending doom is associated with consciousness.

I think.



3:57 PM  
Blogger tearful dishwasher said...


If you ever have an excuse to come up this way, you should make an effort to eat there, at least. It's not cheap by any means, but it is money well spent!

And if you do come up, you have to come by here, too, so we can chat in person.



3:58 PM  
Blogger tearful dishwasher said...


Man, I freaking love having you around here! I wanna be a damn food critic!! My secret calling!

And I always love what you say about the art. Always.

You know what they said as well as I do, the same word, over and over and over.




4:00 PM  
Blogger tearful dishwasher said...


I'm so glad every time I hear from you. And I know you know what it means to love another human, and how you cannot do it and protect yourself at the same time, nor can you fail to celebrate it and think it won't notice.

anyway. glad you came by.



4:03 PM  
Blogger tearful dishwasher said...


I think it only seems like it hits hard because it all hits me so hard. I'm a defenseless softy sometimes.

Hope you are well and happy and I bet there are more strange and unexplained photographs of dogs in your future.

You know I am not entirely convinced that you are simply human at all. You might just be wearing a human costume, one with light leaking out along all of the seams, giving the game away.



4:06 PM  
Blogger tearful dishwasher said...

Ms. Moon-

I know what you mean. Sometimes all I can do is to witness. Words fail me more often than not.

Thanks for the hanky.

And everything else.



4:07 PM  
Blogger tearful dishwasher said...


Yeah, they were small portions. But they added up!

Plus, I'm starting to get the idea that after six bites or so of something, you're kind of just going through the motions, and hell, if there's something else good to eat, bring it on!



4:09 PM  
Blogger tearful dishwasher said...


Thank you so much for that.

Beautiful, sad, and hopeful.



4:11 PM  

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