Steve Kowit — Solo Monk

Tuesday morning, February 6

Linda and I went down to San Diego this past weekend to be at the wedding of my youngest nephew, Mitchell. Aimee and he got married outdoors in February, which would have been taking a considerable chance if this had been twenty years ago. I noticed in the late 1990s, however, that rainfall had already begun declining in winter months in Southern California. The years that I spent in San Diego (1997-2004) were fairly dry, and I yearned for more rain then, as much as I do now. Last winter’s rainfall seems to have been an anomaly, and we are back in an even worse drought than before.

If it had rained, Mitchell and Aimee had already arranged for a tent to cover the area of the ceremony and the four dozen chairs for their families and friends. Both of Mitchell’s siblings were there with their spouses. His older sister led a prayer-invocation, and I was very moved by the special touches of Latino customs at marriages, including the lighting of a single candle from the flame of two candles; the lasso’s symbolic joining; and the exchange of coins as a pledge of providing each other the necessities in the course of the contingencies of a life together.

Earlier in the day, we had had lunch in Solana Beach with Bill Harding, the publisher of Oak Garden Press, and his poet-wife Penny. Bill has also worked as a musician, and he told us of having collaborated with the late poet Steve Kowit when he read his poem, “Solo Monk.” There is a video available if you do a quick search: Steve Kowit Solo Monk.

Thanks to the nation’s ability to get caught up in a sports event, the traffic back the next day was very light, and we scooted home without having to speed up in the least.