Out in the avenues, the ocean calls, again and again. I return to revel in the sand and sunshine. Some days, this is everything and enough.
ON THE INHALE, THE CAMERA CLICKS
On the wall is a photo mural by the artist, Michael Jang. I dance from street to sidewalk to accommodate passersby. I admire the images and the subtle touches the artist added after the rains washed away some detail. Having not stepped into a gallery or museum since this pandemic started, I am so delighted to be here enjoying these wonderful photographs. They celebrate the artist's extended family, and for me, celebrate the diversity and uniqueness of the city I love.
Walking into Golden Gate Park, a ferris wheel reaches for the sky. I immediately put this into my post vaccine agenda. I love Ferris wheels, and they are my go to ride at any fair or amusement park. The change in perspective is freeing, and all else falls away. In this state, I am gleeful, a bird on a circle in the sky.
As we get closer to an exit from this alternate reality that we failed to plan for, I have found my salve. The simple act of walking, wandering and noticing is enough to flip a switch in my busy brain. As long as I am able bodied and own a camera, it will continue. When social distancing is no longer critical, I may still find myself quietly reflecting on things seemingly unsubstantial, but still splendid. On the inhale, the camera clicks, creating the image that lives forever in the exhale.
I drive around in circles, looking for a place to park. I have no agenda other than to walk and take pictures, but today I am off kilter and a bit sad. I wander somewhat aimlessly, arriving at a hill. It is like a cartoon exaggeration of a steep street, but a perfect representation of my emotions at that very moment. I turn around before I reach its peak, adjust my temperament and start again. Riding the wave between is the balancing act of these pandemic days.
Finally parked, I head to the ocean, my steadfast friend. Here, the ravens dance as they always do. I am calm in their presence. The spirit finds solace in moments of simplicity. I cannot untether my connection to this place, even though I sometimes still feel like a tourist. The magic never ceases to surprise me, but I am easily wooed.
After a perfect amount of wandering, I return to the car and remove my mask. Contented and smiling, I wipe away the salt from the tears that dried on my sun-kissed cheeks.
During the pandemic it is more fun to walk where people are told not to, rather than on the designated paths. Of course everyone navigates toward the places that scream "walk here". We have arrived with the intent of walking on this marked trail in the hopes that it is wide enough and sparse of people. It is pretty nice, but quickly I am distracted by painted structures up on the hill.
We are on what was once military property and it is marked as such. It is not clear if the signs are new or just left behind out of laziness. No one pays them any mind. This area is now restored wetlands, hugging a new subdivision and cultural organizations that now occupy the base. It is a mash up of what was and what will become. It doesn't seem altogether comfortable in its current state of being.
We find a gap in the fence that leads to the road up to where the painted structures are. This area is absent on the online map, just an unidentified blur. Graffiti covers every manmade surface here. Bunkers, dot the hill like small fortresses, apocalyptic homesteads. They are locked tightly, but I ponder if it is time to open them up again. In the US, we are in a surreal collective nightmare that we can't seem to shake ourselves out of. Insanity reigns free. Who knows what will happen next.
But still, we voted early and with great hope, because small joys will become big ones one day soon. They have to. They need to. They will. Please vote!
THE DISQUIETED QUIET
photography and writing
THANKS FOR STOPPING BY!
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