- It's 7 a.m. and you are running late for work. You stop at a red light with one car ahead of you. There are no other cars around. The driver, a young man, leans across the console to kiss his passenger. They are deep into the kiss as the light turns green. Do you honk?
- On a crowded street, you're behind an old, deflated man. Others are coming toward you, in a rush like you. You calculate that to pass him and keep your pace you will have to squeeze by him sideways. Instead, you brake and slow to his pace.
- They call you in for a second mammogram. That night, you walk slower to feel the warm breeze on your face and watch moonlight shatter across the water. The image proves to be clear.
- A young, shell-shocked father carries a six-week-old baby on his chest. He shows you the sleeping baby's face and tells you she is a twin.
- Your best friend's husband dies of cancer. You spend a week with her after the funeral to help her sort out his things. You don't sort through a single box, but do take long walks on the beach and listen as she tells you that grief runs deep.
- "It's hard to articulate the silence," says your husband, a welder who, again, surprises you with his eloquence.
- Wet hair waits for a brush as the sun pours through the stained glass window. A poem insists on being written.
- Young and black in Vallejo. Skirts way too short, a cigarette dangling out of 14-year-old lips. Shaking their booties when they win the pink, stuffed tiger that they cuddle in their arms. Little girls running too fast towards adulthood.
- Cancer again, this time in someone you love. Treatable, but still the wake-up call of cancer.
- Admiring a drop of dew on a nasturtium leaf, your friend offers it to you and the drop slides into your mouth.
Friday, December 23, 2011
Friday, December 9, 2011
Last night I attended a sold out screening of Rick Prelinger's Lost Landscapes of San Francisco, 6 at San Francisco's Castro Theatre. Film archivist Prelinger splices home movies, outtakes from films, and early ads to highlight San Francisco's cultural and natural past. A flash of last night's footage showed a Golden Gate without a bridge.
This morning, I walked the Golden Gate Bridge at first light and watched the sun bust through today's skyline. The commuters, the joggers, and the industrious cyclists reminded me of a line from The Annals of San Francisco in 1855, "[there was] no sauntering, no idleness, no dreaming. All was practical and real; all energy, perseverance and success. In business and in pleasure, the San Franciscans were fast folk: none were faster in the world."
I resisted any practical and real energy this morning. The city flamed against the sunrise, a match lit, and I was walking on water thanks to the industriousness of those who designed and built this bridge. The bridge turns 75 in May 2012.