I have lived in this area for a little over 16 years. I only meant to live here for six months. That was the plan. God. Plans. Insert laughter. Next month at this time I will be vacuuming the carpet for the last time, dropping my key off at the manager’s apartment and driving a hundred miles north to start a new chapter. It’s a move up in more ways than one although in these uncertain times I’m not sure for how long. But it will give me a chance to take a deep breath while I figure out the rest. So in between packing and taking care of things and finding a mover and letting go and moving on I hope to get a little more walking in especially to places I haven’t normally gone. During these past six months I’m learning to take one day at a time and I think I’m getting better at it. Taking pleasure in simple things. Washing dishes. Making tea. Throwing a three day worn shirt into the hamper. Learning Japanese. Putting on music. Opening the window to fresh air. Blue skies.
Especially blue skies.
Coit Tower taken from Lombard Street.
Golden Gate Bridge 1986 ( Canon AE1-Program )
All three taken at various times in 1986.
I read somewhere that people who live in San Francisco take the beauty of this Bridge for granted. It doesn’t excite them anymore. I know one thing doesn’t apply to everyone and it’s been a long time since I lived in San Francisco (at three different times in my life), but as someone who was born in SF I don’t ever think I will not love this Bridge. Every time I come through the Robin Williams Tunnel from the Marin County side the first sight of the Bridge, in all its majesty, and the skyline of the city behind it always takes my breath away. I hope I never lose that feeling.
p.s. I got my first camera in 1985 and for three years I roamed the city taking pictures. Some of them good. A lot of them bad. Some of them of something and a lot of them of nothing. For TBT I will be sharing some of them here on Thursday’s. Please enjoy!
Please ignore the dust spots.
What dust spots?
Yeah. Like that. Very good.
High up in an apartment block in Toronto, Viggo Mortensen was padding around barefoot, cleaning up the kitchen after lunch and speaking, in his soft-voiced way, about his longing for immortality. “I’m not afraid of death,” he said, wiping down a counter with a damp cloth, “but I resent it. I think it’s unfair and irritating. Every time I see something beautiful, I not only want to return to it, but it makes me want to see other beautiful things. I know I’m not going to get to all the places I want to go. I’m not going to read all the books I want to read. I’m not going to revisit certain paintings as many times as I would like. There’s a limit.” He paused. “I mean, I understand limits are good for character and all that, but I would rather live forever.”
Some things stay with you. I have gone past the age when I realize I will never have time to read all the books I want to read. That I will never see enough sunsets to fill my heart. That I will never accomplish the things I wanted to. Laziness. Lack of courage. Fear. But I don’t want to live forever either. The time we have is the time we have. You start from where you are is what they say. I mean, where else are you going to start?
I’m not sure where I’m going here except that last evening I got my butt up and drove to the lake near where I live and walked a little and saw the sun set – peaking through the smoke of fires that have been burning for over two weeks now – and it was kind of beautiful.
A few days after our meeting, Mortensen called and left a message on voice mail. He had been thinking about what he’d said regarding immortality and he was concerned now that perhaps he had taken too vehement a position: “I know I said I wanted to live forever and I would never be bored, but the reality is, it’s probably kind of sad to live forever if you’re the only one sticking around. I guess living through injury and disease is pretty hard too, so I don’t know — maybe immortality is not such a great thing. You know, Freud accepted his lot very stoically and very well and with a sense of humor. He aged and died gracefully and there’s a lot to be said for that. Still, it would be nice to live a little longer, with your mind intact and your body reasonably functioning. . .”
Outside the Stockton Street Tunnel taken from the Sutter-Stockton Garage (from the archives)
San Francisco – March | 2015
August | 2020
A little evening light. If I had to choose between evening light and morning light I’d think I’d choose the former. But by evening I have already settled in. Behavior learned from decades of going to bed early because of work. I forget now that there is nowhere I have to be the next morning and so going for a walk at dusk would be so easy and I forget how many times over the years I lamented that I could not. It’s funny the things we get use to even without our attention.
Took a different route around the neighborhood. Still with the newspaper though. I can’t help myself.
July | 2020
A few more from last month that I found on my phone.
Oh Lord this brought tears to my eyes. Mavis Staples, Wilco, and Nick Lowe rehearsing “The Weight”. Right now I don’t think there is not much more that could make me feel so alive and grateful and humble.
Neighborhood walks. July / 2020
Another walk around the neighborhood. I keep waiting for my neighbors to ask me why I’m taking a picture of their newspapers. The truth is I’m not really sure why, except there is something that draws me to them. Maybe it’s the way they randomly land, maybe it’s the shadows and the light (yes!), or maybe that when I was younger I wanted to be a journalist (okay maybe we’re getting somewhere here).
Neighborhood walk – June 2020
Right here in my neighborhood.
Used furniture and a miniature library that’s open for all.
June / 2020
Walking around the neighborhood.
Yesterday the great Milton Glaser died. It was his 91st birthday. You might not know his name but you surely know his work. He designed the “I heart New York” logo and the Bob Dylan poster and the Aretha Franklin poster and so so so much more. He also co-founded New York Magazine. I first came across Glaser and his work about eleven or so years ago one night while I was wandering around the internet looking for inspiration. I came across a website by Hillman Curtis, that had videos of various artists talking about their art and art in general. The above video was one of those videos. Over the ensuing years I think I have watched it about a hundred times. It gives me inspiration and brings me joy and reminds me of the power of art.
“I think the most interesting thing that one can say about one’s later life is that if you can sustain your interest in what you’re doing you’re extremely fortunate person. What you see very frequently in people’s professional lives and perhaps in their emotional lives as well, is that they lose interest in the third act and you sort of get tired and indifferent and sometimes defensive and you kind of lose your capacity for astonishment. And that’s a great loss because the world is a very astonishing place.”
Rest in peace Milton.