Upon moving back to San Francisco, scenic beauty is a daily occurrence. On the days where I am motivated enough to participate in it, the beaches, cliffs, and accompanying views abound. The air smells like the ocean. It also smells of piss sometimes, because piss is nearby too.
I’m drawn to the water like a hairless aquatic ape.
Looking out along the precarious coast, I feel the dreamlike and timeless combination of fog, jagged and isolated landscape, and the roar of the surf. I’m at the beginning of the earth. In these moments, I feel lighthearted with joy. But I also feel a longing for all those I love to share the same view. This reaction is natural, but a little too prominent for my tastes. After moving out here, these vistas are a reminder of the ever-increasing age of myself and others. This new life inspires many images of death: my own, my family, my friends. And while the sharpness of this feeling has softened since getting engaged, it persists as a reminder of the loneliness that lurks inside.
On a lighter note…
In the past few days, I’ve been outside a lot: volunteering for the Presidio and Botanical Gardens, camping at Rob Hill in the Presidio on Friday night, taking an aimless scooter drive with J south to Half Moon Bay, and hanging out with V on a rainy Sunday. Inside, I’ve been responding to emails, researching, gaming, practicing guitar, and watching documentaries on subjects ranging from the national debt to North Korea.
Brewer’s Blackbirds were acting strangely by the Warming Hut, freezing in position against the wall and cocking their head.
The Presidio Native Plant Nursery.
Am I in the city or LOST island?
This seat rocks.
Inside the hot house.
Seeds waiting to germinate.
Proof that George Lucas’s influence in the Bay Area is deep.
Splitting red fescue in an vain attempt to have 17,000 plants.
Our labor of love.
Collecting coffee grounds from the Presidio to feed to the overly caffeinated worms in the top-secret composting area.
The worm pile, home to tens of thousands of worms.
A morning shafting at Rob Hill Campground.
J and the tent we rented from Sports Basement for $15 a day. Once again, we tried camping without sleeping bags and ended up suffering because of it.
The Great Highway shrouded in morning fog.
Pacifica’s pier, packed with people for the first day of Dungeness crab season.
Splish, splash, the waves were starting to smash all up on a Saturday morn.’
A pier packed with poles.
Two-pole limit, loosely enforced.
This man caught crabs.
This crab submits to a provocative photo of its underbelly. How decapod of it!
The failure of the American Dream.™
Smack dab in a residential neighborhood in Pacifica was a three llama farm.
This one had some mean dreads going.
Did you ever hear the joke about what time it is when the llama sits on your fence? Time to tell a better joke!
A man fishing for crabs off the pier of his house.
Surfers pepper the water.
The loneliest surfer in Pacifica.
Another compound at the bottom of cliffs in Pedro Point.
An old, defunct fish processing pier on the north side of Half Moon Bay.
Abandoned pumpkin patch.
Sea Bowl’s whimsical sign. I’m a fan of the gay sailor pin.
Hang glider launch site at Fort Funston.
A man comes in for an unexpected landing on the beach beneath the hillside.
Afternoon fog along the coast.
Strolling down Macondray Lane with J and V.
J, looking like a traditional San Franciscan with her iPhone and takeaway coffee.
The steps of Ina Coolbrith Park, one of the few parks I had never heard of in the middle of town.
Old brick building with Chinaman smoking in doorway.
A chair used for pruning on Stockton and Columbus.
Maybe all the answers to life are revealed by the delicious Dungeness crab. He doesn’t care about being ugly or worry about the ideal career. The crab just wanders the eelgrass beds in search of food while waiting for the female of the species to signal her readiness by urinating pheromones on his face. The crab lives in the moment, an underwater Buddhist. With full appreciation of the moment and all that it offers, this shelly beast avoids the anxieties of the future.
The PSAs of my youth were wrong. You can’t learn a lot from a dummy. It’s only from crabs that life lessons are most succulent!
[SFX: studio audience laughter and applause]
There will be more photos as I work through my third-life crisis.