Wednesday, 17 June 2009

taking a walk on the wild side

i have to admit it...despite being a country gal i absolutely love this city. it plays misty for me and then some.
this morning after a couple of hours hard graft - writing, not swinging a pick - i did myself a favour, went out on Geary Street and hopped on a bus fully intending to head for Golden Gate Park and some research in the Botanic Garden there.

but [yet again quoting John Lennon] "life is what happens while you're making other plans". it did that today and for this i am grateful.

instead of turning south a few blocks at the end of my bus ride i followed a windfall path down the street heading west and finished up at Point Lobos [with a pocket full of leaves]. 

i found a ruin that rivals Delphi... the remains of the Sutro Baths. i lingered a while

found floating feathers

and then instead of turning south i went purposefully north

trees making drawings against the sky
underfoot a stone, polished by many passers
looked very much like Pounamu
greener than the picture shows

onward along the clifftops through fields of flowers where it's warm and sheltered
then suddenly exposed again and slapped by a cold damp wind

i find a lost heart

and a Latvian wild strawberry [Fragaria vesca

growing by the sidewalk above China Beach

at Baker Beach [still further north] i find a perfect pocketstone. dark greenblack and smoothly polished. the sort of stone that likes to roll in your hand as you think about other things
such as imagining i see the footprints of a special dog i used to know
Baker was one of his favourite beaches

 wandering on up the hill...following the wind to the Golden Gate bridge
i begin to hear a familiar sound

haven't even had a gin and i'm hearing a tenor saxophone
sure enough, as i walk around the corner of a ruined building up on the battery
there they are
using the perfect acoustics provided by that concrete shell

two musicians jamming
west coast impro and it's good, very good
[thinks, my friend John Kelley would love this] 

it's another icing on the cupcake moment. i seem to be having a lot of those lately. 

after a while they break for a breather. we talk and swap names and sax stories

they are Colin Gleason [tenor saxman] and his friend Dave [i hope i got the guitar player's name right, forgive me if i mucked's easier if it's written on a piece of paper when age hath wearied and the years condemned]
Colin and i also compare tattoos
and i take a few photos

would have been better if the tree hadn't been growing out of Colin...but it's not a good place to step backward while framing a shot...bit of a drop on most sides
and the longest one would leave one very wet indeed

and then a few more photos including several at arms length of the three of us [except i later do some cutting and pasting cos all except one of me has a moonface with a double chin. ew. ]
thank goodness for Raybans - much cooler than coverstick for hiding wrinklies

then they played some more
and i sat and listened
and drew in my notebook with notes on colours to slosh on later from the small paintbox
[guess who forgot to pack a water bottle]

there's THAT bridge again

nine hours and nineteen one-foot-at-a-time kilometres after i stepped out of the Kabuki this morning i toddle back into my room
ready for a serious soaking bath
and a quiet tea ceremony
with a small treasure found here in San Francisco

one that will live in the travel bag and remind me 
every time i have tea on the track
of a place that still makes me feel seventeen years old


  1. What a wonderful blog you have.

  2. Thank you so much, glad I checked before hitting the hay tonight. It's late, I'm tired but for a few moments my day was suddenly in dreamland, walking along and noting all the things you saw. Nice cup too. I'm feeling you India. I really am.

  3. Hey I've been reading your blog for about a month now and I am really enjoying the journey. Somehow you manage to sink your words and images so well to the feeling I get when I just get out there and experience the day without trying to control or be controlled by it. The textiles are really inspiring me.
    You're style kind of reminds me of my favorite Beat writer and it's cool!
    Do you post any photos on flickr? I really like the image of the tea cup!

  4. glad to know my storytelling strikes a chord out there
    limiting my virtual contributions mostly to this site [and my slightly more formal website]
    haven't tackled flickr myself [although occasionally a student will post workshop pix]
    and only signed up to facebook so i could see pix of a wedding dress i'd made...still find that site overwhelming!

    humbled and delighted to note there are now 100 brave souls reading the stories

  5. What a beautiful cup to put your leaves in...first drink then bundle...

  6. Thank you for a beautiful weaving of words and photos with your oh-so-peaceful day. The mood will stay with me for a long time...I very much enjoy travelling with you.

  7. What wonderful appendagers feet are! They lead you where you didn't know you wanted to go to find and refresh treasures for the soul, to inter-act, to stumble upon unexpected beauty and to savour the milestones of the day.
    You know I crave the next exciting nomadic ramble...rock on

  8. this brave soul is having good time reading your thoughts when wandering - thanks for sharing, xD

  9. it's just all so good...loved it all from the floating feathers to the tea bowl :)

  10. the tree out of Colins back looks like wings on my little screen!

  11. hai India, I must say what a lovely photo's you make. And how wonderful are the musicians you met, I really would have liked to hear what they where playing. Good luck in san fransico! although it looks like you already are very lucky!

  12. Ah that tea bowl. The ex potter in me can only admire. yours vicariously Pam.

  13. so amazing! I lived, up until 3 years ago, right near ( and I mean, just a block away) the nature trail that goes from the Sutro Baths, around the cliff's edge until you get to the golfcourse - I loved to walk that walk
    thanks for the memories

  14. what an epic walk. love those exploring wild days. as manya said, the tree looks like wings, or a deliciously windblown cloak. love it. can see youre having a wonderful time. xxcleo

  15. Writing a little note to you, India, on this day, August 27th, 2010, a year after you wrote this post. I have reached post number 166 (if I've counted correctly) of all your blog posts. Started at the beginning and am working my way through...slowly. The comments can be riveting so I've been getting sidetracked. I decided to give you a little wave from here since it was written on June 17 and that is my birthday.

    On June 17th of last year, while you were galavanting on my old home turf, I found myself in the roll of caretaker to a downed eaglet (baldie). Somehow the youngster had propelled himself out of the nest (200 ft. up) but being many weeks too early to fledge, had plummeted to earth wedging himself between some fencing around our pond. He was darned stuck! Birthday plans took a decidedly different turn that evening as you might well imagine. Said baby, named "Darwin" for his brilliantness ah hmm, resided earthbound in our back garden for a long six weeks, finally gaining enough wing strength to leave us in peace...

    That birthday shall remain imprinted in my brain for the rest of my time, I suppose, so I couldn't resist the opportunity to record it here underneath your amazing story of serendipity and of following windfall. Many things fell in the wind that day!

    Now, best get back to my reading... I figure that after I've read your entire blog, start to finish, I will then have learned quite a bit more about magic and I'll have taken a few trips (vicariously) to farther fields.