Saturday, September 15, 2007


I saved the above three recent photos from a webcam in Sausalito, California because, for the first time, I noticed birds in the photos. There have certainly been birds in the images before, but I just didn't see them. If you click on the photos, the birds are easier to see. In the third image, there is a group of birds, silhouetted in the sky above the skyline, which might be pelicans. I'm not really sure if the object in the sky in the second image is a bird.

As I was looking more closely at the cityscape, I suddenly realized that as long as I have been stopping in to look at this webcam on a daily basis, it had never occurred to me that on the left side of the photo is the Marina District, which suffered major damage during the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake and is where my parents lived in an apartment before I was born. The landlord for that apartment building didn't allow children and, right after I was born, my parents moved down the San Francisco Peninsula to another apartment in San Mateo.

I can say that the Marina District was my "home" in the nine months before I was born in a city named after St. Francis of Assisi, the patron saint of animals, birds and the environment.

I've always been fascinated with photos taken before the Golden Gate Bridge was built. For those not familiar with San Francisco, the Golden Gate Bridge is out of sight on the right side of the webcam photos. The San Francisco Bay Bridge, badly damaged in the 1989 earthquake, is visible at the far left side of the photos.

I've been living almost a thousand miles from that "home" for almost all of my adult life.

"I'm out here a thousand miles from my home . . . "
(from "Song to Woody," by Bob Dylan, 1962)


The Solitary Walker said...

"Strong wind destroy our home/Many dead, tonight it could be you...We are homeless, homeless/Moonlight sleeping on a midnight lake..." PAUL SIMON

am said...

Thank you, solItary walker, for reminding me of that moving and timeless song.

robin andrea said...

I love the koan and the photographs, am. I once wrote a poem many, many years ago that ended like this: I am everyone in the womb, there is no one I am not...

am said...

I'd love to see that poem in its entirety, robin andrea.

robin andrea said...

It's an old poem that's not very good, but I always liked those last two lines.