Saturday, May 30, 2020

Greetings from San Francisco

The news this morning was full of nationwide protests that had ranged from righteous to violent the night before, including a drive-by shooting of security guards at the federal courthouse across the bay. I've been in that courthouse many times, and just last week put in a 12.5-hour day with the environmental organization I work for, filing motions to join three lawsuits being heard in courtrooms in that building to protect people in the City of Richmond from coal-dust pollution, which kills much more slowly than bullets do, or for that matter, a police officer's weight on a citizen's neck. 

I biked into the office this morning and was surprised and glad to find Market Street as mellow as can be, with protests planned for the afternoon. Heading home along the waterfront, still before noon, I saw that the Ferry Building's farmer's market was on, and noted that everything seemed pretty normal despite the horror and tragedy going on elsewhere. 

I was reminded of a time at Headwaters Outdoor School where a group of us sat in a circle as two of us held a pair of lovely, lively chickens that were destined to become our dinner that evening. All of us sat in attentive reverence as their necks were wrung, and I recall watching their bright-red combs fade to some neutral color as they died. 

As I looked down in front of my feet while the chickens' lives faded away, I saw a busy trail of ants gathering seeds and showing no sign of any perturbation in The Force. The killing was done, and life went on. 

Life and death, action and reaction. The callous murder of an innocent man. The burning of cities in rage. The laws of life can be cold, yet the beautiful sadness of being human is almost preturnaturally warm. It might not give comfort, but the way of truth doesn't give a rat's pink derierre about making us feel comfortable.  

View Toward Alcatraz

When my wife heard last week's news that Pier 45 had burned, she mourned the loss of the Musée Mécanique (donatewhich holds special significance for her. Back in 1996 when we met, she told me her dream job would be to guide tours of San Francisco, and Laffing Sal would have been a key stop. Thankfully, as we learned only after my wife's tears of sadness had fallen down her cheeks, the museum survived. On my way home this morning I had to take a picture of the "Thank You SFFD" sign out front.

With all the talk of super-busy bike shops (including my own, Everybody Bikes), I was surprised this morning to find nine bikes that seem to have been all but abandoned in the bike cage at work.

The view from yesterday: Grandview Park lost in the fog.

I was chillin' with the neighborhood cat when I asked her opinion of the coronavirus. I couldn't agree more with her reply.

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