Yesterday I had a full day in the East Bay. I worked 5 of my co-op hours at ACCI Gallery in Berkeley where I show my work. It was a most rare and unusual chance for me to just unwind, smell the roses, talk to customers & staff and just be. Afterwards I met a good friend for yummy Mexican fare and then we went to an opening reception at another gallery where I also have work. After dropping my friend at her North Berkeley abode I headed home.
It was dusk…and again I was awestruck at the beauty of the bay. Each time I traverse west on the Richmond-San Rafael Bridge across the northern end of San Francisco Bay I am mesmerized by the beauty. It is never a take-for-granted view which is gorgeous at any time of day but at dusk becomes magical. Even at freeway speeds one can see the San Francisco skyline, the Bay Bridge, the towers of the Golden Gate Bridge sticking out between the hills, commercial and private ships/boats sailing, glorious Mt. Tam and a wide panorama of extreme gorgeousness!
My innate reaction of course is always to capture it with a camera lens but that is not possible or safe at 55-60 mph so I am forced to just take it in visually. As if a small child self-soothing to sleep …I think camera, frustration, sigh and then simply enjoy it. And when I allow myself to just fully take it in visually my soul reacts viscerally… a spiritual experience… on the freeway no less.
I’ve traveled most of the US, missing just four states and to Asia, Europe, Scandinavia, Canada and Mexico. I’ve seen incredible geography, nature and glorious sunsets but nowhere is it more beautiful than here. Surely it is the reason so many people have migrated here, it’s not just the lack of snow, the delish ethnic food or the high standard of living that draws them! No, it is the exquisite landscape. Every time I cross that bridge without forcing a camera lens between me and the road I feel so incredibly blessed to live here.
One of my peeves in life is people who photograph everything. They go on a trip and photograph the entire thing without really seeing it while they are present. And the worst offenders videotape the entire trip then watch the video when they are back home on the couch with a bowl of popcorn. Huh? What about living in the moment?!
Of course everyone knows the things that bug us most are often the things we do ourselves. Yes I admit it…I have been the offender taking endless photos ‘to use in my work.’ So once again my trips across the bay remind me about fully experiencing life in the moment. And I seem to need that reminder as often as possible.
Meanwhile this sunset is from a July evening at Lake Tahoe when I stood on a pier with my camera. And yes I did take far too many photos of it!