|Rose Garden, Golden Gate Park |
San Francisco, CA
I worry that a lot of my content these days contains remnants of my mother, and I wonder if and when it is appropriate to shed the enormous amount of attention, or what I perceive as attention in her direction.
My mother's name is Rose, and that I found myself in a rose garden at the end of my travels was an enormous shower of light at the end of a retreat that was already brimming with warmth.
When I arrived in San Francisco the week prior, I encountered a public art exhibition in the airport that displayed industrial sewing machines: Threading the Needle: Sewing in the Machine Age. My mother was a seamstress and when she died I was left with an old Singer from a New England textile factory. A black, glowering, beautiful, stubborn thing.
San Francisco at age 30 felt like being wrapped by a giant hug from my mother. Maybe one I hadn't received since I was a little girl, and that must be what grace feels like. What being watched over feels like, and understanding that being watched over doesn't mean there is no shadow. It means being better equipped at understanding shadow; perhaps being more forgiving of shadow.
The other lights of my trip were my dear friends Randy, JB, Jon, and Jesse B. New friends and old friends in a big giant city in a district called the Inner Sunset. There were eucalyptus trees everywhere. Like being in a Vicks factory of timber. A northerner at heart, I could do to soften the winters of oceans with year-round sunshine.
During my trip, I encountered Diego Rivera's "The Flower Carrier" at SFMOMA. It is one of the most poignant art pieces I have come across and may have replaced "Paris Street, Rainy Day" as one of my favorite paintings. For my dear friend Eric in Austin, a quiet nod to Rothko's "No. 14, 1960." Still a sucker for Moderism, the Museum's collection is impressive.
Resonances of home abound, I biked the Golden Gate Bridge on my birthday, ate oysters on a half-shell, sat zazen at the San Francisco Zen Center, and got mugged by the San Francisco transit authority. This is why travel is important. It triggers memory and helps re-invent it.
The poem I initially posted on this blog can be found here. It is called "Aubade in Autumn" by Peter Everwine. It reminds me of San Francisco, how the evenings feel like fall, and how I miss my mother. It is a birdsong.
Thank you to everyone on my 30th birthday for sending me a birdsong.