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Into the City of San Francisco… CA

Monday, May 21st, 2007

Life in the City as I am finding out keeps me much busier compared with the laid back fashion we have been camping. I have not even written yet about Friday night’s gathering, Saturday’s ride to the coast ending in Half Moon Bay… I will… It was a great time with many new faces, faces behind names I have known for a while now, and the deep appreciation for making us feel so welcome!… as part of a big family.

Today was time however to go and ride through San Francisco… a City familiar to me as it was my son’s backyard… one of the love of his life… Unlike me, he was a City person, restaurants… entertainment… friends… the busy life… magnetism reverberated by an incredible constant energy, something that San Francisco does not lack of.

Traffic was light as we headed north on 280, all the way to the Embarcadero, mid morning. My first sight was of this dog sitter… I had to stop, feeling his energy and love for the 8 dogs he was handling… The feelings must have been mutual as they all at some point sat on command… right before he turned them all loose to play… without them running away. There was no room to park near by, I would have loved talking to him a bit… the whole scene was quite a sight!

The weather was perfect, someone had told me this was the clearest the city had been for a while, and as you will see… a lot of blue! I decided to make a loop following the shoreline. With a stop at Washington Park in South Beach, the Italian neighborhood… the benches this time were occupied not by us, but by strangers, taking in the sun, taking a break from the day’s hours… just being.

I had all day closed in the door to my emotions I have to say. On purpose most likely, but I could not separate the past with the present. I had never thought that I could or intended to… I went in not knowing what I would feel, and it is only now, back to camp, that the realization of the present is turning more and more into a sharper image than ever. It was a numb ride… it all felt pretty empty and at the same time, this beautiful city I felt was trying so hard to open its arms to welcome me one more time.

That is the way Lance would have wanted it… for me to still find some beauty in the City that was his, it is just… so close was so hard.

We avoided the real busy areas, GPS helping we navigated through back streets, making little square routes… the crowd was starting to exit the buildings as lunch time was approaching… There were many smiles and fingers pointed at Spirit, probably a welcome distraction throughout their day when the minds have been deep into a space called “work”.

We stopped and watched the trolleys, always with amazement as their motions are all due to a complex system of cables!

Another stop trying to trick Cupid’s Arrow… For some reason I remembered it always being a fork and a knife… who knows why? With so many eating establishments maybe it would be a good idea? While parked… a group of tourists, about 6 of them were speaking French… I put in my two words. They turned out to be from my hometown “Coulommiers”, a bit east of Paris… we even knew the same people… Names came back to me from decades ago… what were the chances as even one had gone to the same school one year behind me!!! amazing… as I never thought this world could be so enclosed suddenly! We exchanged e mail addresses with the hope to stay in touch…

And on a bit further, Alcatraz, almost hidden by this beautiful three masted sailboat… I lived many years on sailboats and to this day think they are the most majestic form of transportation… pleasure ride… specially when propelled by Mother Nature’s wind on constant ever changing waters.

A few more glimpses of the famous Island, the Oakland Bay bridge… all blanketed by the slightest amount of haze… giving an air of such peace and calm and serenity on this day.

Even the Golden Gate Bridge looked as its paint was freshly dried, I did not see any workers… no sandblasting… as it was at its peak of its maintenance. I remembered riding it on a bicycle not too long ago… something we always had wanted to do! Dropping down to Sausalito and taking the Ferry back to the Embarcadero. Those were the days… such little time has gone by since then, and then again it almost seems as it was centuries ago when emotions were so different… when the days were only filled with love and still blind to the tragic events that were going to follow…

Life can be so unpredictable… With no reruns… no second chances… and sometimes so harsh.

We did ride through Sausalito, stopped at a Dog Boutique… I was curious to see what their offerings were… only trinkets… diamond studded collars… fur covered delicate apparel… Just what Spirit could use while in our usual rough environment… it was “funny”.

Spirit, strange enough, and I know that I am not making this up as I know him so well… was quiet all day! I know that these pasts days have been rough on him… maybe not getting his quota of daily sleep as always on the go, but he was quiet and withdrawn, glancing at me constantly and unusually spending a lot of time laying in his car instead of standing up and taking in the moments.

Dogs have such an incredible sense that we do not have! Spirit can read me so well… better than I can myself… He never met Lance, but I know that in his mind he knows what has been going on, his own senses being a receptacle of my senses throughout this day. We then climbed up the hill before the bridge where the view was the best.

The sight of the Golden Gate bridge… the City… east… west… it all looked so serene… with millions of people unseen from the distance my mind was only on one that was missing…

My Blog does not have a schedule… I would have been writing this last night under normal circumstances… but I could not. I started it… but as overwhelming as it became I had to stop it… and finish it this morning. You might be wondering why I came here… as so easily I could have avoided this area filled with so much recent past emotional history. I just felt that I had to… come to terms… try to anyhow… with the reality of today.

As I still hear it from a distant breath “It’s all good…”

You be well…

Ara & Spirit

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Ara Gureghian

853 Vanderbilt Beach Rd #245

Naples Fl 34108