Golden Gate National Parks: Pictures versus Observing

GG.National.ParkI have this yearning desire to be at and walk about the Golden Gate National Park and all its various sites of interest. Lands’ End with the Sutro Bath ruins, Ocean Beach, the Cliff House, and Sutro Heights. Marin Headlands with Muir Woods, Mount Tamalpais, and all the hiking and breath taking views and their oneness with land and sea. The Olema Valley and its farms and rolling hills that gives way to horseback riding. The Tennessee Valley in Marin with its wildlife that longs to stay untouched by development. Point Bonita Lighthouse that shines her light for ships to sail safely through the Golden Gate. Fort Baker and Fort Point with its Cliff.House.Posterhistory of protecting the entrance into San Francisco and its Lighthouse. Stinson Beach that hosts many memories of playing with my dog and the gathering of friends. Crissy Field and its aviation history along with the Presidio and Alcatraz, too. I want to walk and play and to be a part of it all. I want to write about it, learn about it, and imagine the people of “then” that made my “now” what it is.

I was looking at the printed posters, by the artist Michael Schwab, for each of these places and I imagined a room with them hanging on the walls along with photos that I have taken. I love my pictures and I love expressing through the eye of the camera; to capture the Cliff.House.Sutro.Wing.Sunsetessence of the moment. There are times, though, that my camera cannot replace the act of just standing in the presence of the aweness of a location or event. To even try and take a picture is to miss the moment. I must be fully present with what is before me. My memory will prove to be a better memento that comes with feelings and sensations than a photo which cannot capture the grandness, the full experience, of what is before me. Yes, there are times for pictures and it is when it can capture the essence of the moment and the Sutro.Bath.Ruins.and.Marin.Headlands.at.duskfeelings. And when the light and balance within the frame harmoniously plays with each other… it is magical art and it is the embodiment of the soul being displayed as art. I can stare at it and gain more awareness of not just what I am looking at, but an inner awareness of myself… the Self that is stirred by looking through the thin area of the veil and seeing beyond what is physically there. It is then I just observe and do nothing more than be in the presence of what is before me and notice how much I am a part of it.

What are you observing?

Sue

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What’s It All About?

SF.via.Ferry.Window

My beliefs can be jaded by how I observe my surroundings or by the stories I tell myself regarding what I see or perceive to be real. I must take the time to find out what is really going on or at least hold lightly in my mind and heart the current events so that I don’t go down a rabbit hole of false conjectures.

This picture, which I took on a ferry from Larkspur to San Francisco, is a good example. The window is covered by the spray of the waves, not rain. The sky seems gray, but only because it is early morning in San Francisco and the fog burned off  shortly after my arrival. This image brings me joy because I remember the kind of day I had in the City by the Bay. To some though, it may conjure different feelings.

So here’s what it’s about… the stories about taking the time to notice not just what I see and sense, but observing my raw reactions to the experiences and writing about them; drawing you in to observe and to share your own responses.