On Her 80th Birthday, A Tribute To The Golden Gate Bridge

For most of us, it is nearly impossible to envision the Golden Gate–that area of the San Francisco Bay where it joins up with the Pacific Ocean–without the majestic presence of the Golden Gate Bridge (the bridge took her name from the location, not the other way around). Still, it just seems like she was always meant to be in that very spot, and just bided her time until humans evolved enough to be able to help her rise.

In my nearly quarter century of living in the Bay Area, I’ve crossed the bridge on foot only a few times, but every trip has left me wondering why I don’t make that trek more often.

Victoria Klum Photography: Photoblog &emdash; Abstract Gate

By crossing the bridge slowly on foot, instead of racing across by car, my senses get to savor much of what I love here: the delicious brine of the air with an occasional hint of eucalyptus, the way seasons seem to change hourly, watching all kinds of sea and shore life from porpoises to pelicans, hearing dozens of different languages spoken as I pass fellow travelers, observing the busy ship and ferry traffic. And then there is the absolute wonder of the structure itself: the intricate patterns of the rivets, and how it feels alive, when I feel the vibrations through the cables.

Victoria Klum Photography: Photoblog &emdash; Tower

Happy Birthday, Beautiful Lady! May you watch over the San Francisco Bay for many many more years to come.

Victoria Klum Photography: Photoblog &emdash; Golden Gate from Angel Island

Short On Words, Long On Things To Say

I am at a complete loss tonight. Of all the things I could have heard this morning, I was not prepared to hear that Chris Cornell died. I’ve been in a tailspin since 5:15 this morning, with virtually no time or space to process this news and grieve.

If you follow any of my socnets, you may notice a Chris Cornell influence. My Tumblr references “Drawing Flies” and I may still have “Searching For The Good With My Good Eye Closed” as a tag line in a few places.

To appreciate the gift of Chris Cornell’s words, and the power of Soundgarden’s music, it isn’t necessary to have been in the Pacific Northwest 30 years ago, as some incredibly powerful and innovative music was gestating in clubs along I-5. If Louder Than Love or Badmotorfinger made you sit up and take notice, then you knew early enough what an influence Soundgarden would have.

Portland was fertile ground for many of these bands that had formed a few hours north, in Seattle: Mother Love Bone, Mudhoney, Nirvana, Soundgarden, Green River, Alice In Chains, and many others. For those of us who are contemporaries with these artists, who came of age with them and supported them in those early years, in small, steamy clubs with sticky, beer-soaked and blood-splattered floors (those mosh pits tho), they are we and we are they.

Andrew, Kurt, Layne, and, now, Chris. Losing them hurts like hell.

Many people are posting many Soundgarden/Audioslave/Chris Cornell videos today. I’m choosing a live version of “Seasons” which has been playing in my head all day long. It is one of the most perfectly beautiful songs I’ve ever heard, and I like this live version because it shows Chris’ humor. Even if I can’t cry yet, he at least got me to smile one more time.

 

Found Words

I was going through a box yesterday evening when I came across a stack of old journals, many had been started, then stopped.

One in particular has a few entries beginning right after my mother’s death, as I began processing that and everything that came at me in the months that followed. I wasn’t consistent with the entries: some are a couple of days apart and then there is a gap of several months. Some entries are letters that I wrote to Mom.

It isn’t easy to read those old entries, yet in re-reading them I see that I handled her suicide really well. I was very aware of what I was feeling and very tuned in to those who were helpful and those who were full of shit.

From 22 December, 1991: “I remember right after Mom died people were saying that they hoped one day I could forgive her for what she had done. And I couldn’t understand that because I wasn’t ready to be mad at her yet.

“Of course, time has changed all that. I was at my angriest last month when I was trying to finish up on the house.

“I’m still angry, but now I’m more lonely and scared. And no amount of love and support from friends and relatives can fix that.”

There was the trip I took with some friends a year later, when we visited San Francisco. The ticket for Alcatraz and receipts from various shops and restaurants are pressed between the pages.

I also was trying to document random things about Mom so I wouldn’t forget (how she drank her coffee and the way we would sit on the couch with the dogs and read or watch TV). Three and a half years later, after my Grandpa died, I wrote more random things about him that I didn’t want to forget.

That journal stopped after I wrote only about 1/4 of the way through it. Usually when I find partially-filled journals, I press them back into service and finish writing in them, but for this one, I think I’ll just let it end where it stopped.