The Changing Light

Photo by S.W. Cosgrove

The view from my office window high above Market Street, looking up Van Ness, as the fog rolled in from the Golden Gate onto The City, changing day into night. I always had a sweater ready in the middle of summer.

The changing light / at San Francisco / is none of your East Coast light / none of your / pearly light of Paris / The light of San Francisco / is a sea light / an island light / And the light of fog / blanketing the hills / drifting in at night / through the Golden Gate / to lie on the city at dawn. 

Lawerence Ferlinghetti

A Ferry Tale

Photo by S.W. Cosgrove

For 25 years, I lived on an island 7.73 nautical miles from downtown Seattle, a 35-minute ferry ride.

I loved the ferry.  I hated the ferry.

I drank coffee on the ferry.  I drank wine on the ferry.

I took the ferry to work, to concerts, to restaurants, to clubs, to stores, to hospitals – and back.

People were born on the ferry.  People died on the ferry.  People committed suicide on the ferry.

I laughed on the ferry.  I cried on the ferry.

I socialized on the ferry.  I socially isolated on the ferry.

When I could not bear to converse with others, I put in my ear pods and walked the top deck, listening to music.  Ahmad Jamal. Dave Brubeck. Tchaikovsky. Puccini. Butterfield Blues Band. The Rolling Stones.

I heard about 9/11 on the ferry.  I heard about the Oklahoma federal center bombing on the ferry. 

I miss the ferry.  I never want to ride the ferry again. Except on nights like these.