Walking on the Western Edge of North America – Kalaloch, Ruby Beach

Photo by S.W. Cosgrove

Traveling north on Washington’s Pacific coast, vast sand beaches and endless horizons of rolling surf are replaced by towering stone stacks in a restless, crashing surf that carries battered driftwood the size of entire trees to the beach.

Inland lies the lush, primordial rainforest.

I love Kalaloch in winter when there are fewer people and the storms roll in, blackening the sky, sending mountains of water into the air before crashing to the beach. I rent a rustic cabin on the beach, going to sleep and waking up with the insistent pulse of the mighty ocean right outside my door.

In future posts, I will share more of this world. Here is Ruby Beach.

Shine on, you crazy diamond

Photo by S.W. Cosgrove

Good night, Emerald City, I’m on my way home across water. Shine on, you crazy diamond.

“Here in the corner attic of America, two hours’ drive from a rain forest, a desert, a foreign country, an empty island, a hidden fjord, a raging river, a glacier, and a volcano is a place where the inhabitants sense they can do no better, nor do they want to.”

– Timothy Egan, The Good Rain, Across Time and Terrain in the Pacific Northwest

Pigeon Boy

Photo by S.W. Cosgrove

From my One Year in Japan, unpublished as yet.

I wonder what the future had in store for this child, whom I call Pigeon Boy.

He was shy, and he loved his pigeons.

I took this photo on my visit to the Ueno Zoo and Japan’s oldest Buddhist Temple, Sensō-ji, in the Taitō ward of Tokyo.

Here is a photo of Pigeon Boy’s apparent father and sister, who tended this large pigeon crate and sold small bags of grain to feed the pigeons. He watched me very closely and gave permission to take photos. I call him Pigeon Master.

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.