I don’t know where my words are these days. They feel incredibly submerged. So I’m going to share some pics I’ve taken recently that really just please me.
I have never owned a car. When people learn this about me, they are surprised. We live in such a car-centric society. So when I moved to Seattle after I graduated from college, one of the requirements was a decent public transportation system. The town I grew up in had none. Seattle’s was a dream compared to that.
In my twenty-two years of riding the bus in Seattle I’ve accumulated my fair share of experiences. Men who want to talk to me is fairly common. I’ve made friends from riding the bus. One friend I made ended up moving across the country to the same town my sister was living in, and they became neighbors and friends!
I take the bus every Sunday morning to Fremont, where I meet up with friends to write. Last week I decided to change up the route I had been taking. A man I’d talked to before was waiting at the stop. He’s probably in his early sixties. He’s tall, with salt and pepper hair and a mustache. He’s a quiet man, and he seems amused by what he sees, but underneath it there seems to be a sadness. I spoke with him several years ago, when Referendum 74 was going to be on the ballot. This was to legalize same-sex marriage in Washington. He was supportive of it, but he told me his family was conservative and wouldn’t. He couldn’t talk to them about it. I don’t know for certain that he’s gay, but I think he is.
Last week I talked to him again. During the course of our conversation I learned that he’d majored in computer science, and at some point while he was in college, he took a class to learn Braille. He works at the Talking Book and Braille Library, and he can read Braille visually. I didn’t even know that was possible. I thought that was so cool.
This morning I saw a woman I’d talked to before. She is an artist and she sells her work at the Pike Place Market. Last time I talked to her, it was a very wet day, and she was carrying a large piece of artwork covered in plastic. She’s also probably in her late 50s. She has large brown curls and a very open face. She clutches her art close to her body, and always wrapped in plastic. When I talked to her this morning, she said she didn’t recognize me. She has face blindness, so she can’t recognize faces, but she remembered other details that I hadn’t even paid attention to!
Did we talk at the Market?
No, I said, here, at the bus stop.
Oh, you gave me your card. It said bon vivant on it!
Diletantte, I say. Close!
Yes. And you had an amazing raincoat and boots.
We got on the bus and talked more about her art, rising cost of rent on Capitol Hill, carbon monoxide poisoning. I asked her if she knew a friend of mine who worked at the Market. She did, of course. It’s a small world. She invited me to call her to have tea or coffee sometime. I think I will.
My world is richer for knowing the people in my community, and the bus helps facilitate that. Although I have to put up with the stranger interactions, I wouldn’t trade it in for the wonderful friends I’ve made.
This week’s prompt was around desserts! I usually do make a variety of sweets, but for some reason, I haven’t taken many pictures of them.
For the first time this year, we also went to see the gingerbread “house” competition in downtown Seattle. I will note that this is a fundraiser for an organization working around juvenile diabetes. Yeah, the irony was not lost on any of us.
I had two “houses” in particular that I really loved. One was Hawai’ian (I know, you are all SHOCKED), and the other was a love letter to Seattle.
Bertha – Seattle’s BIG DIG
You can see the rest of the pics here.
In case you were looking for a temptation you could eat, I offer up this:
I did try out a chocolate mint thins with candy cane crunch from the NY Times, and it’s been a huge hit in our house. One word of caution – do try to crush the candy canes as much as you can. Chomping into a big chunk does put a damper on the enjoyment.
This week’s prompt was Look down! I don’t often take up the challenge of the prompt, but I did this week. I have to admit, I’m always happy when I do, too!
Sunday was a cold, brisk day. We took a walk down to the Pike Place Market and then back up the Hill. I looked down, hunting for treasures to photograph. Here’s what I brought home:
A maple leaf stain
Ice lace draped over grass
Fire and ice
I also love this step from the sidewalk art on Broadway, The Obeebo, that I took last summer.
This week’s prompt was powder blue. Some weeks, like last, I have a hard time coming up with images to share. This was not one of those weeks. Hope you enjoy!
I am mother, hear me roar:
Even though this isn’t blue, I wanted to show you the pod of the Nigella, too:
Blue house in Lisbon, Portugal
Blue Pool, Green Trees at Norris, Yellowstone National Park
This week’s prompt was busy street. I really wanted to post a picture of the insane traffic that my mom and I experienced in Hanoi, Vietnam. But the three pictures I took just don’t capture the intensity. As a matter of fact, I had friends who warned me about the traffic in Hanoi before I left. And they gave me advice on how to cross the street. As if I didn’t know how to cross the street! Turns out, I needed their advice.
If you want to cross the street in Hanoi, (I hear Saigon is much worse), you wait until a pack of motor scooters comes. Then you step into the street and move slowly, with focus and consistency, until you reach the other side. You do not try to make eye contact with the drivers. Apparently this just throws them off. It is an exercise in trust, above all else.
I would link arms with my mom, and we would start walking. We moved at the pace of a small child or an elderly person. I would say, “We are the rock. They are the river.” We would clutch each other tight. When we reached the opposite side, we would rejoice in our success.
Since I find that picture doesn’t evoke the terror we felt every time we stepped off the curb, I’m sharing this delightful image of a pair of robots from the 2005 Fremont Solstice Parade.
This week’s prompt for 52 Photos was The Light Arrived. As many of you know, I am a connoisseur of light. I love love love light. I had so many pictures I wanted to share, but I managed to hold myself back. I took some liberties in interpreting this one. There are a mixture of natural and man-made lights. I hope you enjoy!
I took this picture from the top floor of our hotel in Tokyo. The lights were on and they were reflected in the window, so I got this neat image that looks like a double exposure. It’s the light from inside as well as the lights from the buildings and cars outside.
Light and dark in Tokyo:
Here is a shot without the reflected light, of just the cars on the street. I love this image, because it looks like an old computer punch card. I imagine there’s some code in the pattern, if only I can discern it.
Car lights in Tokyo:
The temple we stayed at in Koya-san had this rock in a little garden off to the side. Even though it was a Buddhist temple, it reminded me of the Taoist origin story. A version I learned told about a cosmic egg that was broken open. From the one came the two, from the two came the three, and from the three came the ten thousand things.
Light and dark/split rock:
I don’t think the one needs explanation.
Sunrise at Angkor Wat:
Light through the trees:
Chandelier at the Paramount:
“And the raven brought the light into the world …”
Tomorrow, May 6th, is the Seattle Foundation’s Give Big day. Last year I gathered a short list of local Seattle organizations that qualify for the Give Big day. I’m going to do it again!
The idea is that if you donate money to your favorite non-profit orgs, it will be stretched by a giant pool of money available in SF’s coffers. Here are a few of my favorite very small orgs doing great work. I know the people intimately involved with the day-to-day operations and encourage you to add one of them to your giving today. Your donation will go much farther than in some of the big-name ones.
I would like to add:
Solid Ground – Solid Ground ” works to end poverty and undo racism and other oppressions that are root causes of poverty.”
Byron Schenkman & Friends – a tiny group of Baroque and Classical musicians. If you’ve never had the pleasure of hearing Byron perform, I hope you will one day.
KBCS – a local radio station that “produces and broadcasts quality programming that supports more inclusive interdependent communities.”