Saturday, April 4, 2020

Sidewalk Art

My calendar says it's Saturday morning. Thus, another week of sheltering-in-place has passed. I've been doing this now for almost 3 1/2 weeks and, like everyone else these days, I'm on a quest for ways to stay sane and positive. One technique I've adopted to keep my spirits up, is to (literally) spend more time looking down.

When I hike rough trails or scale mountains, precision footwork is required and much of my attention is concentrated on the ground. Pre-pandemic, aside from avoiding doggy doo or a sprained ankle, this had not been a big focus for me when walking in the city. Now, when I'm not neurotically scanning the sidewalk and trying to suss out the trajectories of oncoming humans, I find myself inspecting the urban ground more than I ever used to. And, thanks to chalk artists, experimental bricklayers, and eccentric landscaping, I am encountering a lot of whimsy there. (I have, however, NOT enjoyed the rubber glove litter. It makes me sad, and nobody needs more sad right now. Please, everyone, dispose of your gloves properly!).

Recent sightings...

Yay, everyone is invited!

When we are allowed to have playdates again I would like one with this character  

The unicorn-dragon flew over the moon

Someone has been studying the Cubists

Sunny 54! Or (sing it), "Always look on the bright side of five!"

Sometimes I feel like this in my apartment. Free the bunny!

Dear child, we are all on board with you summoning an escape button! or the finish! line!

Unsupervised fun

Non-native species 

I want to write a Dr. Seuss book about this

The bricklayer was not very detail-oriented, but I like the gardener's "work"

This must be where the house elf lives

The day after my previous blog post, playgrounds, picnic areas, dog parks, golf courses, tennis courts, and pools were closed here in San Francisco. Yesterday it was announced that we should start wearing masks when we leave our homes.

The situation in New York is grim. So far, things are less heart-wrenching here in the SF Bay Area. There are some indications that we may be bending the curve enough to keep our local health care system from becoming overwhelmed. I am lucky to live in this city and this state, lucky to be healthy, lucky to still have paid work, lucky to have good food to eat and a decent place to live. So much lucky. 

Yesterday, while inhaling green and listening to chattering birds in the Presidio, I watched a toddler bobble around in the close-cropped grass of the golf course. Giggling and delighted, she stumbled to and fro, nearly toppling each time her attention turned to something new: sand, a raven, tree limbs waving in the wind, a flower, a weed, the sky. When she gets a little older, I wonder what she'll draw on the sidewalk.

I don't know how long this pandemic will last, if I and my loved ones will survive, or what life will be like in the aftermath. For now, I'm just trying to be smart, caring, and useful. I'm trying to look closer, to laugh when I can, and to only let myself be bowled over by curiosity and beauty, not despair.

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