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xml [LEMONS]


3.10.2004

The Tyranny of Beautiful Days.

San Francisco is not known for its weather. We are not LA. We are not San Diego. We have fog, and it actually rains here sometimes, and in July, you'd better bring your jacket.

But when the weather is nice. When it is sunny, and there's not a cloud in the sky. It's unreal, deceptive, unbelievable. You think that maybe, just maybe, you've died. It's all over. Or that, for the weather to be this nice, there must be some disaster on the way. An asteroid. An earthquake. The mighty hand of God, smiting us all. For something that feels this good surely must be wicked. Surely there is a yang to this yin. Today 8:30 AM:


Everything is blue, except the buildings which glow pink and white in the California sun. It's warm, but not hot. Every breeze carries the scent of roses and trees in bloom. The clouds. Shouldn't there be clouds? What happened to clouds?

In Marin county, I top the hills on my bike. The Conzelman Loop my playground and second home. And you look out and you can see so far. So wide, so blue. Look! There are the Farallons. Look! The San Mateo Bridge! Look! San Jose! The only others out, during the week, other cyclists and raptors flying low in the sky. Beneath you, hovering over hillsides, as you fly over them on your bike.

San Jose!

And when I go screaming over the top of the hill there on Conzelman, when I go flying down the back side of Hawk Hill with a hoot and a rush of adrenaline. Or when I ride through the Presidio, or Golden Gate Park in the early morning as the city wakes. Or when I sit in the panhandle and sip coffee while I read the paper. I cannot imagine being anywhere else other than outside.

The great tragedy of adulthood is that it leaves us too often confined indoors. Locked in under fluorescents. Climate controlled. This is one of the things I love about being a freelancer. I set my own hours. If I choose, and work allows it, I can be outside all day, and work all night. And at one point, two years ago, I would throw myself out the door. Without steady work to fill my days, I chose the sun.

But lately, over the past six months or so, things have really taken off. I'm consistently writing for several publications, and am often putting in as many, and sometimes more, hours a week than I ever did when I had a full time job.

And although I can still get out in the week, things are not as they once were. Too often, these days, I am, like you, stuck indoors most of the time. Where is the justice in that? Confined to 15 minute breaks and lunch hour. An hour is not enough! And so I sit at my computer. Staring out the open window. Feeling the breeze hit my face. Wanting out as badly as a Jack Russell with a bladder problem. Suffering from the tyranny of beautiful days.

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