Sunday, February 13, 2011

Spring Fling in San Fran

"Security is mostly a superstition. It does not exist in nature nor do the children of man as a whole experience it. Avoiding danger is no safer in the long run than outright exposure. Life is either a daring adventure, or nothing."

 - Helen Keller, 1880-1968, Blind/Deaf Author and Lecture

Tiny Preface: I've mentioned in previous posts that I had been dealing with some health issues I thought I had nipped in the bud but unfortunately, it was only temporary. I have periods of respite where I am totally fine, but  can be hard to come by, which is the reason I haven't been very successful at staying on top of my blog for the past 2 years! I won't bore with details but really, I just want everyone to know, I'M NOT A SLACKER! I am getting closer to figuring this all out and there IS light at the end of the tunnel. Looking forward to the days where I'll be writing these posts from the road again:) And with that...on to the Golden City.


View photo album here.

Dominik, fellow David Alan Harvey Workshop Alumni, was traveling all over the US and going to be in San Francisco at the beginning of June (2010). My Bali surf sister, Marj, lives there and I so wanted to visit both her and Dominik but couldn't imagine going there the way I was feeling at the time. Dominik had been my cheerleader, long distance medical advisor (he happens to be a doctor too) and amazing support, all the way from Germany via Skype.

He said I had to let it stop controlling my life. That I was missing out on too much. I agreed. But feeling lousy much of the time prohibits one from working on a steady basis and I was plunging pretty heavy duty into debt. Also, it is hard to enjoy oneself no matter how fantastic the surroundings and people might be, when one feels not unlike hot garbage.

Much like my theory for going to the DAH workshop in NY, I decided it was not going to kill me. I knew it would be good for my MENTAL health to take a break from my solitary and somewhat embarrassingly, monotonous life within the walls of my apartment to be with good friends, despite the financial cost and risk of how I might feel while there.

I ended up being well about half the time, which allowed for a few really stellar days in San Francisco! Dominik and I both stayed with Marj and her 2 roomies in the Castro District. Of course I felt right at home, since I live in the Vancouver equivalent of Castro, the West End, where there is no shortage of goodness and gayness!

Days were spent touring around San Francisco catching up with Dominik and shooting in between. Marj picked us up after work one eve to check out the Golden Gate at sunset. It clouded over as soon as we got there, but ended up being a great atmosphere to take pics.

The next day, Dominik and I rented a couple of bikes so we could pedal across the Golden Gate. Doesn't that sound nice? Yes. I thought so too. But when one has been sedentary for the majority of the previous months, it can be quite a shock to the system going uphill for what seemed like hours before we actually got ourselves on the damn bridge! But quite worth it indeed.

It literally was all downhill post bridge to Sausalito! I took some video while we were biking through town and apparently didn't shut off the camera. It continued to roll as we parked our bikes at the ferry, as I walked to get some espresso and even my trip to the ladies room! Twas quite entertaining to watch once I got home and realized the accidental footage.

It was a shame we had no time to check out Sausalito but it was the last ferry back to San Francisco and we had a date with Marj to trip the light fantastic. Did I just really write that?

ANYWAY. We headed out to Madrone Art Bar where Marj had us on the dance floor within minutes of walking in the door. She's good like that. It had been AGES since I'd been out dancing...probably the last time I saw her in February (2009)! That ain't right.

"We often take for granted the very things that most deserve our gratitude."

Cynthia Ozick


We met up with Jay Martin, another student from David Alan Harvey's workshop who also lives in San Francisco, in Chinatown. We spent the day catching up with him and shooting the area after he treated us all to a lovely Vietnamese lunch.



It was great to catch up with Jay and after bidding him adieux, we went off to Dolores Park, one of Marj's fave hangouts. We claimed our piece of grass and took in all that is Dolores Park. There were hippies, swings, sunshine, drugs, felt kinda like a playground for adults. Quite nice.

Photo: Marjorie Green
We called it an early night so we could see Dominik off  at the airport in the morning. Was very sad to say goodbye but I knew it wouldn't be long til we were making plans to meet somewhere sometime soon again. Dominik and Marj are two of my favourite people in the whole world. Hanging out with them feels like home. Comfy and familiar.

Marj and I proceeded over to Redwood City to see even more favourite people! Goosh and his wife Suzanne, both photog crazy like me, moved there a few years ago from Vancouver. Suzanne made us slushy watermelony health bevvies while we goofed around with Nash, their first born (Rio has been added since) and caught up. They need to move back to Vancouver..hint hint!

Photo: Marjorie Green

We soldiered on over to the Union Street Market where we happened upon a vendor selling beautiful dresses at stupid low prices. Marj and I fell madly in love with the designer who advised us on which of his masterpieces would look the sassiest on us. It was a very girly and divine way to end the afternoon.

We returned home exhausted from the day, but a lovely one at that, and a fabulous finale to a trip I would not have taken without the support and encouragement of such amazing buds.

Unfortunately, it was the same story for the rest of the summer. There were good days and bad days. On good days I was a MACHINE trying to catch up on all the things I couldn't do when I wasn't feeling up to snuff and taking advantage of that time to its absolute fullest.

If there's anything I've learned from this experience, it's that you should never wait to do what you want in life. 2008 was my last year of consistently feeling well. If I had waited a year longer to travel to SE Asia/NZ, I would not have been able to go. I live with the mind set  now that everything could change tomorrow. So take advantage of and focus on the goodness in your life TODAY.  Learn to be grateful for the littlest things. We shouldn't have to lose something to understand its true value.

Sing in the rain, get your ass to yoga, make a snow angel, fly to Zimbabwe, go dancing!
Don't wait for 'someday' to see what's over the rainbow.

Photo: Dominik Dunsch
"You'll seldom experience regret for anything that you've done. It is what you haven't done that will torment you. The message, therefore, is clear. Do it! Develop an appreciation for the present moment. Seize every second of your life and savour it. Value your present moments. Using them up in any self-defeating ways means you've lost them forever."
- Wayne Dyer, Author and Speaker


Kyrani @ Klik Photographic said...

Absolutely stunning photos. LOVE!

Tracey Tomtene said...

Thanks so much! I checked out your site and happen to LOVE your work as well:) Great to hear from a local!