Sunday, November 18, 2012

The Epiphany In A Window In Berkeley

You can't stop the future
You can't rewind the past
The only way to learn the secret is to press play

~Jay Asher, Thirteen Reasons Why

I don't take many photos around Berkeley, I don't know why, I guess I take it a bit for granted. I don't do many photos in Oakland either, or Hayward, or Fremont. This is something I am going to have to do something about. The Niles district of Fremont has a rich history in movie making, it was especially popular during the silent film era, with stars such as Charlie Chaplin, Wallace Beery, and Ben Taupin, making silver screen magic. But the area is also known for it's railroad Niles Canyon Railway, and is somewhat of a mecca for weekend antique enthusiasts. It's a pretty area, and I think I will drop in there soon.


Tonight however, I need to concentrate on the city of Berkeley, a place that never ceases to inspire me. In that its a college town, there are certain quirks that can always be counted on. If it's August, that means you will begin to see old couches and chairs, in front of frats, sororities, and student housing sitting by the side of the street, for at least a two block radius around the college, as the new year begins, and new students replace departing graduates. It's fun to hunt the furniture. Sometimes you might see a pink plaid sofa, or perhaps an over stuffed easy chair, that has served it's owner well as evidenced by the white stuffing that can usually be seen coming out of it.

I like looking at the furniture, but as you know if you have read my blog for any length of time, I really enjoy looking at windows, no matter what town or city I am in. Furniture says a lot about a person, but windows tell the story. Just look at the picture above. One day back in February 2008, I spotted that sad little penguin staring out the window of an apartment, not far from the Cal Berkeley campus. I was intrigued with him from the beginning. What was his story? Why did he look so sad? Did he miss his owner? Did he owner feel sad? Did the human who owned him, pose him in the window so that when they came home, there would be someone waiting for them?

It was a mystery!

I wrote a couple different versions of what I thought the penguin's story might be.

A happy one.

And a sad one.

Neither seemed correct.

I gave up on the little penguin after a while, but the other day I found myself in his neighborhood, so I went to visit the penguin in the window. Well, he wasn't there, but in his place were some lovely, and happy little origami cranes! How do I know they are happy? Well, to be honest, I don't, but somehow they just seem to be happy... to me. I don't know, when I think about February 2008 I don't really think about happy thoughts. I think about how insane George W. Bush seemed to be. I think about how G-A-S, otherwise known as Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, was making living in California a living nightmare. In 2008 I was still missing a friend who left my life due to the closing of a door that life tends to push us through. I was worried about my brother-in-law who had been unwell, and my Elvis wasn't doing well either.

There was a lot happening in my life. I wasn't happy.

It made me think... was it the penguin in the window who was sad back then, or was it me?

Epiphanies... don't you just love them?


Four years later, I am happy. I have mourned a lot, and healed... for the most part. I had the time of my life chasing Woody Allen around San Francisco, as he filmed a movie. Something I NEVER thought I would get to do. As I sit here, we are guaranteed another 4 years of relative sanity in American politics, my health is better, our finances are better, and I have successfully conquered some major fears. I have an awesome rose garden, two kitties that love me, and need me a much as I need them, and finally, the best husband ever!

Life is good now!

 And somehow, everything looks a little happier, even paper origami cranes that grace a window in Berkeley, Ca. I need to do a lot more photography in Berkeley I think.

~Me :)


jr cline said...

I'm glad you see a happier world and that you are happier.
Love you pictures and the stories you weave around them.

I'm fine. I've been out of town and busy playing. I've also been working on my new blog, 500 Days ( It won't replace my photo blog and I'll still be posting pics here.

Lady In Read said...

as a resident of the Bay Area, i love Berkeley.. and love the photos, the stories you have posted here ..glad to have found your blog..