August 10 – August 16
Here in this apartment we can’t damage the walls, meaning I’m surrounded by awkward blank spaces. Luckily, I’ve found I have an eye for creating budding little table displays– credit to the constant seasonal arrangements done when working at Paper Source. All the furniture here was included– and the empty tops of each Lack and Klingsbo (you’ve NEVER shopped at IKEA?) would be made anew with my finishing touches. Mostly books. Tin antique candy or music boxes. Some candles or seashells and fake flowers, too. Now the newest addition to the place come in the little gems of raw crystals that give a subtle sparkle like a cherry on top.
I haven’t always been into rocks nor do I have a broad knowledge of healing Chakra powers that they may possess. However, they can give instant life to your decor without looking at all out of place. I mean, they are a part of the Earth, so in a strange way, they pair with everything in this land/apartment/style-scape. The ones I have, their colors do strike me. It’s a rose quartz and creamy green calcite finished off with a fiery pyrite chunk; their flushed pastel tones beautifully offset the light, earthy colors of the studio that I live in. They’re the best way to brighten up this space in being lovely by their own existence.
You could then see by such little treasures that in fact, San Francisco and the Bay Area shine brightly in its most natural and unusual ways. I don’t mean the people or things like food trucks or crafted beer pop ups funded by a block of FiDi startups. The gems of this city aren’t far from the ones there on my nightstand– the best of the city is set in stone, sometimes in the waters. Take Chinatown, North Beach, or the Mission. Ancient, deep enclaves carved from the early days of the 19th century into stern hills and winding structures that grew over time to still be what they were in the beginning, never really changing. You may think Chinatown is a downright, gritty, narrow little section of this town overrun with dim sum and penny junk stores in its corners– but have a decent look around you so that you can see that honest, hard-working people have capitalized on their distinctive, dirty dynasty-esque tenements to turn out what is the city’s most popular attraction. There are no gimmicks here in this neighborhood, only sincerity of appreciation for one’s roots that brings in spectators. The spare ribs and erhu street performers and the side-swept Fortune Cookie factory— even fooling you into buying a bag of adult/ X-rated fortunes in poorly-translated sayings– are just natural occurrences for the people who call it home.
Some nights the gems shine brightest in the dark. I’ll meet with a friend for a walk around a block of where we live in Lower Pacific Heights so that she may smoke a cigarette or two, on days when she gets really stressed. As she enjoys that I find myself enjoying a look around, looking up to the dark outlines of quiet Victorians and into the dim parlors of hidden hotels like the Queen Anne. But it’s weird, how the trees seem taller, and even in a hazy blackness everything can still be traced in detail. These are things I’ve found that won’t change, especially in the night, always here a part of the landscape that sings of lovely, perpetual darkness.
Then was the Golden Gate itself, just intertwined with the thick marine layer setting over the emerald waters and the rust that sits atop the Alcatraz Island that my ferry was passing. These treasures go beyond the city, the bigger jewels jutting out form the foundations of the Bay and they can’t really help themselves– nor are they apologetic about how they star-struck us. Thinking back on it now, I’m still in a daze.
I live in a gold mine, rich in history and unchanged wonders that– no matter the year or decade or who lives here– one thing is certain. A driving force. Something that shines in every rickety old Victorian and overbearing skyscraper and charging local who’ll never leave for being convinced that their city isn’t like any others. They’re right. There’s just something that really does sing “Eureka!” about San Francisco and the Bay– and that’s what brings others in. Come and go as you please, but here is a place that’s driven by the very jewels it sows: its dreamers.
As for the dream I’ve always envisioned for myself in this present moment? It’s one that’s nothing big, nothing glamorous; and I sit and look down on the new, shining treasures to this place and think Eureka isn’t just a saying. I really have “found it,” too.