I spent the last week in San Francisco for an intensive week of study and experience (and food and coffee!) for my doctoral program.
Part of our “homework” was to spend a few hours exploring a neighborhood in order to
hear the sounds of the streets
listen to the voices of the people
taste the city’s flavor
see the sights of everyday life
feel the sidewalks, the fabrics, textures, the pain and the beauty of a place
recreate the voice of the neighborhood with a bit of poetry.
So we paired up and dove into exploration mode. And it was awesome! Temples and tastes. Artwork and addictions. Pirates and playgrounds.
Here’s the poem of place, hope, and presence that emerged from my exploring.
The colors scream there is hope and beauty in this world
The colors scream there is no hope and no beauty in this world
Who made the colors? Who made hope? Who made beauty?
And who am I and who are we?
We are the colors and the hope and the no hope.
We are the no beauty and the beauty.
The colors scream and ice cream. Bourbon and cornflakes.
Child’s play, sweet dessert and healthy start.
Shattered bottles, shattered lives.
If this then what? If Flannery’s Christ-haunted South then what?
What haunts this place and what haunts my place?
Where are the local haunts and who are the local specters?
The colors scream and I scream.
Where are you? I am here? Where are you?
Two voices. Then one.
Where are you? I am here.
The colors scream.
Mission District, San Francisco // October 2013