I am averse to diversions. What’s the point of venturing out? At home, in my private space, everything is so familiar, comforting, and stimulating at the same time. Perhaps. But seeking beauty outside of the cocoon could be an enjoyable as well as a rewarding pursuit. Clearly, there’s plenty to marvel at if I just step out and open my eyes to the world all around me. Treasures are everywhere.
Case in point is our recent trip to San Francisco. My husband and I are on a mini-vacation, spending a weekend with friends in Northern California. I set out to enjoy myself and embrace the idea of tolerating unfamiliar.
When seeking beauty, one has to be able to get out of their comfort zone.
On the first day, we have a boat picnic planned. We arrive at San Pablo Reservoir. We get there a bit too late in the day to rent a boat, but it doesn’t matter — we can explore the trails of the recreation area. Lunch first, though.
We choose a table surrounded by Canada geese. I start photographing them. These birds are so stately looking. They seem comfortable in their own skin. Slowly but surely, I get immersed in the experience and start paying attention to color, shape, texture. I am mesmerized.
I am noticing autumn leaves, grasses, flowers still in bloom. Treasures are everywhere!
As we continue to explore the sights, our gracious hosts bring us to Lafayette Reservoir. The inaccessible observation tower has a curious story. Heading back, we drive by a field of wild turkeys. I have to encounter them in person.
Eager to expand my collection of snapshots, I get out of the car and approach. Although I try to be respectful, they don’t appreciate the intrusion and turn away in unison. I’m still playing the tape of their choreographed movements in my mind.
The following day we are headed to San Francisco. The new Donald MacDonald’s Bay Bridge is quite impressive. I learn that its geometry is based on the golden section.
“Sheltered by the towering Monterey Pines of Lincoln Park, with dramatic views of the Pacific and the Golden Gate,” the Legion of Honor art museum welcomes us with two special exhibitions and a lovely permanent collection.
Gods in Color: Polychromy in the Ancient World exhibit is fascinating. Hm… A variation on the theme I was exploring the day before. Klimt & Rodin: An Artistic Encounter is thought provoking. Everyone but me (in our group) rejects the idea of pairing the two artists. “The controversy” inspires a heated discussion.
I find the comparison/juxtaposition of painting and sculpture in the exhibition quite appropriate. It’s about “the psychological experience of being human, ranging from utter ecstasy to sheer torture.” The work of both artists is a sustained study of themes relating to life, love, and death.
With literally minutes left before closing, I race through the halls housing a number of gems in the permanent collection. There I am, supposedly outside of my comfort zone, yet so at ease, seeking beauty and finding treasures everywhere.