June 27, 2016


You take the picture, on the bridge, on that spot with your family with all the other people taking pictures with their families on the bridge, in that spot, because you want to stop that moment in time and shout that you are alive and happy and in that spot on that bridge with all those people who are happy and alive and you want to stop that moment and freeze it and hold it even for a second and cherish it.

You will save it and share it and look at it several times later in the day and marvel at how bright the blues are and how wide the smiles are and how real the moment looks, frozen, even now hours later. Your friends will like it and you will like that they like it because their liking it proves that it was a valuable and precious moment, but you knew that already.

You actually don’t need their likes, although the likes feel validating; you don’t even really need the photo, although it feels good to spend time with it later in the day, hours after it is taken, all you really need is that moment, the second that you are all standing their on the bridge, in that spot with your family frozen, posing waiting to acknowledge the beauty of the single second right before you push the tiny white button on your phone.

You are alive and together and happy. The photograph is just a cheap attempt at capturing these emotions- in pixels and time and likes.

We were headed to the Marin Headlands today with the kids, so I started to educate Kaia on the purpose of the bunkers. I told her a bit about WWII and the Japanese. We spoke about the potential attack. Their aggression in the Pacific and the surprise attack on Pearl Harbor. We talked a bit about the fear that must have over taken San Francisco and the construction of fortress we were about to visit. The conversation quickly moved on to the end of the war and the dropping of the two nuclear bombs in Japan. She looked horrified that the country she has recently taken so much pride in, the very one she felt was the victim just minutes before was now responsible for massive civilian deaths and the burning of two entire cities. We walked on in silence through a tunnel, until she finally said, “There has to be better ways to solve conflict than wars.” You would think. I thought. You would think.

On the way back to the car we passed through a tunnel and on the wall there was some graffiti that said, “Drop Acid.” Of course she asked what it meant. Here is a recap of my answer:

Well back in the 1960’s San Francisco was famous for being the home for people who didn’t fit in anywhere else. There was a group of people called hippies. You know the people with long hair and tie-dye shirts, anyway, people from all over the country came to San Francisco to be themselves and to be free. They did different kinds of drugs and one was called acid. It changed their brains and made them think in different ways. They could smell colors and see and think about things that a normal brain simply could not do.

“That sounds scary to mess with your brain so you feel crazy.”

Well it wasn’t always crazy. Sometimes it allowed them to create art that no one had ever thought of, or to create music that was new and fresh. Take The Beatles for example- their entire sound and style changed after doing this drug.

Silence. “So you drop it? What does that mean?”

It just means that you take it, but you don’t have to worry about that now. Just be thankful that San Francisco is a place for freaks and weirdos and people seeking to be free. It’s where daddy lived and grew up and so you will always have a connection to this area. It is your home too.

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