dailybell: 8/31/08 - 9/7/08

Sunday, August 31, 2008

Last week of August - Mornings

I observed the sunrise near my house every morning this week. These are simple quiet mornings.

8/24 AM

A walk around the foggy yard in my pajamas.

8/25 AM
Looking left, straight back and to the right- this is the view from my back porch in the early morning fog.

8/26 AM
Norman and I walked up to the corner to have a look at the sunrise and the streetcar stop. No big doings at this hour. Except for the moon.

8/27 AM
Clear skies and warm days are coming to the San Francisco Bay area. This is my favorite time of year here.

8/30 AM
Back to the foggy summer mornings (audio). Until it’s really cooled down in the Sacramento Valley, we will have these foggy days in San Francisco. In a few weeks, the temperatures inland and on the coast will be much more similar and the conditions that create this cold, dreary summer fog will cease to exist. I can’t wait.

8/31 AM
Red umbrella. Clear morning. Still. And still no crows. As much as I dislike the crows because of their possible involvement in the disappearance of the songbirds, it’s very sad to think that some of them are mourning the killing of that little newborn crow. On the other hand, all of a sudden there are many more new birds singing (audio) this morning. Pretty new songs.

Hawking Bells

8/28 PM
Before the concert began, I was outside on the sidewalk ringing some bells and announcing the sunset. All the while, I was offering and trying to give away the little bells. I felt like I was hawking bells. It’s a tough crowd out there. Most people cannot hear or see. They already know what’s going on or they just don’t want to know. I realize this part of town is a big and constant hustle and that panhandlers are everywhere. However, this situation is not just on this spot, on this block. This turning away from strangers on the street is common in America. It has been my experience with the big bell, with the piano and with this public sun watching. I think this is a good spot- here on Market at 6th Street, and that I would like to return here one or two nights a week for a while and see what happens.

I didn't realize how much I was truly hawking bells until I played back the video from the evening of 8/28. "They're free!" I had been so excited to have found a way to engage with people and to get them to stop for an instant that I had momentarily lost my mind. I am so easily distracted and forget why and what I am doing at those moments. I will try harder to concentrate on observing the moment of the sunrise and sunset and pay less attention to trying to get others to join me. See how that works for a change.

Thea Farhadian, Katrina Wreede and Iron Dog performed at the Luggage Store this evening. It’s a very noisy space, especially when the audience faces the street. But it worked this evening. Sometimes you couldn’t tell what was happening outside and what was being performed, and the experience was really lovely.

The artwork in the gallery is by Ana Teresa Fernandez

End of August - Evenings

8/24 PM
We brought my friend Barbara who was visiting from Barcelona down to the beach to see the sunset. Once there, we inevitably encountered others who were there to do the same. They gladly took some of the little bells and joined us. After a few minutes, the woman from the tie-dye bus came over as well. She and her living companions have been parked in this same parking lot since we met them last winter. At that time, they planned to continue to move up or down the coast for the summer (I can’t remember which direction). However, the price of gas might have had something to do with their continuing presence here at Ocean Beach. It’s nice to see them, and they are very familiar with the bell ringing tradition by now.

8/25 PM
The never-to-ripen peaches are falling on the ground. We’ve brought many of them into the house and put them in paper bags. Then we keep them until they get moldy so we can throw them in the compost. Does anyone have a recipe for hard, yellow unripe peaches? They smell really good.

8/26 PM
Just a few minutes into our Tuesday night sitting, I crept outside and quietly rang the bells in the Church garden. The weather is beginning to turn warm enough these days so that people leave their windows open into the evening. I hope they enjoyed the little sunset serenade.

8/27 PM
Just as we were running out the door to go to the corner for the sunset, our neighbor Jerry came home and he joined us. It was so windy out on the street that I set up the microphone near the house and we stood by the curb to ring. We rang long enough (audio) for a plane to pass by and then I started to pack up. Jerry liked my microphone and wanted to borrow it. He swore he would bring it back after work tomorrow.

8/29 PM
The sun set just before dinner. Marlita rang the gong my sister had given me. I have been ringing this gong all week for my friend Warren Burt who nearly died in a New York hospital this week. He had suddenly begun to fail and no one knew what was wrong with him until very recently. Without going into personal details, it has been suggested that he has been experiencing complications from West Nile Virus. His hospital bills have hit an astronomical amount of money, and now that Warren is in stable condition, he is being flown back to his home in Australia for further care. Since Warren is especially fond of gongs, I have been playing this gong several times a day and will continue to do so until he is on the mend. Anyone else who has a gong to ring, please do.

8/30 PM
Happy Birthday Judy! This was Judy’s 60th Birthday celebration and there were 100’s of people there. The party was held at Annie’s Hall, which is one of those Easter egg kinds of places. From the street you would never know this labyrinthine, expansive place existed. It’s a similar experience to the first time you look through a little hole and peer into one of those Easter eggs that has a huge and intricate scene painted on the inside. A delightful loss of perspective and the perfect place to celebrate 60 years on this earth.

8/31 PM
The last time we went to the movies, it was so noisy and action filled, I missed the sunset entirely. This time I kept a close watch on the time and planned to ring the bells in my seat during the film. I thought it would be so noisy that no one would notice and the theater was nearly empty anyway. However, when it was time for the sunset, the movie was pretty quiet. So I dug around in the dark and found the quietest little bells I had, and we rang them instead of the larger ones I had planned to ring. It worked out OK. It wasn't until I replayed the video that I realized I had missed a crucial part of the plot...