What goes downhill must come up

I was up for a short while before head­ing out for my coffee/morning walk, but it’s pret­ty close to first thing. Fol­low­ing doc­tor’s orders I had a very nice walk and fol­low­ing doc­tor’s sug­ges­tion I got reg­u­lar cof­fee rather than decaf. The point is to see if we can get my mind bet­ter focused. When I quit caf­feine a cou­ple years back I hon­est­ly noticed no dif­fer­ence in focus or my sleep cycle. No dif­fer­ence in my abil­i­ty to wake up or to get to sleep. So I’m not real­ly opti­mistic about the caf­feine exper­i­ment. Still, if I did­n’t notice a dif­fer­ence when I quit, per­haps the worst out­come will be not notic­ing a dif­fer­ence when I start.

I’m not sure why I picked the Star­bucks at Mari­posa and Bryant. I’m not real­ly all that fond of Star­bucks, and the Mis­sion is lousy with cof­fee places I could have gone and had an equiv­a­lent walk. Per­haps a project for the future would be to make a tour of the cof­fee shops in the Mis­sion and have a dif­fer­ent cup — and a dif­fer­ent walk — each day

The walk took me with­in a cou­ple blocks of the 17th Street Art Explo­sion where I used to have my stu­dio. I could see the build­ing uphill from me as I crossed Hamp­shire Street. I have to admit that I miss that place. There’s a lot to rec­om­mend the new stu­dio, but the 17th Street stu­dio is full of peo­ple work­ing and walk­ing dis­tance not only from home but with­in walk­ing dis­tance of sev­er­al spots for lunch or for cof­fee. There’s a show there this Fri­day so per­haps I’ll drop in and see how every­one is doing.

I took a detour up to the com­mu­ni­ty gar­den at the top of the hill to take in the view. It’s pret­ty great how much of the City one can see from the top of Potrero, and a lit­tle strange how dif­fer­ent the per­spec­tive is with a shift of just two or three blocks.

My path across the foot­bridge at 18th Street took me right past «my» tree, which of course does­n’t belong to me but I use it to ori­ent myself when I’m out for a run or a walk. It’s vis­i­ble from a long way off and it gives me a good feel for my dis­tance. Get­ting that close to it—within a block—it’s clear why it’s so good for navigation—the tree is pret­ty darn tall. One gets a sense of that from a cou­ple miles away, but a dif­fer­ent kind of aware­ness of its scale close up to it. Being the mid­dle of the City there aren’t a whole lot of trees that tall, and darn few that are stand­ing out alone, ris­ing up from the ridge of Potrero Hill like a foun­tain of leaves and bark.

At some point I’m going to have to do a lit­tle research and see if I can find old pho­tos of Potrero Hill. Per­haps I can find that tree pre­served in our City’s his­to­ry. Then it will be an anchor for me not only in space but in time. 


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