Welcome to Glenn's Blog!

Here I will periodically post random thoughts and stories about what's going on in my life and the world around me. As if anyone cared. But seriously, you've found your way here, so hopefully you will enjoy at least some of what I have to say, even if you aren't entirely interested in it. At the least, it should be a good way to waste time.

Sunday, September 1, 2019

Beach. Nude beach.

So yesterday I got away, to the City by the Bay. It was a wonderful trip, at once both familiar and new, both relaxing and exciting. Which, really, should be a good indicator of any successful trip. I had originally intended to start at the beach, doing some out-of-the-way hiking, but it didn't end up that way. At least, not at the beginning. That's one of the great things I love about San Francisco; I can go and see where the mood takes me, and there's always so many possibilities, so many directions.

I started, as I most often do, parking under my favorite tree in the free parking lot by the Marina, next to Fort Mason. I began with a leisurely stroll down along the waterfront, through the beaches of Crissy Field and towards the base of the Golden Gate. It was in view today, a stark contrast to the last trip I took in which it was shrouded in fog the entire day. But I didn't get past Fort Point. Instead, I turned around and headed back towards the city.

That was not part of the plan. Usually when I first arrive, I am either in a somber or pensive mood, and try and steer clear from the more touristy spots for as long as possible, so that I can think. Walking time is the best thinking time, after all. But I was in an entirely different mood, on this day. It was as if a bright spark had ignited deep inside me - which usually doesn't happen until much later in the day on one of these trips. It acted like a beacon of sorts, or like a divining rod, guiding my path along the Embarcadero and down to the Ferry Building, before taking me up Market Street and into the Union Square area. And then back along Columbus while stopping at a couple of bars along the way.

I took a lot more photos than I normally do, simply because a really fantastic friend of mine wanted to see them. So I played the tour guide, of sorts. Pointing out little visions of beauty that most people fail to recognize, or else they recognize them as something important but do not know why. So along I went, stopping here and there and taking pictures, and sending them off into the world to find their audience. In this way, she spent the day with me, in a manner of speaking, and I am immensely and humbly grateful for her presence in spirit.

Later in the afternoon, she called me out on a minor point - she had read my previous blog post, and knew that this was not the path I had intended for myself. I was supposed to be out along the great beaches, immersing my soul in their grandeur, and looking for parts of myself that had been lost long ago. So I went back to my car, and I left the bustling city for the high cliffs of the Presidio, stopping at the overlook to the batteries and Marshall's beach. And then something else happened. Well, several somethings, as I'm sure the reader will glean from the title of this post. But first, one more side story.

My good friend...well, wait a minute. I find the term "friend" somewhat lacking to truly describe what her presence in my life means to me. I'm afraid I cannot think of a better term off the top of my head that will do it justice. Maybe one hasn't been invented yet. Or maybe I am just inadequate to the task. I will need to ponder this further. Anyways. She suggested that I take off my shoes and socks and actually, well, get a little wet. This is a common practice on the beach for normal people but fairly foreign to me, as I almost always wear shoes and socks everywhere I go. Even along the beach. I think the last time I went barefoot at a beach was in Hawaii in 2015. But again I digress. She said it would be healing, something about receiving energy from the earth. She was speaking in a physical sense; I am not aware if she realizes that it also works in a spiritual sense. But I suspect she does; she's pretty smart. In any case, trusting her opinion and recommendation, I did it. And I walked along the beach and let the waves literally wash over me, and not just figuratively. And do you know what? She was right, she was right.

And then there was the nudity.

To quote a snippet from Hamilton, which I had actually tried unsuccessfully to get a discount matinee ticket to go see: "Ladies and Gentleman...the moment you've been waiting for." So, apparently, there was this all-male nudist group enjoying the beach on this sunny afternoon. I have no idea if they are regulars or if this was a one time thing; they certainly weren't there the last time I visited this beach. And they were actually attractive guys - if you like that sort of thing. This beach is also a popular spot for photography, so there were a lot of clothed individuals around as well. One of the fully-clothed men walked past me fairly close and smiled and nodded, and I think I detected a small glint in his eye that seemed to say, "I'd hit that". I was definitely not in Kansas anymore. But, it was actually refreshing to see everyone functioning in harmony together, the clothed and un-clothed alike, the straight men and gay men alike. To summarize the experience: I saw a lot of penises on this trip.

And now, as the weekend is fading into history, I think my soul is primed and ready to tackle the 'real' world again. Connor is back with me and we have the day off tomorrow for whatever adventures suit our fancy. I might go back again to the Bay in two weeks, you never know. And no, it won't be just to see if I can find another nude beach. But hey, anything can happen in San Francisco.