Tuesday, January 05, 2010


The water of the bay is dark blue with a deep undertone of green that emerges from the caverns below the surface in hints and whispers. Small gasps of green explode on the tips of little water ripples as they rise and fall second after second after second, small moments of watery life and death as it moves over the predominantly calm surface of the bay. There is no tanker or sailboat in sight, just the wide blueness of the bay as it stretches into the horizon.
To the northwest, the San Francisco skyline is ten miles in the distance and I can see the hazy purple silhouette of the tallest buildings as they rise from an obscure mist of pale fog at their base. Behind the buildings, rays of sunlight manage to stream in through hazy white cloud cover. Bright bursts of gold sunlight shines down in long streams of gleaming brightness, filling in the background of the city.
To my left, just a few hundred feet from me, is the long metal bridge that connects the land of San Francisco to the land east of the bay. The bridge is two stories, with eastbound traffic on the lower level and westbound on the top. There is never a break in the flow of cars and the rushing movement of motorized machines gurgles like a river in the distance.
The bridge is so close I could almost jump to it, but I am on another surface. I am on a wooden platform, suspended over the water of the bay by two ropes that hold me and the platform above the water’s surface. On each side of the platform, in the center, is a hole. A yellow fibrous rope has been strung through each of the holes and is held in place with a thick knot below the platform. The ropes rise and rise and are eventually covered by the white layer of clouds. I cannot see what they are attached to, I cannot see what holds me.
Because of my weight and the design of the structure with only two ropes, the platform has tilted to one side and I hold onto the yellow ropes as best as I can to keep from falling into the water. I alternate between looking at the water and looking for the source of the ropes in the clouds. The green and blue ripples of the water rise up and down, like the painted figures on a carousel.

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