Thursday, February 4, 2010
Rain had not yet started to fall when I was waiting for the bus this afternoon on Fulton across from St. Ignatius Church (above) but the air felt heavy and smelled like ozone (as if I knew what ozone smells like, but people always refer to the smell of ozone as if we could safely agree about what that is) and the sky looked full of intention, especially out toward the west above the Carmelite Monastery (below) situated across from the giant church on a side street. Most of the weather in San Francisco comes from the west because that is where the Pacific Ocean is.
The monastery houses nuns who never leave it (except for extreme medical emergencies) and work in relays to keep prayers going for the benefit of fallen humanity 24 hours a day 357 days a year. Their small gorgeous Spanish Baroque chapel is generally open to the public. The nuns are never to be seen even there, but sometimes can be heard singing in faltering elderly voices behind the Spanish Baroque barricade that shields them from the view of the profane public.
By the time I reached my own neighborhood on 16th Street in the Mission, San Francisco was umbrella-land and the first storm of February had sincerely arrived.
With the enclosed & contemplative Carmelites still in mind, I seemed to be gazing upon Sin City in technicolor. 16th Street is about evenly mixed between hipster hangouts and residential hotels full of whores and junkies.