Tuesday, August 24, 2010


Self-portrait (left) with Giulio Romano, 1519-20

Flowers & Skulls

Although my daughter's roses and their companion flowers live in a genteel suburb of the East Bay, her apartment in San Francisco is in a reasonably safe but densely urban neighborhood dubbed by real estate agents as the "Tender-Nob" – halfway between the grand hotels and mansions at the top of Nob Hill and the down-and-out grittiness of the Tenderloin at the bottom of that same hill. Walking home from her apartment through the Tenderloin the other day, I took the photos of the skull posters, already halfway toward obliteration by more recent layers of impoverished self-expression.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Marin County

Passed through the small quaint expensive town of Inverness on Saturday's trip to Point Reyes. It appears that nothing new has been constructed on Inverness ground for fifty years, at least.

Below, coastal landscapes. Is fairly miraculous how open and unbuilt-upon most of Marin has remained, especially toward the ocean.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Sunday Lunch

I visited Mabel Watson Payne in her home today and brought take-out Thai food for her hardworking but jubilant mother and father. More flowers had of course arrived. Mabel Watson Payne has many fans. She had her one-week birthday yesterday.

This was the first time I had a chance to see the baby dwelling in use. The curtains are kept open during the day for activities like diaper-changing and for naps. The curtains are only closed at night. Mabel Watson Payne is at the stage of learning the difference between day and night.

The grown-ups ate lunch during one of the fairly brief waking intervals when Mabel Watson Payne had had as much food and sleep as she needed and was serenely alert.

But soon it was sleep-time again. Several different swaddling-styles are in use for sleep-times, and each has its appropriate nickname. I can't remember if this one is called the burrito-wrap or the samosa-wrap.


I discovered this weathered and beached tree stump on a deserted stretch of South Beach at Point Reyes National Seashore just as the morning fog was unexpectedly burning off, revealing a sky of the softest blue.

Who knows how this chunk of tree (probably a redwood) came to wash into the ocean in the first place? Who knows where it floated or for how many years before landing high on this beach in some unknown storm? In time it will most likely float back out again and resume its voyage toward disintegration.