Walking the streets of San Francisco is an elixir. Each deftly and carelessly placed step changes the scenery and fills the eye-gate with a steady stream of visuals. People from every walk of life and every economic strata of life make up the population of this city.
The eyes tell the tale. Blank stares wipe the faces of so many. Their minds are somewhere else. What stirs them is a conversation with someone who is somewhere else. Or maybe it is a conversation yet to be had or sadly possibly one that never happened.
They dodge another pedestrian, bicyclist or skateboarder on our crowded streets. A few may cinch up their hood or tighten up their sweater when a cool breeze ruffles their gait but they are somewhere else. Even those walking with others are not always engaged with their associates. The dialogue droans on while they live else where.
City sounds help people mask their life in other worlds. Cars splash by with radial tires absorbing a pothole filled with last night’s rainfall. The sound of water is familiar and too common to distract.
Squeaky brakes are announced every time the signal lights turn amber. Vehicle suspensions in need of attention add to the cacophony of traffic noise. Delivery vehicles groan through our narrow roads.
Conversations, street musicians, business people shouting, vendors calling for customers, motorcycles accelerating through an intersection and children laughing together as they follow their parents through the thick collection of busy people on their way to important destinations combine for the sounds of the urban noise. Have you ever wanted to slow it all down? Maybe there is an urge in you to dissect this mass of humanity and untangle it all to the individuals that make it up.
What would you tell these people if you could do this? Those lives that live empty, frustrated and meaningless routines every day, what would you announce to them? I felt that many times when I walk the streets of San Francisco.
When I have conversed with these souls, I have worked sincerely to show interest in them. Once we have connected, I have told them about a wonderful gathering of people who they would enjoy. That’s when I invite them to Sunset Church. Real people gather there. They would find it home. Together we are discovering and living life together.
photo credit: brucefong photography