I have been indoors for literally three whole days because I’ve been on duty and have had to stay on campus. When I say I’ve been indoors, I have not seen sunlight for over 72 hours and I think that’s a little scary! So the moment I was relieved of the duty backpack, I immediately hopped into my car and drove to one of my favorite spots in Oakland: Lake Merritt. It just never gets old… it has always been beautiful and will forever remain so.
It was all really nice. Walking through the breeze on Christmas Day, watching the sunset, admiring the intricate buildings that string around the lake– time really stood still for me, as I’m sure it did for everybody else. Two things struck me in particular today, the first being this amazing, mysterious building that I have always been so curious about. It’s quite possibly my favorite piece of architecture in all of Oakland. I actually walked all the way to the front of it to find out that it’s some kind of condo complex! And all this time, I thought it was some historical museum. Pretty neat, huh?
The second thing that caught my keen eye was the memorial that the community put together for the victims of the Ghost Ship fire. There were so many worn-down candles, beer bottles, dried flowers, crosses, tearful letters, and such trinkets left in their honor… It really moved me. It made me reflect on those that I have lost, whether or not they were close or almost strangers. My tattoo artist reminded me just the other day how short life is, and how we shouldn’t be afraid of death because it is the one thing that is guaranteed to happen in our lives. A lot of things and plans and people can flake, but dying is the one for-sure, reliable thing… Anyway, I thought a lot about how fragile our lives are, and if you aren’t happy with where you are now, then you’re probably not making the most of yours. Life is as beautiful as we choose for it to be… happiness is a mindset.
I carried on, eager to absorb more of the nature around me. I feel really blessed to live so close to something so impeccable. Anyone can tell you– you can take millions of pictures of the lake, but not a single photo will do it any justice. The lake is the perfect place for thinkers, meditators, athletes, and most especially, hopeless romantics. I was reminded today of how big of a sap I am when all of the scenery sent me to a vortex in my mind and I almost forgot that I wasn’t some wallflower in a movie, waiting for somebody to watch the sunset with me. Maybe that’s why I love the place so much. It makes it feel acceptable to get lost in my daydreams.
And suddenly, this thought kept repeating in my mind as the wind blew through my scarf and the ineffable lanterns lit up all around me, drowning me in a sea of colored skies and fluttering birds… “When you’re home, you’ll know it.” And boy, do I know it.
This is the building that I said is probably my favorite piece of architecture in Oakland. Who knows, maybe I’ll afford to live in it someday! Positive thoughts, haha.I wrote this poem in March for my poetry class. Here’s the unedited version… a little silly, but it’s pretty cool to see how I felt about it some time ago.