Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Two Swans at Golden Gate Park

Some dreams in life are realized and some are not. You know the kind of dreams where you say to yourself 'someday'. Once I had a dream to have a home with a pair of swans swimming in a pond out front. One day while walking in Golden Gate Park. I came upon two swans leaving the safety of the water probably Stow Lake. Back in 1974, as was my custom, I had my trusty Pentax camera with me and I quickly snapped this photo before the swans noticed me. At the time I thought it looked more like a painting than a photograph so I had the photo enlarged and framed. I'm not sure if my dream of having a pond with swans came before or after the photograph. I do remember visiting the park quite often enjoying strolling through the Botanical Gardens, having tea in the Japanese Tea Garden, going to the De Young Museum, those were the days.

Swans are often used as symbols of love in literature, art, and music. I couldn't help but recall the story of Leda and the Swan. The myth goes that Zeus disguised as a swan seduces Leda. Michelangelo painted Leda and the Swan in 1530 but the painting was lost and was recreated in the 16th century and is held in the National Gallery in London. I was acquainted with that painting above but had never seen the one below by Paul Cezanne Leda au cygne which is held in the Barnes Foundation collection. These two images are copied here as part of the United State public domain because their copyrights have expired.

All this talk of swans came about because we've been sorting through more things trying to decide what to do with them all. We recently rediscovered a small box of framed photographs, the swans among them. Our goal is to minimize all of our possessions in hopes of traveling again. I don't think I'll ever realize the dream of having a home with a pond and two swans, but I do hope to travel again and see more swans in ponds or rivers and the like. I can't believe my framed photograph made it for 38 years without any damage in all of our moves and travels. I'll show you a few more photos as time goes by. In the meantime we're wondering what to do with these few framed photographs we have. I wonder, should I list them on Etsy, try to sell them at the flea market? If I were rich I'd donate the framed photographs, but every little bit helps pay our way. Thanks for reading and for all your comments.


  1. Hello Linda:
    Whilst we can fully appreciate the need for paring down your belongings, we should hate to think that you may be parted from the precious memories contained in your old photographs.

    The Swans on the lake are beautiful. Such regal birds, they glide through water so elegantly. Yes, a house with Swans on a lake to gaze on all day long would be perfection!

  2. Hi Jane and Lance, thanks, you know once I post my photos here and tell the story I will always have the memory to read for years to come so that will be enough. We have entirely too much 'stuff' to put into storage while we travel and perhaps we'll not stop again so no sense keeping in storage forever. But yes two swans to gaze upon all day long would be heaven if only I didn't have the travel bug. Ha.

  3. Swans are so beautiful, aren't they?

    I'm intrigued by your desire to travel. Might this be a more permanent way of life? Or would you keep Florida as a home base?

  4. The photo of swans is elegant, and definitely art. You should have no trouble selling it if that is your choice. I understand completely wanderlust...having some gypsy in my blood too. It's funny, though, loving cats and pottery, neither of which travel well. The cycle of life leads me to make a home, then travel, then make a home for a while. Do what your heart leads you to do!

  5. So nice to be reminded of Golden Gate Park. Proge lived half a block from it when he was in S.F. Such a lovely back yard in the middle of the city.

    I admire your ability to say good-bye to stuff. I'm just getting to the point of being able to get rid of clothes I haven't worn for years. C'est la vie!

  6. On one of the few occasions when I have traveled, I went on a bus tour of England. Along the tour, we passed a building alongside a river with pens for swans. The tour guide explained that all of the British swans are property of the queen. The sanctuary was for taking care of injured and sick birds. Obviously, the queen loves swans as much as you do!

  7. That is an awesome picture of the swans. Owning them is a different story. A friend of mine had that pair of swans in a pond. He was attacked by the male and said the banks of the pond always looked like it had snowed with all the feathers. Reality is seldom as good as our dreams.
    Love the period when plus sized women were prized.

  8. It looks like you are enjoying the memories that happen when we sort through our stuff. Even if we don't keep the stuff we can keep the memories.

  9. Hi Teresa, thanks, in order to afford to travel we would sell our home and be footloose and fancy free so to speak, but we usually just go with the flow.

    Hi Barbara, thanks, yes cats and pottery are hard to do in a motorhome, but I did it for a year before moving here so where there is a will there is a way. We have done just as you travel, then stay a while, then travel, then stay awhile, next time I think we will rent then we can travel whenever we want.

    Hi Suzi, thanks, yes it gets easier to part with things the older I get, I realize I have way too much stuff I have collected over the years.

    Hi Ms. Sparrow, thanks, swans the property of the Queen, how unusual. At least they sick and injured are taken care of.

    Hi Patti, thanks, I think I read that they can be quite vicious and their wing span can be almost ten feet, best left to be wild I think.

    Hi Lori, thanks, yes enjoying the memories and I have plenty of those. Ha.

    Had a computer glitch this morning and it's taken me hours to fix.


I love suggestions, questions, critiques, thanks for your comment