Sitting amidst war ruins in the hills outside San Francisco

[Image: Marin Bunker by Ron's Log].

My wife and I went out to the Marin Headlands yesterday, on a beautiful if windy October afternoon, to hike through the earthquake-prone hills of an upraised seabed, past the eroding concrete bunkers of the U.S. military – abstract monoliths left stranded in the landscape.
They're now strange altars: the solid but empty geometry of power.

[Image: Battery by Kevin Collins; the hills are hollow precisely because they're fortified].

As we walked out of the hills and got closer to the coast, we heard the distant ringing of buoys, like churches at sea, their bells tolling slowly amongst waves, framed by the Golden Gate Bridge in the distance.
There were pine cones resting on the tops of rocks that tilted up and out of the ground like gravestones, and it was so silent sometimes we could make out the flapping of birds' wings.
Gulls hovered semi-stationary at the exact confluence of hillside and wind: part of the landscape, rooted in air.

[Image: Portal by sigma, of Cydonian fame].

But then, incredibly, because it's Fleet Week, the Blue Angels came roaring out of the sky, tracing aerial symmetries, and the muffled thump of a sonic boom echoed into the open door of a nearby bunker.
It was two terrestrially competitive visions of the military colliding: one embedded in the Earth through excavation, the other colonizing the sky.

(Earlier on BLDGBLOG: Bunker Archaeology).

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8 Comments:

Anonymous sergio said...

Since Michelângelo tried to preserve the roman forum, the passion for ruins are still among us.

October 07, 2007 5:35 PM  
Blogger Blaize said...

I am so glad you enjoyed the Marin Headlands. I thought there would be some things you would enjoy about the Bay Area. I should go back through the comments and find the list I made for you when you were lamenting the move north.

October 07, 2007 8:19 PM  
Anonymous Marilyn Terrell said...

Thanks for the poetry.

October 07, 2007 11:59 PM  
Blogger Bryan's workshop blog said...

Excellent. I need to make time up there next February.

Reminds me of Ann Radcliffe's military ruins.

October 08, 2007 8:45 PM  
Blogger Ty said...

jez. that was a horribly written piece ...

October 09, 2007 2:51 AM  
Blogger Geoff Manaugh said...

Thanks, ty! I wrote it for you.

October 09, 2007 9:47 AM  
Blogger Britta said...

oh, i love those ruins. we visited them a month or so ago. and there's a book about ruins i keep wanting to buy...

October 19, 2007 12:31 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sorry you misunderstood, but you didn't hear a sonic boom from the Blue Angels. They don't fly that fast anywhere near population centers. Really.

February 15, 2008 2:36 PM  

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