As some of you know, I live in San Francisco, and there’s been lots of talk and angst about the Olympic torch running here.  I have mixed feelings about China and its human rights violations, Tibet, Darfur… within the context of the excitement of the Olympics.

olympic torch 1

Well, I just jumped on the excitement bandwagon by running down four blocks to see the Olympic torch go by!

Fortunately I was at the beginning of the new “decoy” route, so was standing right by it.  There were some protesters shouting their cause and holding up signs, but mostly bystanders who were excited and supportive.

A couple of photos here; the torch bearers are wearing red/white running suits.  I think the woman with her eyes closed is blind; she has her left hand on the arm of the man to her left.

UPDATE: Based on info on all the torchbearers, I believe this torchbearer is Jessica Lorenz of Berkeley, who is “a blind person and 2008 Paralympian who has worked continually to improve her game and spread the Paralympic message of inclusion to disabled and non-disabled people alike”.

olympic torch 2

You can see in the second photo one torch bearer waving, and her partner (all the torch bearers are running in pairs) holding the touch with flame.  You can see the police on foot, motorcycle.

The Fire Element in Traditional Chinese Medicine is related to passion and joy and enthusiasm.  (The color of fire is red, so the red running suits are appropriate, too.)  Certainly my experience of this Olympic event has been on the positive side of the Fire Element.

But there are thousands of people–supporters, protesters, curious–who have been waiting along the official route who have been and will be mightily disappointed.  Some will no doubt be experiencing the Fire when it is out of balance: feelings of aggression and impatience.