Sunday, October 20, 2013

to find our way home, to break in these bones*

Having grown weary of a seemingly endless string of flights for the past two weeks, I opted to drive from Northern California to Southern California (and back) this week. It was illogical, really, and many of my friends told me so. But I reasoned that I'd neglected to buy a plane ticket, and now it was too expensive to fly.

I was writing down directions for the way home (I get annoyed trying to use my phone to navigate, and I do not have GPS, so yes, the world and all of its advances have passed me by), and scrawled down "then drive up I-5 until your eyeballs fall out." It is a straight shot like that. And even though it is a long, almost interminable drive, it is also mindless, and thus allows your mind to wander.

It was much needed. I had to exorcise a bunch of negativity and demons, reset my brain, examine what lies ahead. I didn't arrive at any epiphanies, not even close.

California is beautiful. There is no state like it. But then, there is no place like any other. California, I realized, has become home for me, and that long drive up and down I-5 reminded me that this might be a swan song. A goodbye, or a farewell for now. The only thing that changed along that drive is that I became more comfortable with all of the uncertainty. Take a deep breath, breathe in the sunset that tinges the sky purple against stretches of farmland and mountains, stretch that imagination and consider a different life, a new dream. But I'm just not sure of anything.

I came home, and slept, and when I woke up, I was a year older. So busy with the plates sliding beneath my feet that I didn't have time to acknowledge the passing of another year. I could have made cookies or a cake, some sure fire, trusty standby. But that's not the kind of space I'm occupying these days. So I revisited macarons, which are the most temperamental m*@!$* that a person can bake. I've already previously accepted that macarons are one of the few items that I think are worth shelling out the cash for, rather than trying to recreate at home, because they are so involved.

But I was feeling up for failure. I was feeling that sense of daring-- that willingness to roll the dice for high stakes. I was feeling extreme- I could have gone for a good, hard cry or a joyous victory dance. I was ready to accept my fate. I was ready for it to all be for nothing. And only, only when I feel like that, I think, is this possible:

There were some happy feet in my house that day.

It's not a long drive, or the baking of macarons, or any one thing that will help make this all clear. I see that much now. It's just the necessary turning myself inwards, filtering out the background noise, the external voices of right and wrong. And if I stand very still, while the macarons are baking, while the sun is setting, while the music is playing games with my heartbeat, then I'll feel the right path.

* Maybe because I am old and so an 80s vibe does nothing but make me giddy, the new Killers' single Shot At the Night is owning me right now.

1 comment:

ng said...

Hi Brimful, I'm not sure if I have ever commented but I've been reading your blog since your SF days. The way you wrote about the city mirrored my own feelings. Your music suggestions have also been awesome (the shiver's "beauty" song is still one of my favorites). I'll take a change and suggest one - Vance Joy, "Riptide" ( I hope you don't stop writing - you do it so well. :)