My time in California has been characterized by a series of wrong turns. Wrong turns, literally speaking, only. Metaphorically, all turns have been spot on. But yes, literally speaking, I’ve made so many illegal U-turns that I’m surprised I don’t have a mounting pile of tickets. Well, I do have a mounting pile of tickets…but not for illegal U turns. The parking here is beyond me.
I hail to the Golden Coast for all usual reasons, and I face all the typical difficulties one faces when coming to the Bay. In no particular order, I came work…for adventure…for life. I hoped that 3000 miles, reaching a grand finale at a cold, rocky coast would inspire. It did. Traveling renews a sense of life. The world is exciting and ripe for exploration. Humans, regardless of age or race or occupation, are all very much the same. There is a Oneness with the earth that is achieved. It is what inspired poets and song writers. Loneliness has lost its sting. And I am afraid of very little.
To East Coasters, the West Coast serves as some Final Frontier. Two weeks in and I’ve only just begun.
So from the other side of the country….which sometimes feels like the other side of the world…where we’re all just looking for a rent-controlled apartment…and a warm day in August..
I love trees!
I also love sunrises, coffee, and brisket.
But I love trees!
Don’t confuse this sentiment with a “tree hugger.” Sometimes I still forget to sort my disposable styrofoam from recyclable plastic…
Back to trees. What’s not to love? Google “environmental benefit of trees.” They clean air. They produce oxygen. They are subject of literary reference. They are friends. Providers. Storytellers.
Texas trees are fascinating. They bare form–whimsical yet statuesque. They generate perfect composition. A friend likened them to La Dance by Henri Matisse.
La Danse, by Henri Matisse
Sometimes I go to bed at 7pm. I do what I want, in the words of my overly assertive 5 year-old student. Actually, I think the statement was, you’re not the boss of me. You get the point…
My lifestyle allows utter freedom and copious amounts of alone time. I confess, I love it very much. I’ve developed some hobbies in the name of personal betterment (writing, photography, watching Netflix..), but if at the end of the day I want to go to sleep at 7:30pm, I’ll damn-well do it.
I’m not posting about my odd sleeping habits. Onto something new..
Sunday afternoon I headed west. Sixty mph in Texas hill country to Canyon Lake. It is exactly what it sounds like. A lake. In a Canyon.
Rustic and rocky and all-around lovely, the outing could only have been bettered by a cool beverage and a clean car.
Just a few more things. First, Texas litters. Sorry Texas, but seriously.
Second, I’m on a furious Bluebonnet search. I thought I had found one. I was wrong. If anyone knows where the Bluebonnets live, please share.
Finally, the trees in Texas are incredible. More to come on trees.
I am at an existential crossroads. Years of higher education, clinical training, and licensed, professional experience on the resume, I ask myself, “What do I want to be when I grow up?”
This is healthy. Our cultural narrative for maturity is b$*#&%. Having a 9-to-5 and slowly stocking away in a 401-K doesn’t equate to maturity.
A good friend once told me that she asks the same questions. She is twice my age. Perhaps these are question to never stop asking.
In Conscious Capitalism: Liberating the Heroic Spirit of Business, John Mackey and Raj Sisodia reference the transcendent ideals of Plato: the Good, the True, and the Beautiful.
Plato considered these three ideals ends in themselves, not as means to other higher ends. Those who pursue the Good want to serve others because it is intrinsically rewarding to do so, not because they anticipate some favorable consequence from doing so. The pursuit of Knowledge or Truth is its own reward, whether or not that knowledge is ever used in a particular way. The creation of Beauty is an intensely soul-satisfying, uniquely human experience. People create beauty because their desire to do so arises from deep within. Their creation need not be seen or experienced by anyone else to make it worth while; it need only to please its creator. (Conscious Capitalism)
When I grow up….A systematic pursuit of the good, true, and beautiful. Sounds quite nice, if I do say so myself.
I’m waiting for the sky to explode.
Apparently, I’m not the only one.
It seems as if the general public is a bit morbid regarding the fate of humanity. But this is not what I’m referring to at all. I’m referring to the rain. It could rain at any moment. And when it does, it will downpour. My river guide on Sunday told me New Braunfels was in the the midst of a drought. Business is bad on the river, he said. That’s the inevitable byproduct when there is no water.
The bluebonnets are also late in blooming due to the drought. Dana and I drove miles on a bluebonnet search, only to end up at a dejected little patch surrounding a mailbox.
. Because the view out my back window is so deliciously mossy. And to celebrate the color green.
Let it rain.
Owen and I sit on the EcoPod’s front steps on a cool Saturday morning.
There is just one coffee shop in Rockport of which I was a patron this morning. I was bitterly disappointed by the coffee but pleasantly surprised by the crab spinach quiche (mmmmmmm). Some good reading only helped assuage the turmoil of a disappointing cup o’ joe. Fortunately, any cup of coffee can be improved with a splash of Whiksey…and I did happen to have a bottle of Texas’ finest…
Back to sitting on the porch of the EcoPod, Owen beside me. Owen is my very misbehaved canine friend. He may be likened to an egocentric child who believes the world (or the backyard) is his playground and who regularly disturbs the order of the coastal Texas ecosystem by hunting lizards. Nevertheless, life is bettered with a canine friend.
This is what happens when I arrive home, 5pm, Monday through Fridays:
Finally, from the porch of the EcoPod, a suggestion: If you are having a lazy Saturday, spike your coffee and turn on some Black Keys. You are sure to feel positively badass all-the-while maintaining a mild-mannered afternoon.
First, Rockport as viewed from the EcoPod:
Quaint yet cultured. Perhaps likened to a city in layers of complexity and, in that regard, the antithesis of a suburb.
Ahhhh Rockport, a beach devoid of flashy signs and cheap boardwalk souveriors. Full of sea life and bird life. It is the resting place of birds following their grueling decent across the Gulf, and proudly proclaimed, bird-watching-capital-of-the-world (bird watching is quite interesting once you simply begin to take interest). It’s a rocky shore, but if you perch yourself on just-the-right-rock, I daresay you could lose yourself for hours, watching the blue heron’s stealth and ever-persistent attempts to steal bait from savvy fisherman (says a self-proclaimed birder).
And lover of all that is Texas BBQ….
Formerly (and briefly) a vegan, any attempts at a meatless life were utterly destroyed when I moved to Texas. The meat is so good here. Over the last 3 months, the sensory and pleasure portions of my brain light up furiously with the briefest scent of slow roasting, smoking meat. I’ve bought brisket from steakhouses, rodeos, and now, off the side of the road (and I must admit, brisket is best bought on a whim…when the smoky fragrance violates your senses while driving 80 mph on a 2 lane, almost-dirt road).
Nevertheless, brisket is a delectable, prime cut of beef…appropriate for (almost) any dining occasion.