17 November 2010
You must change your life.
Wanderlust returns to me now, this autumn in California. There's something about being settled in a place that I love that makes me want to up and leave. Six weeks of smiles and small talk with beautiful strangers was enough. The novelty, after a month and a half, has worn off, and real relationships begin to take form: in the kitchen, on the sidewalks between classrooms, in the coffee shop. You can't maintain pretenses with anyone you see on a regular basis. Not even a teacher. Politeness is an affectation, and its potency diminishes with time. Best just to cut to the chase. It's better to give people respect than to sidestep your way around the truth.
I've been dreaming about mosquitoes, waterparks, and warehouses filled to the ceilings with fruit. It's a transnational dreamscape, something like the future. It's insecure, uncertain, and when I wake, I am relieved. They are not bad dreams. I like them - I like the way people from different parts of my life get together in my dreams; I like the details, the sounds, and the nooks and crannies - but I prefer to be awake.
Santa Cruz is the only town I know where everyone comes out to watch the sunset. At five in the evening at Natural Bridges, the parking lot is full of men and women, young and old, with families, single, on bikes, in cars, with surfboards, with strollers, with dogs on leashes, just waiting for it. And it happens and we are together and some people take pictures and we smile at each other and keep staring at the sky. The ocean reflects the clouds, a liquid rainbow; the wet sand, too. At five-thirty the stars are out. Orion follows me everywhere. It's the only constellation I know.
Settled back in California, I am reading about Christiania from an academic perspective. It is funny and somewhat gratifying to see theoretically explained the phenomena of "hygge," "culture," "autonomy," and "peace" that I know innately. I wonder what's playing at Loppen. Esther's still working there, and it's no more of a myth for her than the redwood forest that is my backyard is for me. Both of us fantasize about Paris.