Parts of an ending

Newport Beach, California. End November 2016.

I’ll start at the end. It’s where my mind is at the moment.

Newport Beach, California, USA.
Newport Beach, California, USA.

4000 miles was what we covered in five weeks around southwest USA. Nevada, Utah, Colorado, New Mexico, Arizona, ending in southern California. Like the rhythm of a half remembered ditty. Toe bone connected to the foot bone / Foot bone connected to the heel bone / Heel bone connected to the ankle bone. * The parts of a divided sum.

Newport beach, California.
Newport beach, California.

It was remarkable. Road trips through the southwest have always been. There’s nowhere like the USA, to this visitor, for enjoying a variety of wide open spaces at leisure, and in comfort. Even through the fright of the American election and what it portends.

I never want to leave the USA when my time there is at an end, though this was the first time I found myself simultaneously glad to be doing so. But I’m still drawn. Because of or despite the lack of an inside perspective, the pull is stronger than it’s ever been.


We spent the last days before flying to our respective destinations, visiting with several friends in California, from San Diego to Newport Beach to a chain diner just outside LAX.

These are tellers of impossible stories, those who live impossibly broad lives.



Winters in southern California remind me of those in Perth, Western Australia. The beach, beckoning; light, strong and slanting; the air all salt and sun. We heard about the gargantuan swell of The Wedge, but the ocean was flat that day, board-like.

Newport pier, California, USA.
Newport pier, California, USA.

Pigeons wheeled with great feathery thrumming as the light died on the pier. The shriek of gulls, raucous spirits of air and water.

I took three thousand pictures of birds to add to my pile in those few days, should I ever make a part 2 of this journal. Many deep breaths of that fortifying ocean-side air.


I left America reluctantly, overwhelmed by her contradictions, enriched by encounter and fellowship despite the dire hysteria of news cycles in every direction, restored by the passage of rubber on bitumen.




Catching a break, somewhere in California.


* Dem Bones


  1. True North Mark says:

    Nice work Treasure! :)

    1. Charlene says:

      Thank you, and that was very quick Markie! :)

  2. Brian Miller says:

    As always, well written.

    1. Charlene says:


  3. Mike Vincent says:

    I love the way you write Charlene, syntax magic. Mike aka FW

    1. Charlene says:

      That is high praise coming from an actual magician. My thanks!

  4. Scott says:

    Wow, I born and raised in southern california, newport beach in particular, and I’ve never seen it look this good.

    1. Charlene says:

      Hahaha, I’m flattered, but I’ve never seen a beach not look good, if it’s been respected. Water and land meeting are just a little bit magic.

  5. Trump just chose Bigfoot for his Environmental Department Chief, so things are looking up.

    1. Charlene says:

      He is the paragon of presidential excellence.

      I think I’ll stop reading the news for a little while and go live in the library, since there is one around the corner. There is hope to be found in books, not so much in news, especially of your new president elect.

  6. Wonderful post, no writing rust in sight. Look forward to many more so we can relive it all until that Lotto win.

    1. Charlene says:

      Lots of rust, very fragmented, but it will get better.

      Yes, please win Lotto soon. That would be very convenient!

  7. greg g49 says:

    If you are going to live in the library, might I suggest spending a few moments (hours) with Daphne du Maurier. Her most famous work (although made famous by another) would fit right in (after a fashion) with this ofttimes feathered post. Good to hear from you all again. Loved Flemming’s “anniversary” post of the two of you. Looking forward to more.

    Safe travels and remember “Life” [and politics] “is like a box of chocolates …”

    1. Charlene says:

      I’ll add it to my list, Greg. I might never leave the library. I could move into far, far worse places.

      I’m counting all the ways those 2 things are like a box of chocolates. You and Forrest might be right.

  8. walker says:

    great Charlene, your posts are like a kite: who’s to say where the wind will take it.

    1. Charlene says:

      Heh, it depends on which of the 375 voices in my head gets a say that day!

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