Newport Beach, California. End November 2016.
I’ll start at the end. It’s where my mind is at the moment.
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.
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.
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.