Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Heart upon the Water

I borrowed Nancy’s 911, removed the T-top, and headed south on Pacific Coast Highway. I knew exactly where I was going and about what time I had to be there. I had to be there. It couldn’t wait. I’d waited too long already.

Peter Gabriel’s Secret Garden was playing in the wind. How perfect a choice I thought at one point, then the music and the views took me back again. PCH is a driver’s highway. No one in the car, please—not with this all around me—well, maybe a very close friend, but not today. Today, I need to be with me. I need to touch my values.

Earlier this week, someone said that I have character. I wasn’t surprised to hear about it. I was surprised to hear the word. It was like a sweet elixir. How long since I’d heard that word outside of business? I had been left wondering about what other words the business world had taken from me. That was what brought me to this car, this drive down Pacific Coast Highway to a little known place and a sunset that few ever get to see.

Nancy knew where I was headed. Like a gourmet mom she’d packed a meal of apples, brie, bruchetta, artichokes, vinaigrette, and a bottle of Ronco Cucco--nice white that Ronco Cucco. Once I planned the place I’d set the blanket and the order I would eat, I leaned back into the drive and practiced thinking of nothing in the California sunshine. It’s a practice I wholly like to practice as much as I can.

I found the little road well south of Corona well after 3:00 p.m., which still left time to find a place perfectly situated to perfectly contemplate the land, the sky, the ocean, while I emptied my mind. Wisps of Peter Gabriel still playing in my head, “All the places we were hiding love. What was it we were thinking of?”

I sat with my back against the high rocks and my eyes entangled in the view. I opened my mind to breathe in the salt air and the values of a sandbox and school. I relaxed with a glass of wine. Ate my gourmet dinner. I watched the sun go down and felt it fill me up at the same time, and began to remember words like loyalty, and promises, and fair, and humility, and friendship, and pinky swear with the clarity and truth of childhood.

I wished for someone to watch over me. I wished for someone to tuck me in.

I wished so deeply my eyes were seeing backwards—I could see inside of me instead of seeing out.

Then I looked up and saw the sun had laid it’s flaming heart upon the water.

—me strauss Letting me be


mergrl said...

your writing is just amazing, it's as if I am right there with you

just beautiful

ME Strauss said...

Thank you so much. I really needed to hear that. You made my day.

toadman said...

Great imagery in this one Liz. Very nice.

Also, if you like Peter Gabriel, and the sentiments of many of his lyrics, you might like the band Marillion. I suggest Anoraknophobia as an introduction to them.

ME Strauss said...

Hey Toadmaster,
So nice to see you this morning. Thank you for your kind words and for the music recommendations. I'll check them out. If you like Peter Gabriel. Check out Tommy Henriksen. :)


Tanda said...

Hi, Liz! Beautiful imagery. It's wonderful to get sucked into your world.

Oh, I so need to take a drive...

ME Strauss said...

Oh Tanda,
It's so nice to see you! I know how busy you are with the sock project. I bet you could use a drive. At least stop and enjoy the beautiful picture.

Mark Daniels said...

Like the others, I really love the imagery in this piece. It seems to me that the more specific the writing, the more people it touches. That seems strange, in a way. But the vividness of the imagery gives us almost tangible points of connection. Really terrific writing!

Have a wonderful Thanksgiving!


ME Strauss said...

Hi Mark,
Thank you. I agree. The more specific ally we share who we are individually, the more people see to idenfiy with what we are saying.
Happy Thanksgiving to you as well.

Dawn said...

That is an amazing picture, and an amazing piece of writing to go with it. Way To Go!! I wish I could write like that!

ME Strauss said...

Hi Dawn,
Aren't you the Dawn I followed Eric to your blog?
You write really well.

Thank you for what you said about this piece. I like it a lot too.

If you want to talk writing, emial me.

Trée said...

Happy Thanksgiving Liz. :-)

Oh, and your writing is beyond beautiful. Hugs and kisses my friend. By the way, on Sunday my flight to Phoenix got diverted to Chicago. So I went to the bar (at the airport) and you bought me a drink and we had a wonderful conversation about smiles. :-)

ME Strauss said...

OH Tree,
We were at the airport together and I didn't know it. I'm so silly. I need to keep better track of myself. I bet I had a really great time with you too. I wish I could have been with us. Darn,

I'll send you my number so next time you two can call me.
Happy T


Doug said...

That was beautiful. Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours.

ME Strauss said...

Thank you Doug,
Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours aw well.

dog1net said...

Just as it happens to be snowing outside, I find myself warmed to the chill by reading a post that takes me back to memorable days. During the late seventies I was an English student at Cal-State Long Beach. The PCH was my often my weekend getaway that always promised a good day not only of exploration, but of discovery as well. Corona Del Mar at the mouth of Newport Harbor was a magical place that found me there more than a few times for an evening sunset. So many places like that along the California coast. Driving on PCH 101 north offers some of the best scenery in the country. As much as Maine offers much in the way of natural beauty, my heart longs for the California coast, especially at this time of year. Thank you for taking me back.

ME Strauss said...

Tjat I could give you back a lovely memory is a gift to me.

I'm delighted you were warmed by what you read.

garnet david said...

This is one of your best posts. It's all good. I like "values of a sandbox". That's a keeper. Is that the same as "sandbox values"? That my take on it, at least.

I like how you wish so much for someone to tuck you in, then see yourself, then back out at the flaming sunset. A full revolution.

Happy T-day!

ME Strauss said...

Thank you David,
Who could not be inspired by that photograph. Yeah those are sandbox values.

I sat and did what you call the full revolution looking inside out.

Happy t-day to your and your color house.


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