I am standing on a cliff above the Russian River. The green stone is in my hand and the sun has been setting forever.
Try as I might, I cannot find a good way to explain the fact that seals and cows live just a few hundred yards away from each other. The best I can come up with is:
“Seals or not, this is cattle country.”
…which is undeniably silly and surreal.
I found the green stone waiting for me on the beach near Bodega Bay. There is absolutely no reason for me to place any significance on the finding of this rock, but I know that I will carry it across the continent and across another sea. Years later, if I work at it, I will remember how cold the wind was the day I found it and that I took my shoes off anyway and walked in the surf.
I take a light supper at the Mystic Isle Cafe. Just handful of people here. The lights are off in the bar. Chairs stacked on tables. When I come out, the sky is filled with stars. The ocean is purple. Even now the sun is still setting.
I am thinking of other sunsets of mine along the coast.
I am thinking of Santa Cruz and of Point Reyes and also about that crazy road to half Moon Bay where you come up over the mountain top and then take a long swooping curve down the other side through the smell of burning brakes wondering if you can catch a glimpse of the sea which you can’t but you can fly off the road trying.
There are so many curves you can’t help but get a little dizzy… like the time I had to ask my friend to pull over at the entrance of the Zen center so that I could throw up. How many people find enlightenment at just this particular point in the road I couldn’t say, but I’ll never forget how hard I laughed at the friendly soul who honked.
Should it be strange that I mix all of these trips together?
Weaving between the redwoods, I can’t keep my eyes off the river. The green stone is in my pocket. At last, it is good and truly dark.
How I Almost Started Writing is a series of brief portraits focused on the times in my life where I found myself on the verge of focusing solely on the writing life.