March 16th, 2008


Where the heart is


Maia and I are taking a quick roadtrip, because she has some business up here. It’s amazing what a sense of place there is. We rolled in about 0030, and went to sleep at Webb’s place (it’s where we kept the horses when we were up here. He has a trailer we use when we’re in town. When the stars are with us, we get to visit with him too).

The wind was, as ever, slightly blowing. We woke and the light was right. The light here is incredible. Clear, bright, and not quite hard, in the early spring. The hills are a dozen shades of green, and the serpentine rises out of it. The Seven Sisters are omnipresent (running from Mt. San Luis, to Morro Rock.

The city itself, is quaint. Not in some sense of antiquated, old-fashioned and out of touch, but rather in the sense of a place which know what it wants, and doesn’t need to stay, au currante keeping up with the Joneses.

Getting up, hearing Webb’s hens complain they need to eat, looking at the figs growing as the new leaves get ready to cover the infant fruit, and breathing deep of a familar air, was restorative.

It’s why we came up here. As Maia said of the meeting, “It’s like coming home”. The city is friendly. I was walking (as I do) while Maia was at meeting (I am a sometime attender. I very much doubt my form of pacifism will ever be reconcilable to Quaker sensibilities) and a woman responded to my, “good morning,” as she was tending some potted plants, with a reply, and the question, “are you German.”

She said (with the vaguest of hints of the accent of a long abandoned tongue) it was because I looked German. Pasadena is nice, but I don’t get that sort of honest questioning. Rather I get formulaic sorts, “Where are you from”, with a hint of challenge.

SLO doesn’t care that I’m eccentric, so long as I don’t make a nuisance of myself.

I’ve been lots of places. Called many home; am in love with a number of them (Seattle is near to my heart, Monterey is full of memories, San Francisco is San Francisco, LA has been home for most of 30 years) could live in several of them.

But SLO, of them all, I think SLO has my heart.

So I am off to take some pictures, capture some more mementos of the place. I can’t bottle it up, but I can secure a little piece of it to warm the cockles of my heart when I am in Ishmael’s November of the soul.