Monday, May 08, 2006

Returning to the Viridescent

After a month in the high desert, I decided to do my nose and lungs a favor and return to a slightly more moist climate! Reluctant to brave the interstate so soon again, however, I took a leaf from the classic Blue Highways by William Least Heat-Moon, who traveled the perimeter of the U.S. on state roads. (Called blue highways because in days of yore, road atlases signified interstates with red lines, state roads in blue. Of course, more recently "red" and "blue" hold a deeper political significance, but that's whole other topic!)

Thanks to a little internet sleuthing and the guidance of Casey Cooper, who's documented a wealth of state highway wisdom, I took Historic Route 66 almost all the way from Prescott, AZ (actually picked it up in Ash Fork) till it ended in Route 58 just outside Barstow, CA, and it was a much more enjoyable way to travel; especially the AZ portion, with all the darling little "Old West" towns along the way that I would never have pulled off Rte. 40 to see. Who would have thought Oatman, for example, was such a tourist attraction, sequestered away in the mountainous high desert, pop. 120? (I wonder where the locals buy their food?) But I stopped there, even ended up buying a new fanny pak, which I needed, then climbed back into my "mobile sauna" and crossed the state line. Route 66 in CA is more boring, but then again, I had the road to myself. I just wish I'd been able to stop for the night somewhere other than Barstow, but none of the little signposts along the way yielded cute little outposts as in AZ -- more like old rusting cars!

Route 66 also offers up humorous posts along the way, to enLighten the load of the weary traveler. Here's one that tickled me (written in 4 successive signs):

Train approaching,
Whistle squealing
Pause! Avoid that
Rundown feeling.

(It actually took me a minute to "get it"!)

So I'm back in the state that's been my predominant home for a quarter of a century. Now I just have to decide where to resettle, in quotes. At the moment I'm in Ojai, where I lived from 2002-2004. Sunny, serene, verdant, and redolent of oranges (it's the citrus capital)...suggestions, anyone?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I'll take the bait.

You seem lately, like one of those car radios that is perpetually scanning the dial, fruitlessly looking for a good station. This seems like an inefficient approach, something that I used to spend years doing. It seems to me that you should instead get clear about what you want to do or create next, and from this, the geography should follow.

Sometimes it works the other way - the geography mysteriously calls you, and when you respond, it then teaches, changes, and clarifies you in ways you don't expect. California called to me in this manner, when I first discovered her back in my 20s, back at our alma mater, but I wasn't able to seriously respond till my late 30s. It depends on how clear you are about who you are and what's next in your life. When you have no idea who you are, as I was for decades, anyplace will do.

With enough physical travel as background, these types of questions are best answered by looking inside. Perhaps that is the lesson for you, to deepen this faculty for intuition, for finding your own answers within, rather than asking others for advice. Metaphorically, turn off the radio, stop scanning, stop the motion, and look inside instead. A great quote I heard recently, attributed to Paramahansa Yogananda, is that greatness comes from solitude. He also famously said that "Everything else can wait, but your quest for God cannot wait".

Off topic, I think it was in your blog that I read about Almine, who I followed up with via books and audios from her website. Her level of evolution as a human being impressed me, and I even had a very positive, unexpected healing encounter with her in a dream (so much of my own growth and healing occurs in dreams through overtly unbidden encounters such as these). So I'm very grateful if you were indeed the way-shower who led me to her. Thank you.

Hope this helps,
Take what is useful,
Kirk in LA