I was a tornado in Atlanta, a helping hand in St.Francisville, an idiot in Baton Rouge, a flash of light in Austin, a warm memory in New Orleans, a sight-seer in L.A., and now I'm a new fish in the pond of Honolulu. I was planning on riding through the states until my fumes were gone. I was supposed to go back to California for a minute, then on to Denver, Seattle, Las Vegas, Arizona, Dallas and New York if I could still afford the ticket.
That was the plan.
I thought, maybe, after it all, I'd have made some decision about what to do next. Maybe I'd have finished a book. Maybe I'd get a teaching gig in Thailand, or maybe Brazil. Who could ever know such things?
Now, what I haven't told you is what I wanted.
I wanted to find a place that felt like home.
It's been a long search: This trip was a big hungry attack in the dark. But from where I'm sitting, I believe I've found that magical place I was hoping for- What luck!
I can't explain this place without explaining the people. Do you know what the people do here? All the time? Everywhere you go? Including Costco and gas stations? Do you know what they do?
They are happy people. They are surrounded by lush, green jungles, magnificent mountains, and blue ocean for miles and miles. Gentle ukelele music hums out of overhead speakers in every grocery store. Drivers slow down and let one another in. People like their lives and each other.
I try to out-friendly the guy behind the counter at the 7-11, but I lose every time!
I wake up with the sun here. I follow it out to the beach and pull a mask down over my eyes, stick a tube in my mouth and flippers on my feet. The water's always cold at first, but only for a moment. I look down and watch the most stunning fish swim below me, shamelessly boasting bright yellows and reds, magnetic blues, neon piping. They make any negative feelings seem foolish.
Every detail of this place is inspiring.
The air smells like flowers and ocean. I drive a scooter (safely) down a park street with trees so beautiful they're distracting, arched above, creating a canopy. This place is so stunning and wonderful and perfect, even the Spam tastes good.
What could I do? I got a job. I am staying. Which is to say, I am not leaving. I won't be finishing leg two of my scheduled travels, but they'll be picked up soon enough. I'll get vacation time somewhere down the road a bit, and I'll get to Denver and Arizona, Louisiana and Atlanta, Seattle and California, and even you, New York.
But for now, I'm settling in for a new life in Paradise.
Monday, July 25, 2011
I won't be long explaining this experience as that it was only a week, and the events are much less important than the feelings. I stayed in the warm company of my dear friend, Richard, and my new friend (his lady), Angelica. Richard took me as I was the day we met and has never let me down in any way. He is genuine, sensitive, giving, and artistically minded. Angelica is as pure as a person gets. My visit was not so much to the city of Los Angeles as is was to the world these two have carved out for themselves there. This means, I slept soundly and was surrounded by real beauty. There were carefully sculpted gardens and parks for the neighborhood to use. There was street art. Aztecs danced around a giant oak. There were rope swings, tree hammocks, buckets of paint, strange movies, giggling, hiking, caring for the community, kids playing in boxes, team efforts, shovels in dirt, group art projects, unbelievable home cooking, snuggling animals, bare feet, natural remedies, generosity, acceptance, big eyes and big smiles. I don't know what other people feel about L.A., but it felt almost like home to me.