I lie in my light-filled, love-filled upstairs bedroom on a long, body-conforming bean bag. The air I feel and somewhat hear has traveled from the ocean, over the Ventura valley and into the space that I occupy, unsolicited. A stranger to mirrors and at odds with nature, I have planned my return to the mountains from the city like a long-lost relative finally coming home. I am tranquil and unwelcome since my thoughts aren’t as smooth as the wind or as joyful as the light or as differential as this three hundred dollar adult sized bean bag.

I am suffering from a paisley boredom, where the things I need to do and the things I want to do mix with the abstraction of relaxation, I thing I never do. When my hours pass unplanned, my sense of self is questioned, my accomplishments are examined, my dreams are ridiculed.

There are my myriad writing projects–all of which have passed their self-imposed deadlines–and un-tracked hours lead to lost words. It is impossible for a writer to lie or sit and simply be. For we are born to delineate, destined to catalog. Even the tranquility of a luxury mountain home cannot bend a writer’s preternatural resolve to unravel the universe and her currents while fastening the truisms and trends of humanity to written permanence. Or whatever.


A Sunset

That precious, vocal horizon with its slender tide and little black islands, rare outlines that are usually bleached out by the chaos of sun and cloud.

I fell upon a sunset with colors partially hazed out by the coastal fog and by the tidal melancholy that flows during the exchange of light for dark, with only a creamsicle skyline to soften the blow. I adore dusk; I find myself in such horizons and distilled sadness. Having fallen into the colors and the peace of alone that I so rarely get to enjoy, I scattered my thoughts to the minimal wind and my limbs to the outskirts of the golf course. The 15th hole, I am told.

I am but an animal and my needs, when watered down from their human extravagance, are the same as the fluttering, everyday inhabitants of the brush I corrupt with my noiseless feet and screaming mind. Little animals—demeaned by their claws and beaks, and exalted by their innocence—speed then slow with irrational frequency. To occupy one of their minds, whose undecorated corners hold un-noble next to my own, is my solemn wish.

Boyspeed upon him, my husband climbs the hill of our little, gated street, full of his own special, jubilant emptiness (he is drunk). He brings friends in whose uncomplicated company he is happy; in his fellow beings he finds reward. I find solace in their absence; a solipsistic wish presently being fulfilled, I do not wish to be discovered.

I find a eucalyptus tree, porous with elderly grace, and crouch behind it, barefoot and unknowable, as I was as a child.

I take to breathing deeply and find a clear mind, proud and voluminous and watchful over the little orchard below which extends into the large orchard beyond, and the furtive skyline beyond that. That precious, vocal horizon with its slender tide and little black islands, rare outlines that are usually bleached out by the chaos of sun and cloud.

I take to reading, examining the luxury of my present situation and feeling only the grace of the mountains in my lungs and the established luxury of this man-made green. I encounter myself in the pages of my novel. I breathe and hush and fear, for my alone is limited and my presence will soon be required in the house whose vast newness makes me feel as though I’m living in a great English hall.

My 18671107_10100284943658096_7228718701803776810_nmind proceeds down its chosen literary journey when out of the quiet bushes comes an awful, halting shriek. Coyote vs. squirrel: I scramble to find a solution to this barking mystery when—shooting.

I scream—a proper girl scream—and roll with boy scout alacrity out of the way of the assaulting stream of water. Sprinkler hour with no warning bell. I jump up and whip around myself, trying to catch sight of anyone who might have heard or seen me in all my ridiculousness as I was mauled on a perfect Friday afternoon by a golf course sprinkler. No one—and yet, embarrassment floods my mind just as adrenaline floods my veins. I realize that it’s time to occupy the great new cool hall with its happy guests and human perfection, so at odds with nature and so aligned with comfort and dignity.

I gait away from my home, and towards my house.