Dear March 2014~
Big Sur is always like home in the early Spring. I just belong there- with the washed out roads, the smoking chimney of Deetjen’s and the highway rolling off the fog under your wheels. It’s good to let the cold air stain your cheeks and the roar of the west burn your earlobes as you stand on cliffsides overlooking so many futures like the tides crashing against the rocks, swept out in better judgment and then pulled back again the same direction.
It’s good to find yourself in the middle of the Henry Miller Memorial Library on a quiet afternoon. There’s been something great about the past trips I’ve had, pushing through the small doorframe to a crowd of men arguing about whether Henry ever meant what he said. This last trip was different though- in the off-season. The library was empty except for a young girl watching over everything with olive skin and green eyes. She left me standing alone inside for a good 15 minutes to attend to some installation outside. I tapped my foot to the old record playing behind me, track 6, and snapped a picture for Timothy before the song ended. I tried to send it with one bar of mobile reception in the middle of weather and redwoods and forgotten youth and honest writers. I never really knew whether it got through or not. And I have the book from this picture on my bedside table now. I wrote in a letter at some point afterwards: I wish we were brothers or at least as good friends as Henry and Irv. I love the way Henry loved people. I want to say I have loved that way- though, what way is that? The way someone has loved someone else before.
Big Sur weather, wool, leather, boots, buttons and caps in the morning where you sit by the cold river and suddenly cough up the stars and collect yourself watching trees steaming in the sun from a large wood planked chair. Big Sur. Someplace I call home- and it feels like a real home- which I’ve tried to explain at different points in various novels, poems and errant short stories. Perhaps recalled and referenced in over fifty letters, were I to count. But Big Sur wasn’t mine to begin with. It’s where my best friend was concieved and someplace that I am lucky she introduced me to. What can I say? I’d like to go back and find the oldest tree in California. I need to go back, sit next to a roaring fireplace and imbibe upon coastline herbed earthy risotto and wild mushroom soup that always gives me dreams of things that have never happened or at least haven’t happened yet.
I want to write more, but March has slipped by me again. The rest is a letter I found from some point last year, with a reference table from Big Sur and the Oranges of Hieronymous Bosch.
I wake up the way Henry Miller did once, with the lines:
‘After a time I rose, found a notebook, and began inditing cryptic cues. It went on for several hours. I forgot that I had a cold, forgot what time it was. It was after midnight when I reluctantly laid down the pencil and switched off the lights. As I closed my eyes I said to myself: “Now is the time to tell about your life in Big Sur.”
I think about what time it is now and try to finish the sentence on my own.
“Now is the time to tell about…”
I open the book and read several different passages taken on their own. I get riled up. Then I conclude with reading:
“These are the kind of facts, needless to say, that one would hate to rub under a kitten’s nose by way of house-breaking it. Even a whiff of such facts would give a plover or an osprey mental diarrhea. Better not present them to your children until they are ready for their master’s degree. Better keep the young on lemons and lavender until they’ve reached the age of discretion.”
I study the reference table above and I think about the organizational skills required to sum up any season of your life.
Here is the tentative reference table of 2014 so far:
1. The Music Box of Gray Skies
2. Brass Hinges of your Rusty Heart
3. Unfinished Sentences of the Late Riser (squint and yawn)
love and passages,