I finally made it to the Bay Area on Thursday, after what I thought was a rather beautiful drive from Southern California, even the monotonous parts.
The hospital situation bled over into my day and my mood on Thursday, but driving helps everything, in a way that it hasn't for a very long time. The traffic at home keeps me from my process of driving to think, driving to benignly escape, driving to sing. I just don't do it. So the ability to do this for hours and hours of carbon-gobbling miles (sorry, Earth) has been an unexpected gift, actually. I still like it. Even though a lot of my thoughts are weird and twisty right now, I enjoy unfurling them in motion, like picking different songs all the time, like maintaining my emotional affair with the Bruce Springsteen Wrecking Ball cd and just with him, like the mental and physical ritual of formulating the very tricky ratio of gas tank levels to available services to bladder needs, and figuring out where to stop without an app.
That part has worked for me beyond anything else, probably. I employed everything I had mentally and lead-footy to get to the outskirts of San Francisco. And when I got into the San Luis Reservoir area, which I'm guessing is about 45 minutes from San Jose, I was so blown away by how pretty it was that I smiled so, so big and couldn't stop. The roads were terrifying and steep and I didn't care. I drove my way through all of it to the John Lennon songs on Double Fantasy (sorry, Yoko, can't hang) and it felt really good.
The city of Gilroy was my last major pass-through before I got to Campbell, and if California wanted me to love it a lot from this direction, we are in a committed relationship now. Signs everywhere on farms for olives, garlic, pistachios, and cherries? Sold. Also, the entire town smells like my kitchen on a sauteing bender as you drive through it. Fascinating. It should be renamed Gilroy Scampi. I kind of want to go back tomorrow just to drive around in the Italian kitchen that is all of it.
I've been in Santa Cruz since Thursday night, at the home of the very amazing Grace Davis, the best possible place to land after more than two weeks of travel, a year of nonstop activity and transition, and a summer from hell. If healing is what you need (and I need some now, yes) this is the perfect place to be.
I'm smiling more in this area in general, in a way I started goofily smiling as soon as I drove past Gilroy (I really wasn't kidding.) I think it may be because I like the way the air feels, and the light looks. They both skim across me here, and I can sit in them and breathe. It's remarkable, really, and especially lately. It's also all good, even the parts of it that aren't, which reside in me, mostly, a fine, asshole point that I'm learning again. I almost get it now.
So here I am in this particular city, until I'm not, and to tell you the truth I already know in my heart like I haven't known it in a very long time that there is nowhere else on this earth that I would rather be right now than here.