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...about California, I mean.

I've been meaning to make this post ever since I got home from Lizard's party.

I had been to Cally only once before, at age 16, and had stayed just a couple days near Nevada City, and then spent one freezing cold overcast July day in San Francisco.

Maybe I was in the wrong place, or maybe (definitely) I was just too young. Maybe both.

But when I got off that airplane last week at LAX, something just felt...different than anywhere else I had ever been.

We had four hours before Kevin's flight came in from Montana, so we got lunch at In & Out, and then Lizard drove down to Hermosa Beach and I got to visit the pier and get a cup of coffee there. Got to dip my feet in the Pacific at last (cold, so much colder than the Gulf that I'm used to). Walking around that area was like being inside one of those Diebenkorn landscapes that I have always loved. The angle of the streets, the color of the buildings, the lines of it all--I knew it, but only from paintings.

There were flowers everywhere. Roses and lavender, growing by the ocean. Things that could never happen here in Florida.

The light is different in California, too, different than here. Clear and sharp where our sunlight is soft, almost hazy.

But the thing that got to me was not something I could see. I don't know how to explain it, but there was just an energy about the place, a sense that anything could happen, and probably would. I'm not used to that; I come from Florida, where people immigrate when their lives and possibilities are used up. Florida is all about settling into your retirement bunker, with all your old ideas to protect you. California, for better or worse, is about new ideas. Being there, even for a few days, made me want to do things I'd never thought of before.

So, I just wanted to say, I get it. I understand now why y'all put up with the traffic, the cost of living, the insane beauracracy, all of it.

I can't wait to go back.


Mare


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