Today's New Activity: Sola Trip to Half Moon Bay
I was in the mood to explore mind-clearing thoughts, so I set aside the NPR in favor of my Pandora app. I've had R.E.M. on the brain since hearing their new album last week (Collapse Into Now--click the link and take a listen to the samples--it's excellent), so I set up a new "R.E.M. Radio" station and settled in with my thoughts, accompanied by streaming audio that also included U2, Coldplay, Radiohead, The Cranberries, Nirvana, and The Smashing Pumpkins, to name a few. This high school & college years soundtrack was a nice complement to the foggy, rainy drive.
I ended up at Venice Beach and had it pretty much to myself for a good part of the time I was there. That probably had to do with the fact that this was the chilly, overcast scene there:
Which I find beautiful, if not a bit haunting, but which it seems is not for everybody. I'll never complain about having an entire beach to myself though; I was pretty thankful for today's solitude and the chance to do some reflecting on where I'm at, 90-some days into this project.
Walking the shoreline, I was reminded of another time in my life when I headed to the beach to think. Deep in the throes of a depression at age 19, I'd ventured south from my then-home near L.A., ending up in Carlsbad--where I rented a room for the night just to get away from my usual scene and routine. That afternoon and again the next day, I'd walked down to a nearly deserted beach (perhaps it was private...I didn't notice and wouldn't likely have cared much back then), where I sat and read Walter Kaufmann's Existentialism from Dostoevksy to Sartre. Oh, the spectacular angst! The drama!
It was interesting to find myself, today, dealing with much more serious life issues (divorce and custody matters with a son as young as he is) but having a calmer and, I suppose, more measured and less tragic outlook. A sense of peace has washed over me having nothing to do with visiting the beach (pft...that would just be so obvious). I was content to simply take in the reality of my circumstances as they are and enjoy the profundity of the mundane: a few dogs splashing in a large body of water that had pooled onshore, and the strange, provocative beauty of seaweed:
After a frozen-nosed spell by the water, I headed for warmer parts. In this case it was Starbucks, where I worked on my project for a solid few hours and heard (on their in-store station) a number of songs from Adele--inspiring another new Pandora station for the drive back inland.
By the time I picked up Monkey from his dad's place this evening, I was feeling mellow in the most satisfied of ways. More trips to the beach are definitely in order!