Do you remember those perfect moments? The ones nearly always unplanned; that fall into place; that start with a fail. You always try to re-create them and then it hits you that you can't. In a way, that was Big Sur last weekend when a collection of us went down the coast for once last dance among the redwoods. But it seems wrong to say that, it implies that I was disappointed. Big Sur for the last time wasn't like Big Sur for the first time; but it was it's own very different magical adventure.
There was no Sorcha. No Natalie or Jason. No nightly drive or torn fingernail moon or gin in the backseat. But then that was fall quarter and fall quarter was new and magical and glowed with promise. Now it was the end of Spring Quarter and the drive to Big Sur was soaked in memories of my Spring Break with Bruce and facts about the Bixby Bridge from my Great Depression class and shadowed by the formidable goodbyes to come. Because this was our last dance and like Rachel said to me as we went for a walk in the sun later that day; the end is always the worst bit, it's the bit in the middle that matters most. I was foolish to think it wouldn't be different; that I would get out the car at Fernwood and find the same California I had back in October. Things don't stay the same and I'm not the girl I was back then.
We watched the England vs America world cup game and it was strange to watch a football match and cheer for the opposing side. The game ended in a draw that devastated Joe and bored Rosie and we decided it was apt to how we were feeling; England and America were neck and neck in our hearts. We hot footed it down to the Henry Miller Library for the Woodsist festival. It was hidden among the trees like a secret garden and as we laid on our rugs drinking strong vodka cranberry, the place seemed to glow. We watched the bands, perused the library, went exploring and hung out at the merch table and before long the sunlight faded and the fairy lights came out. Oh and then we saw Kirsten Dunst, just hanging out in the bookstore and Joe let his cool mask slip and got all star-struck and gaspy. The day was magical but tinged with melancholy. I couldn't shake this feeling and this feeling was the end.
In the Henry Miller library there's a letter hung from the ceiling. It's from Henry to his visitors. I didn't read it all as I'm impatient but I read the end of it and in this whole adventure it's the only end that makes sense. He wrote;
"'In the midst of darkness there is light. I am the light of the world,' said Jesus. He said a mouthful. Light, more light. Respectfully, Henry Miller."
I think this year in California was the light amongst the darkness. I'd gotten myself into a hole in London; there was a boredom rotting inside that made me feel like I spent my days running into walls and staring into nothingness. I feel like the life's been breathed back into me. I feel excited about things again, I feel excited about what I've done and all the things I'm going to do. I've met people who have been lights of my world and have been reminded of all the ones I already had, that I probably didn't appreciate enough. Now I've gotten all sentimental, but that's goodbyes for you. As I sit in a hostel in Portland, I miss all my people, I miss Santa Cruz and I miss home. But then I remember what Henry said. He said a mouthful. Light, more light!