i bought a small house and garden in pacific grove, but you'd better write me c/o the lab for awhile. can't even remember the name of the street. we're camping down here really, and i'm trying to pull myself together but pretty bruised as everyone is.
hi again! stayed up till the wee hours of the morning reading steinbeck: a life in letters. i like being in the same place that some of these letters were written. i'm quoting from them throughout this post. they'll be the ones in italics.
it's dead quiet here at night. there is a velvety blackness in the streets and you could here a pin drop – i mean if you listen for that sort of thing. i don't, but i swear i can hear the stars buzzing overhead. they are bigger here and silver. silver!
there's an old bike path behind the cottage leading down to the water. i like to walk down it late at night, really late, and disappear into the blackness. even then you can see the water shining on the bay below and feel the cold damp air. i don't go all the way down. i turn off around the middle and circle back to the blue cottage on other streets. past dark houses, but some have lights on in upstairs windows.
the days are cool and grey. if i don't see a single ray of sunshine i will count myself lucky. there's enough of that down south where i came from. you get sick of it after a while.
a doe resting placidly in a garden above me. this got me v. v. excited. like i always get when it seems that i'm walking around inside the pages of a story book. illustrations i remember from studying in childhood. i used to wonder if scenes like that existed in real life or the artists were just making things up to go with the story. now i know the truth! the story was written to go with the pictures, not the other way around.
this bench looked like it was made for me to sit on. i headed out across the bluffs towards it, but then i saw a rock that looked even better. so i went there instead. sat for a long time. breathing. absorbing. committing to memory.
when i got up from my rock i saw someone else was in my bench. i took her picture because i like the way she's sitting and staring. her eyes fixed on something out there on the blue horizon that i couldn't see. a thinker. she sat like that for a long time. by this time i was on a tree branch and doing some looking of my own.
you want to get some thinking and reading and quiet living done. you come HERE. you stay for a while.
i'm back with my own kind of people here now, the bums and the drinkers and no goods and it is a fine thing
now quite early morning. cloudy and likely to rain. yesteday was like a spring day. i went to salinas and worked at the paper then drove out toward the hills and found the old stage road which i haven't been over since i was about ten years old and we went to hollister that way in the surrey. went over it to san juan and do you know there were hundres of places that i remembered. kids do retain all right. stopped in san juan a while then drove back over the old san juan grade which in the memory of most people is the only one. they have completely forgotten that which was once called the royal road and it is now just a country dirt road, which is what it always was, of course.
i'll put the kettle to boil for our late afternoon tea in 4 or 5 hours. meet me back at the cottage and we'll swap notes. compare stories.