Sunday Painter
Field Trip

“Here I came to the very edge
where nothing at all needs saying,
everything is absorbed through weather and the sea,
and the moon swam back,
its rays all silvered,
and time and again the darkness would be broken
by the crash of a wave,
and every day on the balcony of the sea,
wings open, fire is born,
and everything is blue again like morning. ”

—Pablo Neruda

Our friend Captain Don of Dana Wharf Whale Watching heard I had a visiting friend in town so he offered us Whale Watching tickets whenever we found time to use them. Turns out Maki was off school today as well—celebrating the end of final’s week (his first.) So Julia, Maki, and I bundled up for our two-hour tour off Dana Point. The boat was near empty, with maybe 15 passengers on deck. It felt like the Pacific Northwest out there, or at least Northern California, with the afternoon’s choppy seas and thick sky. In California, our seasons are defined by changes in the light, and the last few days have been notably grey blue in tone. I am never dressed right when things get cold and being at the hull of a speeding boat only made me feel more alive…as if I was somewhere else entirely for two hours.

That’s actually what I love most about going out on a boat…not the view of the shore but the view of the OPEN…to see no land borders at all. It feels transcendent.



I looked up the definition of Bliss in the dictionary and found this:  to reach a state of perfect happiness, typically so as to be oblivious of everything else. What a gift. These guys seem to know the secret. Maybe it’s all their time on the sea.



We saw a couple of grey whales though they were laying pretty low, munching mud mid-migration.


It was mostly the vastness of the sea that I enjoyed, the untethering from the land and all its responsibilities, obstacles, and routines.  Those negative ions didn’t hurt one bit, either.


It was ours. Ours alone.The whole sea, as far as my brain and eyes were concerned.  All the life was happening just below us…complex and mysterious. We could just wait for the rare occurence of a splash and a whale. But it was pleasant…even the waiting was a gift.



Later in the afternoon, I received a call from a nurse at Fountain Valley Hospital that Vernon had been taken to the ER due to low blood pressure. The ambulance workers once again decided that he was a worthy worry. It is even possible that this is due to  is an increase in his oils. (That’s a road map we haven’t written yet.)  I got the phone call hours later, during a Trader Joe’s shop. I couldn’t panic because he was already on his way home by the time I got the news. A nurse who had helped us there before took it on herself to call me.  There had been nothing to worry about. And I didn’t even know it.

Indeed, ignorance IS bliss.


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Sunday Painter
Field Trip