Slept quite late today, a deep sleep, but no dreams. I felt groggy and muzzy headed I couldn’t understand it. Vivienne’s Verdon-Roe, who’s home i am staying in, has beautiful taste it has to be said. I ‘d just pushed back the heavy woollen quilt and switched the phone on when Marie called.
“Are you ok Mick?”
I told her I’d slept deeply and was just getting up.
“Ok, wow” she said “ I’m in the house”
“Ok” I laughed, “I’ll make sure I put my trousers on when I come out then
It has been a lovely few days with Marie here in this place, this house, this town this space. I’d arrived late on? oh I’m not sure what day it is now, but a few nights ago. I’m enjoying that, the loss of what day it is
Marie, Jeans sister is easy good company and though we hadn’t seen each other for so long, it has felt like well, not like yesterday but just easy and safe and instantly familiar. I’d come up for the purpose of doing some healing work with her, it had been on my route north so was ideal for both of us. I am so glad I called in. I love that about America, it is so understated. “Just called in” Excellent.
I’d felt my hands “cooking” almost as soon as I’d arrived. The house has something deeply peaceful abut it, perhaps the great cedar beams still radiate their age and the rough polished wooden floors reassure bare feet. The place beautifully and tastefully adorned by wonderful feminine pieces. Who ever this lady is, she lived alone and was happy with the way things were. I sensed nostalgia, independence, a love of love and perhaps loss here.
The town of Bolinas has a reputation of being reclusive. That day as I walked around I couldn’t help but notice that just about all the houses had wooden palisade fort like walls around them and the road signs were all hand made and sort of hidden. It had been up to locals to make their own if they had wanted to. It was a wonderful piece of organic community self-expression.
Bolinas lies west of the San Andreas fault and is apparently moving northwards about 1inch a year. I never realized it was so close till I was on my way out, that would have been something to see. Oh well next time.
The healing that night before had been very strong, the place itself seemed to be susceptible to healing work. Outside the rains simply poured down, pitter-pattering relentlessly and hypnotically on the roof and windows. The bed I have to say was one of the most comfortable I can remember. Nice one Vivienne, I slept like a trooper. We had breakfast, the conversation ebbing and flowing naturally,
I went to explore the town that morning. I had planned to set right off that day but Marie was up for another Hypnotherapy session and it just felt right to stay, I was happy there, there was no reason to rush away from somewhere so beautiful, such easy company and it may be the last comfy bed I get for 4 weeks.
Bolinas is tiny pot holed, wet and remote, but there is money here behind those high wooden fences. I wrote for a while in the little coffee bar while the Jamaican guy sang along to Motown and Bob Marley. I Checked the “the Bolinas peoples store” the Museum which was closed and the shrine to the dead and lost loves on the high street. All very feminine and nothing wrong with that, just that that expression is strong here.
I was hungry to get close to the sea, it has been tempting and teasing me these past few weeks and I just wanted to be close too and feel it. It wasn’t too difficult to find Bolinas has the ocean on 3 sides.
I found Agate beach with its famous reef, but though the tide was just turning it was still submerged. I almost ran down from the parking lot and as I got to the end of the path the wind funneled in to me and very nearly lifted me off my feet and back up to hummingbird, like old lovers freed and meeting after a long long time.
“Now you’re talking” I said with a gleam in my voice. “Yeah baby”
I literally jumped into the wind, hopped skipped and jumped across a fast flowing torrent flowing down from the forest above then balanced across fallen longs and with a jump, I was on the beach. Well I was on the rocks up by the cliffs as the Ocean still had the beech. The rains came down on and into me in gusts and thrusts as if to say
“Really, you want some more?”
The pacific rushed in and pushed my right up against the muddy cliff edge. I made my way along the edge, leapt out of the way of a great crashing wave onto a rock that turned out to be soft mud, right up to my knees. “F**k, S**T…. Damn!!
I recoiled cussing, and laughing. Brown sticky mud coated my legs right up to my knees. My attempts to scrape it off and only got more of it all over me so I tried to wash myself in the sea and scrub myself off with a washed up ships mooring rope it kind of worked but sort of smudged it all over me. Still a mucky kid after all these years, It had taken me about 5 minutes to be covered in mud and dirt.
So what to do, a pause, then I let the ocean wash over me, I was soaked, baptized, just laughing and howling, be careful what you wish for eh.
A little further along I openly asked “where are you, can you come and visit tonight?”
The answer that came back was “Not tonight, but soon” I took it and have to trust
I tiptoed hopped skipped and jumped along there for an hour or so and then made my way back to Hummingbird, changed my trousers in the parking lot and wiped the mud of my leather. Then attempted to find my way back to Marie through the maze of muddy flooded pot holed dirt roads. It is really easy to get lost in Bolinas.
I thought I’d done really well, and was nearly back when I thought
“That’s funny I don’t remember that fallen tree there” I drove on past sure I was mistaken. Just then Marie called to see where I was and guided me in again, I’d been right, as just as I’d arrived the old lady neighbor had arrived with the news that a tree from Vivienne’s garden had fallen across the road and pulled all the power cables down and trashed her tree and her fence.
No way, it literally happened a few minutes before had gone back out to the paved road, Had I come the way I had gone out. It could very easily have been the end of the Journey. It had fallen exactly where Maries car is usually parked. It was a huge tree and literally minutes before Marie had called me.
The little old lady from the next palisade was talking insurance and what was to be done and had she called Vivienne. Marie was completely unfazed, she was asking me what kind of dressing I liked and did I want bread. She said she was a little light headed and should eat first before she called Vivienne so as no to spread alarm. She was right.
In London there would have been a major incident, out here it was like “well what can we do, lets have some lunch first” and I’m telling you it was a massive tree.
The call was made in a break in the rain whilst we walked Magi the little dog along the cliff tops, the electricity guys came and reconnected the old lady next door and whilst we did a really good hypnotherapy session. We’d stayed up late that night chatting, good company is hard to say goodnight too isn’t it. it had been such a good easy time there with her. Family.
As I pulled out of Bolinas this morning a deer was munching on the grass at the side of the road. The rain still coming down, it felt like I was a fledgling jumping into the air trying my wings, the drive from Santa Cruz to Bolinas had been strengthening, but now here was the leap out into the unknown.
“Yeah baby, lets go” I said, windows down for the rest of the day
Highway 1 at this point is hours of hairpin bends dips and rises, I was right on it, Hummingbird sounded and handled great, Such a heavy and hopefully reliable girl. Willy had been wrong about the suspension; she hugged the road and took the bends easily and powerfully. It was wonderful drive.
Filled her up $40’s worth at point Rays , I love driving through these earthy towns, it could be my projection but there seems to be a real community, not sure whether its all harmonious, but it looks slow moving and authentic, stocky bearded suspicious curios big hearted and damp
After an hour cruising through lush green farmland and pasture, Lined by endless Eucalyptus trees and behind misty native oak and cedar covered hills. We came up and around onto a coastal high just past bodega bay. I really had a feeling to just stop. The coast looked absolutely stunning wild uncivilized and deeply comforting.
I stopped and looked out upon this wild view and thought it about time I opened up. They’d said not tonight. But here we were the day after.
I slipped deeply into the moment and I think I must have been there a couple of hours.
I had been back in London and driving up the wrong side of the road. I had been on the left hand side of the road and everything was coming at me, I was confused. Then there was an older lady stood by a canal, at least I thought it was a canal because the water had looked brown and dirty. She in retrospect seemed to be dressed in a robe. She’d dipped her hands into the waters and lifted out what looked like a wizards staff it seemed to be covered in moss and mud she held it out to me laid across both her palms.
She said “This is worth a thousand dollars”
I’d come round wondering where I was, I was chilly and my neck ached. I couldn’t make sense of it. I drove on and then as I was coming into the town of Point Arena. It was such a remarkable sight that I simply pulled up across the road to take a picture (it is rare that I ever stop once I am in motion) A pick up truck came up the road towards me and a leaned out of the window cussing at me.
“What the fuck are you doing man” I was on the wrong side of the road oblivious. It snapped me out of the dreamtime.
I stopped in at Point Arena . I had had a headache all day. Groggy and tired since I‘d woken up . I couldn’t understand it. I hadn’t been drinking and hadn’t had coffee. Jean had said the Hummingbird was poisonous. I wondered if she was right.
I had a coffee there in a whole food store and almost magically the headache went. It was noticeable. And so, Oh oh that means one thing, I am a coffee addict. I had been through this once before. I will try to wean myself off easier over the coming days. That was a stinker of a headache and I really don’t like mysterious fatigue.
I’d decided that we would sleep tonight in Mendocino a few miles up the coast, no need to push it too hard. I’d really wanted to have a walk in amongst the nature. So on the way stopped in at Van Damn Beech watched a family casting fishing lines into the Mysterious Pacific ocean, seagulls trying to rob them, then a stop at a place called “Little river” so incredibly atmospheric and unexpected.
There I was just strolling by the ocean when there in front of me a group of seals popped up where the river mouth kissed the ocean, I watched a bearded guy call to his friends and drew all their attention. There is nothing that touches us so deeply as something wild close by and contemplating you. Wonderful. I walked the length of the beech then back inland along the rivers edge. Suddenly I realized this was the river I’d seen. The colour was identical and all along its edge were drift wood poles. I was jaw dropped.
I buzzed, the family were close. This was the place I had seen. I stood still for a moment whilst the quietness moved inwards and the river moved flowed softly but forcibly by me. I walked on, stopping now again blinking, there were seals everywhere popping up and disappearing. Then there were families of otters just below me and across the waters there were Cranes standing motionless disguised in amongst the dissolving dead protruding tree trunks.
“Yeah, this is worth a thousand dollars” I whispered. The quietness was getting very close now.
Noisy crows circling above the tree tops getting ready to roost. I thought it’s time to head into Mendocino find a place to park and get some work done.
And here I am. There is something tough about the people of the northwest, Californian organic freedom loving, but also a vein of suspicion of outsiders. The town is pretty and conservative and we shall see.
I Spent the even sipping IPA in a noisy but friendly bar and the old town front called Ricks place. Lovers warmed to one another underneath the flickering light of a basketball game. A big open spaced place. A guitar did the rounds nobody minded those with thick unpracticed stiff fingers. It was all warm. Voices rose and voices fell like the winds and the tides outside. I was happy for the lovers, they were good to see, I looked forward to seeing my girl and glad I was here.
Yeah I am quiet and it feels good.