This writer requires moments spent near the ocean. Usually Capitola suffices, but I also enjoy Ocean Beach in San Francisco, Santa Cruz too. Five years ago my husband and I spent our anniversary in Monterey, where we explored the 17-Mile Drive. Since then, we’ve returned to Monterey, but not the actual 17-Mile Drive. Last year we were thwarted by the Pebble Beach Pro-Am, but this year, we paid attention to dates for that tournament.
I really wanted to see this section of the California coast, even if it’s nearly ten bucks to get in. I look at it like taking the Benicia Bridge instead of driving east to I-5, saving five dollars, or driving over the Golden Gate Bridge, now up to six or seven bucks. Sometimes a cost is enacted, but the splendor is worth it.
It’s the colour of the water for me, different from The Hook, or anywhere else I’ve been, a multitude of blues light and dark, greenish at times, sparkling and bright. It’s the rocks forming the shore, rough and ancient, as if it’s not 2013 but 1813 or 1613. It’s one lone cypress, growing out of a cliff, like a sailor’s beacon.
Five years ago we used our good camera, but this trip was another outing for the smartphone (a Nokia Lumia), and I’m quite pleased. No zoom of course, but here I prefer the wide vista, so much beauty to capture. It brings out the novelist in me, a panorama of life that can’t be harnessed in only a few paragraphs.
I’m a wordy author, so my photos are often that large in scope.
There are so many beautiful places on this planet, but I am drawn time and again to the ocean. I love its strength, vastness, endlessness. I’m taken by its roar and waves, scents and spray. I’m enraptured by the changing hues and tides.
But mostly I cannot escape how it is constantly different, even if this section of coastline appears as if from hundreds of years ago. No moment is the same, no wave identical to another. The glints from the sun, the hum of cliffs drenched, as if life careens into the shore, then retreats; it’s like tales being told, then retold.
How many love stories, ghost stories, mysteries, and dramas exist? There are only so many themes, but an infinite way to express them. Maybe that’s what brings me back to the water, the reminder that no matter how plebeian or ordinary are my ideas, they are mine, no way for anyone else to tell them.
I’m just the interpreter, translating the essence, be it through smartphone photographs or collected sentences.