It happens to be Vlad, confirming dinner tomorrow night. I had already begun to assemble this post in my mind. Vlad loaned me some books on our mutual friend, the poet W.E. I am finally able to read it, as I have been felled by a virus I picked up on the flight back from Denver on Wednesday.
(The grand kids were wonderful to see, hold, kiss, hug.)
This book, "Perspectives" was written on the occasion of Bill's 80th birthday. There are some splendid poems dedicated to him; some written by people I knew.
Poems of the wild California coast, so deeply evocative. I grew up there, was a teenager and a young adult. I walked the twisting scrub trails at Pt. Lobos, listening to the sea lions basking on the rocks below.
Found my church in those land and seascapes.
I lived in a remarkable geographical and literary area, the home of John Steinbeck and Robinson Jeffers. As a young adult, I worked in a theater next door to Doc Rickett's laboratory on Cannery Row. I lived near the famous Tor House of Jeffers. They were real people, members of the community (though the community did not necessarily look favorably on them in their lifetimes).
Meeting Vlad last month, and reading these works, brings it heart achingly close: my past, the experience of a young mind face to face with the wild winds, cliffs and turbulent waves of a world older than humankind. As I said, I found my church there. I became a disciple of Walt Whitman and Thoreau. I had the romantic notions, typical of youth, to live in the wilderness, away from the horrors of modern man. Thoroughly unequipped to do so, I lived there on the edge of it, and used its influences for my music and writing, and later photography.
That's another remarkable thing about the place: home of Weston and Adams. Their photography very influential to me and thousands of others. An amazing constellation of artists of all kinds. And the gifts continue: many of my friends from high school there are themselves working artists with galleries and a lifetime of expressing their craft. Such persistence. Such focus.
Have you seen the movie Midnight in Paris? I imagine that I could live back in the time of Jeffers, Weston and Adams, Steinbeck, too, and befriend them all. I also imagine that they were all a pain in the butt in one way or another. Such is the way of humans, and often times, creative artists.
So while this virus has me under the covers and sucking copious amounts of water, I am enjoying the journey of this book. And, if well enough, the company of Vlad tomorrow night. But if not well, I will pass. I would be horrified if I passed on my calamity to a 97 year old darling of a man.
Have a great weekend, and be well.