Anything Can Happen Near Santa Barbara

{ Wednesday, March 5, 2008 }

This past weekend I joined N. for three days in the Santa Barbara, California area. (I'll post the pics as soon as I can get them off the camera -- stop back to see them.) Our adventures:

1) We walked around Solvang and Los Olivos. Solvang: Many Danish bakeries and shops of pretty doo-dads. And wine tastings, though we held out instead for an olive oil tasting at Global Gardens in Los Olivos. We dipped torn pieces of fresh wheat roll in quarter-teaspoons of oil -- peppery or fennelly or fruity -- poured in a round plastic painter's palette.

2) I ran with our friends' yellow lab, Nyra. Nyra's female human is a marathon runner, so our jaunts in the cool morning air were no sweat for her. We ran past shoals of lavender and Mexican heather, past small trees thick with oranges.

3) At the Karpeles Manuscript Museum's Santa Barbara location, we saw these among other original handwritten manuscripts:

  • The Emancipation Proclamation, a huge broadsheet signed by Abraham Lincoln
  • Martin Luther King's scribbly and zestful, fat-stroked "We Shall Overcome" speech
  • A plain-calligraphy list with no strike-throughs and all the semi-colons where you'd expect them from Noah Webster's dictionary (brag; braggadocio)
  • Puccini's big cartoon Madama Butterfly scrawl
  • A right-slanting, ovalesque poem by Emily Dickinson on the kind of paper my great-grandmother used to take phone messages on - a little apricot colored rectangle
  • A page from Little Women, with Jo's name in Louisa May Alcott's tidy loop
  • A page of tiny, precise German from Einstein's theory of relativity
4) We walked on the beach every day. We saw a young, dead dolphin that had washed ashore. A woman came and measured it. And we saw pelicans and plovers and curlews and godwits and terns and bald eagles. And the ocean curled and rolled and sighed.

Doesn't this all sound dreamy? A year from now it will probably be like a dream. What happened in Santa Barbara last week: I suddenly remembered places that I had forgotten visiting. I couldn't connect the memories with dates or names. They floated and flashed, images inside my brain, with no information about how they had gotten there.

This discovery is not without its frightening aspects. But for now we'll leave it here: when I dream, it's like I'm traveling and when I travel, it's like I'm dreaming. Who could be anything but grateful to dream them? Oceans and orange trees, pelicans and plovers, husband holding my hand.


Foodie said...

Thank you for this. First real smile of my day.

tarzan said...

That is some nice writing.

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