“California, a prophet on the burning shore,
California, I’ll be knocking on the golden door”
– John Perry Barlow
I always think of the Grateful Dead song “Estimated Prophet” when I travel to California. As a matter of fact, when I woke up in Benicia, a town located about 40 minutes from San Francisco, on Saturday morning, I opened up my iPad case, found the song on YouTube, and played it for a few minutes. I do love this state, as different as it is visually and culturally from the Northeast and the Southwest (the two areas where I’ve lived in the United States). I’m here now visiting family. My elderly parents wanted to see my sister, her husband, and their two children, and it was too much travel for them to handle on their own.
It wasn’t an easy trip. Thirteen hours, including a flight from Albany, NY to Atlanta, a layover, and then the flight to San Francisco. But my husband came along and he and I are here now, on our own in a small but new and comfortable hotel. Yesterday we enjoyed perfect sunny weather with a light ocean breeze as we watched my niece perform in a high school marching band competition in Vallejo, walked to the marina and up and down the main street of Benicia, which is lined with quirky shops and fun restaurants, and sat around my sister’s large dining room table sharing a feast of Indian take-out with the family at dinner time. At night, Jean-Paul and I joined my sister and her husband for a night out at a local bar/night club. As we walked in and made our way through the small crowd toward the bar, the band on the corner stage was singing Jefferson Airplane’s “White Rabbit.”
This post won’t be much longer than that, because it’s not easy to type on an iPad! But I did want to share the link to a recent guest post I wrote for Superstition Review’s popular blog. The blog, which is worth bookmarking, offers news from the journal, general literary commentary, and writing tips and advice. I wrote my post 10 days after the bombings at the Boston Marathon and talked about the incidents in life that we can’t shake and how they often eventually translate, for essayists, into writing.
Here’s the link:
And now, back to California.