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Tuesday, July 27, 2010

- From my sketchbook writings, July 25th 2010 -

I fear I'm becoming a recluse.
Driving through masses of humanity and concrete I could feel the undercurrent of the city; pulsing like a body on the verge of a heart attack. Pumping ever harder, faster, expanding while the confines of cement and mortar fill in the crumbling chinks. It took me less than 48 hours to remember how to drive that speed, dancing through the gauntlet, slipping by countless street signs and steady ambitions. I could feel the beat ringing in my ears and the need to move faster creeping up knees.

But then I hit the open hills.


The Golden Rolling Hills of California. The live oaks whose roots sink deeper than the mountains and reach their gnarled limbs in every direction like Shiva. I needed that space. I needed to dilate my ribcage and feel nothing pressing back. I needed to throw my arms wide and feel only the sunshine on my fingertips. I began breathing slower, deeper. I turned the radio up; I sang from my diaphragm. I let the wind blow hot over my skin, rumple my hair into an unruly tumble, and eased up on the gas pedal.


And then, like water in the desert to a parched woman, I hit the Redwood Curtain.
The temperature dropped and the scent of the forest filled the car. The road was bare before me and the rivers crashed far below my tires. The trees closed in behind me and I could have cried for the sanctuary. In this time of discovering the depths of my own strength and the fragility of my own body I'm desperate for it.
For Safety
For Shelter
For Refuge
This is where I am supposed to be.
There are hundreds of miles between the voracious hustle and my heart. And my heart is home.


BakedLauraBean said...

Beautifully written.

mme. bookling said...

I will enter it's holy folds soon.

Snailentina said...

I just run out of things to say when I read your posts, sometimes it's just hard NOT to sound lame when commenting, that said, I can relate to the city feeling, and the recluse part very well so thank you for that very, very much.

MrsLittleJeans said...

Our bodies live in the cities but our souls prefer the country! Beautifully expressed Miss Umber...such lovely pictures!


jordan said...

i think that the need for escape from a busy city isn't reclusive but i DO think it's an expression of self-preservation. I really need quiet and nature too - and i'm about to get it this weekend!! heading to my parent's cabin in northern SASK for the long weekend...can't wait.
i'm sure the unruly tumble was utterly flattering on you ;)

RosyRevolver said...

It's such a blessing to have a place like that- that makes you feel that way. So happy you're home. Soak it up, my friend.

Anonymous said...

Oh! It looks all bright and blue! It looks lovely, hey :)

resolute twig said...

your words and thoughts and way of seeing the world are all amazing.


Lizzy Derksen said...

It's beginning to be stressful to go for a bike ride - I think I need some wilderness too.

kerin rose said...

.....sigh......your words leave me speechless.....

UmberDove said...

Somedays [all days] I love the community here, that speaking from the heart, you know exactly what I mean.

Lizzy - pack a bag and go, go breathe it in.

Jordan - EEE! Have a ball of a time!

Elly - It IS blue, blazing, blindingly blue. It's enough to break your heart and mend it all in one shot.

Trista Anodei said...

My husband just got a job in Berkeley, and I'm thinking just what a blessing a drive down the 5 is. And I, too, watched, elated, as the temperature gauge fell on our rental car dashboard, we barely grazed the redwoods but, God, right? Those hills...

And if I haven't mentioned, there's no shame in becoming a recluse. Solitude is a sanctuary, one we so rarely get and appreciate even less. So glad you're relishing it, lovely.

UmberDove said...

Oh Trista, you'll love Berkeley! The hills that rise behind are RIPE for the hiking and the food in that city... oh yes!