This little fella was the real instigator…
The formative years? God help us if I didn’t cram the proper amounts of right and wrong into the heads of my two sons. Shoot, what got crammed into mine as a child? And who determined that birth to x-years of age are the “formative” years anyway? I’m still forming an opinion on my life, thank you.
Having been born in the heart of one of the biggest cities in the country to a creative, giving and intellectual yet beleaguered mother and a loving but violent and psychotic father, what exactly was developing in my personal darkroom? Nature? Nurture? Heck, that’s probably why I’ve always chosen to step just out of bounds because my boundaries were so askew I couldn’t tell where the sidelines ended and the real world in the snack bar began.
What a peculiar way to get to my original thought… I’d like to remove myself further from civilization, farther from town but not too far. I’ve lived in respectable houses as a child, in the back of a pickup truck for a few months when I “hit the road” at sixteen, studios, party houses, heck, I even bought a little house with my first husband. I left it to him when I moved out and escaped to Cambria. “Away.” I guess that’s what I’m feeling as of late- the need for change, a little “less” stimulation. Of sorts.
And while my head is ping ponging around, I may as well tell you I got to that thought by way of cat sitting for friends. Really. He’s not next door. He’s a little over a mile off Highway 1 up on an ocean view bluff. About ten minutes from my home in Cambria. Three minutes to Harmony but you can’t get any groceries there. Shoot, you can’t even get your mail there since they closed the old Post Office. Damn them.
There I was, bouncing up the dirt road to go put out some crunchies for Mr. Kitty when this kaleidoscope of thoughts started spinning in my head. (Yes, kaleidoscope- I always daydream in Techno Color.) Ever since I was in grammar school in the sixties and attended the wedding of my best friend’s brother- outdoors under the pines at Charlton Flats in the San Gabriel Mountains, the bride with flowers in her hair, he in a hand embroidered peasant shirt with more organic potluck than you could sell at Whole Foods- I’ve known the life I wanted to lead.
So far, I have lived simply. I gave birth to both my sons at home. I’m not afraid to express myself in dress or life style. Although it is a battle with a contemporary, football-playing teenager in the house, I try to eat as low on the food chain as possible. I’m fortunate to have rented the same house with a garage and yard and within walking distance of the beach for over 20 years. What more could I ask for?
Well, let’s just call it my “Hermit” stage. As the nest is starting to collect more dust, I’m finding I am more and more comfortable out of the mainstream. If you know me, you are probably thinking that’s pretty far fetched. But really, my recurring dream is living in a small cabin with a large art studio by a creek, near the forest in a meadow, a really, really, really long, long walk to the nearest neighbor’s house. It’s so common a dream my young son even lists it on his “to-do list” when he makes his fortune. “And I’ll get you your house on the creek…”
Well, with the tension he and I’ve been experimenting with lately, it may not be on his current list. But then, since those thoughts were planted in his “formative years” perhaps they will take root! Meanwhile, I think I’ll go walk on the beach, contentedly by myself.