I can’t believe how much writing I’ve done already since I’ve arrived in California. This morning, as I was catching up on comments readers have made to various blogs and responding, I made a joke on one comment, “I think the tides rip open the recesses of my brain.” I scoffed at myself for the flowery hyperbole, but realized it’s not, really. This is exactly what seems to happen to me here.
The reason I applied for this particular house-sitting assignment, aside from the dog (must have the company of a good dog when house-sitting) is because I saw it is only fifteen minutes from one of my favorite places on earth: the tide pools at Crescent Bay, part of Laguna Beach, California. Why is it one of my favorite places?
It might be because it was my first exposure to tide pools and after seeing others, still remains my favorite.
Or maybe it’s because these were the first tide pools in which I saw an octopus, or because as I wander them, I am always in sight of a rock full of seals and sea lions and beautiful brown pelicans.
It could be because Kurt always seemed to be able to let go of work and really relax, and had his first and probably only goatee.
It might be because it was where I learned that starfish are no longer called starfish, but sea stars, because they’re not actually a fish but an echinoderm (like an urchin) and most importantly, that I don’t care and insist on still calling them starfish, because nobody is going to confuse a sea star for a fish just because we say starfish.
Maybe it’s because while allowing myself to say “piss off scientists, I’ll call it what I want” I was free to realize I actually think the name “sea star” is prettier, and like to imagine them falling from the sky into the ocean, or imagine them as vast and sparkling as the sky.
It might be because the sun and salt water and sand turn me into a fruit loop.
But then again, it might really be because the tides rip open the recesses of my brain and I write as though the film of time that obscures my memories is tethered to the current of water pulling away from the shore.
When the water recedes, I’m left with countless uncovered thoughts, connections, and memories, exposed like all these anemone and starfish and sea urchins.
So I’m taking advantage of this exposure right now and working to make the best of it. In the meantime, I hope you’ve enjoyed these photos, some of my favorite from our time living out here.