That time of year again. Birthday. Climb Black Mountain to prove I’m not old-old yet. Visit Nordstrom’s for new jeans. Walk on the beach. Take many photos of Watts Tower in LA for my book club buddies. Fly to Oakland. See granddaughter the engineer in her cozy apartment. Breathe the mostly non-swampy air of a Democratic coast. I do love it.
California Dreamin’…the Okies and the Mamas and Papas had it right and it’s still our country’s dream in a way. Big state with big ideas, whether gold rushing or making movies or inventing California cuisine or multi-culturing X 2…all in La La Land and the City by the Bay and up and down the ocean’s edge. I think of California as the Liberal Progressive Democratic Republic of the Pacific. And encourage my son to keep a family visa form filled out for me in case Trumpian Middle America encroaches too far into my generally-Democratic New Mexico.
I am happy within my own ten miles of turf in Albuquerque, in north woods Minnesota, along the California coast, and when I’m out and about in the rest of the world. I am happy when I work and write and eat and sleep and stick with family and friends and Do Not Watch the News. Lest you think I’m living in total denial, I’m not, I read a lot about the very bad shit that’s going on. But it’s amazing how not actually seeing or hearing Turmp or McConnell or, in some ways, the worst sleaze of all, Ryan, keeps the nausea and despair at bay—not entirely, but a little.
Birthday week, I put aside a problematic world and wallow in the bosom of family in SoCal and NoCal. Then I’m happiest.