May 19th, 2013

Oregon Coast 1

Edge Places

Another morning where I wanted a day trip. One big thing I'd planned to do today got canceled, and I reduced my plans to "eat," "read" (the first book I've borrowed electronically from the library, Laura Anne Gilman's Bring It On -- yes! I've successfully read a novel on my iPad), and "get groceries." All of which I did, but the idea of a road trip shimmered. At least briefly, in the morning, and I shot down the idea because I needed rest. Last week was a long week, mainly for work reasons. Rest was a better idea than traveling an hour-plus to see the ocean. But the ocean -- as it usually does to me -- sounds good.

Or even a good bay. Seeing Star Trek Into Darkness, heavily set in San Francisco, reminded me of my fondness for that area, at least as a place to visit. Now I wish Otis Redding had had more of a chance to live there. I'd forgotten this, but bonnie_rocks reminded me that Redding wrote "(Sittin' On) The Dock of the Bay" while staying on a houseboat in Sausalito, north of San Francisco*. It's easier for me to picture the scene the way Redding may have seen it:

Sittin' in the mornin' sun
I'll be sittin' when the evenin' comes
Watchin' the ships roll in
Then I watch 'em roll away again, yeah
I'm sittin' on the dock of the bay
Watchin' the tide roll away, ooo
I'm just sittin' on the dock of the bay
Wastin' time

It's a good place and a good way to waste time: be at an edge, look out past that edge. Just picturing this calms me. And reminds me of Douglas Adams's Mostly Harmless:

"We all like to congregate," he went on, "at boundary conditions."

"Really?" said Arthur.

"Where land meets water. Where earth meets air. Where body meets mind. Where space meets time. We like to be on one side, and look at the other."

There are plenty of quality edge places in my area. Rivers. Shores. Bridges. A gorge. Views from hills. Views from mountains -- some of which occasionally explode so we're not allowed too close, some of which haven't exploded in a long time so we're allowed up on them. Places where we have a chance to look at something bigger. Something we can't always be in -- especially when the edge is next to a large body of water, which often is collllld -- but which is there and which simply Is.

This is me trying to be profound-ish as a weekend winds down.




* I mainly know it's north of San Francisco because of Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home. I also know that Monterey Bay, SOUTH OF SAN FRANCISCO, doubled in that film for Sausalito. Film editing is magic.