People Watching

*Before I launch into my adventures I am sad to say that I had a technical “hiccup” and unintentionally deleted all of the photos off of the 8 previous posts I have written (there may still be a few on #8 though). I hope you’ve all gotten a chance to see them as they’ve been published, if not, feel free to contact me and I’ll send you some photos*

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view from the house

It’s been two weeks since I arrived here in Oceanside and I’m still really enjoying my stay with Karen, Ari and of course the cats Cocoa and Moon Face. I haven’t been out too much the last week after spending time with Lauren and Eric, so I’ve been spending most of my time up on the property, or walking the streets nearby.

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Karen’s garden

Thanksgiving here was lovely, we had four people, a number I’m totally not used to after coming from past Thanksgivings with 12-14 family members and friends on average. However I really enjoyed spending it with Karen, Ari and their neighbor Tim, and we probably made the same amount of food that we make at home, so there’s plenty of awesome leftovers. After a full day of cooking, a few days of dumping turkey and potatoes into a pan is welcomed. 20161124_151126

I was definitely missing my family and our usual Thanksgiving traditions of board games and the usual guests, but I also felt very blessed to be spending it with another family, eat way too much with them and lend some of my home traditions. I made my usual pumpkin pie and was very happy with how it came out. Now that I think about it, there’s one more piece in the fridge…hm.

20161124_151114We moved the table outside and ate under the Brazilian Pepper tree right outside of the door on the little patio. We probably ate a few bugs with our meal, but extra protein never hurts, and the weather outside was perfect. We lit a fire in the fire pit and sat as the stars came out and twinkled above. Some outdoor card games followed and then Ari and I finished the evening by watching Star Wars with the company of the cats. Again, my family was on my mind, but California Thanksgiving was a treat with my family #2.

20161121_143450Yesterday (the day after Thanksgiving) I felt like I needed to go out for some fresh sea air. I headed to the beach and enjoyed the amazing late November weather. A hip hop group was filming a music video and I was really trying to find my way into it somehow…  The beach was packed with people and families, which didn’t bother me because it meant they weren’t out spending lots of money on Black Friday “deals”. Anyone noticed that they hike up the price two weeks prior, then slap a 50% off sign on to make you feel good? 20161121_143430

I laid out in the sun for a bit and people watched, then took a long walk along the beach, people watching again. I guess I just like observing this interesting species. Lots of parents accidentally hitting their kids over the head with footballs (seriously this happened more than once), guys driving around in muscle cars with flames painted on the side blasting NWA and Biggie, and rollerskating couples with speakers attached to their skates. I couldn’t help but smile and wonder if my family back in Maine had seen the sun in the last week. Just kidding, but having this weather at this time of year is a treat. It’s definitely different though, I’m getting that introverted, inward, winter feeling as though I’m still in Maine, so I know my body clock is still in full function. So even though I was at the beach with tons of people, I kept to myself and watched (have I mentioned that yet??) others as they enjoyed the day too. I stayed at the beach all afternoon and was able to catch another beautiful sunset, I couldn’t believe it but the beach filled up even more and I could definitely tell there were some people from out of town. I laughed as I watched (gosh this again?!) them in awe at the great orb of light as it descended below the horizon line.

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Since this seems to be a short post I’ll include one of the pieces of writing that I did during my stay in Santa Cruz. I wrote quite a bit at night in my tent and here’s one of the piece’s that came out of it.

Enjoy!

The Savitarka Samadhi of Pens

November 2016

(Savitarka Samadhi is Sanskrit for when the mind-in meditation- is glued to a single object until it gains the knowledge of that object in every way. Though I didn’t meditate on this particular object, this is my “Savitarka Samadhi” of pens from the inspiration explained below).

My inspirations for writing have always expressed themselves in weird ways. It’s always by a thought or idea that without warning, suddenly pops into my head, and nags me until I write it down. I have a hard time sitting down and writing at will, which is why creative writing class in high school was a bit of a challenge. Though I learned a lot, I found myself having to reach far and wide for things that really didn’t hold any importance to me. Not that pens have been all that important to me, or at least that’s how I perceived them; just a thing in everyday life. Perhaps you thought the same? But have you ever dived deep into one particular object, thought about it in every possible way? Pens popped into my head the other day, here’s the result:

Click. The sound that something has begun. I’d like to think that everyone wants something substantial? We like things that make us feel powerful and important. Think about the way it feels to hold and write with a pen. It’s got substance, the ink flows from your fingertips and pops out from the paper. The deep, inky hues shine back at you, then sink into the paper as they dry. You’re careful to keep your hand there too long for fear of smudging. Click. What you wrote is there to stay, the permanence feels good.

Signatures: written in pen, an authentic way of expressing your identity that cannot be erased. You can add extra loops, swirls, dots and lines, or you can be simple. Your words take on your personality. Ink is much stronger compared to graphite, there’s an element of focus when armed with a pen that’s not there with a pencil. Your senses are sharpened as you focus on the point of connection between pen and paper. With a pencil you can be nonchalant, free to go back and erase, write, erase again, write again. Or even further than that; the typed document that can be augmented so quickly, without leaving a trace. Our world is so fast now, with snail mail quickly becoming a thing of the past. We want instant gratification, instant messaging, instant everything. A printer takes over the job of handwriting. They say we’re more efficient as a society now, but are we really? We can fit more “productivity” into the day, but at what cost? By the time we’re done being “productive” and “efficient” there’s no energy or time left for what’s important; family, friends, being with yourself. We’re always going, going…gone? I would hope not but people are not well, they say there’s a pill for every ill, but honestly I think man is ill because he is never still. Hand writing takes time, patience; attributes that lack in so many these days. Handwriting is expression on paper, you’re pouring yourself out into the flowing ink.

Have you ever written a love letter? The epitome of the outpouring of feelings. Think of the emotion that goes into that letter, the time you take to express to that special person how much you care for and love them, in your own handwriting. What about the receiver of said letter? That wonderful feeling when you reach into the mailbox and see your name as the recipient. You don’t even need to look at who sent it because you already know. Their handwriting strikes familiarity in your heart. You are holding something that your lover once held, sealed and mailed to you. That’s not something you get from a typed message, everyone can use Times New Roman, no one can mimic your handwriting. Upon opening the letter your heart is filled with thoughts of that person, you see the their thoughts and feelings too, reflected in the writing. You see the tiny dots where the person momentarily rested the pen in the margin of the paper as they decided what best way to express their love. Memories are saved on paper to be continually cherished

Now we have heart “emogis” to try expressing the same thing. The sender doesn’t have to do much for that. Though it’s nice to receive any form of recognition, a hand written letter speaks louder than a heart someone else designed and installed on cell phones.

Now think about how cursive looks on paper; the letters are joined, dancing across the paper. Where has that gone? Now replaced by disconnected letters that fragment the brain. Start. Stop. Start. Stop. I compare it to ballet or modern dance which flow like the ink and don’t cause nearly as much stress on the body as popping and locking do. The body is changing directions and moving fast in a disjointed way; it tires the brain quickly. But this disconnect seems to be a representation of how we live. The gap between the human race and the natural world gets bigger all the time. We used to be in it. We were part of the natural world, now it’s us and them, man against Earth, microcosm turned away from macrocosm. We think were better, greater, more powerful than nature. But what happens when a paved road is left abandoned? Plants find their way back through, creating cracks in the road; nature will always prevail. If we are to stick around, we better join and respect the mother-of-our-nature once again. We must connect with her, like the joined letters of cursive on paper, written with your favorite pen.

What would that pen look like? There are so many ways to outwardly express tastes through fashion and the likes. Think about it for a moment. Colors? Textures? Where would you keep it? Would you embellish your breast pocket with it, making sure the public eye would see your expensive writing tool? But then would still be a writing tool when used like that? Or a signal of your whereabouts in the heights of society? A $200 pen writes just as well as the $2 Bic. Would you treat it as an everyday object, hiding it behind your ear in the hopes of keeping it close as you work, only to forget you put it there and search for its whereabouts? Would you write words of love with it? Hate? What important things would you use it for, when pencils just don’t make the cut? Would it be something to fiddle with, something to chew on? A mighty delivery system of expression, or a simple tool created to help save thoughts?

I don’t have any excuse as to why this is typed and not hand written with a pen other than for ease of sharing.

That is all.

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4 thoughts on “People Watching

  1. I am older enough to know that nothing can replace the words written in ink as I reread letters sent to me during the time my fiance and I were apart the year before our marriage. Thanks for your words that brought me back. oxox

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  2. Putting pen to paper….may that never become a lost art!
    Beautiful and mindful writings Lea!
    You were missed at the Giving Thanks Day table. But what a blessing to know you are with such a lovely family in Oceanside. The picture of your meal looked delish!
    Love you.

    Like

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