Chair Tour: Feast of Lanterns is Sensual Feast
So, itís a sweltering
Pacific Grove day Ė an oxymoron if ever there was one Ė and Iíve
stopped by The Ice Cream Shoppe, just down from the post office,
for a scoop of mango sorbet. My taste buds wince with pleasure
as I sit on a bench outside Toastieís and let the cool tropical
fruit bathe my mouth.
little lanterns dance in the breeze and I lapse into a reverie
about all the Feast of Lanterns Iíve attended in my 33 years in
When I was younger, my
friends and I would splay ourselves across a blanket at Berwick
Park, usually shivering from the fog, and wait for the sky to
catch on fire.
Oh, the delight of
watching the enactment of the woebegone Mandarinís daughter Ė
Queen Topaz Ė and her lover and the parade of boats, their masts
strung with twinkling lights.
The hilarity of the
pet parade, the feasting and merriment, the feeling of community
have always made me proud to reside in Butterfly Town U.S.A.
Then the crowds grew,
and I started watching the fireworks from a secret hill in
Monterey that provides a sweeping view of the bay. In fact, one
year I broke my foot and was so intent on seeing the fireworks
display that I watched it from the car, high from the painkiller
Iíd taken, my foot propped high on the dash board.
Well, years went by
and lazy curmudgeon that Iíve become, I made a delightful
discovery. I can actually see, through my window, the explosives
erupt while sitting in front of the TV on my bark-a-lounger!
And thatís exactly how I intend to watch them this year, unless
my neighborís trees have grown so high they block the view. . .
Follow Your Bliss
*(This is an interactive story. Be sure to read to the end!)
The ocean is a giant
teacup with sapphire liquid sloshing around inside it and
tipping over the sand bar that crosses Carmel River. Iím power
walking and the weather is a global warming potpourri: fog, sun,
heat, cool, humidity, wind. Only a few solitary souls have
parked their umbrellas here.
Carmel Beach, on the
other hand, the more obvious beach at the end of Ocean Avenue,
is swarming with tourists who have brought their boogie boards,
canines, grandmothers and tiny tots to ply the frothy waves and
poke at sand crabs.
I am uninspired.
Empty. How can this be? I have just met with the printer
yesterday to look at the proofs/blue line/galleys for my book
StarWords and, be still my heart, it is GORGEOUS! The paper
is heavier quality than I expected, and the cover colors are a
knock-out. Itís soft cover (costs prohibitive for hard) but
youíll never know it because itís so thick. Itís a coffee table
book, alright, landscape shaped.
At any rate, even on
this glittering, fecund day, I am morbidly depressed and
wondering how, in this state of mind, I will ever complete all
the tasks necessary to get the book to market.
So, I do what I have
learned to do, even when I am deeply dubious that anyone/thing
is listening. I pray.
ďDear higher power,
please send me inspiration to go ahead with this book.Ē
I pass a colorfully
dressed elderly woman with the most beautiful albino collie. His
fur is thinning just like mine and you can see his pink,
freckled skin beneath.
ďHe is unusual,
alright,Ē the woman says as we smile our greetings.
Still, no word from
Now Iíve passed Carmel
Point, Tor House and the butterfly house, and stop on that
fearsome turn where the road signs point in both directions. I
gaze at Point Lobos, a prehistoric Treasure Island, and pray
Mind you, I am not
affiliated with any religion, much to the chagrin of my staunch
Catholic friends. I do, however, believe in a power greater than
myself. Heck, the ocean puts my powers to shame. And I know
prayer works, even if itís merely a connection to the river of
subconscious thought that runs deeply - and just beneath -
Granted, Iíve walked a
couple miles by now and my endorphins have kicked in, but I
finally have an epiphany! An inspiration: I am a scribe and a
scribeís job is to scribble or perish.
However, since I
returned home from a 10 day vacation/retreat to my beloved
Sycamore Springs Mineral Resort in Avila Beach, I have done no
writing except to pay bills.
There, (which I will soon write about) I had pledged not to
write unless I felt moved to do so and, so, left my computer at
home. However, I did take along a journal and ended up writing
every single day about the wonders I beheld. It was sheer
inspiration to drive Highway One and I habitually grabbed for my
notepad, at intervals, while speeding through fields of late
I couldnít stop myself from writing.
(Speaking of, as I type this story on a pullout beside the bay,
a humongous Winnebago tries to pull into the space ahead of me.
A little boy peeps out the mini blinds on its back window,
grinning. Then a man gets out of the behemoth and starts
directing until the driver has backed it to within an inch of my
bumper, at which time I honk my horn and yell, ďThatís close
enough!Ē Reminds me of the movie ďThe Long Trailer,Ē wherein,
the Ricardos take their trailer to stay with relatives, and as
Lucy guides nubile driver, Ricky, into the driveway, her aunt
squeals in horror as he backs over her prize rose bushes).
At any rate, Iím on a roll now and I mustnít stop even if no one
is paying me to write right now. The word I intend to spread
about StarWords is that the 62 people featured in it are leading
rich lives because they have followed their bliss. And they are
merely a fraction of my interviewees who have proved to me time
and again that each one of us has a calling(s) and by following
it, we can live rewarding lives.
This walk has
convinced me to write daily even if itís a two-line joke.
*So, what inspires you? Write and tell me about it so that I may
share it with my readers.
What is your calling? What delights you? Organizing closets?
Caretaking? Mountain climbing? Skydiving? Dog grooming? Saving
lives? Taste testing cheeses?
Are you pursuing it? How? Why/why not?
Is it a hobby or a business?
I look forward to hearing from you and send my wish that you are
following your bliss . . .