May there be curiosity all the days of our lives, a rebellion against the claims of certainty, an open relationship with the universe and the beauty and terror within it, a move beyond fearful into the inquisitive, and a quest for constant learning and evolution.

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Wonder. Study. Question. Search for the counterarguments to all we think we know, to keep ourselves and our minds honest and ripe.

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After the 4th of July in Eugene, we set out down the Oregon coast on the July 5th. To my right, the beach; to my left, mostly forest. We stopped in Newport, Oregon to visit the Yaquina Bay.

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“When I was a young boy I tried to listen/And I want to feel like that/Little white shadows, blink and miss them/Part of a system, a plan/If you ever feel like something’s missing?/Things you’ll never understand/…All this noise, I’m waking up/All this space I’m taking up/All this sound is breaking up/…Maybe you get what you wanted/Maybe you’ll stumble upon it/Everything you ever wanted/In a permanent state…” 

Coldplay, White Shadows

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“The future’s for discovering/The space in which we’re traveling/From the top of the first page/To the end of the last day/From the start in your own way/…Under the surface trying to break through/Deciphering the codes in you…”

Coldplay, Square One

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Katie explores Waldport coast.

“Hundreds of years in the future/It could be computers/Looking for life on Earth/Don’t fight for the wrong side/…You’ll go backwards, but then/You’ll go forwards…/Created, then drilled, and invaded/If somebody made it/Someone will mess it up/And you are not wrong to/Ask ‘Who does this belong to?’/It belongs to all of us...”

Coldplay, Twisted Logic

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Yaquina Bay lighthouse keeper’s cottage and grounds

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The Diner at Seal Rock. We ate lunch here, and about forty minutes after we drove away, we realized Eric had accidentally left his keys (key chain and key collection—a big treasure of his) at the restaurant. We hustled back, within the speed limit parameters of course, and discovered that the restaurant had closed five minutes before we got back (not being a dinner place). I knocked and knocked, knowing someone must still be there, and sure enough, we got the keys back! Whew!

We lost some ground, but some things are worth going back for in life, you know?

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My three goofballs at lunch on the coast. Oh, I love these three people with all of me. Golly. I sure got lucky in life, I will say that.

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At the end of July 5th, we bedded down for the night in Brookings, Oregon, quite near the border to California and a cozy and foggy coastal town. We pulled in right as the fog began to settle, and of course my heart leaped with delight. With his uncanny motel mojo, Bill picked the Spindrift Motel. It could not have been better. They had one vacancy left, a tiny room that, at first, they weren’t sure we would want as there were four of us. They even insisted Bill look at it first. We’re so unpicky—is it a room? with a roof? decently clean?—that of course it was fine. I mean, seriously: we’re the type of people who would sleep on the floor if we had to. I sure do believe in the joy of cultivating good taste and having a personal aesthetic, but fastidiousness and “being particular” aren’t appealing traits to me, most of the time. For work, academic and non? Sure. But with respect to experiencing life and keeping the length of the universe in perspective? It’s not a mark of sophistication, or education, I feel, to pick-pick-pick over the little things. In fact, being “high maintenance” in my opinion is simply a defensive mechanism born out of the fear of actually living life and searching through the dirty, imperfect, beautiful chaos for emergent meaning.

But anyway, the room was actually GREAT and of course we took it immediately. It was well kept and clean, very quiet, and the manager had a fold-out cot brought up. With the cot and our pack-n-play, we had more than enough sleeping space. We all piled in and enjoyed Brookings thoroughly. I took the kiddos walking down the highway to dinner, and on the way back (close to 10 PM by then) we made the good decision to dash into the Fred Meyer grocery to grab a couple of breakfast items for a quick morning turnaround. I could not believe how inexpensive it all was. Unbelievable. Definitely a rival to Target…

In the morning, I ran six miles around Brookings.

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I saw deer, unique homes, fog-cozy-cozy-fog…and I found a solitary beach, which was pure magic. Greeting the day with the icy, lonely waves with nothing, nothing, nothing around except boulders, birds, and damp sand? Glorious.

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View from the start of my run. I loved the retro feel of the Spindrift. Someday I hope to stay here again as I pass through.

The next day, we passed into California and through the redwoods and spent the night in Bodega Bay, all about which I have already written. Linear time is just an illusion anyway, right? Right. After Bodega Bay we went to Point Reyes, then cut fully over and pushed all the way home that night. I drove us in, from about 7:00 PM to 1:00 AM Tuesday morning. We pushed ourselves back mightily by adding on the Point Reyes jaunt, but it is an incredibly special place to me.

My mom and I “discovered” Point Reyes years ago on a visit to my brother at Berkeley one summer (he wanted to take summer classes to get even further ahead on credits for his many majors). We went again a couple of years later when I was pregnant with Katie. I climbed all around with her, about 5.5 months pregnant and dreaming of showing her and Bill this point at the edge of the earth one day. I imagined being a lighthouse keeper, alone except for my books, hearing the fog horn, tending the light through the utterly black night, and hearing the perpetual crash of the waves breaking on the rocky coast. The Point Reyes lighthouse is mysterious, solitary, sublime, and I have always felt that the life of the mind could take wing in such an isolated location with nothing but expanse on which to gaze. This place invites wonder.

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I could live here.

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This boy. This very boy.

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My three beloveds have finally seen the Point Reyes lighthouse! Just as with Crater Lake, I used the memory of this place heavily in my unmedicated labor with Katie (and with Eric, too). Point Reyes holds a deep lodge within my essence, and I can summon the force of its waves and its utter sublimity when I need to call upon a natural power grander than I am in order to make it through a challenge. I once gave a speech about this lighthouse to my Toastmasters group, and I tried to convey how very much a part of me this space is. I am not sure I can, fully. Something about the essence of this place, and my essence, are the same…

 

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This man and this lighthouse make sense together. This may be one of my favorite pictures of our whole trip.

 

 

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Katie holds her reference guide to coastal birds of California.

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“You’re a sky full of stars…”

Coldplay, A Sky Full of Stars

 

 

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Bill recording a moment with Glass. Someday Point Reyes will surely be gone, but technology allows us to preserve its essence and translate it to some future form. And someday, Bill will be gone, but he will also not be gone. All we have shared, all that we are, can never truly go…it is just the energy that transforms, the atoms, the math. Maybe putting ourselves into contact with the essence of things, and being a channel of passionate curiosity, is a way to feel the spark of everyone who has ever lived, or who will ever live.

 

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If only I could get down there and touch it…

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More deer! The deer scorecard certainly filled up with this trip! Katie, like moth to light, immediately climbed up after it. She would run off free with the deer if allowed to go.

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