Sunday, July 15, 2012
Out in the Provinces
Gentle rain, drifting slow and slant, barely visible, glowing gray-white sky; everything green and glad. July, as we know it here. It's warm out – by our standards, anyway: 55 degrees, or 14 to you furriners – and I'm still wearing my sandals. About to go get a massage from Neva, out in Hillsboro. There are only a few ways to climb up over the West Hills, and all of them offer the same extraordinary sense, when you come over the crest, of a new world opening up: sky, sky everywhere, the Coast Range dim and blue beyond the sparsely peopled champagne, and the light falling always unexpectedly across the distance. If you've ever fretted on the East Coast for months at a time, and then driven west through the crowded, irritable, privately-owned countryside of rolling bumps, and come finally to the Hudson valley, where you can actually see out a ways, and taken a deep breath and let your shoulders drop, then you've known a pale imitation of this experience, which I have several times a month. So you rule the world over there, in your humid, filthy megalopolises at the seat of the last great standing empire: so what? We live in one of the last places worth living in.