Commute

My route strokes along the side of the Pacific, along the sides of Sunset Cliffs. Every time there’s a different texture to the trip: marine layer fuzzing the horizon, Santa Anas making the air knife sharp, the sweep of clouds catching the light silver or flame, and the blue—so many hues. Beauty’s true color is blue.  

 As I first leave the blocky beach apartments that stack along the sea, encounter the first open expanse of the cliffs, the Pacific pulling wide ranging heart, there’s a chain link fence where a flock (flight? kit?) of pigeons hang out. They divide their time between the fence and a rock that juts lonely from the cliffs where its been eroded out of. When I get to them, enough times that I expect it now, they swirl from the fence, shifting in the sun like a school of silver fish or dark bits of ash against clouds (depending), rotating as a single entity on the currents that churn up from the surge, then, as one, dive down to the rock.  

 Once past them, on a particularly stormy day, the Pacific expanded across my right, a matte grey marked with points of froth where waves found places to break. Except in that moment before the spill, when the rising wave separated enough from the sea to flash a clear blue-green, stark against its murky origins. It reminded me of looking at compressed ice in a glacier cave: all around us was dingy popcorn snow, striated with volcanic ash, and then just under that surface, like a secret, was the purest blue. Solid to touch but still it had the feel you could sink your arms right through it. I love those moments when your senses war because the input is so rich. Did I mention before that blue is the color of beauty? Beauty that fill you to burst and still you gasp for more even as it leaks out of you in tears, in snot (which didn’t you know that these secretions are the body’s expression of beauty?).  

 That whole day (really any day that is blue enough, and I have more than my share yet still am so greedy) was a gift after that. 

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