Tuesday, May 2, 2017

State of the State of Margaritaville

Evening walk last week.

I'm alive and I live in paradise.

For more than a year I've been wrestling.
Swollen joints.(They went away; yesterday the swollen knees and ankles came back) A hoarse voice.
Musing over  Dan's central tenet. You're doing the best that you can. Really, you did the best that you could at the time. Really really, you did the best that you could at the time with what you knew at the time.

I am alive and I live in paradise.

My voice is unreliable. Is that the same as an unreliable narrator?

Why am I not working on a writing project right now?

Some days I can barely make myself understood. In places that I go regularly, people know to lean closer. Other days I clear my throat a million times. The phlegm lady.

Yes, I've been to doctors.
Hooray, I'll be on Medicare in November.

The lungs are the seat of grief, the acupuncturist says. Okay.

The Integrated Medicine doc says no dairy and gluten. Sometimes I cheat on the dairy.

What do you do with grief when you're grieving over a dead person while taking care of a dying person?
Wow, wasn't that like, a long time ago?

I am alive and I live in paradise.

Paradise itself is struggling.

Starting in the lower right foreground, notice the white bumps, and follow them into the distance. These are the breasts of western grebes, poisoned by domoic acid. The Pacific loons, cormorants, and pelicans are darker and cannot be distinguished in the photograph.

The beach, early morning, after the winds have subsided.

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Beach Report: The Week after Easter

During this week after which many just celebrated the rolling back of the stone from the tomb of Jesus of Nazareth, it seems that it should be easy to believe in miracles. But in this paradise, the beach is a morgue without hope of resurrection. Scores of dead birds lie in the sand, the impeccably white breasts of western grebes turned skyward, the dark shapes of cormorants that you hope are just piles of kelp. A pelican lies on his back, pedaling, pedaling and then falls still. Domoic acid poisoning is what neighborhood chitchat and a search of the web tells me. Demonic, spellcheck wants to write. That seems about right to me.

Domoic acid, or red algae, is a naturally occurring toxin, the articles tell you. A few months ago a friend who grew up here, surfing and fishing and boating told me that was an oversimplification. Man, no doubt, has his hand in this somewhere.

The sea lions will probably be next. 


Today, Anacapa in the distance.

Today, a bit later. The islands have disappeared.