Saturday, January 23, 2010

The State of the Art

Given your recent observations about moving out of old neighborhoods, your trip to the Bay Area for your bi-monthly writing workshop reminds you how habitual it is for you to feel an affection and affinity for the spaces between Santa Barbara and Palo Alto. Because you have been making this trip for over twenty years, that strip of California seems in its way as well known as parts of Los Angeles and Santa Barbara and San Francisco. This is a terrain filled with Spanish names and with landscapes that remind you variously of border towns between California, Arizona, Texas, and Mexico and as well, south into Mexico. It is more than mere names; in some of the smaller towns such as Soledad and Gonzalez and Chualar, the demographic and the Spanish-language signs project the Latino aura and so many of the smaller buildings have the shape and colors you associate with the feeling you get from Mexico.

You are back home now, having left Woodside later than your usual wont and feeling now road tired, still a bit too tired to sleep, feeling as though you'd just returned from a long and satisfying hike. Many of those who attend these workshops are individuals you've known since the late 1980s, reminding you of their projects over the years, yet another reason why you feel the chemistry of hanging out with writers, their projects being in so many ways every much your friends as the writers are.

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