Thank you, Mr. Stanley, for explaining perfectly my west coast home and simultaneously describing how I feel in every new east coast place i visit.
“Many a Saturday during that year of our residence, my wife and I would load our car and take to the freeways, whose sprawling network placed a few hundred cities, the vast Mojave Desert, several mountain ranges, and the mighty Pacific all in an hour’s reach. We traveled throughout the area, seeing as much as we could, though only a fraction of what was there: downtown skylines and entertainment districts; train stations and ship harbors; farmers’ markets and world bazaars; public parks and botanic gardens; mountaintop villages and lakeside resorts; commonplace lodgings and luxury estates; towns in the desert and cities by the sea. There was almost no place we visited for which I did not conceive at least some small desire to move there. It was never as though I judged that this new setting would suit me better but simply that everywhere I went I saw life, and life attracted me. Driving through the streets of an unfamiliar city, with cars zipping by and taxis taking people places; residents out walking their dogs, merchants setting out their wares, and businessmen hurrying down the sidewalks; couples sitting on verandas, friends chatting in cafes, and surfers heading for the beach; people working in their yards, or on the roads, or on their romances, with the sun going round overhead—all in a place I had never been before—I would think to myself: how is it that life has been going on here all this while, and I not a part of it? Can it be that I shall live only in my own little corner of the world, far from here, and not walk daily down these streets or at evenings retire to those fine homes on the hillside? Know merely my own neighbors, and not learn the names of these people and listen to their stories? Life was happening in that place, and it seemed a shame that I should miss out on it. Though an actual move would have been impossible, I could not help daydreaming about it, not merely playfully but with real hope, for our imagination runs ahead of our reason.”
And thank you, dear Catherine, for always leading me to words that thrill me.