The other night, I took my camera and walked around “the Marina” (Marina Del Rey) and then out to the pier. Picture a moon above you, warm wind coming at you, waves below, the Pacific. The pier goes on and on like an arm reaching over the waters. You reach the end and there’s this circular patio. You turn around, facing the beach and beyond, the quiet neighborhoods and beyond that: a thousand stars of the city of Los Angeles twinkling. Stars of Santa Monica, Marina Del Rey, Venice. Someplace beyond that is Burbank and Hollywood and all those other mythical places. To your right is the airport, LAX. There are other stars, larger stars, coming down from the sky toward that place. Jets coming in bring people to and from the world in which you’ve stepped.
But, now I’m about to fall asleep in a town outside Santa Barbara, and again, I can hear those waves not too far off, rolling. It’s intoxicating. I grew up in such a silent place that I know and love, and here my sleep is surrounded with these lush sounds. To me, it’s otherworldly.