Notes from the Road

SunsetFirst and foremost, thank you all so much for your sweet comments on yesterday’s post! I so appreciate every single one of them, and every single one of you. You are the very best readers (and writers and artists and teachers and all around wonderful people)!

Today we drove up to Santa Barbara, where Eric is meeting with some colleagues. I love the drive west toward Ventura and up along the coast. We always see something new along the way. I was working on my cross stitch, and eventually I just put it away: too much to look at. The sunset was absolutely stunning and slightly surreal. We watched the hills slowly pinken, and then the ocean turned the most improbable shade of purple under the richly hued clouds. WOW. Obviously, shots through the window of a moving car would never do it justice, but I want to remember it. It was over-the-top gorgeous.

Le DinnerEric had a dinner meeting tonight, so I walked over to a little place nearby for soup and a sandwich, toting my book with me. The food was nothing special, but it reminded me of other meals I happily shared with a book: hefting my improbably and impractically large volume of Proust (which I never finished!) to the Indian restaurant on the ground floor of my apartment building in Berlin, leaning over a crepe and a copy of Hemingway in the Luxembourg Gardens in Paris, sitting by the window on the second floor of a little cafe in Prague, totally riveted by Ian McEwan’s Atonement. I’m currently reading Kate Atkinson’s Life After Life, and I love it. It was a little hard to get into, but the narrative structure and the questions it poses are so deeply interesting. I’m sure I’ll be reading it over tacos tomorrow and Saturday while Eric is in his meeting, and I hope I’ll always remember Santa Barbara as the terroir of this novel. I’d like to imagine that the trail I leave behind me is punctuated with the books that kept me company along the way.

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