With luck, I’ll be traveling to another realm this weekend – Big Sur.
Henry Miller, author of “Tropic of Cancer” and “Tropic of Capricorn” (among others) lived here and had his ashes scattered here, and my favorite, Kerouac, was inspired to write “Big Sur.” This is probably why :
If you’ve checked out my background or do a quick google search, you’ll probably find pictures of the place, but pictures don’t really do it justice. The unnaturally blue waters of the infinite sea stretching off into the western horizon, mammoth cliffs, beaches with purple sand, and clouds that melt away shortly after creeping over the mountains, it’s a place you have to experience rather than simply see.
Part of it is the sense of scale – there really isn’t a font big enough for me to accurately capture the size of “BIG SUR.” I mentioned the ocean and the huge seaside cliffs, and when you’re on those cliffs looking down the hill at those tiny cars coming up Highway 1, it’s quite humbling. And at the same time the strangeness of the clouds, the magnificent unrelenting wind, and the color of the water give it an other-worldly feel that destroys and rebuilds you at the same time.
Further down the coast there’s the Point Sur Lighthouse, which is on this giant rock that’s totally out of place – check it : http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/b/b2/Point_Sur_from_Highway_1.jpg
Flatness, then a giant rock sticking up as if it got dropped there by some giant. I’ve never seen what’s on the other side of that rock, and while I understand there are photographs of it, I rather like all the things my imagination conjures to fill that space.
I guess outcroppings of rock aren’t all that uncommon in The Sur – out at Pfeiffer beach there’s purple sand and this stunning chunk of stone and sea : http://www.captureintegration.com/wp-content/uploads/pfeiffer-beach-sunset.jpg
The rock itself has a plastic, artificial look to it – at first I thought someone had dumped one of those climbing walls out there, but it’s all natural. When you’re on a beach with purple sand and low-hanging misty clouds, things like that don’t seem all that impossible. Not much does, really.
On my first trip there, my friend Sam was driving, and a few times while talking to her, I stopped mid-sentence to say “I don’t understand where we are right now.” If you get a chance, GO TO BIG SUR. I dare you to come back as the same person you were before.