December 11, 2003

Creeping Nostalgia, part XXVIII

There are days when I’m not so keen on living in Santa Barbara. I know, I know- for everyone else in the world, that’s bordering on psychotic blasphemy, especially those who live anywhere east of, say, Nevada. Still, bear with me, cause it’ll make sense at some point, I promise. Today was not one of those days.

Anyway, I was minding my own business and eating a burrito (gee, how many times have I started an idea that way- like Bryn’s drinking stories, I guess) at this place called Tucker’s Grove Park in Goleta, on a gloriously bright and fantastic December day (cue more hate from back east). I suddenly drifted into one of those “smell the flowers” moments when I came back to my new job and parked underneath some trees that were changing color. Despite the close proximity to fleets of cars just over on Calle Real, things were very quiet, and I could see the red and orange leaves sway gently in the afternoon breeze. Really.

Seems trite, I know, but I was absolutely transfixed by a sudden enormous pull of unsolicited nostalgia, and it took me a while to figure out what the fatal combination was that caused such a wide rift in the space-time continuum. What happened was the convergence of afternoon sunlight, a soft breeze, relative quiet, and the ultra-specific visual texture of buildings constructed during the late 70’s and early 80’s (but aged a few years), namely, Dana Point when I was growing up. Every house I lived in there was up a hill, which was great for biking, but also made for instant access to sea air on the move.

One reason I’m such a sucker for Bryn’s reverb & echo-laden guitar is that it evokes images like this for me. Big wide spaces of sky balanced out by the undulating ocean, with the sliver of land in between. It’s not really like that all the time, of course, and less so now, even when we went back for Labor day in September and crashed at the San Clemente Westwind Mansion. Still, the power of it knocks me on my ass whenever I think about it.

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