sometimes my eyes are bright turquoise blue like my mother's... just like the ocean here.
sometimes my eyes are green like my father's... just like the jungle here.
today they are grey like my memories of southern california... just like the marine layer there...
i am homesick for my beloved california... for that thick grey layer that sits over venice beach begging the sun to burn it off...
we talked about the marine layer last night after dinner.
birdie, me, and our friends tom & sas who are staying on the island... their baby jonah was asleep on the lounge in the driftwood castle and we sat at the big wooden table where we had eaten dinner some three hours earlier... our plates had been cleared... the table wiped down several times... but none of us wanted to get up and leave the company that we clearly all liked so much.
we talked about lots of things all slumped down on the beach seats with our shins resting on the edge of the table that was litered with empty bin tang cans...
we spent hours rehashing funny memories from the island since i've been here... (most have been blogged about here)... we talked for a long time about australian health care and general benefits of being from the land of kangaroos and crocodile hunters...
(p.s. i am taking applications for my next husband... i come with america citizenship, european union permanent residency, and the coolest family on the planet. oh ya... and i live in paradise. if you're way cool you can come live with me too... you have to be aussie, witty, and able to beat me at scrabble... thats about it.)
we continued to chat... talking about building dream houses... ocean views...
i told my table of friends about the highlands in pacific palisades where i grew up.
we could see a triangle of blue ocean from our house on palisades drive - the ocean peeking up between two mountains... and then i told them how amazing the highlands was when a marine layer rolled over west LA and swallowed up the coast line.
we would drive just three miles up our canyon road and always found the sun shining, beaming across the mansions, water reservoir, wildflowers and mountain lion land...
we were almost always untouchable by the marine layer up above the clouds.
i remember moving to santa monica with my ex and when the marine layer would roll in, feeling a little cozy now among those swallowed by the foggy layer, but also feeling a little claustrophobic, because my parents were no longer living in the highlands, so i had no escape.
though i remember, sometimes i thought of it like a dare.
the marine layer seemed to be daring enough yogis to practice sun salutations and forcefully encourage the sun to come out with our devotional vinyasas...
in case you dont know: a marine layer is:
In the case of coastal California, the offshore marine layer is typically propelled inland by a pressure gradient which develops as a result of intense heating inland, blanketing coastal communities in cooler air which, if saturated, also contains fog. The fog lingers until the heat of the sun becomes strong enough to evaporate it
anyways - today my eyes are the color of the marine layer and i can't help but wonder if this is my soul telling me to burn brighter... allow my heat and inner fire to become strong enough to evaporate whatever needs evaporating.
i am an eternal optomist. that's that.
but i must say, living in surfer boy land is not always the easiest thing. it can be a little overwhleming and demoralizing.
as i said the other day... there is nothing warm and fuzzy about the mentawais... except for beaker the monkey... and kitty... and jojo... and birdie when he's drunk.
i get chomped by bugs and take beatings from the conditions... and sometimes think i wouldn't mind just a bit of sympathy that i can't even point my foot because there are 17 infected mosquito bites on one foot at this present moment. and i am well aware that its part of living in a place like this... everyone goes through physical compromise to live here... but sometimes i want to just yell "YA! BUT I'M A GIRL... (AND NO COUNTRY GIRL EITHER)... I GREW UP IN THE HIGHLANDS... PERCHED ABOVE THE MARINE LAYER... I WAS RAISED ABOVE CLOUDS!!!!"
then i look over at Ainsley... and Sas... and Liz... and jackie and realize that these goddess women have set the bar far far far too high.
and a smile spreads across my face and i realize i can hang afterall.
i am more badass then i think i am.
One particularly unsympathetic human out here is Cahn, the caveman on the island who builds masterpieces from stone and lives eternally shirtless in his 3 walled banana leaf pondok seemingly unaffected by anything.
He often recites the Mentawai favorite phrase "Harden the F**K up Zani" to me when i get watery eyed about anything, then he storms off to snap two surfboards, stitch up his own reef cut, slam 26 bin tangs and wander back through the pitch black forest barefoot to his hut.
The other night i was complaining a bit about my popularity among the mentwaiian mosquito community and how i have tried everything to deter them...
neem pills & tea
every spray and lotion kown to man
gin & tonics
i try to make my blood bitter.
Cahn said that he and everyone who lives out here used to get bit a lot and eventually it just stopped... but i think eventually they bittered up as humans too.
"One day you won't be so happy all the time. One day you'll stop having bubbles coming out of your ass. One day you'll harden up and bitter up like everyone else... and then the mozzies will leave you alone."
But ya know how i feel?
I'll toughen up, fine. I'll allow the soles of my feet to continue to leather and my need for luxury to evaporate completely... but i just don't think i will ever get bitter...
I burn with love and light and i always have... and maybe that's why the universe called me here.
Maybe i'm here to burn off the marine layer?
and if it means i have to sacrefice my skin to the environment and my blood to the mosquitos and my heart to the realization that it will get no tender affection here... i can deal with that.
i HAVE spent most of my life swimming in a sea of love... so i think my love reserve should last me at least a couple more years.
It makes me think of Jack Keroac:
(i recited this to carrie turner on the front porch of the OM hOMe after a halloweekend that carried on for days and lifetimes and was one of my fondest memories in venice...)
But today, on this island in paradise i see...
in actuality, its not just the mad ones who are for me...
i love the bitter ones too.
i love the hardened, closed off, sad ones...
the ones who have forgotten how to laugh.
i love them because they remind me to laugh harder.
to burn brighter...
SO tonight i am going to practice sun salutations and then we are building a bon fire on the end of the island and we will sit around the light of the fire and remember to laugh and dream and love.
(and i will very nicely ask again for the goddam mosquitos to leave me alone.)