Yesterday, I traveled from Fairfax to Ashland. Via I-5? No. Didn’t even occur to me. I had been on Highway 101 for days, going back and forth from Ukiah (my motel) to Hopland (NAPC convergence), and then had backtracked on the same road to be with Julia Jackson in Fairfax overnight before going to be with Carol Rosin in Ashland.
What did I do? I got back on 101 and went north. Assuming I would be driving straight north to Ashland. And for awhile, 101 does travel north, that’s what I had been doing for days; however, soon after Ukiah, it starts to angle northwest, I guess it does that, because it sure took me to the ocean, at Eureka. In Eureka, I wondered why I was seeing the ocean, and not Mt. Shasta. Where was Mt. Shasta? But it STILL did not occur to me that I was on the wrong road.
A bit further on, I decided to take a break and tramp to a beach. A few photos:
Notice the lines of chcm trails above . . . I’d been watching this formation bleed and fuse all afternoon after literally one whole week in Hopland with not a single chem trail in the sky.
After I returned to the car I decided to use Siri on my iphone for the very first time, saying to her, after Julia’s instruction on how to do it, “get me to XXX Street, Ashland Oregon.” (X’s are for privacy). And she did! Started to instruct me right then. A feeling of calm and security settled into me right then and there. Aha! I would be taken care of. No more problem messing with trying to find somebody’s house in a strange town after a long day driving.
Highway 101 was becoming narrower and narrower, slowing way down, as work crews fixed one lane and put us all into the single other one. But I figured, not much more, I should be there in maybe an hour.
About 20 minutes later, I happened to glance to glance at the iphone face. And saw that Siri said I still had 2 hours and 43 minutes to go. WHAT?
Utter shock and dismay. It finally started to dawn on me. I HAVE TAKEN THE WRONG ROAD. I SHOULD HAVE BEEN ON I5. DUH!
So I was faced with with going on winding, tiny Rt 199 west to east through northern California blending into southern Oregon, which led to I-5, on which I would have to travel south to Ashland for nearly 40 miles . . .
And I was faced with the fact that I had not bothered to check in for the larger context of my automatic decision to get back on 101 and head north. Had I done so, I would have saved three hours of time.
Mercury turns to go direct today/tomorrow. Hopefully, I will have learned to always, always, put whatever decision path I am making into a larger, relevant context.
Meanwhile, the next morning, Carol is reading to me out loud from an updated Scientific American report on some of the known consequences of Fukushima: west coast Orca babies have now 100% mortality rate; the Orcas have stopped singing, since none of their babies stay alive a full year; and the Orca matriarchs are also dying off, due to the collapse of the oceanic food chain.
Even so, we keep on, grinning. We keep on as warriors for peace, despite everything, despite the penchant of our species to completely destroy whatever we touch.
I asked Carol’s husband Jon Cypher to take a picture of the two of us with her unnamed porcelain goddess, she who graces their living room like a beacon of tranquility in this sea of despair that we appear to be heading into, whether or not we know it, whether or not we care.