I was trying to explain to Dik on the phone Friday night what it was like driving across the island. It was as if I had seen these things in my sleep, but I've never had that dream before. Definitely not deja-vu.
The canopy of rock and sometimes red cedar or dense tangled fern over the road. Water so clear in the ground and falling from impossible angles. Then, the ocean. The real ocean. Crashing waves from the open sea.
I knew a place this beautiful had to exist, I've just never found it until now.
On Saturday I pedaled from town out to a beach and spent the afternoon walking, day dreaming, snoozing, writing and listening to tunes. Pretty ideal.
I was talking to Anna a couple days before I left about not being passive. Embracing the world around us and taking from it what we want instead of letting it slip away. This actually involves more giving than taking I think. I've gone with the flow too much in my life. Just LETTING it happen. Standing in the shadows watching in silence instead of getting out there. MAKING it happen.
It's not about having an agenda. It's about sincerity, honesty, eye contact, watching for that which is larger than life and knowing when to call bullshit on a bullshiter. Seeing the absolute thrill in the ordinary.
Staying in a hostel is a living example of this. Friday night I curled up on the couch in the common room with the latest issue of Harpers. Ipod plugged in. I watched people come and go. No lasting eye contact. Just a friendly smile and nod from time to time. I observed the characters, but made no effort to become one myself.
Saturday, after a day to myself, it was time to break out of my shell. It didn't take much. I just went to where the people were. And in a hostel, it's not too hard to find them.
Traded stories with a truck driver from Quebec. Talked about books and other things with a guy from England. And met a really sweet girl from a village of 250 people in Germany.
Her name is Susanne. She's been in Canada since October, working odd jobs (at the CN Tower, a gift shop in Banff) and traveling.
She showed me a secret beach on the edge of town. You had to walk down a long, crooked, and soon to collapse wooden boardwalk through an ancient forest. There was a piece of timber nailed across two trees at the mouth of the trail. It's intended purpose ignored.
The water, as always was beautiful and full of mystery for me. We had a really good chat. The rising tide and the sun which had set chased us back to the hostel. It's funny how a person who only knew me for a few short hours knows more about me than some acquaintances I've had for years.
There was a moment last night (11:21pm) that I was happy to have noticed. All this talk of the past and future, it's easy to forget about the now.
I wish I was a painter. I would paint the north sky, a golden sliver of light glowing dimly from the summer sun a couple hours gone. The sharp black outline of the mountains against the deep blue night. The glimmering lights from the village across the bay. The stars with german names that hang in the sky and bounce off the water.
I went to a gallery this morning and found this painter. Roy Henry Vickers. He's a local Tofino artist. There's much more gold in this one than was there last night. I wish I could explain the whimsy of the scene. But, I guess that was just for me. I will think about it in quiet moments, probably most clearly when I wake in the night.
Here's some post-modern art I found, Tofino style. Freakin' hippies.