Saturday, December 29, 2007

On The Big Sur Route

The first day of the mission is under my belt. It felt very lonely, I must admit. Toward the end of State Highway 46, I was hit by an urge to pull over, much in the same sudden way that I would be told to stop someplace when Marcie was driving with me. This, a few miles from the southern end of Big Sur, was what I saw, a panorama from Morro Bay northward:

I did not get as much time in Big Sur as I wanted which means I will pass back through on the way home. I did get a few good snaps, though.

The Elephant Seals! Jane told me to stop and check them out, and I am glad I did. The first thing I saw was the wee babies. This little guy hammed it up for the camera:
Is he flipping me off?

This momma has her hands full. Four of the fat little pinniped burritolings to feed! And yet, fat they were. One of them has already been nibbled on, though, and lays on his side to keep pressure off the wound. He'll be okay. Or, sadly, he'll be lunch. I'll try to check in on him on the way home:

Speaking of lunch, the family bull was about to he handed his but he seemed to ward off the three suitors who came calling for mom. Some of my shots were too blurry, but here is one high-drama moment as two bulls square off. The big one is the daddy:

Daddy swings his head down and knocks back the interloper, who subsequently leaves:

Now, I try not to bother marine mammals, but when they call me out to challenge me, I admit I stop and take pictures while I talk back to them. Is that a felony? Probably is... but it makes for good candids:

Yes, those last two were sunsets. I have more scenshots, which I will post when I am not at a location with crap connectivty.

Night, Folks.


Thursday, December 27, 2007

A note and then Note #3

Hi Folks,

I will share with you about my dreams when I finish the notes. This is the last of them, but it lets you in one where we were in our relationship in that summer fugue of 2004. Sent just before my return, Marcie alludes to our passion and our bliss. I was almost done at school and was more than ready for home and wife.

I think it's safe to say that everything she wrote here, in 2004, translates to now, 2007. Considering my dreams, the picture certainly does convey and her words as well. I miss all those things about her, too. Again.

Night, folks.


Wednesday, December 26, 2007

A special treat on Christmas Eve

Christmas was a big holiday for Marcie. Every year, she plotted and planned with her family and her friends to get together the perfect bundle of thoughtful gifts for her loved ones. She started the day after Christmas each year and bought little bits throughout the year, collecting little perfect thoughts that would count for the next December.

So, it has been difficult, missing and remembering how we would spend the few days of peace before the big day and how we would savor the extra time off with drives and little trips or dates. I was thinking of what Marcie and I would have done this year when I went to bed Christmas Eve.

I generally find I am awake and aware of my surroundings when I am in the first stage of sleep or falling into it. As I nodded off in the front room a bit after midnight Christmas morning, I could feel Seamus' fur under my hand as he laid in his little wool bed.

I thought of how Marcie and I, after a good night and while we were in bed pillow-talking, would sometimes end up with Seamus between us, being petted into a stuporous overload of pleasure before wandering, staggering, down the bed and onto one or the other of our feet. I enjoyed the memory and almost caught a whiff of her as I did, deciding it was a pleasant dream effect, even if I was somewhat still awake.

I progressed toward dreamland wakeful in my mind. I felt her hand on mine as I drifted on the lake at the edge of the waking world and felt myself begin to flow down into deeper sleep. But there was something less phantasmal to me which diverted me and as the gentle down slope became a free fall, I startled out of my sleep.

I kept my eyes shut, moving my hand a bit and making sure my other hand was not the cause of the odd feeling of having a hand laid over mine, but it was behind me as I laid on my side, under me, really. I stroked gently at Seamus's fur to see if I had startled him. I hadn't but he groggily motored his purr a bit to signal he was aware of my touch in his slumber.

I waited for the odd sensation of the hand on mine to pass. It didn't at first, so I moved my hand and shook it. It seemed to go away. "It must have been my blood circulating a certain way," I thought. "Maybe it's related to parasomnias or dyssomnias."

I gulped sadly a little after I opened my eyes and saw no visage, not a presence. Just the cold contours of the couch in the front room, beyond Seamus, under my hand in his little wool bed, and nothing more. I sighed and whispered my love for Marcie and settled back in.

I was not asleep when the sensation returned, and I did not move my hand except to pet Seamus. I seemed to feel a little pressure, but I just let myself fall asleep, keeping Marcie and my memories of her favorite season foremost in my mind.

My dreams were extraordinary.

There were seven of them, and I am at a loss of where to begin. I am writing them down. Be it wish fulfillment, my grieving process operating at the near-unconscious, or simple but extraordinary dreaming, her presence was very strong.

My dreams seemed themed, and touched on the thoughtfulness, preparation, generosity, love, enterprise, passion and wisdom Marcie expressed through this special season in her life. They were my Christmas gifts, and I will be proud to share them... Soon.

Thank you, Marcie, if not directly for the dreams and the sensation of my hand being held, then for the memories which shaped them. I love you.


Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Merry Christmas

I am missing Marcie more than ever this morning, of course. Christmas was a favorite time for her, save for the obligations to be social with either throngs of people (my family) or to sit "in audience" whilst certain characters held court and regaled us with tales of the wondrous "before" (hers). But we managed to enjoy every one of the ones we had together, thank you.

Here's hoping that the tales you listen to are gifts themselves, that the throngs bring you a festive spirit, and that the day and its activities go by at the pace you would most prefer it to. Merry Christmas, folks.


Sunday, December 23, 2007

Letters from Marcie: Note #2

Here's the second of the series she sent me. I am still looking for some of the letters i sent back, but they may be among the many missing letters and her journals still lost. I have not been able to make myself open every box...

That first week, after I got her initial letter, I wrote Marcie about seeing old pals, getting my studies wired and on wheels and just the natural beauty of the place. I had a deer for my neighbor in the dorms and somewhere I still have images of her. I had also called every few nights and was leaving messages between classes with my phone card.

It felt as if I were back in the Navy in some ways, but without the 6-months-or-more madness a cruise means. But the analogy falls apart at most unpleasant points, like hot racks (having to sleep in a rack someone else just left), steam-or-ice-or-both showers, constant loud noise and a plethora of retarded shenanigans going on all around oneself. Furthermore, there was a phone available at less than the price of a whole paycheck and an ass-kissing session with the ship communications sleazeballs.

My roommate, and his girlfriend, by the way, always sat and waited for me to share these notes and the longer letters, and I was proud to. Of course, that meant roommate demanded notes from his love, too, despite their proximity.

There was much mirth in that dorm because of Marcie. People who never met her loved her. The phenomenon continues. Someone told me that her personality comes out in what I write and they love Marcie's spirit. I'm glad I am expressing her well enough to show that part of her. She was my doting spitfire.

At any rate, this one was just a little pick-me-up note from my baby with yet another cute cat scene... it's nice. The letter is somewhere else: