West of West

There’s something so comforting and also awe-inspiring about the Pacific Ocean.

Catherine Abbey Hodges wrote a wonderful poem called “Couch on the Beach,” which starts with her describing how “someone dragged a hide-a-bed” onto the sand.

“I recognize the impulse, the urge
to reach the furthest edge,

west of west, press up so close
and hard to beauty that it surges in,
then sweeps me new and desolate,
then enters me again.”

I don’t want to post her work without permission, but you can read it in full here, and if you like it you should buy her book, Instead of Sadness. My copy is at home in Taos. πŸ™‚

West of West

Ducks crossing at sunrise.

It feels like that’s what I’m doing out here in San Diego – getting swept new and desolate. A reset, a fresh start, a clean slate, all those words that signify a new beginning. Sam is here playing on the beach, but I’m pushing myself west of west, feeling that edge and letting it carve me clean.

This is what I’m going for every time I travel, I suppose, but here, tucked in next to the biggest living thing on the planet, it seems even more profound.

What’s your west of west? I’d love to hear about it in the comments.

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4 Comments

  1. Emilie Vardaman February 1, 2018 at 10:32 am #

    My west of west?. I don’t know. I suppose to me it is everywhere I go that is new. Last year I took a sailing trip off the coast of Maine, and that felt pretty west of west to me – except it is the furthest east I have ever been! I have been daydreaming about Spain. Italy. Cuba. Guatemala. And New Orleans, though it doesn’t seem to “fit” with the others. Right now my west of west is in my daydreams, I suppose.
    Emilie Vardaman recently posted…Corolla Wild Horses!My Profile

    • deonne February 1, 2018 at 11:12 am #

      Emilie – “New” seems like a perfect west of west, since it seems to have an inherent edge/push to it. And all those places you’re dreaming of have so much soul, which seems like a key ingredient for you. (For me too.) Can’t wait to see where you go next. πŸ™‚

  2. Shelley Abell February 1, 2018 at 3:02 pm #

    West Of West…..I’ve always lived in the West, Pacific Northwest, Oregon to be exact! Though I live in Northeastern Oregon, sill West of the Eastern Border Of Oregon. πŸ™‚ Our piece of the Pacific Ocean is amazing and WEST of where I live. Couldn’t live anywhere other than the WEST. Happy Trails to you!

    • deonne February 1, 2018 at 8:20 pm #

      Shelley, excellent! There’s something truly special about the Pacific. Enjoy. πŸ™‚

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