Friday, August 26, 2016

Letter from America

Incredibly, to me, this is now my seventh 'writing retreat' visit to Half Moon Bay to stay with Mo and Anja, walking the coast paths & beaches daily as well as getting quite a bit of writing done. Each year there are changes ~ huge erosion along the coast ensures that ~ but each visit brings the same sense of serenity in the spaciousness of this incredibly beautiful coast.
My  long walks along the bay and over the headland to the Fitzgerald Marine Reserve have been in coastal fog as well as dazzling sunshine, but there's always so much to elate: seal heads bobbing in the harbour, processions of pelicans flying in slow scoops, massive yellow butterflies flopping on the wild flowers...
And there's been more than a dash of culture too. Half Moon Bay Shakespeare Company is presenting The Tragedy of Macbeth in an open-air performance in Carter Park, which to quote the local press preview, you will find just down Highway One, turn left on Main Street and it's just before the bridge. Quite a lot of people have found the venue, and massively enjoyed this lavish production. Director Robert Pickett created a fast-moving interpretation effectively choreographed and with some great individual performances, especially Duncan (pictured in the opening scene), and Lady Macbeth ~ here greeting her husband, newly made Thane and with his heart already fixed on the crown. Macduff and his doomed young son were excellent too. I was delighted to attend the opening night of this production, with Mo's friends Dave & Claudine who brought cheese & wine for a perfect picnic in our front-row-stalls seats.
Dave also organised a Spoken Word evening at his house later in the week, where nine of us were gathered to share words & appreciate some superb readings by Bay residents like Diane Moomey whose droll & tender poems have been widely published.

Apart from these social highlights, my time here has been exceptional for its quietness & the leisurely progress of days.  So what else... I've spent a lot of time outdoors, examining flora & sometimes fauna through the lens of my old Canon compact, since my Nikon lens now repaired is waiting for me in Frome, and a lot of time on my current writing project, and even some time writing while I walk...  

Today the California blues have ebbed to monochrome
sky softly pleated gray,  the wet sand silver,
sea platinum, foam-flecked as white froth pulls away.

Today is a day to watch pelicans in slow flight,
examine the intricate tapestry of eucalyptus trees,
to observe, minutely, the endless reciprocity of rock, & sand, & sea.

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