moments – wild California skies

December 28, 2016 

Highway 101, on the drive home from Pinnacles National Park

John Denver, “Wild Montana Skies”

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John Denver’s Rocky Mountain Collection twangs from the stereo of our Vovlo cross-country wagon, the car that always came with us no matter where we went. My six-foot-two brother is squeezed next to me in the backseat, going on about “family time” as we annoy my sister with our loud camp songs and attempt to beat our father at a car game we never won as kids. Small-town signs and palm trees silhouetted through the windows against the clear California sky.

The orange of the sunset fades to pink, then blue, then black. The stars are indistinguishable from the headlights on the highway the closer we get to home. The music gets louder and the conversation quiets, until it’s just me, thinking, watching my inky country fly by. John Denver sings softly about the American Dream, the world I grew up idealizing: hard work, family, the wild West. It makes me so hopeful for my future, grateful for my freedom.

My whole world is open roads & endless possibilities

// initial Instagram post:

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Golden (and grey)

Fog burns away
Hills come out for the day

One year after 1848
Everyone moved out to the Golden State

Golden hearts
Chasing dreams,
The sea reflected glimmers, gleams
Remnants of the golden rush,
King Midas’ golden touch

Not a single cloud in the sky
Because the air is so damn dry
There’s mountains and valleys, sea and sky
Deserts and cities, open and high
Fresh and hip and new and cool
Full of the hipsters who dropped out of school
The next big thing around the bend
Everyone’s a fucking Godsend

So many people, we can’t breathe
Can’t move or speak,
Can’t feel the wreath
Tied around our necks
The price of beauty
Plastic surgery in purgatory

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Born in 1998
now I’m here at the golden gates
Sixteen, on my own
Don’t have to wait
Make it alone, despite the hate

Golden sunlight, golden hills
Dead grass & thrown away pills

Golden skin, golden girls,
Sun-bleached salt-drenched golden curls,
Golden sand and golden sea
Golden streetlights, electricity

I’ve never seen a sky so big
Never seen a sunset so beautiful as over the pacific

Open roads and open sky
In the parks, people getting high
Sixteen, in the passenger seat
Sunsets and streetlights viewed through the heat
Reflected in the rearview mirrors
Late nights, golden lights, fallen tears

After the sun sets
The sky turns black
The brilliance fades
the grey comes back

colder than anywhere else
to my bones
California in the summer
No one’s at home

I’ve never felt colder in Canada
than I did in California

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but there’s vignettes of the idyllic halcyon days
the golden feelings that go away
the golden boys who stole my heart
but who now live a world apart

I don’t belong, don’t feel at home
At the end of the day, I still feel alone