When I first moved to Southern California, I was living, briefly, in Huntington Beach with Heron and two of our friends. I remember sitting in the living room and telling one of my friends — let’s call him Stan Clouds — that I was going to find a way to write a story for the OC Weekly. He believed it, and he was encouraging. We even spent some time trying to figure out a way to write a story about him.
Well, a year has gone by, and my buddy has moved. He’s living somewhere in the northwest. It’s funny how things change. It’s funny how people move. It’s funny how you can never know the direction of where things are going when you start.
But this morning, I biked down to 2nd Street in Long Beach to do some work at a Starbucks, and I opened up the OC Weekly to this:
To the Long Beach community, the closing of Berth 55 is an important story, and I was very lucky to help give this issue some attention.
Let me dive a bit deeper. I wanted to share with you a piece of writing that always resonated with me. I’m going to paraphrase. What I’m about to share comes from an essay by Ralph Waldo Emerson. My buddy, Justin Dennis, told me to read this back in college. Well, in that essay, Emerson writes, remember I’m paraphrasing, imagine yourself as a boat on the open sea. When you’re on the open sea, you have to zig zag on your way to your destination. If there is enemy ship near you — or even a dreaded pirate — you can’t go in a straight line, because your route will be predictable and you’ll be in danger.
Of course, this process slows you down. We all know that the shortest distance to any destination is a straight line. Well, Emerson continued: Imagine that you could look at that same ship from a bird’s-eye view. You’re not longer on the boat. See that ship zig zagging down the open ocean from above. Now, come away from that ship. Keep coming away from that ship until you’re in the clouds. Notice the ship getting smaller and smaller, but you can still see the wake in its path. (You have some sort of super power to be able to see the ship’s path.) Further and Further, smaller and smaller. So, what happens to that zig zag line? You’re right, the further you pull back, the more it becomes a straight line.
What I took from this was that even though you can’t see, right away, how your path is leading to an ultimate goal, if you could just step back a little bit, perceive your situation with some distance, then you would know it’s all a part of the journey, even the zig zags.
Well, hope you’ll read the article at the OC Weekly. Here’s the link: Berth 55.