I spent the day in paradise with someone special. We spent the first full day of our mini-vacation in Bodega Bay for crab sandwiches and chowder. While we were at Spud's, I spotted both a current colleague and a past acquaintance from high school. Small world. On top of that, I walked past a group of people on my way for coffee who apparently recognized me from a show. I was on a mission for coffee and totally missed them. The person I'm vacationing with heard them trying to figure out my name, so she chimed in, "Yes, that's him.. Ashton York". They told her to tell me hello and that "he's really good!". Upon hearing all this, I joked, "I can die now!". Certainly, a pleasant surprise.
We drove to the look-out above the last little cove in Bodega. There were tons of people out hiking and watching for whales above the coastline. I brought my camera and took some photographs to remember how beautiful today was.
We arrived here last night and I am already feeling extremely refreshed. I can't remember the last time I just took a few days to reset and relax. I wish I could go into poetic detail about how amazing this place is, but I'm too tired and it sounds like a lot of work. Here's my best attempt right now: At night, the stars are plentiful and the only sounds are crickets and the calm bay water gently making contact with the shore. It's cold and crisp here, but the sun has been out accompanied by perfect blue skies and pastel dawns and dusks. There. Hope you're happy.
I forgot how much I love the natural world. I can feel it livening my spirit. It's strange, but being here among the trees and the ocean produces a sinking loneliness in my stomach. But it's a good kind. A scary kind. There's something about smoking a cigarette beneath a thousand stars that reminds me how small and insignificant I am.
I keep having these intrusive thoughts. I will never be as good as so and so. The so and so is a long list of singer-songwriters I admire greatly. Today, I caught myself mid-thought and started to talk back a little bit. Is it okay to just be you? Almost like some part of me is just really sick and tired of the negative talk and comparison. So many years. So many tears. Let it go. Maybe it was just a moment, or maybe I genuinely am ready to start shedding some of that shit. Or maybe I have been on a journey of shedding thoughts like these. Maybe I am on that journey. In the context of music, I'm either going to learn how to look inward and experience some healthy pride in my abilities, or I'm going to live with plenty of misery as I try and fail to be like someone else. The latter sounds worse to me than it ever has. So that's encouraging.
Another thought I had today with regard to my musical aspirations: What is the rush all about? In other words, I'll get wherever I am going to go whenever it is time to. And it will look different than everyone else's journey. What would it be like to really trust this? Would contentment lessen my ambition? Who knows.
More later. Thanks to those of you who are following along here.