I was here to paint the view for a couple who were married here. I painted a quick one the night before and seeing how crowded it was here on the covid coast of California, I was very thankful to have permission to park and camp behind this private property’s gate. It’s hectic out there, but it’s as easy as ever on this side. Or so I thought.
It was a long night in the van. When you’re at home and your usual good health takes a wrong turn you can hide out for days at a time under your pillow. You can call a friend for help. You can stand under a hot shower for as long as it takes.
But when things go south on the road, alone in an unfamiliar place, and you’re up all night, sweating ice, and sitting upright in the front passenger seat to keep the sour mess of your soul from creeping up your esophogus, well, at those times you just have to struggle through it. Make the best. Wrap that awkward bag around you and a towel around your neck to keep your head up and hope for a bit of sleep.
It’s kinda like marriage in its own way. Occasionally there’s a long dark night, and if you’re a dense thud of a husband like me, often you just have to struggle along. Work it out with her however you can because just like on a rough night in a van, you are all you’ve got. And in the worst of times you’ll find you yourself aren’t very much at all. But when morning comes and the sun is bright in your eyes through the frosted glass windshield, that’s when you find you never needed to be all that much anyway, you just needed to be there. Going nowhere. Not getting out and looking for somewhere else to go in the cold dark night. Not driving away in a spit of rubber and gravel. Just being there, and being your whole messed-up self in the van, hoping for a better day ahead.
I know I’m kinda off the rails on this sloppy metaphor, but what can I say? I got up, felt okay, cooked up a few cups of coffee and powered through this morning painting of this sanctuary by the sea.
Two trains of thought, one conclusion.
This one is a Two for One.