Friday, March 20, 2009

Shades of grey: Redondo Beach on a cloudy day

We are in Los Angeles during a period of mostly cool weather, with intermittent overcast days. A certain kind of sun worshipper would have been devastated by this development, but not me. I worship the sun, but also the wind and the rain. I have actually enjoyed the variation.

Yesterday at Rendondo Beach, for example, it was cold and grey. But to me, these photos (enlarged when clicked) show the beautiful variations in grey. It's actually one of my favorite colors, though I regret its intrusion into my once sandy brown hair.

On this trip, I have been rereading Charles Nicholl's masterful biography of my favorite English-language writer, the Elizabethan pamphleteer Thomas Nashe. Nashe was born in Lowestoft, East Anglia, on England's rainy eastern coast. The high in Lowestoft today was 55 F - only slightly below the high here in L.A.

Also on this trip, I saw a college friend, Rebecca Sattin, I have not seen in 20 years. Over a delicious dinner at Cafe Brasil, she reminded me of the time she visited my family home in Granite City, Illinois - just across the Mississippi River from Washington University, but also a world away. For as long as I have been alive, it has been a small, dying steel town.

"I'll never forget your directions," Rebecca said, with a laugh. "You said, 'Turn left at the slag heap.' I didn't even know what a slag heap was! You said, 'Don't worry, you'll know it when you see it'!"

"And," I reminded her, "the second part of those directions - which I gave many times, to a whole lot of people - was: 'If you see the blast furnace, you have gone too far'. Most people also didn't know what a blast furnace was. So, I would tell them, again, 'Don't worry, you'll know it when you see it'!"

Slag heaps, blast furnaces, rolled steel: all things grey, all shades of grey, like Lowestoft (I'd imagine); like Redondo Beach on a cloudy day.


On Redondo Beach, I met with my new musical partner Crane, former sideman and friend of The Minutemen, as I narrate on the Poetry Scores blog.


Mets Guy in Michigan said...

Love the shot with the pelicans! They are fearless.

Confluence City said...

Those pelicans scared the proverbial out of me.