Saturday, February 05, 2005

Siletz Bay retreat

this is an audio post - click to play

I'm just south of Lincoln City, in Siletz Bay. Its around midnight. My room is lovely, I'm on the 3rd floor in the corner, facing west-southwest, so I look right at the ocean. I have the windows open and I can hear the surf, which I find very soothing. I spent a lot of time at the beach today because it was so sunny and warm--I even napped on the sand. There were a lot of people out enjoying the weather. Lots of people with their children and their dogs, many many kites in the air. This is June weather, not February weather.

I've been reading Thoughts Without A Thinker for much of the day, and I'm getting a lot of insight on buddhist thought and Western psychology and the integration of the two. If anything, it is underscoring for me the necessity of mindful meditation, and I am grateful to my therapist for recommending that I return to the practice of it. I think that once I have finished absoring the content, this book will have a profound effect upon me. We'll see.

Lunch was a bowl of chowder, very good. Dinner, a half-dozen oysters on the half-shell accompanied by a double-chocolate stout and a coctail sauce spicy enough to make my eyes wate.

I walked around a bit in the little town has the usual craft galleries, ice cream parlours, and little hole-in-the wall places serving chowder and fish and chips made from halibut, cod, or salmon.

I am heading home tomorrow.... I think I will drive back up north along 101 instead of going directly inland...I love driving with the sun-roof open and the heat on full-blast so I don't get cold...I get to smell the sea and enjoy focussing on navigating some of those interesting curves that the Pacific Coast Highway is famous for.

Well, I'm beat. I think I'll got to sleep. Maybe I'll make another entry sometime tomorrow.

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Friday, February 04, 2005

Retreat Day Two

Misty morning in Manzanita, Oregon. How is that for a view? I love the coastline here, it reminds me of the Hebrides. Posted by Hello
this is an audio post - click to play

It is a beautiful, misty morning here in Manazanita, Oregon. I awakened around 6:00am, my usual time, and threw open the curtains. The sky was still mostly dark, but light enough for me to see the foam of the waves breaking on the beach. I opened the sliding glass door and let the salt smell of the air in, revelling in its cool moisture after being closed up in a heated room all night. I dressed and waited 10 minutes for the sky to lighten a bit more,
and then headed to the beach, which is down a set of stairs and
across a street.

The beach was deserted - except for the sea gulls -- still is, mostly. I found a sand dollar, slightly nicked, and some black
basaltic pebbles -- pieces of Tillamook Head most likely,
worn smooth by years of rolling in the sand. A man and his dogs soon joined me on the beach. They frolicked in the waves and chased a ball that he threw using some ergonomic tool that allowed him to throw again and again without tiring.

One of the dogs came to say hello, a beautiful black lab that sniffed and snorted and dropped a piece of driftwood in front of me. He was foaming a bit at the mouth from the salt in the water. I threw the stick a couple of times and then the owner came abreast of me, said good morning, and the dog heeled, following his master up the beach.

It don't know that the temperature is, probably in the 50s. I wore my windbreaker but didn't really need it, Manzanita is sheltered by Tillamook head so there is very little wind. Nature called, so I hurried back to the motel, a nice, vigorous walk. Its amazing how fast you can walk when you really need to.

I don't have to check out until noon, so I'll probably stroll the
four blocks into the center of town and find some breakfast, and
perhaps read. I will move on from here today, but I don't know if I will head north into Seaside for the Jazz Fest there, or south, toward Lincoln City, where the casino and the nightlife are.

I want to drive, whatever I do... I have been enjoying driving along the winding Pacific Coast Highway with the sunroof open and the radio turned up. Its a very relaxing experience.

Anyway, I'm off to score some breakfast. I might post again later today.

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