And there's the place itself, that other side. Maybe we only ever really find our place in the place where we find ourselves, whenever and however that happens. Maybe it would have happened here if I'd stayed. But I left before something in me was fully formed, and something about California helped me grow, expand, free myself.
All of this has been spinning around in my head. And then I heard this song tonight while I was driving, and suddenly I was on a cliff along Route 1, a damp, freezing wind blowing in hard from the Pacific, the scent of the ocean mixing with eucalyptus and coastal sage. And off to my left in the darkness there's a halo of light hovering over San Francisco, but it's nowhere near close enough to interfere with the millions and millions of stars in the perfect night sky.