I'll post more about the wonderful trip I took to Point Reyes ONCE MY COMPUTER IS UP AND RUNNING AGAIN (no word from Computer Dude yet on its condition) but I wanted to quickly share this observation with you.
On the drive home, Emmett asked me if I had a good time with Stephanie. Of course, I said yes. Steph and I get along very well. We like a lot of the same things and what we don't share in common we can easily appreciate for the other. She's a great fan of good food, making her a delight to cook for. She can be silly. She can talk politics. She isn't afraid to learn new things. And now that she's in the best shape she's ever been in since the day I met her more than a decade ago, there's no stopping her from going wherever she wants to go for as long as she wants to go. We hiked some serious miles out there on the trails and neither one of us once raised a white flag.
I shared all this with Emmett. And then, after a bit of a pause, I added: what I loved most about being on this trip was experiencing it with another writer.
Point Reyes is full of natural beauty and wonder...things most of us (except the park rangers) are not used to experiencing on a daily basis. Couple that with Mother Nature's overall dramatic flair for the mysterious and obvious at the same time and you've got quite a show. On this trip, Steph and I were always verbal in our expressions of the extraordinary (dozens of gray whale sightings) as well as the little things that made an impression upon us (butterflies congregating on a muddy patch on the trail). What I didn't realize until the ride home (after I had had some time to sink into the memories we created together), was that these conversations and brief outbursts were, in a word, poetic. Without trying to sound overly dramatic, the more I thought about them, the more I realized they were as beautiful as the thing or experience we were trying to describe. As writers, Steph and I are always trying to paint a picture for our audience and take them on a journey with us. Sharing with Stephanie, in Point Reyes nonetheless, that innate desire (and for most of us writers it IS an innate desire) to convey to another something specific about a moment in time...well, that was in and of itself as magical as Mother Nature.
It wasn't as if we were TRYING to be all writerly. There were no verbal sparring matches. And aside from a few "hey, that's a good way to describe it" comments from me, there wasn't even an acknowledgment of our situation. It was simply a collection of HONEST and HEARTFELT exchanges that just so happened to be at a conversational level and pace only two professional writers can share. That is to say, had I been on this trip with one of my non-writer friends, I would have used the same words to describe things but the reaction or response would have been different from the ones I had with Stephenie, who in turn fueled my passion and excitement with her words which come from a writer's way of articulating something. And I know this to be true because while I spent the first four and a half days exploring Point Reyes with Stephanie, I spent the last two days exploring it with Emmett. My time with him was just as delightful but out on the trail it was a whole different experience than the one I had with Steph. Not worse (the man loves hiking and nature as much as I do). Not disappointing (he's just as observant and reflective as I am). Just...different.
I wish I could give you an example of a conversation between Steph and me but I can't...they are such a natural part of our being that it is almost unnoteworthy to us (except when I write about it!). It would be like asking Michael Jordan to recall what it was like to share the court with Magic Johnson. I'm sure he'd say it was spectacular but not be able to describe for you each flick of the wrist or pivot or pick that made it so. Because when you're that comfortable with your skill, when you're that good at the game, when you just do and don't have to think about it...there are no words to describe the experience.